Feeling the pinch
You realise just how tough the effects of the financial crisis have been when even crooks are hit in the pocket.
According to a survey carried out by Transparency International, petty corruption in Greece has fallen by €78 million (£64 million) over the past year, due to a reduction in people paying “fakelaki” (little bribery envelopes) in return for contracts or services.
The poll also found that the cost of the average bribe fell from €1,623 (£1,328) in 2010 to €1,406 (£1,150) last year.
Money for nothing
Staying in the Eurozone, some Brits will be in for a shock when they turn up on their summer holiday, given that one in 10 believe the franc is still legal tender in France and many are reportedly unsure the euro is still the current currency in Italy, Greece and Portugal.
But it is not only on holiday people are confused, said Travelex, as a further one in 10 believes Wales has its own currency.
Even when you are on holiday, it’s tough to escape the office.
A study published last month found that 38 per cent deal with their work email and business issues while they are on holiday.
It also found 12 per cent check their email five times an hour outside office hours, and that a separate 12 per cent step away from dinner and family events to deal with business.
But the balance is somewhat redressed by the 4 per cent who admitted to spending more than half their time in the office on personal matters.
I would describe my attire as ‘smart casual’, and this trend now appears to have caught on in the workplace (just 815 years later).
Apparently, 27 per cent of women do not own any dresses and 9 per cent of men don’t own a suit. And 1 in 20 blokes don’t even own a shirt.
At the other end of the scale, one in four men don’t wear a quarter of the suits they own. Although this is presumably preferable to not owning a quarter of the suits they wear.
If you really do need to get out of the office, how about this for a reason? The average mouse is three times dirtier than a toilet seat. And tests carried out suggested those operated by men are 40 per cent filthier than those belonging to women. Some four in 10 desks had contamination that posted a serious health risk.
But before you reach for the disinfectant, it also found steering wheels, lift buttons and shopping trolleys were also dirtier than the lavatory.
Perhaps this will just make you take disinfectant out with you.
Austerity has even reached the Premier League, with the revelation last month that Fulham FC has bought eight chickens to save a reported £5,000 a year on catering costs.
The club hopes the birds, who have taken up residence at the Motspur park training ground, will provide a source of eggs for hungry players. A portion of the training ground has also been set aside to grow organic vegetables and fruit.
The club claims the birds will each produce 300 eggs a year, so let’s hope these are one signing the club won’t regret or they might find themselves transferred to the pre-match meal.
Currying no favour
When mitigating commodity price rises, buyers are often urged to find a substitute for expensive ingredients.
Unfortunately, Warwickshire’s trading standards team found some takeaways have taken this a little too far. The team bought and tested 39 lamb curries and kebabs, only to find that just three contained lamb alone, and four didn’t feature any lamb at all.
With lamb one of the most expensive meats, restaurants had been mixing cheaper beef and chicken in to cut costs.
Congratulations to Proxima’s Chris Atkins who can now call himself a world record holder.
As mentioned in March, Atkins was hoping to break the world record for the fastest marathon dressed as a dairy product.
And with three hours, 55 minutes to beat, he raced round the streets of London last month dressed as an ice cream, crossing the line in 3 hours 37 minutes to claim the title of world’s quickest ice cream.
Tweet of the month
So proud of what I do. #Procurement. In some small way, I keep this city, this state running. #Career vs. Job