Price to pay for sleeping on the job

Why take a quick nap at your desk when there’s a bed nearby? This is the thinking behind New York entrepreneur Arshad Chowdhury’s new company, MetroNaps.

Staff who have taken too big a bite of the Big Apple will soon be able to meander in a sleep-deprived daze to Chowdhury’s ‘midday rest facility’.

There, they will be able to snooze on specially-designed chaise longues, which have wrap-around shields reminiscent of giant 1980s sunglasses (see

To get the best out of your ‘power nap’, first you relax with ambient sounds, calm lighting and visual aids. Then you re-charge ‘in privacy and serenity with MetroNap Pod’s comfort contour and tranquil sounds’. Finally, you leave refreshed, having woken up to lemon and peppermint scents, as well as a softly vibrating chair.

Clients are charged about £10 for half-an-hour. Fortunately, Guru has no need for the ser-vice since he has re-engineered his ergonomically-correct office chair so that it is permanently flat. Any complaints from his boss are easily diverted by reference to the quality of work Michelangelo achieved in the Sistine Chapel while horizontal.

Essential translations for bosses and staff

When it comes to appraisals, you might speak the same language as your superiors, but that doesn’t mean it is necessarily plain English.

So, print out the guide below, which Guru has put together along with Video Arts training, and circulate it around the office. That should put an end to any misunderstandings caused by our rabid need for management psycho-babble.

What the boss says…                                                                           What the boss means…

We need to see a marked improvement                                                 Your P45 has bee requested improvement from accounts
We need to set some clear objectives                                                    Why are you here?
We need to keep an eye on our bottom line                                           There is no pay rise bottom line
You need to dress for the job you want                                                 You’re scruffy
There was some interesting feedback from the 360-degree appraisal      Your colleagues don’t like you from the 360-degree appraisal
You need to work on your motivation                                                   You’re lazy

What the employee says…                                                                   What the employee means…

He has a different way of working                                                         I don’t like working with him
Well I’ve been doing this role for two years now…                                I want a promotion years now…
What are the end-of-year figures like?                                                   Are we getting a Christmas bonus?
My workload is unmanageable                                                              I barely have time to e-mail friends and surf the net for celebrity gossip
I’m very happy here                                                                              I’d leave given half a chance
I think junior staff should be given more interesting work                        I want to pass all my brain-numbingly interesting work boring work on to them

The mute commute
White elephants on parade

We’re giving away coveted Guru mousemats to anyone who can suggest a well-known HR person travelling to work in an odd manner.

Now, Jack McConnell, first minister of Scotland, isn’t strictly HR. But we’ll allow Dave, an HR manager from Edinburgh, his suggestion of McConnell riding to the Scottish parliament on an elephant. After all, the building has cost well over 10 times the original estimate (about £480m), making it something of a white elephant itself.

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