Embellishment blues

Saint Homobonus
11 August 2014

14 August 2014 | Saint Homobonus

Saint HomobonusThe patron saint of purchasers takes a look at the month’s more unlikely business tales.

Embellishment blues

A little tweaking of your CV might not have seemed like a serious crime in the past but one woman was jailed for six months for lying about her qualifications and references on job applications – and the offence carries a maximum sentence of up to 10 years. Figures show a sharp rise in employment-related fraud, with prosecutions soaring by almost 60 per cent in just 12 months. According to CIFAS, the UK fraud prevention service, 324 people were prosecuted in 2013 for fraudulent applications, including submitting false paperwork and withholding information. CIFAS’ guide Don’t finish your career before it starts is aimed at graduates but obviously applies to all applicants. Tweak no more!
Squeaky bum time

Don’t interview well? Feel like you stymie your chances? Author Robin Kermode’s tips, include “squeezing your buttocks or thigh muscles” during the interview – an act that is apparently impossible to see but that helps to stop you shaking. To steady your voice, Kermode suggests “opening your throat by sticking your tongue out as far as it will go and saying the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme out loud”. Obviously this is best done pre-interview unless you are going for a nursery rhyme-themed career. Other tips? Keep standing while you wait for the interview and do show your hands. Apparently showing them rather than hiding them under the table is taken as a sign of honesty.

Way beyond the call

Hotel chain Premier Inn compiled a list of some of the oddest requests staff have received from wedding parties. Talk about supply management – the varied appeals included teaching the groom to foxtrot, helping a best man write his speech, lending trousers to a best man (hopefully not the same one) and being asked to lend the happy couple wedding rings. Best group effort goes to the hotel that “turned its lobby into a hairdressers”.

Delivering the goods

Moving house is one of our most stressful experiences. What about moving horses? FedEx Express recently transported 60 show jumping horses from Liège, Belgium, to Shanghai, China, in two FedEx MD-11 aircraft. And this wasn’t economy-type seating, they travelled in designer stalls with a specialised air-conditioner. Other notable Fedex passengers include a 65-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil and a 13-foot tiger shark used in filming Jaws.

BMW gets thumbs up

The automotive manufacturer has emulated Iron Man by providing its assemby plant workers with augmented thumbs. These are created using a portable 3D camera which captures each worker’s thumb size and shape. This scan is used to build up a thumb guard, created by 3D selective laser sintering. The German car manufacturer is protecting its workers’ thumbs from strain and the device helps them to fit parts into the cars more easily. BMW is also reportedly looking at utilising more custom built 3D-printed apparel.

Can’t buy me love

Eight in 10 workers would turn down a higher salary if it meant working with people they didn’t like, and a manageable commute is more important than pay. A study by the Association of Accounting Technicians, found that for most people happiness, enjoying the role and getting on with the boss were most important. Chief executive Mark Farrar said: “When it comes to working happiness, money is far from the driving factor for most of us.”

Researchers’ shocking news 

In a study for Science magazine researchers did an experiment to see if student volunteers would rather do an unpleasant task than just sit and think. They gave them a mild shock of the intensity of static electricity before asking the volunteers whether, if given $5, they would spend some of it to avoid getting shocked again. The ones who said they would be willing to pay to avoid another shock were asked to sit alone and think for 15 minutes but were given the option of giving themselves a shock again by simply pushing a button. Two-thirds (12 of 18) of the men administered at least one shock. One did it 190 times. A quarter of the women (six of 24) gave themselves at least one shock. “They just wanted to shock themselves out of the boredom,” said University of Virginia psychology professor Timothy Wilson who led the study. “In this modern age, with all the gadgets, people fill up every moment with some external activity.”

Tweet of the month

Favorite part of my new job. The whole supply chain team does stretches in the morning 
#loveit #fit @Bchristensen2

Darmstadt-Dieburg, Hessen (DE)
Competitive salary and great benefits. Relocation assistance available.
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Bramwith Consulting
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