Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For February 20, 2011

Percentage of adults with annual household incomes between $100,000 and $149,999 who say they could live comfortably on something less than their current income, according to a Gallup Poll: 40

Percentage of those with incomes between $50,000 and $99,999, who say the same: 11

Percentage of those with incomes between $30,000 and $49,999 who say they could live comfortably on something less than their current income: 5

Source: Gallup.

Percentage of couples considering divorce or separation who have now put off those plans due to the recession, according to research from the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia: 38

Percentage of all couples studied who said that the recession has deepened their commitment to their marriage: 29

Source: National Marriage Week USA.

Ranks of staying up late, watching TV in bed, sleeping late and eating dessert before dinner on the list of special privileges kids enjoy while on vacation, according to a survey of kids between 6 and 17 years of age conducted by Ypartnership: 1, 2, 3, 4

Ranks of sharing the car with brother/sister, sitting too long, not having control of the stereo, dad threatening to turn around and dad not asking for directions on the list of problems kids have while driving to a vacation: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: Ypartnership Public Relations.

Year that Richard Drew of the 3M Co. noted that workmen painting two-tone cars were having trouble keeping the colors separated along a straight line, developed an easy-to-peel, glue-backed masking tape to ease the job, and ended up inventing one of the world's most practical items, Scotch Tape: 1925

Estimated number of office supply and stationery stores across the nation: 15,000

Estimated value of merchandise sold annually by these stores: $21 billion

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of workers who say they have dated someone they worked with over their career, according to CareerBuilder's annual office romance survey: 37

Percentage who report they went on to marry a person they dated in the office: 30

Percentage of workers who currently work with someone whom they would like to date: 8

Source: CareerBuilder.com.

Percentage of world fish stocks that are estimated to be overexploited, depleted or recovering, and that urgently need to be rebuilt, according to the "State of the World's Fisheries and Aquaculture" report produced by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: 32

Overall, number of people (8 percent of the world population) who depend on fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods: 540 million

Rank of fish products on the list of the most-traded food commodities, worth a record $102 billion in 2008, up 9 percent from 2007: 1

Source: FAO Lowrey.

Percentage of workers who have witnessed, or know someone who has been a victim of workplace bullying, according to a survey by Workplace Options: 47

Percentage of respondents who say they have personally been a victim of bullying in the office: 31

Percentage who say harassment from superiors is the most debilitating form of bullying in the workplace: 23

Source: Workplace Options.

Ranks of "The King's Speech," "True Grit" and "Toy Story 3" on the list of people's movie choices for a best-picture Oscar, according to a Zogby poll: 1, 2, 3

Ranks of Colin Firth in "The King's Speech," Jeff Bridges in "True Grit" and James Franco in "127 Hours" on the list of those most likely to win the best actor Oscar: 1, 2, 3

Ranks of Natalie Portman in "Black Swan," Annette Bening in "The Kids Are All Right" and Nicole Kidman in "Rabbit Hole" on the list of those most likely to win for best actress: 1, 2, 3

Source: Zogby International.

Percentage of seniors who are receiving lower Social Security checks this year compared to 2010, according to an annual survey of elderly Americans by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL): 44

Percentage of seniors who estimate their expenses have increased by at least $80 per month compared to last year: 61

Source: Senior Citizens League.

Percentage of respondents between the ages of 18 and 35 who said interviewing is the one skill they need to improve most to help land a job, according to a poll of young adults conducted by Everest: 40

Percentage who said "polishing a resume" is important: 29

Percentage who said that following up with the employer is the skill they need to improve: 15

Source: Everest, L.C. Williams and Associates.

Idle Thought

"What we think, or what we know, or what we believe, is in the end of little consequence. The only thing of consequence is what we do." -- John Ruskin

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