WE ALL know businesses are rather jumpier than usual given the difficult ride they’ve had over the course of the recession, but I hear some are taking truly unprecedented steps to counter risky office behaviour.
Darren Stanton, who calls himself a “human lie detector”, tells me he has seen a surge in requests from corporates over the past half a year or so, as firms attempt to assess the trustworthiness of their employees.
“People are fascinated by the psychology of lying,” Stanton explains. “And in this day and age, every boss wants to get at the truth and find out if anything amiss is going on.”
Apparently, signs that people are telling mistruths include involuntary muscle twitches; blood draining from the earlobes, tip of the nose and cheeks; eye movements (flicking up and to the right indicates creative impulses and therefore could mean you’re accessing constructed information in the brain); and holding eye contact for longer than usual.
Stanton has been asked to perform a variety of tasks, including resolving unexplained absenteeism, theft, fraudulent expense claims, bullying, secret office romances – and even sitting in on job interviews as a “silent observer” to provide feedback on the candidate afterwards.
Don’t say we never warned you…
TOUCH OF VERTIGO
There’s barely a City worker out there who hasn’t had the pleasure of surveying the Square Mile from the lofty heights of the top of Tower 42, enjoying a glass of bubbly while watching ant-like black cabs crawl the streets 600ft below.
But I’d wager there are a darned sight fewer who’ve actually braved an attempt at climbing all 920 steps of the tower to get up there. Homeless charity Shelter is bringing back its “Vertical Rush” event on 25 February next year, after 2009’s 600 participants – including teams from the likes of insurer Aviva, law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and property group Land Securities – managed to raise £165,000 by climbing up the tower.
This time, they’re targeting £200,000 of funds raised from 1,200 “runners” – a perfect excuse to work off all those post-Christmas pounds, perhaps? Google “Vertical Rush” for more details.
And finally, The Capitalist’s hearty congratulations go to Mike Webster, co-founder of the über-successful hacks ‘n’ flaks Gorkana media portal, who married his long-time sweetheart Victoria Blake in a ceremony on Friday.
Fittingly, the wedding took place at St Bride’s, the journalists’ church on Fleet Street, with guests afterwards heading to the Inner Temple to dance the night away. We wish them all the best for the future.