At mid-month we present a collection of items about the workplace, the economy, the stock market and your pocketbook:
WORKPLACE WISDOM: "For better networking, arrive 15 minutes early for meetings, carry a stack of business cards, get a card from every contact you make, have pen or pencil handy for making notes, talk sincerely with a few people instead of rushing madly from person to person." ("Getting Business to Come to You" by Paul Edwards, $10.95) . . . "Send a thank-you note after every job interview, even if someone else gets the position. The job could open up again or the company might think of you for another opening." (Robert Half, employment consultant).
DINNER FOR TWO: With two and a half weeks until year-end and the Dow Jones average this morning at 2,914.36, here are the leaders in our forecasting contest. If nothing changes between now and Dec. 31, Rose Ann Speece (DJ 2,915) and friend will be dinner guests of Mr. and Mrs. Ticker. Next closest are Henry Blum and Philip Voelkek (2,911), Bill Bricker, Lester Van Asdlen, Marlene Cohen and Ivan Quinter Jr. (2,910) and Russell Hackman and Teresa Krolczyk (2,919). Stay tuned.
MID-MONTH MEMOS: "The most expensive cities to sleep in are New York ($232), Washington ($184), Chicago ($162), Boston ($160)." (Men's Health, Feb.) . . . "Best business advice: Hire the best, pay them fairly, communicate frequently, provide challenges and rewards." (Managing Up, Managing Down) . . . Stressed-out workers, are you watching your health? "A 35-year old man can gain 4.2 years by reducing his cholesterol from 300 to 200, 1.7 years by lowering it from 240-299 to 200, 2.3 years by quitting smoking, 5.3 years by lowering diastolic blood pressure from 105 to 88 and 1.7 years by slimming to ideal weight." (Harvard University study).
RECESSION UPDATE: "The real estate recession is far from over. "From this low level office rents will drop 50 percent in the next few years." (Kenneth Heebner on "Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser.") . . . The owner of a suburban handbag store says holiday business is off 75 (no misprint) percent. . . . A Little Italy restaurateur told me, "We're not nearly as busy as usual. This is not just a 'blue collar' recession like 1982 was. This is 'white collar,' too." . . . "The wave of corporation layoffs is frightening, and this time many workers won't return when recovery begins because there's a basic restructuring going on. Bush should have acted a year ago; it's too late now." (Alan Murray, Wall Street Journal, on "Washington Week in Review.")
DECEMBER DIARY: Brighter Side: A 40-year-old Sparks eatery, usually jammed for breakfast, "is as busy as we ever were," a veteran waitress told me. . . . Year-end idea: Send $6 for "Your Retirement: Tax Benefit Considerations" to Commerce Clearing House, 4025 W. Peterson Ave., Chicago 60646. It's about taxes on Social Security, Medicare, pension income, etc. . . . For a background search on your broker, phone N.A.S.D. toll-free (800-289-9999). . . . A West Baltimore new grandmother phones, "Baby car seats now cost $111; when we grew up in the Depression, we didn't even have a car." . . . "In 1982 there were 17 billionaires, now there are 71." (Forbes) . . . "When you visit New York you pay an astonishing 19 1/4 percent hotel room tax." (Dollar Stretcher).