If you’ve ever felt under the weather, thank your lucky stars that you’re not a meteorologist from Russia.
Ruski weathermen who get their predictions wrong could face fines or even jail if emergency situations minister Sergei Shoigu gets his way.
Speaking to some bedraggled workers in Irkutsk, which is presently on flood warning, he said that errant weather forecasts could lead to emergency services being unnecessarily called out.
“If there is a disaster we send rescuers and equipment and spend money,” Shoigu said. “But weathermen hold no responsibility – and do not think about having to defend the population.”
This ‘red square’ has now promised to “squeeze compensation out of the weather forecasters if their forecasts prove wrong”.
Guru reckons if the worst comes to the worst, jail seems a bit much; can’t their employers just give them the Coss-sack?
Rockers reeling over the state of nannies
It’s not a good time to work as a nanny to the rich and famous. An employment tribunal recently ruled that actress Samantha Morton was guilty of conducting a smear campaign against her au pair.
The unfortunate Danielle Potterton was awarded £3,000 after the Minority Report actress told celebrity pals not to employ her and demanded that an agency remove Potterton from its books.
The award was made after the nanny lost her job looking after Danny Goffey’s child (Goffey is the drummer with ragged Britpop hairyboys Supergrass, by the way).
In a separate case, the lead singer of rock group The Cranberries, was accused of living the rock ‘n’ roll life while her nanny was left isolated and neglected. However, she’s since been found innocent.
The High Court in Dublin had heard that Dolores O’Riordan and hubby Don Burton dismissed Joy Fahy after she refused to look after their child, alone, in Canada, in 1999 – without access to a mobile phone or car and with the nearest shops eight miles away.
Guru is worried as he too recently dismissed his nanny. It just seemed that at his age, still having someone to put him to bed was a tad ridiculous.
ENO hits bum note with ban on darlings
The English National Opera has banned new employees from using the word ‘darling’ when addressing colleagues.
A new education document, aimed at enforcing government guidelines on sexual discrimination at work, prohibits “suggestive remarks or lewd conduct that denigrates or ridicules or is intimidatory or physically abusive of an employee because of sex, which is derogatory, or insults which are gender related”.
Once you’ve got through that lot, it goes on: “The use of affectionate names such as ‘darling’ will also constitute sexual harassment.”
Pre-existing staff can still do it, but someone who started last week can’t. Will the new workers be placido enough to accept this, or will they consider it a pavarotten move, that will limit their carerras?