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By Marc Horne
THE rise of political correctness and fear of the twin spectres of unwanted attention and sexual harassment appeared to have consigned office relationships to the history books.
But now unashamed flirting is being touted as the best way to reach the top in the competitive world of 21st-century commerce.
Scottish businessmen and women are clamouring for places on corporate courses where they are taught to use their sexuality as a key to success.
Flirting for Success seminars, where besuited workers stare into each other's eyes, have been taking place across Scotland.
Entrepreneur Melanie Harris, who designed the flirty masterclasses, said the popularity of the sessions had dispelled the stereotypical image of Scots as dour and inhibited.
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Hmm. They think Scots are dour. Try asking a Scotsman what’s under his kilt…but we don’t claim to know much about the Scottish (our sources are limited to Rod Stewart songs, the films So I Married An Axe Murderer, Braveheart and Train Spotting, the play MacBeth and The Simpsons Groundskeeper Willy). But those sources lead us to believe Scotsmen are an insecure yet brash lot that loaths the English, loves disrobing, haggis and periodically committing regicide. We know that all’s fair in love and war. And, yawn, business is war. But is this a step in the wrong direction? Shouldn’t the workplace be a meritocracy? Does someone really deserve a promotion if they periodically stand too close to the boss and gaze in her eyes a split second too long? They probably do. That takes as much gumption and prides swallowing as doing a good job and being professional and courteous.