This week’s guru

Concern for morale as Mr Mean takes charge

Guru is concerned that one of the latest books on management is advocating
staff reduction and cost cutting as the best way of reacting to the economic

The CIPD urges employers to think long term and to cut jobs as a last resort
or risk losing out when the economy picks up.

But Mr Mean’s Guide to Management, which has already sold 25,000 copies,
seems to advocate a more traditional approach.

In the book, Mr Mean sacks Mr Funny after introducing a no-joke policy and
dispenses with company cars, forcing sales reps to make their way to
appointments on skateboards.

Guru is concerned that staff morale could suffer following Mr Funny’s
departure and would probably have given him the benefit of a written warning.

But Guru would have got rid of that layabout Mr Lazy as well as Mr Greedy,
whose ridiculous expense claims have no doubt forced Mr Mean into cutting costs
in the first place.

In or out – who gives a shirt?

Postal workers in Hampshire are threatening to go on strike to defend their
right to wear their shirts untucked.

They are supporting a group of postmen who broke a rule stating that all
shirts should be tucked into trousers.

A spokesman for Consignia said it was beyond belief that workers would consider
strike action over such an issue.

The union denies the claim is childish and highlights the fact that postmen
in other parts of the country can walk around with their shirts untucked.

Guru has every sympathy. He remembers having a similar argument with his
mummy when he was eight. All the other boys were allowed to let their shirts
hang out, but Guru’s was firmly tucked into his shorts before school every
morning. Oh, how he stamped his feet.

Pilot perk cuts are hard cheese

BA pilots may be big cheeses at 30,000 feet, but they will no longer be able
to celebrate the fact with a slice of Stilton.

The traditional perks for pilots including cheeseboards, fruit trays and
baked potato snacks are for the chop at BA as part of its cost cutting exercise
post-11 September.

While pilots will still be treated to the meals served to business
passengers in BA’s Club Class, many are upset at the loss of their daily intake
of Red Leicester. Some have even contacted their union.

Sensibly, pilot union Balpa is unsympathetic. A spokesperson said, "We
felt it was more important to save jobs than to save the cheeseboard."

Staff admit they don’t do office dos

As many companies cancel or scale
down their Christmas party plans because of the uncertain economic climate,
many employees are breathing a loud sigh of relief.

Research reveals that a fifth of employees would rather not
socialise at all with people from work.

Guru is not surprised, given some of their antics highlighted
by the survey of 1,000 people aged over 16. It finds that
20 per cent have been caught canoodling with a colleague, 5 per cent confess to
throwing punches during the celebration and a similar proportion admit taking
their clothes off. Fifteen per cent say they most dread meeting the office
letch at the company party and 19 per cent believe the event would be markedly
improved if the boss didn’t attend.

On the plus side, nearly a quarter said they had met their
future spouse or partner at the office festive bash.

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