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Flying computers and a cake break: what we wish had happened in 2006


‘Tis the week before Christmas and all through the wires
The HR Zone team can be heard planning fun.
So to spread festive cheer we thought we’d pass on
Some of the stories we wish we had won.

Here’s a selection of stories we really wish we’d seen during 2006. You never know, we might be lucky in 2007!

  • 1. Conflict resolution in the boxing ring
    As part of its review into the dispute resolution procedures the government suggests giving conflicting employees the opportunity to slug it out in a boxing ring erected in the middle of the office. Baseball bats and fire arms are offered as part of the employee benefits package.

    This is justified as a resurrection of the post-1066 method of trial by battle. When it’s pointed out that trial by battle was replaced by trial by jury because the richer opponent was simply hiring a better champion, the government decides only the arguing parties may take part. This leads to outrage, as everyone quite fancies a fist fight before lunch. Threatened by the fire arms provided to employees, the government promises to reconsider.

  • 2. Computers go flying
    Being so hard working here at HR Zone, our computers decide to give up and break under the pressure. The team is delighted when informed they can throw their computers from fifth-floor windows provided they put up notices outside to warn passers-by of the dangers of falling IT equipment. Much time is spent making these notices as pretty as possible.
  • 3. Stop the flying computers, get us drunk
    To stop the HR Zone team chucking their computers out of the windows, management introduces regular alcohol breaks. This is greeted with such enthusiasm that lots of articles somehow appear under the employee benefits section and the idea takes off as it’s noticed how even the office moaners cheer up considerably under this regime. With the exception of health ministers, who find the idea deeply worrying, the alcohol break is taken up with enthusiasm. At least, we think they were praising it – by 10am the employees were slurring their speech too much to be certain.
  • Smoking ban? Soothe us with sweets
    Following the announcement of the smoking ban, the government agrees to soothe tensions with a tax-deductible cake and chocolate allowance. To avoid accusations of leading the nation to obesity, the allowance is limited to the best products on offer – which the HR department, of course, has to test. Cake and chocolate companies organise huge awards festivals to determine which products should qualify for tax deductible status. As well-known connoisseurs of cake and chocolate, the HR Zone team gets so many free tickets to these events we’re able to offer numerous prize draws to readers. The crisp industry complains it hasn’t been included – sparking hours of debate. Who needs work?
  • All your problems solved
    Needless to say, with such a tempting array of benefits on offer, recruitment becomes much easier as workers ensure they have the right level of qualifications for the organisations offering them. Customer service also improves as everyone fears the sanction of having their alcohol break or cake and chocolate allowance removed.

    Finally, at Christmas it’s noticed that the office Santa has been to the gym and morphed into an extremely trim young man, who’s just the right side of having too many muscles on display. Everyone notices the improvement on the elf with the ‘little round belly that shook when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly’ but no one dares say anything in case they are accused of having one alcohol break too many.

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