Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For January 13, 2008

Percentage of people who achieve half or fewer of their resolutions, according to a poll conducted by DecideBetter: 76

Percentage of respondents who make at least some of the same resolutions every year: 86

Percentage of the respondents who stated that they expect to achieve all of their resolutions this year: 50

Source: DecideBetter.

Percentage of women who report that they control the home thermostat, according to a survey conducted by OpinionZone for MARC USA: 70

Percentage of men who say they are in charge: 56

Percentage of respondents who say they and their spouse/partner differ on a comfortable home temperature: 67

Source: MARC USA.

Estimated annual economic burden of smoking in excess medical expenses per smoking employee, according to a report from the National Business Group on Health: $1,623

Estimated additional cost in health-related productivity losses per smoking employee: $1,760

Percentage of survey respondents who said that they believe providing employees with smoking cessation benefits can help improve employee health: 75

Source: National Business Group on Health.

Percentage of employers who reported an increase in the past six months in the turnover of front-line employees -- workers who are usually a customer's first contact with a business, such as salespersons, customer service representatives, and other sales and support staff, according to a study conducted by ClearRock: 37

Percentage of employers who reported an increase in the past six months in the turnover of high-potential employees -- workers whom employers have identified as future leaders based on their background, testing and performance: 31

Percentage of employers who say they have implemented new or revised retention programs for high-potential employees: 56

Source: ClearRock.

Rank of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) among U.S. citizens' least-liked federal agencies, according to a poll conducted by the Associated Press and Ipsos: 1

Ranks of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA): 2 (tied)

Source: Ipsos Poll/Associated Press.

Percentage of couples with higher household income ($75,000 or above) who are in agreement about retirement savings, according to a study conducted by Harris Interactive for The Wall Street Journal Online: 67

Percentage of couples with incomes of less than $35,000 who are in agreement about retirement savings: 30

Source: Harris Interactive.

Year that Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass. -- the first women's college in the U.S. -- was established by Mary Lyon, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 1837

Weekly salary that Mary Lyon earned as a teacher: 75 cents

Average weekly salary earned by men at that time: $2 to $3

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Rank of flight delays and cancellations among the biggest irritants to business travelers, according to a survey conducted by TripAdvisor: 1

Percentage of business travelers who say they are members of a hotel points program: 78

Percentage who say they "often" stay at the same hotel chain: 59

Ranks of New York, Chicago, London, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., among the top destinations preferred by business travelers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: TripAdvisor.

Rank of "working with a boss they respect and can learn from" as the most important consideration in selecting an employer by baby boomers and Generation Y (those born between 1979 and 1999) -- ahead of having a nice office space, a short commute and working for a socially responsible company, according to a study from Robert Half International and Yahoo!: 1

Percentage of Generation-Y members who want to hear from their managers at least once a day: 60

Source: Robert Half International.

Percentage increase in the number of portable and standby generators in household use from 2002 to 2006, according to a report from market research publisher SBI: 30

Estimated rise in sales over the next five years due to advances in design, marketing and availability of portable generators: 5 million

Source: Market Research.

Idle Thought

"The ingenuities we practice in order to appear admirable to ourselves would suffice to invent the telephone twice over on a rainy summer morning." -- Brendan Gill

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)bwr.eastlink.ca.)

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