Pearls of wisdom for HR protocol

A few strategic management gems sent in by disciple Kate Shaw, which the politically correct might just object to:

Sick days: We will no longer accept a doctor’s statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.

Personal days: Staff will get 104 personal days a year. They are called Saturday and Sunday.

Lunch break: Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch. They need to eat more, so that they can look healthy. Normal-sized people get 15 minutes for a balanced meal to maintain their average figure. Fat people get 5 minutes – that’s all the time needed to drink a Slim-Fast.

Corporate ethos: Thank you for your company loyalty. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternation, and input should be directed elsewhere.

Lost souls losing 39 hours of their lives

New research reveals the nation is literally losing its way, with the average Briton getting lost for the duration of an entire working week during their lifetime.

Adults spend up to 39 hours struggling to find their way, according to the NOP research commissioned by It means the nation squanders a whopping 740,000 days a year.

Moreover, (and this is someone else’s research, so no letters please), gender stereotypes hold true: one in four women own up to getting lost due to holding a map incorrectly, compared with one in six men (although this may well be because men are too pig-headed to admit they can’t use a map).

How then to sort this? People are always complaining about the commute. So does the solution lie in better public transport to encourage people to leave their automobiles at home? That’s been tried – and failed spectacularly. GPS in every car? Too expensive. Small domiciles under workers’ desks so they don’t have to get lost on the way to work? Now that’s flexible working. And hey presto! No commute – the workforce will be ecstatic.

Mature trendsetters wanted in Germany

A top German fashion chain is reviewing all its staff over the age of 50 to make sure they are suitably stylish for the business.

The fashion police (or personnel managers, as they are otherwise known) at Takko have been ordered to scrutinise its 780 over-50s to find out whether their appearances are fashionable enough.

The chain hopes to target a 20-45-year-old audience, and, as a result, the powers that be have decreed that staff should also be of the same age group.

A report details that ’employees aged over 50 are to be scrutinised for their personal development and outward appearance over the next three months. Those who do not match the image are to be made redundant’.

Guru is not sure what is more shocking – this blatant ageism, or the revelation that Germans of any age have a sense of fashion.

ear to the ground …
Dad uses paternity leave to go on boozy bender

Which publishing house rebuked an employee for being childish about paternity rights?

A salesman approached his HR manager to ask how ‘the whole paternity thing worked’. The kindly HR fellow explained. The salesman, to the disgust of his colleagues, then went off to Tenerife for the week with his boozy mates, while his wife delivered their offspring. Apparently, the rules do not dictate what you should be doing with the leave, so indignance was forced to give way to bitter acceptance.

Four months later, the salesman returned to HR. “Excuse me,” he says, “how does this paternity leave thing work?” “You know how it works,” says HR. “You have already had some.”

“Yes, but my girlfriend is pregnant and I…”


Do you have any true stories about your (or anyone’s) workplace that you’d like to see in ‘Ear to the Ground’? They will be kept strictly anonymous and you will be able to bathe in a sense of righteous satisfaction. Please send them to

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