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OK, CLASS, TIME FOR RECESS

Winding up their annual convention, members of Britain's National Union of Teachers have warned of a possible strike if the government follows through on plans to double class sizes. That won't be a problem for Jane Puckey, however. She signed on to reopen a school in the Shetland Islands that had to close after its teachers retired. In her new post, Ms. Puckey told reporters she'll have "everything a teacher could want": a secretary, TV and computers for teaching tools, and a special classroom just for art instruction. The job, she said, should be "a major benefit" ... both for her and for the school's only pupil, a 6-year-old girl.

BUT PLEASE HIRE ME ANYWAY

Also searching for that dream job is Angelika Wedberg. She wants more money than she currently makes as a care provider for the elderly, even though she has "no imagination" and is "antisocial, un- creative, and untalented." She said so herself in a situation-wanted ad in last Sunday's Goteborg (Sweden) newspaper. Her strategy may have worked. At last report, she had at least one interview scheduled - with a mapmaking company.

A ranking of the 'top US companies' to rival Fortune's

Although perhaps not as well known as the Fortune 500, financial magazine Forbes recently published its own annual ranking of the largest US companies. Instead of by revenue, Forbes rated companies by their 2002 performance in four areas: sales, profits, assets, and market value. General Electric was the top finisher, while Wal-Mart - Fortune's No. 1 - placed sixth. The top 10 on the Forbes list:

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1. General Electric
2. Citigroup
3. ExxonMobil
4. American International Group
5. Bank of America
6. Wal-Mart Stores
7. Fannie Mae
8. Verizon Communications
9. IBM
10. Altria Group (formerly Philip Morris)

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