GateHouse News Service This week’s sign

of a bad economy

How would you feel if your boss replaced you with a cat? Well, that’s not exactly what happened in Japan, but Wakayama Electric Railway laid off its stationmaster at Kishi Station to save money, and a cat named Tama now has the job. The cat, who was a stray until a shop owner next to the station adopted her, dons a cute little stationmaster hat during her “working” hours, and instead of a paycheck, she gets fed. Tama has been good for business, though — ridership is up about 10 percent.

Tip of the Week

Here are some simple tips to take to improve productivity:

• De-clutter your desktops. Take the time to organize business information in a way that helps you easily track long-term planning needs, quickly identify work in progress and archive information on topics relevant to your business.

Once you have your physical desktop organized, think about ways you can easily navigate your virtual desktop.

• Prioritize your activities when planning your schedule. Technology can help you become better organized — for example, use calendar reminder applications on your computer to help you remember daily tasks and priorities.

• Take control of your time. Regain control by limiting the time you set aside each day for meetings, responding to customers, developing new business leads and other activities. Consider investing in a tablet computer or ultramobile PC. (ARA)

Quote of note

“For years, Washington has failed to address the issue of rising energy costs and, as a result, the country now faces a true energy crisis, one that is causing serious harm to America's manufacturing sector and all consumers of energy.”

Dow Chemical Co. chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris in a statement about the company raising prices about 20 percent.