Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 44, Tuesday June 20, 2006



Shop Talk

Let there be light
The newest designs of light shades are so different and so interesting that they might make you want to yank off your old ones and get them replaced. Whether it's a bottle of wine, a moon rock or a futuristic ball they come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Prices start from Tk 400 apiece and can go up to Tk2000 or even higher! Of course it all depends on craftsmanship, where you are buying them from and your ability to bargain.

Must Have DVDs
Last years Oscar favorites, Crash and Walk the Line are out on DVD. Amongst newer releases, Ice Age 2: The Meltdown and Mission Impossible III are also out, but you have to face the print. Grab them only if you are starved for entertainment. If you can sit through the oldies, then classics the likes of A Street Car Named Desire, Breakfast at Tiffany's and To Kill a Mockingbird are also available in DVDs and the print is worth the watch too!

Toothpaste for Smokers
One of the sadder effects of smoking (apart from the fact that it kills) is that it discolors nails and teeth. Good news for smokers: toothpastes are now available that can help restore some whiteness to teeth thus victimised. Quite a few shops, including the larger grocery stores are stocking the product.

Crystal stuff
They look pretty and they make great gifts. Almost all major malls now have shops selling crystal products, proof that they are all the rage. A wide range of things can be made from crystal including candle stands, vases, ornamental baskets, ash trays and so on. Prices start from Tk300 upwards. For as little as Tk1000, you can have your picture or your company logo sculpted into crystal key rings by means of laser technology.

By Shoaib Alam

News Flash

Gold Gym's anniversary bash

LifeStyle staff is mostly female despite which they did not go to a show where semi naked buffed up men were put on display. Instead I was the scapegoat.

Gold's Gym, situated in Bahshundhara City in Panthapath, celebrated its anniversary with a body building contest. The main event consisted of muscled men contesting for two categories of under and above 75 kgs. The participants were the finalists of five men in each category. Best in show was a contestant popularly known as Ricky who had very well defined pecs as well as a taut set of six pack abs. Another contestant had the pre Mr. Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger hair style, facial expression and moves but not the physical mass. The winners in both categories were awarded one year's free gold membership at the gym.

Other events or rather prize giving ceremonies included categories for the most weight lost by members, for those who use the gym most and also winners of a children's swimming competition. Of course, the majority of the audience turned up during the dinner time specified in the invite.

The audience reaction was enthusiastic where surprisingly the men were doing all the cheering. The women had appreciative smiles but were quite quiet. Using my press identity as an excuse to chat with female audience members I asked some of them what they thought. Samreen, a university student, thought it was awesome to see such well buffed men strutting their stuff. It's a very uncommon event.

Her friend, Rudmilla, agreed and wants more of the same. Of the men, most of them wish they could be up on stage but without the hard work. Now don't we all want that?

Considering Bangladesh has only one annual Mr. Bangladesh fitness contest, more of this will hopefully encourage people to be more active about personal health.

By Ehsanur Raza Ronny

Check it out

Office etiquette: a key to success in the business world

Don't expect your first day at work to mark the fulfilment of your long-cherished dream to be a part of the professional world- it's only the beginning of a long and laborious journey. As your colleagues welcome you on board, you take your first steps into the corporate vessel that awaits you with endless rules and regulations- some on paper and others that you figure out from day to day practice.

You are likely to be forgiven if you are a fresh graduate but you would be expected to pick up the good manners from others in a short period of time. I think the first thing that one must practice in the workplace is bringing down the volume of his/her voice. Avoid talking loudly at work. You can scream and break your voice in the sports field but not here. Keep your cell phone in the vibration mode while working. Ensure that the blaring ring tone doesn't hamper your peer's work or become a cause of his/her irritation. When you talk over the phone, bring down your tone.

Things like saying Hello, Good Morning, Please, Thank You, Excuse me, Sorry or shaking hands with a newcomer must also be practiced on a regular basis. It's a good habit to say Hi or give salaam to your colleagues every morning before plunging into the sea of work.

Then things like replying to mail from your boss and peers must never be forgotten. If someone calls you up and cannot find you, make sure that you call him/her back. Never forget to follow-up. The pressure of work would make you forget many important things, so it might be a good idea to keep notes in a diary, post it's or in your PC. Most offices use MS Outlook for emails and this wonderful software can also help one organize your tasks and save you from many of the troubles that you undergo as a result of forgetting something.

Choose your work clothes carefully. Some organizations have dress codes that their employees strictly follow and others only demand their employees to dress professionally. Remember to always avoid wearing ultra-casual clothes to work. Even if your office doesn't have any dress code, try looking tasteful. Try to find out about the dress code of your company before joining. In Bangladesh today, most workplaces encourage women to wear salwar kameez. If your work environment allows it though, executive suits may also be worn.

Many women love to apply makeup and look their best at office and it's usually perfectly alright. But application of heavy makeup is always a big NO. Your office is a place to work not to party. Besides, it looks very, very unprofessional as well if you enter your workplace each morning with your face painted in red and purple. It's always ideal if you wear just the basic makeup to work. Never overdo it. I'm sure we all love to spray on our favourite perfume but here too make sure that you spray sparingly.

'Cleanliness comes next to Godliness." This is also true for any workplace. As a member of the professional world, you are expected to look fresh and clean. Keep your nails short, shampoo and bathe everyday, wash and iron clothes before wearing them and check if your shoes are sparkling and their heels are not worn out. For guys, getting a good hair-cut once a month is a must.

Top executives, who have seen and experienced a lot, say that it's always good not to criticize your peers and colleagues publicly, because the corporate grapevine works at the speed of light and your one statement against your boss would make your life unbearable sooner than you think! You can always praise others in public but when it comes to condemning or admonishing someone it better be done privately.

Surviving in the corporate world is certainly a tough job. However, good office etiquette and practices can take you a long way and even make it possible for you to make real some of your seemingly impossible dreams.

By Wara Karim

On the cover

We bet the cover's got you drooling. Grab your spoon and head to the centre for a bigger helping.
Photos: Munem Wasif
Food artistry: Executive Chef of Sheraton Greg Morgan's Summer treats and mango delights
Special Thanks: Sheraton Hotel


Loud music, honking horns, the cacophony of construction work…yeah, we all know the main culprits behind loss of hearing. When you're young, it's easy to pooh-pooh the warnings about hearing loss as we rush to those concerts. Then all of a sudden, you find yourself straining to listen to the news, and your exasperated friends and relatives end up having to repeat everything they say. It doesn't really have to end up that way. Here are a few tips on how to preserve your hearing.

The very obvious
Turn down the volume of the TV or the stereo. Music doesn't have to cause your wall and floors to vibrate to sound good. By doing this, not only will you be buying mileage for your own sense of hearing, you'll be increasing the longevity of your speakers, and your neighbours will also get one less chance to complain. Also, prevent long-term exposure to vacuum cleaners, electric blow dryers, firecrackers, and motorcycles. Anything above 90 decibels can damage ears. A good rule of thumb is that if you have to shout to be heard by someone a few feet away, it's too loud.

A 'handy' hint
Wash your hands regularly. I know what you're thinking. 'How can that possibly save me from going deaf?' Consider this: every time you stick an unwashed finger in your ear, you're introducing a host of germs in there, which could lead to any number of infections. Untreated ear infections can lead to hearing loss. Suffering from a cold, the flu, or allergies increases your risk of developing an ear infection. Save yourself all those problems by washing your hands regularly, and getting your allergies treated promptly.

Responsible pill-popping
Whenever you're prescribed antibiotics, follow the doctor's directions to the last letter. That means no overdosing and no skipping. Even if you feel better, finish the entire course. Overuse and misuse of antibiotics are leading causes of drug-resistant and recurrent bacterial infections that can damage your hearing by contributing to ear infections.
Simple changes, yet they can mean the difference between good hearing and deafness. Keep your eyes peeled (excuse the pun) for next week's tips and tricks on how to preserve your eyesight.

By Sabrina F Ahmad



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