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Friday, Sep 29, 2023


No Laughing Matter

With April Fool’s Day just ahead, the International Facility Management Association released a new survey of creative workplace pranks committed on April 1.

One L.A. firm reported that workers once covered the door of a vacationing colleague’s office with drywall to make it appear the office had never existed.

Elsewhere, computer system shutdowns were simulated at several companies, and banners were hung throughout an entire building saying that a firm had been bought by a competitor.

Not all of the pranks were funny. At one company, furniture was removed from a manager’s office and stashed in the men’s room. Such practices were outlawed after workers later discovered the man’s wife had kicked him out of the house that same morning.

Alternative to Accounting

Veronica Villaclara, an accountant by trade, always had a love of lingerie, and now it’s become the underpinning of a new career.

After being laid off, Villaclara was thinking about her next job when she came across a magazine article about people who made millions of dollars on seemingly insignificant inventions. That night, the Northridge resident came up with an idea: a contraption that allows women to keep their bra straps hidden when they wear sleeveless tops.

After researching the field, she created a piece of cloth that fastens with hooks and eyes and made her first appearance at an intimate-apparel trade show in New York. After one year and a $35,000 investment, Valmimio Enterprises Inc. is in full swing, and Villaclara’s Brassiere Strap Hider is in 140 stores.

“I’m hoping not to go back to accounting,” she said.

Calculated Move

Watching the movie industry is often like studying the Kremlin during the height of the Cold War. Every little move, though seemingly minor, might precede a major change in leadership. Witness this recent development:

Terry Curtain, who headed movie publicity at Disney, moved over to Universal just as her contract was coming up for renewal at the Mouse House.

Sources say Curtain made her decision after being tipped not to link her future to that of her boss, Joe Roth, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, who is said to be considering his own future.

Curtain moved on. Will Roth be far behind? Only his comrades know for sure.

Atomic Memorabilia

Two signs adorned with a bright-orange rocket ship logo and the now-ironic notice, “Never Closed,” are all that remain of the Ships coffee shop at La Cienega and Olympic boulevards.

Preservation advocate John English, owner of Googie Tours, doesn’t want those signs to go the way of the restaurant, so he is trying to acquire the artifacts from Del Taco, which now owns the property.

If he succeeds, English will add the signs to his collection of toasters and other items from what he calls L.A.’s atomic-age coffee shops, bowling alleys and other businesses that saw their heyday in the 1950s and 1960s.

Eventually, he hopes to exhibit his collection. “A few years ago, this might have seemed more off-the wall,” he says. “But this type of architecture is now incredibly popular. Its time has come.”

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