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HOW TO DO YOURSELF A FAVOR

Going to an office Christmas party in the next few weeks? Do you dread the thought of having to make small talk with the boss about - say - the weather? If so, a leading head-hunting agency is offering tips on ways to approach the event that should enhance your enjoyment and perhaps even further your career. London-based Office Angels Ltd. suggests not "babbling inanities," but instead "going armed with a human-interest statistic, such as how many mince pies are consumed over Christmas." You will, it assures, "be remembered for it." Adds an agency spokesman: "The mistake people make is thinking it's a social event. It's not.... It's an opportunity to network."

HERE, LET ME HELP

Speaking of employees and Christmas, a Sydney, Australia, resident (who prefers to remain unidentified) says he will use much of the $2 million lottery payoff he won to keep his company afloat - at least until the holidays. Oh, he'll spend some of the windfall on a vacation for his family and on other items. But as for the company, he told journalists: "[It] has been struggling all year.... There are 30 fantastic workers who have been turning up each day, not knowing whether they've got a job. Now, they'll have a secure future."

How would you spend a cash windfall found on vacation?

If given an extra $50 while traveling, a whopping 72 percent of Americans said they'd spend the money while on their trip rather than save it, a recent consumer survey by Harris Interactive and Hyatt Hotels Corp. found. The most popular way to splurge: eating out, with shopping a close second. Only 10 percent of respondents said they'd save the money for when they returned home. How American consumers said they would spend an extra $50 while on vacation, according to the Harris Interactive/Hyatt Hotels poll:

In restaurants 28%

Shopping 24

Museums, theater, concert, or sporting event 14

Sightseeing, tours 12

- PR Newswire

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