A weighty issue

11 September 2012
Saint H<div style=St Homobonus, the patron saint of shoemakers, tailors and purchasing, has a monthly column in SM… A weighty issue British office workers are blaming their colleagues for their inability to diet. Desk-based employees put on an average of 10 pounds during their first year of a new job, with 64 per cent pointing their podgy digits at co-workers who bring in too many treats. A further 14 per cent feel under constant pressure to join in when goodies are passed round. The Co-operative Food, which commissioned the research into office eating habits, found that, on average, office workers will succumb to their first sweet snack by 10.04am. So much for elevenses. Waffle at work Who is your ‘office waffler’? A poll has found around one in five employees (about 
19 cent) admit taking on this role in a misguided attempt to impress colleagues. The result? They are confusing and irritating their co-workers. Favourite one-liners include “it’s a no-brainer”, “thinking outside the box”, “110 per cent” and “flagging up”. The survey by finance website Wonga.com found that 30 per cent of men use buzz words to improve their chances of promotion, although, overall, more women (37 per cent) admit to using such expressions. The (cherry) pits While procurement professionals might be busy at work ensuring every penny achieves value for money in their business, they may be among the consumers who squander cash on ill-used kitchen gadgets. Research from Just-Eat found 87 per cent of buyers in the UK own culinary utensils they’ve used only once, or not at all. Sweetcorn strippers, spoon rests, asparagus peelers, melon ballers, cherry pitters and herb scissors are among the kitchen essentials that account for £2.08 billion of spend a year. Pricey pints A survey by OnePoll.com 
has found that when not purchasing obscure vegetable peelers, Brits are spending a lifetime average of £39,480 on getting the beers in. That works out as £840 a year on drinks for friends, partners and colleagues. Buyers might want to consider reining in spending on rounds – but not too much; the poll also revealed round dodging is the biggest sin among drinkers. Fields of gold Looking for an investment for your company? English farmland has apparently trebled in value over the past decade, now averaging more than £6,000 an acre. While farmers still make 
up at least half of all buyers, estate agents have seen an influx of City bankers as well as overseas purchasers. The appeal is that it is seen as a safe-haven asset, like gold, but also gives annual returns of 2-3 per cent. Estate agents Savills predicts UK farmland prices will climb by 36 per cent by 2017, an average rise of about 6 per cent a year. Bulletproof test There could be a new player in the market for anti-assassination and kidnap vehicles. Bentley is considering launching an armour-plated car to tap into the growing market for secure automobiles. The range will be targeted (ahem) at customers in Latin America, the Middle East and Russia who want to travel in bulletproof comfort. A wheel problem An historic railway in India 
is facing closure because engineers can no longer source spare parts for the wheels of one of its vintage rail carriages. The 1927 
British rail car faces its final journey along the 60-mile Kalka-Shimla line, which 
has featured in numerous Bollywood films and Michael Palin’s TV series Himalaya. Kiss controversy And finally, following my item on the use of kisses in work emails last month, there is news that the use of ‘Xs’ in texts and emails leads to more than half of office affairs. In many cases the kisses used in electronic communications are misconstrued, with men and women assuming a message ending in ‘X’ is a come on, when those sending the message are just trying to 
be friendly. I have decided to sign all future issues with a kiss in the hope that one of you might misconstrue it. Mwah! X Tweet of the month I just spoke to a guy in our procurement team – he rocks!! @da3ada
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