Hit snooze for the road to success

If you are one of those people who just can’t avoid being late for work, it would probably be best if you move to Brazil.

This isn’t the bitter ranting of a punctual pedant, but the advice of a guide on business etiquette, which claims the Brazilians believe latecomers are likely to be more successful in commerce than people who arrive early.

However, the When in Rome… business etiquette guide from risk managers Atradius, recommends you avoid The Netherlands if you are a fan of a lie-in, as they believe that people who can’t use their time wisely cannot be trusted.

Other peculiarities you might want to watch out for include giving a thumbs up in Saudi Arabia, (which is just plain offensive), and tapping your two index fingers together in Egypt as this means ‘Will you sleep with me?’

Guru hopes he has been of service, either to those who wish to avoid embarrassment on business trips, or those who are booking their summer holiday and weren’t quite sure where to go. Do the pyramids suddenly seem more attractive to anyone else?

Cost cutting leaves staff feeling dirty

Cutting jobs in the public sector is, like, so now. Gordon is presently giving it a good go in the UK, while Stateside, something similar is going on, but with an unsavoury twist.

The government of Erie County, New York, has slashed 2,000 jobs and cut services to close a $100m shortfall in its budget. Now, this may not seem so bad compared to our chancellor’s grandiose plans, but this is where things get dirty – literally.

There’s so little money left in the coffers of this east coast outpost that staff are having to bring their own toilet paper and soap to work. If that wasn’t enough, the toilets are not being cleaned either – it’s enough to drive you round the U-bend.

“It’s almost humorous, but it’s disgusting,” according to Bob Fioretti, who has worked in the building for 21 years. “When people have got to bring their own toilet paper and soap to wash their hands, it’s like working in another country – a bad country.”

Ungrateful patient can go get stuffed

After a civil service-wide pensions strike was narrowly averted last week, Guru got to thinking how glad he is that he is no longer in charge of a major government department.

Back in those days, he feels he never really took enough time to think about the foot soldiers who are slaving away day after day to help a general public who really don’t appreciate it, and would now like to try to lay a couple of ghosts to rest.

Why these reminiscences and recriminations? Read this letter from a disciple who is a nurse and you’ll understand…

“Dear Guru,
There is a man who recently came into a ward – removed from his house by crane.

He is 52 and weighs 45 stones. His BMI is 89! For anyone who doesn’t know about BMI (body mass index), the norm is 20-25.

He hasn’t walked for two years, and it takes eight nurses two hours to wash him in the morning.

He has been put on a calorie-controlled diet of 1,500 calories but over the week he put on 3kgs.

The nurses then found burger wrappers in his bin.”

Guru will not print the assertions this disciple made about what should be done to this guy, but he is wholly behind them, so you probably get the gist.

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