Oz defence project torpedoed

4 October 2011
Saint Homobonus, patron saint of procurementOz defence project torpedoed After spending hundreds of millions of pounds on torpedoes, the Australian Defence Force doesn’t know how to use them – because the classified instructions are in French and Italian. The Defence Materiel Organisation, the procurement agency responsible for the weapons, tendered for people to translate them and a host of translators is flying in to interpret the instructions. The defence project has already been 13 years in the making and cost the Australian government $655 million (£434 million). The latest blunder is one of a series that has irked the government auditor. On a road to nowhere Over in Russia, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was gifted a lifetime of free taxi rides 
by Free Choice, one of 
the country’s foremost motorist associations. But Putin hasn’t really ingratiated himself with 
the nation’s cabbies. He was recently criticised at a taxi drivers’ conference for passing a new law that requires them to paint their cars a standard colour, provide receipts to each passenger and fit yellow indicator lights on their car. 100 days of abstinence There’s a time and a place for office hook-ups (apparently), and that time is not in the first three months of a new job. Consultancy firm First 100 says the first 100 days of a new job are the most critical (hence the name). It put out an advisory note on appropriate workplace etiquette for business leaders during that time frame. Topping the list is ‘don’t sleep with a colleague’. This must be disappointing to many men. A survey by online recruitment website Staffbay found men are more eager to sleep their way to the top than women. Thirty per cent said they would be prepared to, compared with 
8 per cent of women. Dressed for success Elsewhere, office workers in some parts of the globe are relieved summer’s over. Almost half of those polled for research by uSwitch admitted to having felt embarrassed by a colleague dressing inappropriately. Women quizzed were most put off by see-through tops, while men objected vehemently to flip-flops. And for any fellow wishing to shed their tie during the summer months, don’t: 15 per cent of people consider it inappropriate. I’m glad of my tunic – it keeps things simple. Spelling it like it is And what about getting the job in the first place? Grammatical errors are still the number one CV gaffe. A huge 63 per cent of recruiters said spelling and grammar mistakes were the biggest application turn off. The most common blunder was the misuse of you and you’re, it’s and its, have and of, accept and except, and yourself and you. All I can say is yourself should just except its just about the worst thing you’re can of done. Wicked ways with watercress In food news, as watercress makes its way on to 
restaurant menus, the UK 
has seen a rise of leaf 
looters. In the historic town 
of Hungerford, roving bands 
of thieves have been pillaging its watercress supply. Two men and a woman were seen loading six large, plastic dustbin liners full of watercress into a vehicle parked near the riverside water meadows at Hopgrass Farm. Sounds like the cost of my favourite watercress soup with goat’s cheese croûtes has gone up. Time out for a bit of TV Guess what? Playing hooky is a worldwide past time. A study found employees in China led the pack, with a whopping 71 per cent calling in ‘sick’, while workaholic France had only 16 per cent. When asked what employers could do to prevent this behaviour most suggested allowing employees to work more flexible hours. A high percentage of staff felt more paid time off would also make a difference. And what do these truants do? The top two activities in every region except India and Mexico were watching TV or staying in bed. I’m off to watch CSI under the covers. Tweet of the month @ReCourses - Procurement depts: get your head out of your ass, don’t treat professional services like commodities, and drop the power trip.
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