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German IT outfit bans whining

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Where's the big smile then, René?German IT outfit Nutzwerk Ltd has come up with the perfect solution to whining in the workplace - it's made cheerfulness a contractual obligation. What's more, Manager Thomas Kuwatsch has declared that those who don't measure up to the prescribed level of jollity in the morning should stay at home until they cheer up, Ananova reports.

All well and good, but if the powers that be tried that at Vulture Central, the office would resemble a Texas ghost town with the ocassional bit of tumbleweed blowing through as obstreperous Reg hacks ranted and raved around their kitchen tables.

Nutwerk reckons it's a runner, though, and says the plan was prompted by a female employee who banged on so much about just about everything that other staff began to complain about her complaining. Herr Kuwatsch explained: "We made the ban on moaning and grumpiness at work official after one female employee refused to subscribe to the company's philosophy of always smiling. Mood is an important factor in productivity and everyone here works hard and is happy."

Employee Kathleen Sochor added, presumably with a huge fixed smile on her face in the style of a sychronized swimmer: "It's great that whinging is not allowed. If one person is grumpy it makes everyone else feel bad and ruins what could be a good day."

However, Lawyer Marion von Sahr cautioned: "In principle, employers and employees can contractually agree on anything if both sides are happy and that includes banning whinging. But I am not sure if being a sourpuss is enough reason to fire somebody."

Which is just as well, since the pic at the top right is of Nutzwerk founder René Holzer - grabbed from the company's website. A shining example to his employees? Not exactly - maybe you should have stayed in bed, you grumpy old sod. ®

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