As November opens and we turn the corner into the fall-holiday season, here are ideas, suggestions, notes, quotes, etc., from the workplace:
"Mid-afternoon picker-upper: spend 20 minutes napping, meditating or taking a short walk. Avoid sugar and heavy foods at lunch. Save easier jobs such as routine paperwork and correspondence for the midday slump." (Working Woman).
"Improve your decisions by breaking them into four parts: framing, intelligence gathering, coming to conclusions, learning from experience. Decide how much time to devote to each part." (Decision Traps by J. Edward Russo, $9.95).
"Although 29 percent of non-retired adults expect that savings and investment income will be their primary source of retirement funds, 50 percent of retirees report their main income source is Social Security." (American Demographics).
"Use 'partner airlines' to cash in on frequent flier bonuses from shaky or bankrupt carriers. Some partners (in parentheses) of troubled airlines: Continental (Air France, KLM, Lufthansa); Pan Am (United); TWA (Air India, Air New Zealand); USAir (British Air, Finnair, Northwest, Swissair)." (Business Week).
"If you spend all the money you carry in a week, set aside a specific amount not to spend each week. Gradually increase the amount set aside." (Creating Your Future: A Woman's Guide to Retirement Planning by Judith Martindale, $14.95).
Asked if his business still feels the recession, my Pikesville dry cleaner responded, "We sure do. Our shirt laundry business holds pretty steady, but people are postponing or eliminating seasonal autumn cleaning of sweaters, overcoats, jackets, suits, etc., and that's where we make our real money."
Regarding the above, of the business men and women I queried over the weekend about the recession's bite, about 75 percent thought the slowdown was still hurting much more than the government's cheery statements would have us believe.
"Help is available for minority companies that win big contracts but find their cash flow won't last until they're paid. For details and criteria, write the Business Consortium Fund, 15 West 38th St., 9th floor, New York, N.Y. 10018, or call 212-764-5590." (Nation's Business, October).
"How to Respond to Negative Interview Questions" in National Business Employment Weekly, dated today, is worth reading. Excerpts: "A defensive response shows you may have something to hide. . . . Don't blame past employers for negative experiences. . . . Before the interview, list your negative experiences and then list the positive outcomes."
Tomorrow, in our 6 a.m. newscast on WBAL-TV (Channel 11), I'll tell you how to save a lot of money by paying down your mortgage faster.
"As part of a company-wide effort to promote recycling and to reduce long-run costs, Mohawk Paper Mills, Cohoes, N.Y., stopped providing disposable cups at its coffee machines. Instead, the firm bought each of its 300 employees a $2 coffee mug, replacing 40,000 cups a year." (CNN News).
"Did you know that unreimbursed business gifts of $25 or less are tax-deductible items? As long as individual gifts to business clients and associates don't exceed $25, you can write them off. Keep receipts for the flowers for your secretary, sports tickets for clients, etc." (Financial Planning Reporter).