Take a sporting chance on a sickie

6 June 2012
Saint Homobonus, patron saint of procurementThe arrival of sunshine in the UK led to sweat-filled trains, a boost in icecream sales and an increase in skiving. College students ditched a day of study for the beach and there was an uptake in those calling in sick. Their view is “you’ve got to make the most of it while you can”. But it’s not just the weather that prompts those in the UK to bunk off. A survey by Kronos found employees feel less guilty about skipping work to watch sport than any other nation surveyed. Football is the sport most likely to cause people to be absent from work in the UK, which could mean that Euro 2012 will have an impact on absence too. Handshake gets the kiss off Half of Britons prefer an alternative greeting to a handshake, a survey has found. A third dive straight in for a hug and 16 per cent choose a peck on the cheek when meeting up with old friends or new acquaintances. The formal greeting is apparently considered “outdated” or “unhygienic”, with the typical hand having about 150 different bacteria living on it. Some 42 per cent think handshakes are just for a business situation. Whatever happened to the silent, respectful nod? Turning up like 
a bad penny... Did you know debts over £10 cannot be paid using coppers? A disgruntled client who paid a bill with £800 in loose change after a row with his accountant has been ordered to pay his debt ‘properly’ by a court judge. Care home owner Robert Fitzpatrick dumped five crates of 1ps and 2ps – weighing 166kg – in his accountant’s front garden in Essex while he was away. But a judge has now ruled that the debt has not been properly paid and ordered Fitzpatrick to pay the accountants £1,118.62 by more conventional means. Hungering for 
a home? Want to snap up a piece of US film history? The US village used to portray District 12 in the film version of The Hunger Games is going up for sale. The run-down, coal-mining area is an abandoned textile mill from the 1920s in North Carolina. The auction house says it will be sold for at least £759,000 in July. District 12 is home to the heroes of The Hunger Games, including Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark. It is being sold by its owner, 83-year-old Wade Shepherd, who said he had become overwhelmed when the property turned 
into a hot spot for film fans coming to see the Everdeens’ shanty home and the Mellark family bakery. Ring-fenced spending Men are apparently spending just two weeks’ salary on an engagement ring for their fiancée, with only one in 100 able to spend more than a month’s earnings. Online retailer Pixmania.com found a typical worker earning £20,000-£30,000 is spending just £729. It also found one in five men are so embarrassed that they lie about the price. But earning a mint doesn’t mean you splash it on bling for your beloved. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (worth a reported £12 billion) apparently spent around £16,000 on a ring for his now wife Priscilla Chan, while Brad Pitt is estimated to have spent more like £318,000 on the engagement band for his fiancée Angelina Jolie. Cupboard 
love Banner Business Services has produced a list of the top 10 office items that get stolen by staff. They are: Post-it notes, Sellotape, scissors, toilet roll, photocopier paper, memory sticks, notepads, pens, staplers and highlighters. Excuse me, I’m just off to the stationery cupboard… Oil in troubled waters And finally, there’s an oil crisis in Europe – olive oil that is. An excess supply has led its price to drop to its lowest level in a decade. Spain, Italy and Greece account for 70 per cent of the global output, but the economic crisis has led to a decline in consumption in these countries. That fall has coincided with a bumper olive crop in Spain, creating a glut that has forced the EU to intervene to reduce the surplus amid worries about rural incomes. Tweet of the month Is it ever possible to make public sector procurement sound exciting? Struggling to come up with a suitable exciting event title. @francisclarke
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