Random thoughts from a cluttered desk

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DebbieNorrellBox

The unemployment rate has been on my mind since the last debate. I took a look at the unemployment rate for the last twenty years, because I was tired of hearing about it as a campaign issue. It has changed and has remained high since 2008; I think a lot of companies have realized they just don’t need as many people. Remember what I said months ago, it is the technology, not the economy that is driving this unemployment rate.

There are some other factors as well. I was talking to a manager of a large company and they told me that they would like to hire some people and even promote some current employees, but they were having a hard time finding people who could pass the drug test. Not only that, they were disturbed by the tattoos and piercings of some of the applicants. The manager wanted to hire one girl, but she was confused by the abundance of markings on the woman’s neck. Image does matter.

I believe that the extension of unemployment benefits was a big factor. Some stayed unemployed until the benefits ran out and then after months of hanging out on unemployment their skills were rusty.

The jcpenney store in Monroeville Mall has moved to their new location in the old, Kaufmann’s/Boscov. They only occupy the upper floor, gone is the furniture section and the optical department. However they have added Sephora, within the department store giving the store a much higher end appearance. Sephora is owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), the world’s leading luxury goods group. Sephora is highly regarded as a beauty trailblazer, thanks to its unparalleled assortment of prestige products, unbiased service from experts, interactive shopping environment and innovation. Sephora operates approximately 1,300 stores in 27 countries worldwide, with an expanding base of over 300 stores across North America. Sephora opened its first U.S. store in New York in 1998 and its first Canadian store in Toronto in 2004. Sephora’s North American headquarters is located in San Francisco, with corporate offices in New York and Montreal.

Remember, the old jcpenney location is going to be a movie theatre, something that is going to be appreciated back in the Monroeville area. On the upper level of the mall is a store that sells a lot of jewelry for $1. That is right, $1 and you can find some pretty cool things there.

I’m letting you know about these things because right now I’m on a 21-day shopping fast. I can’t believe that I’m saying this but a close friend recommended that I purchase a book titled “The Power to Prosper: 21 Days to Financial Freedom” by Michelle Singletary.

Well, the book works on a premise of not shopping or browsing for anything that is not a necessity for three weeks. The first few days were pretty hard, I felt deprived and depressed. I then realized that this is not such a bad idea. I love shopping for bargains, but I don’t need to shop as often as I do. If you browse you are bound to see something that you just must have.

(Email the columnist at deb­bie­norrell@aol.com)

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