Moral slurpitude

10 December 2012
Saint Homobonus, patron saint of procurementSt Homobonus, the patron saint of shoemakers, tailors and purchasing, has a monthly column in SM… Moral slurpitude While I’m in my Christmas organising mood (after all, you want me to put a good word in with my mate St Nicholas don’t you?) I am insisting on good etiquette while eating in the workplace. It has come to my attention that noisy eating tops the list of office gripes of UK workers, according to a survey by Ainsley Harriott Cup Soup (no slurping). More than half of workers hated this trait most, followed closely by messy colleagues (32 per cent) and other staff members not washing up (27 per cent). A special note to bosses: give your staff time to leave their desks at lunchtime! There, I have solved this problem in the manner of Solomon. Legally binding If you are suffering from your other half not washing up at home, however, you may be interested in a new style of agreement from a law firm offering ‘fun’ contracts between partners, where you promise certain favours in return for, er, favours, including I assume, housework. In fact, McEntegart Legal, the law firm offering these contracts for only £1.99, has got quite excited, calling them Fifty Shades of Grey-style ‘Lovers’ Agreements’. Being saintly, I don’t know about that sort of thing. But at that price, I wonder if it would work for my secret Santa beneficiary this year? Don’t open that Have you ever experienced an email mishap? According to Varonis, 
62 per cent of you have, often with serious consequences as a result of sending to the wrong person or with improper or unauthorised content. And this is not only from accidently putting kisses on the bottom of a serious email to your boss, which, surprisingly, doesn’t even feature in the survey. No, it is much more serious than this, as one-in-20 companies faced compliance issues as a result of a wrongly sent email. David Gibson, VP of strategy at Varonis said: “Every data disaster now seems to involve an email. We are witnessing a worrying trend of ‘email bankruptcy’ that sees numbers of people even deleting their entire inboxes.” Hmm... I may suggest this to the person I’ve just sent that ‘lover’s agreement’ to. Career competitors From time to time, I wonder if I may have preferred conversing with animals, like St Francis of Assisi, instead of dealing with merchants, but basically I am happy with my lot. In the UK, however, it seems 60 per cent of workers are jealous of friends’ jobs and women are more likely than men to suffer these feelings. More than two-thirds of Brits (68 per cent) are embarrassed by their jobs and many respondents admit they have lied about their profession, according to So consider this: if most of your friends are lying about how great their jobs and salaries are, then statistically, there is more than likely nothing to be jealous of at all. Show and tell So, you ask, what can you do to get ahead in life, apart from wear a pink shirt of course? Well, apparently just sitting back and watching some television will help. A study by Freesat shows 46 per cent of people believe certain TV shows helped them get a promotion; 47 per cent feel their TV tastes have impressed a prospective partner on a first date; and 62 per cent have wowed dinner party guests as a result of their TV tastes. So keeping up with Newsnight, nature programmes and Nigella respectively seems to be the recipe for success. I’m off to watch Jeremy Paxo while stuffing a turkey with Nigella. Or is it the other way around? Merry Christmas. In the pink Seasons greetings to all procurement professionals! And at this festive time, one would expect a general call to dress up, and why not. 
For example, my fellow saints and I are enjoying a ‘Christmas jumper’ competition and lunch this year. But beware if you are following our lead at your ‘do’, for it seems there is only one colour of shirt that really indicates success at work, and that is… pink. According to The Telegraph, men who wear pink shirts earn £1,000 a year more than those who wear more conventional colours, a survey has found. Despite this being, perhaps, 
a small amount of money to make a difference 
to your wardrobe choices, should we consider it? Or is this a ‘bravado’ slippery slope leading to enormous shoulder pads or Tweetie-pie gangster shirts? I feel, as your patron saint, I should also mention that lilac has been shown as the colour men wear who have the most office affairs, so it is now forbidden. I have spoken. Tweet of the month I thought I’d be designing spaceships and racing cars. I’m staring at an unintelligible technical procurement specification. @Chimpman
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