Pete I’m in a bind, and you might be my only hope. I have a staff member under me who is a bit, well to put it kindly “under-performing”. Recently they asked if they could use me as a referee, and I immediately said yes. But then it occurred to me – what if a prospective employer calls me? If I’m honest, I’ll be stuck with this guy forever, but if I lie, I’ll lose sleep!
Jackie, Williamstown North (via email)
Jackie, if you are “in a bind” (snigger) and have staff “under you” (snigger snigger) then you have more problems than you might realise! But seriously, it sounds like you’re in some sort of managerial position, and as such, would be aware of how to handle ethical dilemmas like this one, as famously outlined in the great tomb “Zen and the Art of Covert Managerial Operations”. These are of course; “Cover your butt” (snigger), “Don’t give your staff a hard time” (snigger, snigger) and “Hold your own in the boardroom.” (snigger snigger snigger). Ah a seriously funny, if unhelpful guidebook. Truth be told Jackie, from teacher, vet and pharmacist through to librarian, baggage handler and scientist – the biggest problem in a manager’s day aren’t the books, pets or drugs – it’s always the people! So if you get the opportunity to palm one of them off, grab it with both hands! (snigger, snigger)
Hi there Pete, I met you at the Yarraville Festival. As I was telling you my barber always wants to cut my side-burns shorter. I may not be that trendy but in future I might have to hold my ground.
Graham, Hoppers Crossing (via email)
Graham just as I told
you at my stand at the Festival I can see into your future. (I wanted a kissing
booth but apparently there was a whole pile of reasons why this was denied by
our “fun police” of an editor, something about hygiene and violation of council
permits) Anyway I see a fog. Shadows. The outline of a tall, dark stranger with
a thick mane of hair. It’s not you, it’s your barber. Behind your barber is a
bald guy with no side burns. That’s you. You look happy. I see much admiration
and plentiful prosperity. That’s your future. Welcome to the club. Hair is in
my distant past Graham, and so the precision of a side-burn trim is a moot
point, as it will be for you too soon enough. Focus on the things you can
control, surround yourself with those who love you, and go well my friend.