Archive for March, 2012

Want a cushy job? Try chocolate eater or mattress tester

Dreaming of an easier gig?

How about testing the thread count, slipper softness and room service at top hotels?

Or sampling Godiva chocolate all day to check for taste, aroma and texture?

Yes, those are real jobs, according to Shine, which lists them among the easiest-sounding positions out there.

Some others: cute pet aggregator; mansion sitter; TV watcher; professional know-it-all; spa critic; and resort consultant.

Not all of them, naturally, are as cushy as they might sound. There really is work involved, depending  on your definition of work.

And they’re generally not easy to land.

But some aren’t bad.

Like the full-time mattress tester for Travelodge, a job that can pay $1,500 a month.

Or mansion sitting. Experienced sitters can command $200 a week to mind the manse while living like royalty. Sure, you might have to do a lot of moving around, but it might beat having to stay late at your cubicle to get that report to the boss by morning.

Continue reading Want a cushy job? Try chocolate eater or mattress tester »

Emory among nation’s Top 5 business schools

Emory University’s Goizueta Business School ranked among the nation’s Top 5 business schools, according a new survey by Bloomberg Businessweek, and two other Georgia schools, UGA and Tech, made strong gains.

Out of 124 undergraduate business programs ranked, Emory came in at No. 5 this year, down two places from the 2011 ranking. The top schools this year were University of Notre Dame (1), University of Virginia (2), Cornell University (3) and the University of Pennsylvania (4).

Georgia Tech had the strongest gains among the state’s undergraduate business programs, moving to No. 37 on the list from No. 50 last year. The University of Georgia jumped seven points to No. 50.

Bloomberg Businessweek surveyed senior business majors and employers and looked at eight other measures, such as graduates’ starting salaries and the number of graduates seeking MBAs, to come up with its ranking.

Bloomberg Businessweek said of Emory:

At Emory, students say they appreciate the …

Continue reading Emory among nation’s Top 5 business schools »

Would you trade your Facebook password for a job?

How much is that job worth to you? Is it worth giving up your login and password to Facebook or other social network accounts?

According to an Associated Press story, more companies and government agencies are requiring a look-see into your Facebook account to make sure there aren’t any hidden treasures that might come back to bite them.

Some prospective job seekers are taking a hike rather than allow such an invasion of their privacy. Others, however, say if it’s a choice between being able to pay next month’s rent or getting thrown out on the street because you don’t have a paycheck coming in, they’ll throw caution to the wind and allow access. What’s there to hide?

On which side of the password do you land?

Continue reading Would you trade your Facebook password for a job? »

Are your co-workers making you fat?

You know the type.

That co-worker in the cubicle next to you who’s forever bringing in snacks and treats for you and your colleagues to sample.

Girl Scout cookies. Homemade brownies. Birthday cakes. Whatever.

They lay them out on a table or at some desk, then invite everyone over to feed.

“Come on, come on, try it,” they urge. If you don’t succumb, you feel like the bad guy. If you do, well, you risk putting on a few extra pounds, weight you probably don’t need.

A Wall Street Journal report sizes up the problem and cites some evidence about the situation. It says:

“Some 29 percent of people on diets say colleagues pressure them to eat more, make fun of their diets or order them restaurant food they know isn’t on their diets, according to a recent survey of 325 dieters by Survey Sampling International for Medi-Weightloss Clinics, a Tampa, Fla., franchiser of physician-supervised weight-loss clinics.”

For people looking to lose weight, or keep it off, it’s serious business.

The …

Continue reading Are your co-workers making you fat? »

Third Zaxby’s opening in Decatur in early summer

If you can’t get enough of Zaxby’s chicken fingers and buffalo wings, you’ll have one more outlet to get your chicken fix.

A third Zaxby’s plans to open in Decatur in early summer at 3809 North Druid Hills Road, next to the North DeKalb Mall.

The new Zaxby’s will be the seventh DeKalb County location and the 202nd in Georgia. Not quite as ubiquitous as KFC or Popeye’s, Zaxby’s operates more than 545 locations in 12 mostly southern states — Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Not bad for an idea dreamed up by two childhood pals  — Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley — on a basketball court in Statesboro in 1990.

Zaxby’s specializes in prepared-at-order chicken fingers, wings, sandwiches and salads.

What do you think of Zaxby’s quick-casual format, that falls somewhere between fast food and a sit-down restaurant?

“I needed them right away,” she said. “If you’re on a …

Continue reading Third Zaxby’s opening in Decatur in early summer »

Will regulators OK big UPS purchase of Dutch shipper?

UPS just announced its deal to buy Dutch shipper TNT Express for $6.8 billion, but already there’s talk of possible opposition to the purchase.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Deutsche Post AG, the German mailing and logistics business, “expects authorities to have serious reservations” concerning the acquisition of its rival, which is the third-biggest express service provider in Europe.

The transaction would make Atlanta-based UPS a market leader in Europe and, the story said, “lift its global ranking above that of FedEx and the DHL unit of Deutsche Post.”

UPS CFO Kurt Kuehn expects approval of the purchase, the story noted, even though some big trans-Atlantic deals have met with headwinds recently.

UPS said the deal would close by September.

UPS and rival FedEx have sought TNT’s express mail delivery business in recent years, according to The New York Times.

Continue reading Will regulators OK big UPS purchase of Dutch shipper? »

Is the business card disappearing?

When was the last time someone gave you – or you handed someone – a business card?

That 2-by-3.5-inch staple of Corporate America, a symbol that the giver has achieved at least a modicum of success, has seen better days, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

The Times points out that fewer cards are being printed, which suggests fewer companies are supplying staffers with them.

Part of the disappearing act has to do with cost-cutting, since the cards are seen as an unnecessary  perk for many staffers. But another reason has to do with how tech-savvy staffers have become. To them, the business card serves little purpose when they can email or text contact information.

Business card sales have tumbled  in recent years, with revenue falling 13 percent to $211.1 million last year since 2006, the Times reported, citing figures from IBISWorld Inc.

The cards appear to be suffering the same fate of other printed products. The Times reports:

Analysts said printed business …

Continue reading Is the business card disappearing? »

Danish vehicle supplier bringing 250 jobs to Dublin

A Danish automotive supplier plans to open a $15 million  manufacturing facility in Dublin-Laurens County where it expects to employ 250.

Dinex Group, which makes and distributes exhaust and emission control products for the heavy-duty diesel engine and vehicle industry, picked Georgia after what was called “an extensive multi-state search” that included more than 50 site visits.

“Georgia’s pro-business community met our requirements with respect to logistics, access for our suppliers, operating costs, workforce and quality of life,” said Dinex vice president and chief financial officer Kim Toft Jensen.

The plant will be the first for Dinex in the U.S. Its customers include Caterpillar, Carrier, John Deere, Case New Holland and Volvo.

“Georgia’s resources for advanced manufacturers are significant and we consider this decision by Dinex as a proof point of our abilities to help global companies compete here and abroad,” said Chris Cummiskey, commissioner of the Georgia …

Continue reading Danish vehicle supplier bringing 250 jobs to Dublin »

Vets landing more jobs than civilians

Despite fears that veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are coming back home to a life of unemployment, the latest government figures suggest the opposite.

The unemployment rate for veterans is 7.6 percent, below the national rate of 8.3 percent, according to a CNN Money report, citing Bureau of Labor Statistics figures.

One reason for the strong showing is that employers and Uncle Sam are targeting vets for spots in the civilian work force. The improving economy also helps their odds of landing a position, CNN says.

Disney announced this week it will hire 1,000 vets over the next three years as part of its “Heroes Work Here” program.

Federal programs, such as the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warriors, provide tax credits for companies that hire vets.   From CNN:

Returning Heroes provides a credit of up to $2,400 to employers who hire a vet who’s been unemployed for at least four weeks. It was expanded to give $5,600 to employers who hire veterans who’ve been …

Continue reading Vets landing more jobs than civilians »

Metro Atlanta’s jobless rate rises to 9.2 percent in January

Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent in January, from a revised 8.9 percent in December, the labor department said Thursday.

A year ago, the jobless rate was 10.3 percent.

The rate increased because there were layoffs in construction, manufacturing, retail trade, transportation, warehousing, and administrative and support services, the labor department said.

Among the core metro counties, Clayton had the highest jobless rate at 11.6 percent. Fulton was next with 9.9 percent, followed by DeKalb (9.6 percent), Cobb (8.4 percent) and Gwinnett (8 percent).

Looking into the future, a study released earlier this week predicted a brighter second quarter for the metro area. Twenty percent of the metro firms surveyed by the Manpower employment company said they expect to hire more workers in the second quarter. Only 5 percent said they expect to reduce staff.

Last week, the labor department said Georgia’s unemployment rate declined to 9.2 percent in January, the lowest …

Continue reading Metro Atlanta’s jobless rate rises to 9.2 percent in January »