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The Lighter Side of Business

November 16, 1999

TABLETOP THIEVES _ Restaurant-goers aren’t just leaving with a doggie bag, they’re stuffing the silverware, china and just about anything else they can get their hands on into pocketbooks, jackets and shopping bags.

According to Crain’s magazine, New York City restaurants are reporting a loss in table settings, and that’s costing the restaurants money to replace the items. Some restaurants have started inspecting suspiciously heavy bags. Others have taken a different approach: they’ve etched their business name onto the ``souvenirs″ to at least get a little advertising out of the arrangement.

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IS THAT WORK RELATED? _ As businesses are steadily moving onto the Web, so are many of their employees. Vault.com, an online job network, surveyed 1,244 employees and 1,438 employers in September to see how Web-surfing and e-mail use affect productivity and quality of life at work.

The study found 37 percent of workers say they constantly surf the Web. Ninety percent say they visit non-work related sites during the workday. Eighty-three percent of employees send and receive personal e-mails while on the clock. Both employers (51 percent) and employees (56 percent) believe that surfing non-work related sites compromises productivity to some degree.

Only 30 percent of employers restrict or monitor their employees’ Web use.

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INTERVIEW ETIQUETTE _ America’s first family of social graces has come out with a book to save the world from interview faux pas.

Peggy and Peter Post’s new book, ``The Etiquette Advantage in Business″ (HarperResource) details major no-no’s when it comes to the conventional interview. Among them: chewing gum, wearing loud-colored clothes, plopping into a chair before you are asked to sit, jiggling your knee and fidgeting.

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