Staff Writer
Garden City Telegram

Dear Heloise: I wanted to share some things I've learned to be more productive at work:

- When I make a mistake (which we all do) and someone calls me out on it, instead of saying: "I'm sorry; I made a mistake. I completely missed that!" I now say: "Good catch! I'll update the file. Thanks for letting me know."

- When scheduling an appointment, instead of saying, "Are you available at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m.?" I'll ask, "When are you available?"

- If it takes me a while to answer an email I don't say, "I'm sorry for the delay." I instead say, "Thanks for your patience."

- If I'm trying to get someone to understand a work concept, I'll ask, "Do you have any questions?" I no longer ask, "Does that make sense?"

Fine points and subtle differences, but these hints have helped me be more productive and confident at work. - Dianne W. in Texas


Dear Readers: Here's a hint to keep your phone contacts organized. When saving a contact, enter their name, address, title and the company they work for.

Saves time by putting all the information you need about a contact in one location. - Heloise


Dear Heloise: I read your advice about how to add a wire to a mask by using a pipe cleaner. I use a twist-tie, the kind that grocery stores provide for tying vegetable bags.

I just cut a tiny hole in the top center of the mask, slip in the twist-tie, and use a few stitches to sew it in and close the hole. - Rhona B., Silver Spring, Md.


Dear Heloise: Since everyone has a camera on their phone, you no longer have to rely on the word of a roofer or plumber when they tell you that you need something replaced.

Ask them to show you a picture. Watch them take a photo, and they can show you right away the problem they say they can solve. - Marcie, via email


Dear Heloise: As a new mom, when packing the diaper bag, I've learned a few things. My favorite hint is to carry a fresh blouse or T-shirt in the bag for me! Babies can get upset tummies, and that can lead to a big mess. The problem is lessened when I can change clothes while still out and about. - Megan R. in Florida

Megan, congratulations on your new baby! Sounds like you've learned from experience. Readers, what special or unique items do you pack in the diaper bag? - Heloise


Dear Heloise: I use false eyelashes, but only the individual lashes, not the strip lashes, and just on the outer corners of my eyes. That's plenty, and they open up my eyes nicely. - Tara in California

Send a money-saving or time saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.