Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For December 07, 2014

Percentage of office partygoers who said they've kissed or had a sexual encounter of some kind with a boss or co-worker at an office party, according to a poll by The Salonniere: 20

Percentage who admitted to flirting with a boss, co-worker or a co-worker's significant other: 36

Source: The Salonniere.

Percentage of Americans who admit they shop online while at work, according to a survey by 35

Percentage who said they do so to keep purchases a surprise or secret from other family members: 28

Percentage who said they do it because there is not enough time to shop outside of work: 24


Year that the first Christmas tree debuted at Rockefeller Center, erected by construction workers eager to receive a day's pay in the depths of the Depression and decorated with tin cans and scrap paper: 1931

Height of the 1931 tree: 20 feet

Height of the 2014 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, a Norway spruce from central Pennsylvania: 85 feet

Weight: 13 tons

Source: NBC New York/Bloomberg.

Percentage of people who say relatives overstay their welcome after a day or less, with some saying their family members wear out their welcome as soon as they arrive, according to a HomeAway Vacation report: 22

Percentage who say relatives overstay their welcome after just a few days: 29

Percentage who say their relatives never wear out their welcome: 33

Source: Home Away.

Percentage of women who say they're not going to shop at all this holiday season, according to Nielsen Wire: 10

Percentage of men who say the same: 18

Source: Nielsen Analytics.

Percentage of senior managers who said their employees are less productive the week before a major holiday, according to a survey by Accountemps: 34

Source: Accountemps.

Percentage of people with a diagnosed mental illness who find that the holidays make their condition "a lot worse," according to a survey by the National Alliance on Mental Illness: 24

Percentage of respondents who reported that the holidays contribute to feeling sad or dissatisfied and financially strained: 68

Percentage who say they experience loneliness: 66

Source: NAMI.

Ranks of electronics, computers and tablets, and phones on the list of product categories Wall Street professionals believe will perform best versus last year: 1, 2, 3

Average amount these professionals say they will spend on gifts for their spouses or significant others: $900

Source: Convergex.

Percentage of gift recipients who would enjoy receiving a food gift, according to a study of holiday food gift trends conducted by Omaha Steaks: 86

Ranks of chocolate, smoked meats and/or cheese basket, and wine on the list of top choices: 1, 2, 3

Source: Omaha Steaks.

Because retail data breaches have raised consumer awareness of identity protection during the busy holiday shopping season, percentage of consumers shopping in stores who noted that they plan to stay aware of their surroundings when shopping, according to a survey from Experian's ProtectMyID: 70

Source: Experian Consumer Direct.

Idle Thought

"Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed and well-fed." -- Herman Melville

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at