Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For March 15, 2009

On average, amount that Americans spent per day in stores, restaurants, gas stations or online in the 14-day period ending Feb. 11 (figure does not include home or vehicle purchases, or normal monthly bills), according to Gallup Poll daily tracking: $61

Average spent in the same two-week period a year ago: $102

Source: Gallup.

Percentage of all the full-time positions a company fills that are accomplished through internal transfers and promotions, according to a study by CareerXroads: 38.8

Percentage of all external hires that are made through referrals (employee, alumni, vendor, etc.): 27.3

Source: CareerXroads.

Percentage of women who admit to not being able to read a traditional map, twice the number of men, according to research commissioned by Nokia: 11

Percentage of people who believe a sense of direction is genetic and that those who have a bad sense of direction are simply born that way: 18

Number of minutes wasted by the average person each time they get lost: 13

Percentage of people who blame their partners for getting lost, either because they were fighting or they were shouting directions: 30

Source: Nokia.

Percentage of respondents to a survey by Michaels Stores Inc. who said they would like to spend more time on arts and crafts activities: 84

Percentage who said they think making homemade gifts and spending time with their families are two of the "bright spots" that have emerged during this rough economy: 83

Source: Michaels Stores Inc.

Ranks of New York City, Las Vegas, Maui, Hawaii, and San Francisco on the list of U.S. vacation destinations preferred by affluent leisure travelers (those 8 percent of households with a minimum annual income in excess of $150,000, according to the Ypartnership Portrait of Affluent Travelers survey: 1, 2, 3, 4

Ranks of Europe, the Far East, Mexico and Australia on the list of international destinations preferred by affluent travelers: 1, 2, 3, 4

Source: Ypartnership Public Relations.

Percentage of CPA executives who said they are "pessimistic" or "very pessimistic" about the U.S. economic outlook over the next 12 months, according to a survey conducted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School: 83

Percentage of respondents who said that they were "optimistic" about the outlook for the U.S. economy: 5

Source: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Percentage of parents who say they are very or fairly knowledgeable about how to protect their children's privacy online, according to a survey released by Consumer Policy Solutions: 69

Percentage of parents who have read the privacy policies of the Web sites their children visit closely: 31

Percentage who are unsure whether children's online activity can be tracked by companies for commercial purposes: 56

Source: Consumer Policy Solutions.

Year that the first civic and public celebrations of St. Patrick's Day in the American Colonies took place in Boston, according to the Irish Information Guide: 1737

Date that the first St. Patrick's Day was celebrated in New York City at the Crown and Thistle Tavern: March 17, 1756.

Source: Ireland Information Guide. See's_Day

Average amount that couples spend on wedding entertainment, according to $825

Percentage of couples who had DJ's: 38

Percentage of couples who had live bands: 26


Percentage of those small and medium-sized business owners who have the capacity to process debit/credit transactions that agree they could be underestimating the degree to which fraudsters are targeting their business, according to an Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of Visa: 41

Percentage who said that data thieves and hackers are not interested in a business of their size: 40 (10 percent strongly/30 percent somewhat)

Percentage who disagree with this premise: 59

Source: Ipsos Reid Public Affairs.

Idle Thought

"Who overcomes by force hath overcome but half his foe." -- John Milton, poet (1608-1674)

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)