Psychopathic bosses on the loose


Have you ever worried you are being worked to death? Well be afraid; be very afraid, because you might just be right.

A leading authority on psychopaths has published a guide to identify ‘corporate psychos’ to help companies root out managers who are likely to turn violent or defraud the company.

Professor Robert Hare, of the University of British Columbia, has put together a 107-point questionnaire called the ‘B-Scan’, because he thinks a psychopath’s personality fits ideally in theÉ errÉ cut-throat world of business.

A top-quality psycho will be able to manipulate others without remorse and will have a polished veneer of charm, which will get them on the management fast-track.

Your skipper could be a bona fide ripper if they have an inflated and grandiose self-image, ambitious and unrealistic career goals and if they take credit for the work of others. ‘Using a lot of management jargon to impress people’ is a key indicator.

Other tell-tale signs – such as thrill-seeking bosses, who tend to get very angry, then calm down and act as if nothing has happened – could mean that a ‘killer day in the office’ is a little closer than you thought.

‘Techie nerds’ eye your every step

n If you thought you were safe from prying eyes by using Instant Messenger to send your subversive thoughts to your friends, then you’d be wrong. Furthermore, if you thought using obscure variants of words to avoid the censors would help, then Guru is sorry to tell you that’s a load of bawls.

In yet another Personnel Today exclusive, Guru can reveal that companies are employing ‘techie nerds’ to install software onto your system that will monitor your Instant Messenger and pick out errant subject matter, no matter how it is spelled, usingÉ wait for itÉ Viz magazine’s Roger Mellie’s Profanisaurus.

For the uninitiated, the Profanisaurus is designed ‘to keep you bang up-to-date with the very latest in deeply unwholesome language’, and includes obscure phrases such as ‘donkey punch’ and ‘let Percy in the playpen’. Guru likes his job and will therefore not deign to translate.

“Bizarre wording is being used to get round monitoring systems,” said an IT source. “But using Mellie’s rather more colourful language means more people will get caught out.”

And if you thought that you worked in a staid industry, such as banking or insurance, that wouldn’t dream of using the Tourettes-ridden comic character’s guidelines, you might want to think again.

No fairy tale end for bottomless bunch

n A group of down-and-outs have started to gather in Westminster to fight for the rights of the forgotten unemployed. They are the Association of Former MPs (AssofF MPs), a union to show solidarity for ex-politicos who, like Little Miss Muffet, have been forced to relinquish their constituency tuffets in favour of bigger, hairier creatures, prepared to spin new webs of deceit.

The group of sad MPs who have lost their seats (and don’t know where to find them) already boasts 180 members and they are campaigning to give ex-MPs better access to a hardship fund into which MPs have paid £2 a week since 1938.

Due to a certain stinginess when it comes to payouts, the fund stands at a hefty £4m.

Apparently no-one wants to employ a washed-up MP and they can’t go on the dole for fear of the media finding out.

Over-bifurcation splits opinion

n A common rule in journalism is that you should write in English plain enough for a12-year-old to understand.

The example below was one of the best we’ve seen, and was returned to a friendly lawyer to sort out:

“A contributor to this [TUPE regulations] has been the European Court of Justice, whose recent case law has given rise to a new theoretical bifurcation in the analysis of the application of the Acquired Rights Directive (in Britain, TUPE) to contracting for services.”

You have been warned.

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