Are you "off the track" at work? Here, from Working Woman, March, are warning signs: "envy of others and fantasies about being in their shoes; knowing who the key players are but not making the effort to get to know them; second-guessing your boss; giving up taking big risks; blaming the recession or office politics for your status; socializing primarily with people who lack ambition, etc."
TRAVEL TIPS: Here are tips on "motel shopping" for business and pleasure travelers from "Dollar Stretching Ideas": (1) Check prices from more than one source. ("First place to inquire about rates is the motel's toll-free reservation system, then call motel itself for specials.") (2) Don't be shy about asking for a discount. ("Many motels offer them to corporate travelers, frequent stayers, etc.") (3) Book early in the day. ("Lowest cost rooms get sold out first.") (4) Negotiate the price. ("Just because it's in print doesn't mean it's carved in stone.") (5) Use your age advantage. ("You don't have to be retired to get a senior citizen's discount. People at 50 can join AARP and get seniors' rates.")
TIME SAVER: "It isn't necessary to balance your checkbook to the last penny," says "Making the Most of Your Money" by Jane Bryant Quinn ($27.50). And, although my father insisted that I balance mine to the penny because, as he (wrongly) put it, "If you're out just one cent, that error could cover up hundreds of dollars of bank mistakes," I still struggle through the exercise every month. (Dad wasn't right that time, a psychiatrist later told me as he tried to unravel my over-disciplined past.)
HOW TO DO IT: In any case, here are excerpts: "Enter every deposit and withdrawal slip; keep a running balance; check that every withdrawal and deposit is listed on the monthly bank statement; compare the dollar amount of all cleared checks against those listed on the bank statement; add any interest paid to you and subtract fees you paid. If nothing looks wildly out of line, trust the bank's arithmetic and accept the statement's closing balance as correct."
BALTIMORE BEAT: For a 10-page report on Merry-Go-Round Enterprises, the Baltimore-based high-style apparel company, call Ferris, Baker Watts' Morry Zolet (685-2600). . . . These local stocks appeared in 12-month new high listings in last week's generally lower stock market: Black & Decker, GEICO, Provident Bank. . . . A stock widely held in this area, American Home Products (Anacin, Dristan, Preparation H, etc.) is listed under "Dividends Increased Each of the Last 10 Years" in S&P Outlook, Feb. 26. . . . On March 11, Baltimore Security Analysts will be host to Samuel McCullogh, chairman and CEO, Meridian Bancorp, a multibank holding company based in Reading, Pa. The luncheon meeting begins at noon at Stouffer's Harborplace.
MARCH WINDS: Welcoming the new month, we print a few favorite lines from the song "These Foolish Things Remind Me of You": "The winds of March/ that make my heart a dancer/ a telephone that rings/ but who's to answer?". . . . Ryland Homes, a local favorite "with its acquisition last December of three retail mortgage-servicing branches in suburban Washington, D.C.," is written up glowingly in Financial World, March.
"If you want to be safe on the streets, carry a projector and slides of your last vacation." (Bits & Pieces). . . . "Premiums for health insurance plans will escalate 20 to 25 percent this year." (Business Insurance). . . . "If your letters go unanswered, company proposals get lost, annual report is ignored, carefully place high-quality 'Clip-Art' color graphics around your pages." (Details in Success, March)