Figuratively Speaking for February 28, 2010

Rank of "office politics" on the list of more than 20 potential areas where executives would most like to see improvement, based on a worldwide survey of senior executives and managers conducted by NFI Research: 1

Percentage of executives in large companies who wish for improvements in office politics: 50

Percentage of executives in small companies who wish for improvement in this area: 20

Source: NFI Research.

Percentage of workers who said "acclimating to a different corporate culture and colleagues" would pose the greatest challenge when re-entering the workforce after an extended absence, according to a survey by OfficeTeam: 32

Percentage of respondents who also cited learning new technologies or protocols: 23

Source: OfficeTeam.

Percentage of Americans who say that the first thing that comes to mind when they think of China is the "loss of U.S. jobs or cheap labor," according to a Zogby Interactive survey: 28

Percentage of respondents whose first impression of China is that of a nation that is a growing threat and rival to the United States: 19

Source: Zogby International.

Average number of hours per day that children 8 to 18 years old spend plugged into an electronic media device, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation: 7

Source: Kaiser Family Foundation.

Ranks of North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, Minnesota and Iowa on the list of states where U.S. adults were most satisfied in 2009 with their own standard of living, according to a Gallup Poll: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Ranks of Nevada, Rhode Island, Michigan, Ohio and Georgia on the list of states expressing the least satisfaction: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: Gallup.

Percentage of teens who are interested in pursuing a STEM career (science, technology, engineering and math education), according to the 2010 Lemelson-MIT Invention Index: 77

Percentage who would be interested in STEM simply by having teachers who enjoy and understand what they are teaching: 55

Source: Lemelson MIT Program.

Percentage of individuals polled in a Mercedes-Benz online community of Generation Y consumers who "strongly agreed" that when making a clothing purchase decision, the item should be "modern with classic design that can be used for years to come," according to a survey by Mercedes Benz: 55

Percentage of respondents who said that if handed a gift of $5,000 that could be used only toward clothing, they would purchase one or two special items that will stand the test of time rather than maximizing the money on quantity: 82

Source: Mercedes-Benz USA.

Percentage of chief executives who move on from the top role and generally remain key players either in their own organization or another, according to a continuing global study of CEO career by management consultants Healthy Companies International: 82

Percentage of respondents who moved on from the head role who were in due course promoted by their organization to a higher position such as chairman or vice chairman: 27

Percentage who went on to the hold the same C-level position with another organization: 7

Source: Healthy Companies International.

Amount of money saved by AAA members in 2009, according to figures based on AAA's Show Your AAA Card and Save Awareness and Usage Study: $2 billion

Average amount saved by members who used the discounts during the year, more than the cost of a basic AAA club membership: $93

Source: AAA.

Percentage of Catholic Millennials (those 18 to 29 years old) who believe in God, according to the results of a Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll: 85

Ranks of "getting married and having a family" and "being spiritual or close to God" on the list of top priorities for Catholic Millennials: 1, 2

Percentage of Catholic Millennials who believe commitment to marriage is undervalued: 82

Source: Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll.

Idle Thought

"Contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor the lack of contradiction a sign of truth." -- Blaise Pascal

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

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