Software bugs struck at Communications Satellite Corp. recently, in such force that second-quarter losses in its video entertainment division have been boosted beyond expected levels. Most all companies suffer occasionally from computer glitches, but this one was a tad more embarrassing than usual, because Comsat has a side business setting up complex computer systems for clients.

The bugs were resident in software that bills travelers who watch pay movies that Comsat offers in about 310,000 hotel rooms. Not long ago, Comsat studied the billing system and concluded that a good number of people who tuned into the movies were escaping charges. So, it changed the software, then was horrified to find later that the "fix" had made things worse. Quickly, it switched back to the old system.

Red-faced, the company issued a press release entitled "Comsat Announces Software Change," which came clean with the tale despite the less-than-to-the-point headline. The D.C.-based company said that even with the snafu, second-quarter earnings for Comsat as a whole will be in line with predictions.CHAIN REACTIONS

Competitive in civic affairs and corporate images as well as the bottom line, Giant Food and Safeway Stores both rushed in when a flood devastated the town of Shadyside, Ohio. Two days after Safeway dispatched two truckloads of goods it sold at a discount to a Maryland-based group trying to help Shadyside residents, Giant said last week it would donate a truckload of food and health and beauty aids.

Asked whether Giant's donation had anything to do with the Safeway deal, Barry Scher, Giant's vice president for public affairs, told the Associated Press: "I won't even comment on that. ..." He said the amount of the donation has yet to be determined, but the trucks are to hit the road this Friday.

Safeway's gesture prompted a small contretemps with Wayne W. Ridenour, the Shady Side, Md., resident who organized the local relief effort and expressed surprise that Safeway billed most of its donation to the fund set up to aid the flood victims.

"We were under the impression that it was a donation," said Ridenour. Larry Johnson, public affairs manager for Safeway's Eastern Division in Landover, said Safeway, which donated 2,500 gallons of drinking water, left no such impression. There was "never any misunderstanding," he said. "He {Ridenour} is the one who is confused. ... We wanted to help some needy people. We made it affordable."

Both grocery chains were solicited by the office of Maryland Secretary of State Winfield M. Kelly Jr., which has been trying to encourage disaster aid for the town where at least 24 people were killed by the June 14 flood.LEAVING ON A JET PLANE

When Michael Alford and Donald Feliciano, policy analysts with the Springfield-based environmental services company Versar Inc., began work last November on a videotape on pollution prevention, they had no idea they were in for a bit of a change from their Washington white-collar routine.

The recently released video, which was produced by Sonic Images Productions Inc. of Washington, is Versar's attempt -- with the backing of the Environmental Protection Agency, major environmental groups and 21 U.S. corporations -- to tell people what they can do to clean up the environment.

Although EPA Administrator William K. Reilly was the original choice for the video's narrator, Versar executives decided a celebrity touch was needed, Feliciano said. So they asked another natural candidate: John "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" Denver. The singer agreed to narrate and donated two days of his time to filming it, Feliciano said.

When Feliciano, Alford and the video crew flew to Colorado for the filming, they discovered something else: Denver doesn't rely on country roads to take him home. He piled the crew into his Lear jet and flew them "to the other end of the state" to film the rest of the video, Feliciano said.

"I'll tell you, coming from what can be a pretty boring job as an environmental consultant, jumping in a Lear jet with John Denver was really something," Feliciano said. "Talk about a Rocky Mountain high!"