A public service announcement for tire dealers in Florida: To avoid the following, hire smart employees. After a rash of counterfeit bucks were accepted in its stores, a discount chain in the Sunshine State began training employees to spot various denominations of phony currency. Even after all that, National Public Radio reported a clerk still took in a three-dollar bill.
``It looked so real,'' she told her superior, ``and no one said anything about taking three-dollar bills.''
The funny money reportedly had a real nice looking portrait of President Bill Clinton and bore the signature of a popular entertainer.
Hazardous road to profits
To help boost your road hazard warranty business, here's a tip from Arizona Tire Trax, the Arizona Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association newsletter:
Anytime you fix a flat, save whatever you take out of the tire. Put all those nails, screws, tacks, tools etc., into a clear container. Set it on your sales counter with a sign reading, ``ROAD HAZARDS-Things we have taken out of tires. About six months worth! Ask about our road hazard warranties.''
Baby it's cold
For some, being in the tire business is excitement enough. But skydiver Rick Wittrig-who works in Bridgestone/Firestone Inc.'s Warren County, Tenn., tire plant-is a real thrill seeker.
The Murfreesboro, Tenn., resident recently returned from an international expedition to the North Pole. He and more than 100 other skydivers dropped from a Russian cargo plane at 10,000 feet to reach the Pole, where the temperature was a ``mild'' 30 degrees below zero. Helicopters were used to extricate the group from Santa's playground.
Sick of work
Got a problem with employee absenteeism? It could be worse.
The German media reports more than 900,000 perfectly healthy German workers call in sick to their factories or offices daily. They're aided by complacent physicians who cover up for them, noted an item in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Bernhard Lutzinger is a management consultant who has studied German work practices for 20 years. His explanation? ``A lot of Germans work as little as possible; they're lazy.''
And the U.S. has a health care crisis?
Some may have feared that when former Chrysler Corp. chairman Lee Iacocca retired, pithy quotes du jour would evaporate. Fear not. His successor has stepped in to fill the void.
Robert Eaton says it's ``almost fun being the chairman of Chrysler today.'' As reported in the June Motor Service magazine, he said things were so tough for auto executives in the '70s and '80s that ``Rodney Dangerfield got more respect than we did-and, frankly, he may have deserved it....''
But things are a little brighter now. Car quality has gone up, he said, productivity has increased, Japanese market share is slipping and U.S. automakers are no longer taking customers for granted.
``Truth is, we weren't as bad as our image was a few years ago,'' Mr. Eaton added, ``and we're probably not as good today as some people seem to think.''
A mystery no more
Following the American Retreaders' Association's convention in Louisville, Ky., we wondered about who owned a Jeep Grand Cherokee we spied there with the license plate, ``RECAP.''
Thanks to Ed Miller, president of M.E. Miller Tire Co. in Wauseon, Ohio, we found it belongs to Rick Slabaugh, vice president of retreading for Bryan, Ohio-based Isaac Tire Inc., which has a retread/wholesale/retail operation there and a retread plant in Ft. Wayne, Ind.
Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. photo