IMPROVING OFFICE ETIQUETTE: Instead of swearing off cigarettes, greasy food and other temptations in the new year, why not consign yourself to behaving in a more genteel manner around the office?
Improving business etiquette not only helps you interact better with co-workers and clients, but may speed your climb up the corporate pole, says Marjorie Brody, a motivational speaker on career enhancement and corporate etiquette from Jenkintown, Pa.
Brody offers 10 suggestions for improving workplace courtesy.
She advocates smiling and greeting co-workers, replacing the toner or fixing paper jams in the copier, responding to all written correspondence within 48 hours, leaving concise voicemail messages, mastering table manners and learning what constitutes good small talk.
Steer clear of discussions of health, personal tragedies, gossip, dirty jokes, politics and religion. Brody's list of safe subjects includes the weather, traffic, travel, hobbies, pets, sports, children and books.
Other verboten behavior: using slang, foul language and jargon on the job.
WASH ME, RINSE ME, REPEAT: It's an iron lung! It's an MRI! It's a ... human washing machine?
A Japanese cosmetics maker has introduced a contraption that some may view as the ultimate in personal pampering and others will see as the embodiment of sloth. It also happens to look a lot like some intimidating medical devices.
The Sante Lubain 999, manufactured by Kyoto-based Avant, is a tube-shaped gizmo into which people insert their bodies, leaving their heads exposed at one end. Once inside, it shampoos, cleanses and dries your body and even provides a little massage to firm up your backside.
Unfortunately, it does not shave legs. And it doesn't wash hair, either.
The $161,000 machines are located at five Avant salons in Tokyo, Kyoto and Fukuoka. A 17-minute session costs about $13. For $40, a user gets 28 minutes featuring a special pack using marine algae.
Company spokeswoman Kaori Ito said Avant is considering installing the Sante Lubain at gyms and other facilities outside their salons.
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