Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For January 06, 2008

Percentage of adults who say they receive unwanted gifts during the holiday season, according to a survey conducted by eBay: 83

Percentage of adults receiving unwanted gifts who typically re-gift or resell them: 47

Percentage of re-gifters and online resellers who say they feel satisfied after having re-gifted or resold a gift online: 53

Percentage of adults who view re-gifting and reselling as a form of recycling: 69

Source: eBay.

Percentage of pet owners who let their pets sleep in the bed with them, according to the results of a Harris Poll: 69

Percentage who have bought their pet a birthday present: 37

Percentage who have bought their pet a holiday present: 65

Source: Harris Interactive.

Percentage of women who experienced problems during their most recent shopping experience, according to "Men Buy, Women Shop," a study from the Jay H. Baker Retail Initiative at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania: 53

Percentage of men who experienced problems while shopping: 48

Percentage that men are less likely to recommend a store where they experienced problems than women: 20

Source: Baker Retailing Initiative at the Wharton School, The Verde Group and WomenCertified.

Percentage of administrative professionals who said that jeans today are considered acceptable "business casual" attire and not merely a special privilege or part of a weekly "casual day," according to a survey by office product company Quill Corp.: 45

Percentage of respondents who work for companies that still have a designated casual day: 35.6

Source: Brimm Communications.

Percentage of time that U.S. workers waste while on the job, according to a study conducted by Proudfoot Consulting: 29

Number of days per year this represents: 70

Economic cost this represents: $658 billion

Ranks of poor supervision (31 percent), poor management planning/control of work (30.2 percent) and poor communication (18.2 percent) among the leading causes of wasted work time: 1, 2, 3

Source: Proudfoot Consulting.

Percentage of Americans who think the tax system is skewed to benefit the rich, according to the results of the Bankrate poll: 60

Percentage of Americans who disclosed that they feel clueless about tax preparation and planning: 28

Source: Bankrate Inc.

Percentage of U.S. CFOs who said they would be willing to hire someone with fewer technical skills if the candidate had stronger soft skills, such as communication and interpersonal abilities, according to Robert Half Management Resources: 53

Percentage of CFOs who disagreed: 39

Percentage who don't know or declined to answer: 8

Source: Robert Half International.

Percentage of companies serving Europe and Great Britain that said their bookings to these areas have dropped, according to a survey conducted by the U.S. Tour Operators Association: 50

Percentage of respondents who say they expect the weak dollar to be reflected in 2008 prices, which would generally increase between 5 percent and 15 percent: 60

Source: Kundell Communications.

Percentage of U.S. adult Internet users who have looked for information about themselves through Google or another search engine, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project: 47

Percentage who did so in 2002: 22

Percentage of U.S. adult Internet users who say they have used Google or another search engine to look up information on someone else, celebrities excluded: 53

Source: Pew Internet and American Life Project.

Total immigrant population (legal and illegal) in the U.S. as of March 2007, according to the report, "A Profile of America's Foreign-Born Population," by the Center for Immigration Studies: 37.9 million

Percentage of immigrants who are illegal aliens: 33

Source: Center for Immigration Studies.

Idle Thought

"Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right." -- Laurens van der Post, explorer and writer

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)

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