A sad tale of one city

The Ticker

March 23, 1992|By Julius Westheimer

Despite the recession, The Prime Rib restaurant (average dinner check $50-plus) was packed on Friday night for two sittings, with revelers also jammed three-deep around the piano and the bar. Eight blocks southwest, because of the recession, Our Daily Bread soup kitchen, 411 Cathedral St., was similarly packed Saturday and yesterday at noon, quietly feeding 650 hungry men, women and (sadly) little children. Because the soup kitchen, open 365 days a year, desperately needs money and staple food items, please phone director Steve Tuttle, 659-4000, for specific needs, delivery details, etc. (I take or send a $100. check every few months.)

LOCAL LINE: Duty Free International, which runs airport duty-free shops around the world, with a large facility in Glenburnie, is written up in Fortune, April 6. ("Duty Free's stock dropped sharply when Canada's Prime Minister Mulroney proposed adding a large tax on cigarettes bought just over our border, but there is still plenty of business to be had by Duty Free."

WORKPLACE WISDOM: "Managers and Leaders: Are They Different?" is worth reading in Harvard Business Review, March-April issue. ("Managers' goals arise out of necessities rather than desires. They excel at diffusing conflicts, ensuring that daily business gets done. Leaders adopt personal, active attitudes toward goals, looking for opportunities around the corner.")..."If your colleagues are studiously scribbling during an excruciatingly dull meeting, they may be simply trying to stay awake. According to a survey of 140 managers, 61 percent write notes during meetings, 47 percent daydream, 41 percent doodle, 19 percent ask questions---but 18 percent conk out anyway." (Working Woman, April.)

HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: "Another day, another baby shower, birthday bash, lunch or holiday get-together. How do companies handle the office celebration overload without becoming party poopers? A Chicago accounting firm pools all birthday parties into one bash per month, with a shared cake. Lotus Development gives celebrants the day off. At BP America the birthday person must bring in his or her own cake, which automatically cuts the number of parties." (Working Woman, same issue)..."Winning Big With Variable Annuities" is worth reading in Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, April issue. ("Equivest Aggressive Stock Portfolio earned an 85 percent return last year, Kenneth Heebner's fund 52 percent, Thomas Marsico chalked up 58 percent. All are locked inside tax-sheltered variable annuities." See your broker or insurance person.

BALTIMORE & BEYOND: A popular midtown restaurant (not the one mentioned above) now adds a 50 cent charge for "rocks" (ice) to the $4.50 it charges for drinks. Queried, the owner replied, "That's just the way the computer prints your check." (I'm not a computer whiz but I think computers print what owners program into them.)..."What To Do After Losing Your Job" in National Business Employment Weekly, dated today, says, in part, "Pay close attention to your total severance package: salary and vacation pay, termination pay, insurance coverage, 401(k), stock, outplacement services, limited employment, etc." The article also advises, "Before saying goodbye, ask co-workers if they know any companies looking for someone with your skills."...Ticker Advice: When deciding where to look for a job, always read local companies' earnings reports in The Sun and The Evening Sun. Companies showing good profits generally provide much better job opportunities than those losing money...Michael D. Sullican, CEO, Merry-Go-Round Enterprises, is listed under "Bronze Award Winners" in Financial World's "CEO of the Year" issue, dated March 31..."He who findeth fault meaneth to buy." (Thomas Fuller, 1654-1734)..."Inflation is one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation." (Milton Friedman)..."On a good bargain, think twice." (George Herbert, 1640).

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