The sky was heavy with imminent rain as the job applicant emerged from her interview with higher ups at SCMP.com. The Causeway Bay pavement was swarming as she paused outside the building's doors to get her bearings. Little did she know that a shadowy figure had been watching her from behind the shrubbery. Well, ok, there isn't really any shrubbery in Causeway Bay. But if shrubbery had been there, definitely that mysterious character would have been hidden behind it. Anyway, our heroine was blinking on the pavement and wondering whether she should have brought an umbrella when Shadowy Man suddenly appeared beside her. 'Hello,' he smiled. 'What were you doing in that building?' But before she could reply, he answered the question for her. 'You were having an interview with SCMP.com, weren't you?' he said. 'Did you know that we too have a Web site and are now hiring? Please feel free to give us a call.' A business card was pressed into her hand bearing the name of a rival company. Then the mysterious stranger tipped his hat, and was gone. Lai See embellishments aside, that really was pretty much how it happened. Which goes to show you what desperate times we're living in. It seems there just aren't enough bodies to fill cyber-space. So some employers are having to resort to cloak-and-dagger tactics. For others, it's even worse than that. They're finding they've got to be nice to the people they've already got. Witness the case of a certain investment bank. These days, Credit Suisse First Boston is getting positively warm and fuzzy in its bid to instil sudden loyalty. Hmm. Perhaps Lai See is being unfairly cynical there. The analyst exodus may have nothing whatsoever to do with CSFB's sudden burst of parental concern for staff happiness. Top dogs at the multinational just circulated a memo headed 'Workplace Climate'. The missive pours love and devotion into employee mailboxes, while informing them of a bunch of new policies being implemented. These are designed to make working for the bank a more festive experience. 'Considered one by one, the measures appear to be 'nice to do' things,' says the memo. 'Taken together, they demonstrate our commitment to recognising our employees' needs.' Uh huh. Anyway, it looks like CSFB is trying to staunch the talent flow with free cafeteria food. Also complimentary parking and more flexible working hours. But our favourite offering was the introduction of 'paternity leave'. They're giving new fathers one week off 'to enable you to spend time with your family related to the birth or adoption of a child'. Such a sensitive new age bank. But Lai See thinks this isn't the right approach. People don't tend to leave their jobs because they want more perks. They tend to leave because they're bored. Well, ok, mountains of cash can also swing the vote. But we think there are a lot of employees out there who simply crave stimulation. Want to know how to tell whether or not you're one of them? See if you're showing any of these 'Top Signs You're Bored at Work'. A reader just sent it to us. We suspect they may have been lifted from the David Letterman Show, but they sound pretty accurate: You discover that staring at your cubicle wall long enough produces images of Elvis. You've already read the entire Dilbert page-a-day calendar for 2000. You've figured out a way to get Gilligan off the island. People come into your office only to borrow pencils from your ceiling. No longer content with merely photocopying your butt, you now scan and enhance it with Photoshop. You now require only a single can of cola to belch the names of all Seven Dwarfs. The 4th Division of Paperclips has overrun the Pushpin Infantry, and General White-Out has called for reinforcements. Employers be warned - if you catch your staff doing any of those, it's time to liven up the office or haemorrhage bored workers. So hire some strippers, put tequila in the water cooler and surprise attendees of the afternoon meeting by replacing it with a friendly game of Twister.