LUNCH BECOMES LUXURY
Forget about the three-martini lunch, whatever happened to the normal midday business lunch? Given today’s business and economic climate, the nation’s workers are cutting back on the time and money they spend on lunch.
A recent survey of 1,000 people by the Washington, DC-based National Restaurant Association shows about half of full-time employees spend less time eating lunch than they used to. About a quarter of them said they frequently spend most of their lunch break doing other things than eating.
Other results include:
• 40 percent reported when they do eat lunch, they bring something from home at least once a week.
• When workers go out for lunch, they opt for the nearest carry-out location.
• Many employees said they’d like to go out for lunch more often, but said they couldn’t afford the luxury.
YOUR HANDHELD COMPUTER JUST GOT SMALLER
At the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV, in January, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates introduced a wristwatch that would make even Dick Tracy envious. The watch, which could be available from several manufacturers by the end of the year, not only can provide the time, but weather information, text messages and other data through wireless connections.
With a low-end cost of about $150, the watch will require a subscription to a data service, which Microsoft says might have a fee of $5 to $12 a month or might be included in the price of some watches. It will have a small, liquid crystal display and can receive short data messages much like a pager. This technology will allow the watch to identify where it is along with the local time and weather forecast as the wearer travels.
COFFEE, TEA, SPICY MUSTARD?
Travelers may have thought that eliminating hot meals on airlines was a blessing in disguise. But soon you’ll probably have to pay for the privilege of eating cold sandwiches while in the air.
Virgin Blue, the discount carrier owned by Australian-based Virgin Atlantic airlines, has introduced the concept of deli-style sandwiches available for purchase from flight attendants. In the United States, American West Airlines and Northwest Airlines say they either are exploring similar ideas or are about to test this concept on a handful of flights.
JOB BURNOUT AVOIDABLE
Everyone has a bad day at work now and then, but if it seems to last for several days or weeks you’re on the brink of burnout. The problem has to do with control. Chances are the less control you have of your circumstances, the more likely you are to feel stressed-out.
Beverly Potter, author of “Overcoming Job Burnout,” says, “We all try to control our world to feel safe. If we get the idea that we can’t control what is happening, then we get stressed and job burnout kicks in.”
Anyone can be susceptible to burnout, but those who put everything into their jobs may be more at risk. Some suggestions for avoiding burnout include:
• Avoid people who complain. Hang out with people who see things more positively.
• Include in your workstation photographs (children, pets, favorite vacation spots) that prompt good feelings.
• Take a break. Step outside for fresh air.
• Every day take five minutes and ask yourself what you did to rekindle your spirits the last time you felt stressed.
Soon, you may be able to keeping talking on your cell phone no matter where you roam. Cell phone manufacturer Motorola says it is working to develop continuous connection systems, which combine cell phone technology with wireless broadband data connections known as Wi-Fi.
The new wireless phone will operate on cellular networks as well as Wi-Fi networks to create a seamless network with no drop-outs.
Analysts believe commercial deployment of the system will not be available until 2004 or 2005.