With last week's reports showing sharp increases in wholesale and consumer prices, many people would like to cut expenses and/or increase personal and family incomes.
Regarding expense-cutting, I have found it impossible to make a meaningful saving by turning out lights, shortening long-distance calls, saving string, recycling gifts, etc.
But boosting the "income" side of the budget by getting a salary raise adds to our checkbook balances quickly. Here, from National Business Employment Weekly (Sept. 16), are some ideas from the story, "Raise Your Sights:"
"Worst time to ask for a raise is when your co-worker just got one and your emotions are running high . . . find out when your company gives raises, such as employment anniversary date, etc. . . . determine who has the authority to give raises, and don't ask anyone else . . . be prepared to substantiate your position with objective performance data (don't just say you need the money) . . . schedule your meeting when your department is doing well and when your supervisor isn't facing deadlines . . . if you don't succeed, try again; if your efforts don't work, find out why."
LOCAL PRESIDENT'S CORNER: When I asked Robert Katz, president, Horn and Horn Smorgasbord and Cafeterias, his business success principles, he responded, "First off, the customer is No. 1. We give the best service we know how to -- filling water glasses, picking wrappers from tables, asking how everything is and more. Next, it's quality of food; that must be top grade. Third, we run spotless stores -- three cafeterias, 10 smorgasbords, four White Coffee Pots. Three area supervisors patrol our outlets, plus 'mystery shoppers' -- some family, some customers we employ, retired people, each with a different perspective. No detail is too small to escape our attention."
BUSINESS LUNCHES: Looking through old things, I found a Sunday, June 30, 1963, menu from Miller Bros., 119 W. Fayette St. It was the day the landmark restaurant closed after decades of service to business people, travelers, etc. The menu advertised, "No music, no dancing, no frills: the value is on the platter." Some values: martini, 60 cents; jumbo clams, 85 cents; fresh Chesapeake Bay rockfish, $1.50; broiled lobster (pictured on menu's cover), with asparagus and french fries, $2.95; Coca-Cola, 15 cents; Michelob draught beer, 20 cents; coffee, 15 cents. The average tip was a quarter.
HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: "Looking for a Job? You May be Out Before You Go In," says Business Week, dated today, in a story which says, "Background checks are nosier now, and harder to fix when wrong. An increasingly common practice consists of combing data bases to find information on job applicants. While employers face rising costs from thefts and other crimes committed by workers, federal and state laws curtail what they can ask applicants. So, to get a handle on job seekers, businesses buy records -- often inaccurate -- but data bases fill the gap via computer, fax, credit files, employment, school records and so on. In some cases, employers call data banks before interviewing the applicant." The story is worth reading.
AUTUMN LEAVES: "Merchants' sales in our retail centers gained 4.2 percent in July vs. July l989, outpacing results of most of the nation's department stores and mass merchandisers." (Rouse Profile, Sept. l4) . . . Somebody told me that compulsive joggers and walkers generally have thin wrists and few friends . . .