Christmas clear out

As of Monday 7th November, there will be just 30 working days left until many people break for Christmas on 16th December.  A tradition for many executives is to have an office clear out at the end of the year, “stuff” builds up and there are not many better ways to begin the New Year than with a clear desk and filing system.

As well as the physical throwing away, having a clear out can also prove to be cathartic.  Taking this one step further, other things can also build up over the year.  These include putting of a difficult conversation and failing to grip thorny issues.  If you are not careful, you will return to work in 2012 with these things on your desk still waiting for attention.

You may have heard me tell the story about a finance director who put off speaking to her direct report about his poor performance and body odour for nearly a year.  When she finally plucked up the courage her colleague simply said “why didn’t you tell me before”.  Having finished kicking herself she now shares this story openly.  It is for these sorts of reasons that we are seeing an increase in the number of people booking places on our difficult conversations workshop or bringing the course in-house.

We are also experiencing an increase in the number of organisations wanting to appoint a facilitator or mediator to get these prickly issues sorted.

If you would like to clear more than your desk for Christmas, leaving you to enjoy a peaceful festive break, please get in touch to see how we can help.

Some Amusing Stories

In Britain, Nicole Mamo wanted to advertise for a hospital cleaner with Jobcentre Plus insisting applicants “must be very reliable and hard working”.  She was told the advert could not be displayed because it may discriminate against unreliable applicants.

In Germany, a police officer was awarded 7 extra day’s holiday p.a. by a court after claiming it took him 15 minutes a day to dress and undress from his uniform and this equated to 45 extra hours every year.

In South Australia there appears to be no shortage of jobs.  Positions advertised in 2011 include shark personality profiler, roo poo harvester, penguin home remodeler and the very appealing post of beer taster.  No previous experience is necessary!

A Middlesex school teacher raised a grievance against her employer because she had to shout in class in order to make herself heard over the noise of a nearby playground.

The grievance was rejected on the grounds that shouting was an occupational hazard.  However, she was diagnosed with nodules on her vocal cords so the council settled her subsequent “injury” claim for a cool £156,000.

A favourite employment story comes from Sweden – it involves a police officer who undertook a spot of moonlighting to help make ends meet.

Unfortunately his decision to open a temporary massage parlour in his station backfired when he was seen by a colleague as he rubbed down a female who was laying face down wearing nothing but a thong.

This resulted in the force disciplining him for damaging public confidence in the police.

These were in the in-house magazine of Davies and Partners Solicitors, Gloucester

Helen RobinsonCareer