A Day At The Office

A Day At The Office
Lois Webster, The Daily Record

For Some, the Perks Take the Pressure Off

May 18, 2000 - Have you ever felt that there are not enough hours in the day? Are you trying to land an important business deal, while simultaneuosly thinking of personal errands that need to be taken care of?

While you might not be able to get someone to do your office work, you can probably find someone to take care of all that other business for you.

From food to flowers and from transportation to personal training, you don't have to leave the office to get some of these pressing chores done. You can find somebody to do them, and if you can't go to them, they'll come to you.

Jim White, store manager of Brooks Brothers in The Gallery at Harborplace, said busy executives can set up an appointment to have a store representative visit their office.

"The salesperson will bring selections of fabric swatches, take measurements and help coordinate shirts and ties," White said. "Some of our clients, who have been with us for years, will call and ask for a new wardrobe to be put together and shipped out to them. Ninety percent of the time, our salesperson knows what their interests and favorite colors are.

Nordstrom's, too, offers this service, according to Nordstrom's Mary Ellen Feeley. "We have a hands-on approach, assesing lifestyle and work style. Once that profile is established, a client can call with special requests," she said. "We shop throughout the store for our clientele, choosing accessories, shoes, jewlery and wardrobe. Nordstrom's tailors these selections specifically to a client's budget. We give tips on everything from business trips to vacations.

Charm City Concierge, Inc. provides concierge services to corporate office buildings. Its offerings include dry cleaning pick-up and delivery, travel and transportaion information, party and event planning, onsite tailoring, in-office haircuts and manicures and massage.

Christina Urquhart, Charm City President, said her company has a directory of more than 100 services. "Corporations are looking for ways to attract and maintain premier talent," she said. "In addition to competitive salaries and hiring bonuses, many companies are offering personal services as an added incentive to the prospective employee."

Through its "ExecuTime" program, Charm City Concierge provides home services, including grocery shopping, video returns, pet-sitting and errand-running. They'll even wait at your home for the repairman.

If food is what you need, The Classic Catering People offer several options for busy professionals, according to Eddie Dopkin, Vice President of finance.

Classic Catering offers full service, off premise catering along with its Classic To Go division, which provides customized menus for the boardroom, office staff, charted trains, airplanes, limos and tour buses. "The selection," Dopkin said, "are for distinguished guests with distinguished tastes."

If your company has a kitchen and you need some dietary assistance, Mount Washington Fresh Fields Market can organize and supply the kitchen with foods that will guarantee nutritious meals, according to Diane Friedberg. "Shopping lists are supplied, along with basic recipes, and follow up is scheduled to monitor the adequacy of the supplies," said Friedberg, a registered dietician.

Now, want to work off that delicious meal you just ate? No problem, according to Jim Campbell, personal trainer for Merritt Athletic Clubs. Either he or colleague Mike Barbour will supervise exercise activities at home or office.

Speaking of office, do you have a client you really want to impress? If you need an "exceptional temporary address" for that important business meeting, the Harbor Court Hotel has the perfect answer. Select from a range of plush boardrooms, with the hotel's business center fax, secretarial and copying services.So much for it being just another day at the office.


The Maryland Daily Record
Thursday, May 18, 2000