Viagra story was a bit of a flop

This week’s guru column

• Guru has to admit he was well and truly suckered by a recent missive from
the GMB trade union that was titled Workers down tools at Viagra factory over
hard helmets.

Such a provocative title, Guru assumed, must have a pretty racy story behind
it that would practically go off the scale of his cheeky-ometer.

In fact Guru has to report the story failed to perform and related to a
dispute at one of the sites of pharmaceuticals company Pfizer, the maker of
Viagra, over safety rules.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with taking precautions, but Guru thinks
this was a pretty limp excuse for such an in-your-face headline, and the whole
experience left him feeling quite flaccid.

Colleagues kick up a stink

• Two entries for Guru’s shop-a-minger service, delicately entitled You
Stink.

First a quick message to an apprentice at Thomas Muckle & Sons
(Builders).

"Just have a bath will you, you’re asphyxiating people that work with
you. While you’re at it you might try scraping some of that scum off your
teeth.

"And I’d clean those clothes up a bit too so that when the tramp you
stole them off comes back for them they don’t smell any worse than when he was
wearing them. Thanks."

And second, a delightful little story.

"Due to an unfortunate misalignment of teeth, an ex-colleague of mine
had a mouth like a cement mixer, resulting in churned food always being caked
about the corners.

"People would tactfully turn down going to lunch with her for fear of
vomiting, even though she had a lovely personality." Charming!

Send your personal hygiene howlers to Guru at the e-mail address below.

An inconvenient start for initiative

• Full marks, in principle, to Tony Blair who last week pitched in with a
campaign to promote a better work-life balance.

But the campaign got off on the wrong foot when it was announced – at an
8.30am breakfast meeting.

Perhaps stressed-out parents struggling to get that work-life balance just
right had better not hold their breath…

Willing to donate the shirt from his back

• Above and beyond the call of duty award goes to Lee Courington, a job
adviser at the Hackney branch of recruitment firm Reed.

Lee had managed to find an ideal vacancy for Ben Cowan, one of the staff on
his books, as a security manager.

The prospective employer offered Ben an interview straight away, but said he
would need to be smartly dressed, and Ben was currently sporting a jeans and
T-shirt ensemble.

Quick-thinking Lee immediately lent Ben his suit, shirt and shoes to go for
the interview for the job, which Ben promptly got.

A heart-warming tale of co-operation to get someone into work, and given
recent government concern about the use of sometimes exorbitant "temp to
perm" fees by recruitment agencies, it’s good to see this example of a
recruiter being taken for the shirt off his back by an employee.

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