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British tribunal says employee who rode banister deserved firing

February 25, 1997

LONDON (AP) _ An employee who capped a business deal celebration with a dangerous slide down a banister cannot protest the career slide that followed, a British industrial tribunal ruled Monday.

Diane Williams, 34, was fired by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors after her stunt last July. She argued the dismissal was unfair.

Williams, who had been drinking with colleagues, attempted to slide down a banister at the office but slipped and fell 12 feet, knocked out a tooth and knocked herself unconscious.

Her former manager, George Davies, said her actions ``were both reckless and extraordinary,″ and that anyone who would climb onto the banister ``would have to be extremely drunk or crazy. It is a frightening drop.″

Personnel manager Janet Nicolas told the tribunal that Williams had undermined her bosses’ trust. In a professional body, members are expected to display ``a certain decorum,″ she said.

Williams, who since has found another job, admits she made a mistake but faulted her former employers for their lack of humor.

``They don’t know how to enjoy themselves,″ she said.

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