Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For August 16, 2009

Ranks of strategic thinking, leadership, communication, developing direct reports and motivating people on the list of skills that middle managers need to improve, according to ClearRock, an outplacement and executive coaching firm: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Percentage of companies that viewed their middle managers as unqualified to be promoted to the next level: 33

Percentage that rated their middle managers as "very qualified": 6

Source: ClearRock.

Percentage of Americans who say that the best way to sell their car would be to do it privately, according to a survey conducted by on behalf of CarMax: 36

Percentage who would opt to trade it in at a dealership: 30

Source: CarMax.

Percentage of working dads who report that they spend two hours or fewer per day with their children during the workweek, according to CareerBuilder survey: 39

Percentage who said they have missed a significant event in their child's life in the last year due to work: 50

Percentage who have missed more than three: 28

Source: CareerBuilder.com.

Percentage of travelers who have been camping, according to the results of TripAdvisor's camping and "glamping" survey: 88

Percentage who have been "glamorous camping," which may include electricity, beds and room service: 15

Percentage who claim to be familiar with the term glamping: 13

Of those who have never been glamping, percentage who said they were more attracted to the idea of glamping than traditional camping, once given a definition: 65

Source: TripAdvisor.

In reaction to the tough economic situation of the Depression, year the Penguin Publishing House brought out the first modern paperback book, a biography of the poet Shelley, and began publishing a cheaper softcover format, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 1935

In spite of competition from television and computers, estimated number of books that Americans buy annually: 3 billion

Percentage of these that are in softcover: 50

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of workers who confirmed that their workplace perks had been taken away during the current recession, according to a survey by Quiznos: 70

Percentage who indicated that a paid vacation day is the compensation they'd most like to have in return for lost perks: 60

Source: Quiznos.

Percentage of Americans who agree that they currently have access to all of the health care services they need without it costing them more than they can afford, according to an Ipsos poll: 49

Percentage of Canadian adults who feel this way: 65

Source: Ipsos Public Affairs.

Average annual saving in gasoline bills for those consumers who replace their clunker with a new fuel-efficient vehicle, according to CashForClunkersInformation.org's statistics from their "Clunker Report": $750

Percentage of clunkers traded in that are SUVs, trucks and vans with over 100,000 miles: 79

Average age of the trade-ins: 13 years

Source: Cars.com.

Percentage of Americans who would prefer to see their child lose the "big game" but display great sportsmanship, rather than come out on top, according to the national survey fielded for the Awards and Recognition Association by TNS: 94

Percentage of Americans from ages 20 to 80-plus who still think sportsmanship is worse now than in previous years: 85

Source: ARA.

Percentage of Americans who disapprove of the new law expanding the federal government's power to regulate the manufacturing and marketing of tobacco products, according to a Gallup Poll: 52

Percentage who approve off the new law: 46

Percentage of Americans who say smoking should be made "totally illegal" in this country: 17

Source: Gallup.

Idle Thought

"Life consists in what a man is thinking of all day." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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