Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For August 07, 2011

Percentage of managers who said beginning or ending late tops their list of meeting pet peeves, according to a survey developed by Accountemps: 31

Percentage who said getting the group together unnecessarily was their top pet peeve: 27

Source: Accountemps.

Ranks of smile (52 percent), eyes (37 percent), backside (6 percent) and hair (5 percent) on the list of attractive features as cited by the opposite sex, according to a poll by the dating service It's Just Lunch: 1, 2, 3, 4

Ranks of bad teeth (31 percent), smoking (29 percent), overweight (27 percent) and someone who still lives at home with their parents (11 percent) on the list of the biggest turnoffs: 1, 2, 3, 4

Ranks of kindness (34 percent), intelligence (19 percent), confidence (14 percent), ambition (6 percent) and humor (2 percent) on the list of character traits most looked for in a first date: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: It's Just Lunch/American Way.

Percentage of Americans, growing more wary of mounting student loan debt and the value of higher education, who say the expected average level of student loan debt of $29,000 is too high, according to a Country Financial survey: 81

Percentage who say, given the rising costs, a college education is not a good financial investment, up seven points from 2010: 26

Percentage of parents who say it is more important to save for their own retirement over a child's college education, up three points from 2010 and four points from 2009: 46

Source: Country Financial.

Percentage of food shoppers who believe prices in food stores are escalating, according to Deloitte's Consumer Food and Product Insight Survey: 87

Percentage who say the size of some packaged goods is smaller: 74

Source: Deloitte.

Percentage of Americans who say the most important financial problem their family faces today is a lack of money and low wages, according to a Gallup Poll: 17

Percentage who say they worry most about health care costs: 12

Percentage who say they have too much debt and not enough money to pay debts: 11

Source: Gallup.

Estimated number of dogs that reside in more than 46 million U.S. households, according to the American Pet Products Association: 78 million

Percentage of dog owners who have driven with their dog at least once a month in the past year, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: 56

Percentage who take their attention away from the road to pet their dog: 52

Percentage who have reached into the backseat to interact with their dog: 18

Source: AAA.

Among younger American workers age 18 to 29 who said workplace training would be more valuable if it were available remotely through handheld mobile devices, according to a Work Place Options poll: 75

Percentage of respondents age 30 to 45 who held this view: 40

Percentage aged 46 to 65 who reflected this view: 26

Source: Work Place Options.

Percentage of adults who prefer to have sex during evening hours, according to the results of the Adam and Eve Great American Sex Survey: 52

Ranks of late night (47 percent), morning (33 percent) and afternoon (21 percent) on the list of preferred times: 2, 3, 4

Source: Adam and Eve.

Approximate percentage of annual revenues at theme parks that are accounted for by admissions, according to Mintel: 60

Percentage that is accounted for by food and beverage: 17

Percentage accounted for by merchandise: 10

Source: Mintel.

Percentage of U.S. adults who say they will not be going away this summer, according to the results from an IBOPE Zogby interactive poll: 58

Of those who will be traveling, percentage who say they plan to spend less than in years past: 56

Source: Zogby International.

Idle Thought

"The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook." -- William James, psychologist and philosopher

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