Five hours after I received my copy of your April 1 issue asking "How Safe Is Your Job?" in my mailbox at work, I was laid off. Although I had had no indication of the fate that awaited me, I had nevertheless viewed your story as an ominous portent.

The next day I took comfort and inspiration from the many obviously talented and energetic people facing the same hurt, anger, and confusion as me. Thank you for a well-timed issue. ARLENE M. FAIRFIELD Seattle

Your articles hit home. No one is safe, no level of performance sufficient to guarantee anything other than the personal satisfaction of a job well done (Paul Klemchalk is a perfect example). Several years ago, asking for a raise was considered a part of the performance review process; a promotion was considered negotiable. Today asking for either a raise or a promotion may be the kiss of death!

A former manager used to tell us to read over our annual review at least once a month; doing so would keep us focused on the goals and objectives we had agreed to. Now, in addition to reading my performance review once a month, I will pull out a copy of "How Safe Is Your Job?"--especially during those times when business is slow. I can't think of a better incentive to continued career growth and management than to see what has happened to others. Thanks for the reminder to "keep it in gear." LARRY BOSICK Wilmington, Delaware

To Mr. Generalist, office manager, who was:

--Automated out of a job at age 55 after pulling a six-figure salary.

--Stuck on the corporate ladder just above supervisor but well below vice president.

--Trained to do absolutely nothing but sign your name to memorandums you cannot possibly understand.

--Taking the blame or reaping the rewards for special programs that failed or succeeded with no input from you, for reasons that had to be explained to you.

Is it really any wonder you are out of work? GRACE GLEASON Bayside, New York

Admit to yourself that a job is a rental proposition in which both sides try to get more than the other and where looking out for No. 1 is your prime responsibility. Then move to the "box" strategy:

Get a big cardboard box and store it in your garage. Tell no one about it. Every time you produce a well-written report, a great briefing note, or excellent competitor material, copy it and put it in the box. Likewise, every time you see a memo or report in which a senior manager denies justice to a customer or comes close to breaking the law (or worse), take a copy and put it in the same box. You should aim to fill a box every six months.

Over a few years, you'll have a good collection. If your number comes up, you'll have two more choices than the other guy. If you separate on good terms, you'll have a ready-made resource to get you into the next job. If you leave on bad terms, you'll have a hand grenade your lawyer can use: total disclosure or a well-deserved maximum payout.

Disloyal, illegal, unethical--who cares? This is the 1990s, and after all, your corporate managers thought less of you than they did of any failings of theirs that may have caused the layoffs. DAVID ARELETTE Yarrambat, Australia

I was dismayed to see that none of the five people dismissed by AT&T seemed to be considering self-employment ("Ma Bell's Orphans," April 1).

In 1982, I was laid off by Avis Rent-a-Car, where I worked as a marketing executive. For six months I desperately searched for a new job, finally moving to Ireland (my wife's home). There, despite my lack of confidence and my fear of working outside the boundaries of corporate life, I set up a marketing consulting operation. Since then I have done much better than I could ever have imagined. Had I stayed in corporate life, I doubt I could have matched my present salary or job satisfaction.

The lessons I've learned are as follows: Trust in your own capabilities. Don't expect a corporation to bail you out of a hard place; that job, I'm afraid is reserved for you--and results from opportunities you create for yourself. TOM RICHARDS Managing Director, Storylines Ltd. Ireland


Reading "In Greenspan We Trust" (March 18) while I was riding my exercycle, I suddenly came alert to the comment from Leonard Riggio, CEO of Barnes & Noble: "Federal government must create more jobs for higher wages."

It has; they are called government employees. RALPH A. HERBOLD Buena Park, California


In "How to Leave the Tax Man Nothing" (March 18) Eileen Gunn omits one very important option for anyone with enough money to worry about death taxes: Spend it! J.B. FUQUA Fuqua Capital Corp. Atlanta


Re "Long Day's Journey Into Pittsburgh" (While You Were Out..., April 1): The day before John F. Kennedy's inauguration, the entire East Coast was immobilized by a blizzard of historic proportions, and all flights in and out of Pittsburgh were canceled. I spent the next day shuttling between airlines trying to get a space to New York. Around 9 p.m., a TWA agent I had come to know like a brother told me he had booked me to Philadelphia. When I began to protest, he advised, sotto voce, that I would actually be landing in Newark, and that my fellow passengers heading to Philadelphia were to be bused back to the City of Brotherly Love. To this day I recall the chorus of groans as the plane approached Philadelphia and the pilot announced that Philadelphia was "down" and we would be going to Newark.

Once in Newark I had to cope with a strike against the New York Central Railroad, but what then occurred was too far from Pittsburgh to attribute any blame to that beleaguered city. A.V. FEDERLE JR. Waterville, Maine

I spent 1 1/2 not so wonderful years living and working in downtown Pittsburgh. What I want to know is, Where did Stanley Bing see a sign for $1 all-day parking in "America's most livable city"? FRANK SCHAEFER Morristown, New Jersey


The power of brand names is just fantastic ("The Brand's the Thing," March 4). Of the ten companies on your 'A' List of America's Most Admired Companies, seven are very well known in Brazil, part of our everyday life. CARLOS DONIZETI ALVES Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil


In a discussion of a December jump in the price of Iomega stock in "Investing in a Fool's Paradise" (April 15) FORTUNE reported that the stock climbed $2. In fact, it went up 52 cents, from $51.98 to $52.50. FORTUNE regrets the error.