News In Brief

DON'T SCARE ME THAT WAY

When a wedding-gown shop in Woodland Hills, Calif., didn't open one weekend earlier this month, rumor spread that it had closed for good. Panicked that they wouldn't get the dresses they'd ordered, dozens of brides-to-be besieged the place on Monday. Some even broke in and carted off their purchases with alteration pins still in them - leaving a trail of veils and satin gloves in their wake. Imagine the challenge the owner of Bridal Designs had trying to explain that it was all a big misunderstanding. A staff shortage had left him without enough people to mind the store.

SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE

The southern half of Portugal, including the capital, Lisbon, lost electricity last week in the country's worst blackout in 20 years. The cause? No, it wasn't a fierce storm or malfunctioning equipment. Rather, it came down to a stork's nest that became entangled in power lines. But repair crews had most of the region up and running again within an hour.

21st-century workers value more than just pay envelope

In today's tight labor market, competitive pay alone isn't enough to attract workers to jobs - or to keep them there - a recent survey by the Roper Starch Worldwide research group has found. For Randstad North America, a division of the Dutch staffing, training, and outsourcing organization, the survey asked more than 6,000 employees in the US and Canada to rate the "soft benefits" (nonmonetary perks) they regard as most important in deciding whether to stay in their current jobs. The leading responses and the percentage for each:

Enjoyable co-workers 71%

Pleasant work environment 68%

An easy commute 68%

Challenging assignments 65%

Job security 65%

An understanding boss 62%

Freedom to work independently 59%

Opportunity for advancement 55%

Flexible hours 51%

Nontraditional settings 51%

- Business Wire

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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