This week’s guru

You can’t keep lies under this hat

First came psychometric testing. Then came graphology (Guru will struggle to
look Mark Childs of Fidelity Investments in the eye after last week’s feature
in which a graphologist accused him of being "intellectually
arrogant"). Now we have the magnetic resonance imaging machine.

Researchers in Pennsylvania claim that it is a foolproof way of testing
honesty. Apparently even the coolest liar cannot prevent a rush of blood to a
part of the brain called the anterior cingulate gyrus. The magnetic resonance
imaging machine can home in on that brain area and provide better results than
a lie detector.

Clever chaps at Harvard have cut down the machine to hat size. It has lights
sewn into the lining, which emit infrared beams that penetrate the skull and
bounce back in patterns that reflect brain activity.

If there is a rush of blood, it is a cert that the person is telling porkies
about their previous employment record, or thinking of Atomic Kitten/George
Clooney (delete as applicable).

That old Morris dance excuse…

Guru has heard some pretty lame excuses to get time off work, but nothing
compares to the employee who asked to be excused to attend an emergency Morris
dancing meeting.

The Morris dancer was highlighted in a survey of more than 400 firms by
employment law consultants IRPC, which concludes employers must have policies
in place for dealing with such requests.

One firm cites the case of a junior manager who argued that she should swap
offices with a senior colleague because it would enhance the feng shui of the

Video star wasn’t torn off a strip

It’s not fair – when Guru stripped down to his undies at last year’s office
Christmas party he received a severe dressing down from his boss.

Yet company director Nathalie Bagnall not only got her kit off during work
time but stunned her staff by starring in her firm’s latest corporate video
dressed only in lacy lingerie.

The PR director for Manchester-based firm Communique, was cast as a lap
dancer during the seven-minute film.

Nathalie, 29, said she was a bit nervous to start with, but said there was
no stopping her once the music started.

Guru knows the feeling – it was when he got on the dance floor that he lost
his inhibitions, as well as his clothes and, according to his boss, his

Sales talent may be in the blood

Thank goodness for discriminatory job adverts. They’ve enabled Guru to fill
up plenty of column inches over the years.

But rarely does he come across an ad as biased as one doing the rounds in

A Shanghai firm recently placed an advert for a sales director that
specified a certain blood type.

It openly stated that it would only employ people with blood type O or B
because they are better team players.

The personnel manager said, "We feel that people with these blood types
are comparatively more stable and personable – essential qualities all top sales
talents should possess."

The Shanghai authorities say companies have the right to set their own
criteria for potential employees.

So, when Guru gets round to setting up his long-awaited think tank in the
Far East, he’ll appoint staff through a combination of star sign, pet
ownership, food allergies and fondness for the Royal Family. Should generate
some creative synergy.

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