Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For March 02, 2014

Percentage of managers who thought their organizations communicated well with customers through old and new channels such as text and email, according to a study commissioned by Ricoh Company Ltd.: 43

Percentage of customer-facing employees (bank clerks, call center operators, nurses, bank managers and shop supervisors -- those on the front line dealing with customers first-hand), who felt this was far from the case: 83

Percentage of these employees who said there's a gap between the experience they can deliver and the experience the customer expects: 89

Source: Ricoh Americas Corp.

In the last 10 years, percentage increase in the available hours of sports programming, according to Nielsen's 2013 Year in Sports Media Report: 232

Estimated number of hours Americans clocked watching sports on TV in 2013: 33 billion

Source: Nielsen Media Research.

Percentage of Americans who are dating or single who say they are unwilling to date or marry someone who has significant debt, according to findings from Country Financial on love and money: 66

For the 73 percent of Americans in relationships (married, engaged or dating), percentage who say they know just how much debt, if any, their significant other has: 72

In a relationship, percentage of Americans who say the three-month mark is appropriate to discuss money: 31

Source: Country Financial.

Average debt from 2013 holiday purchases carried by Democrats, according to a RetailMeNot survey: $260

Average debt carried by Republicans: $248

Average debt carried into 2014 by independents: $218

Source: RetailMeNot.com.

Ranks of Pollock's Path on the The Peak in Hong Kong ($11,148 per square foot), Kensington Palace Gardens in London ($9,941) and Avenue Princesse Grace in Monaco ($7,990), on the list of the three most expensive streets in the world, according to Wealth-X: 1, 2, 3

Source: Wealth-X.

Estimated amount of money Russian President Vladimir plowed into the Black Sea resort of Sochi, with its subtropical climate, to make it a fitting site for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted at about the same time as the Post/ABC News poll: $51 billion

Percentage of Americans who have an unfavorable view of Russian President Vladimir Putin, compared with 27 percent who saw him favorably, according to a Washington Post/ABC News survey: 58

Source: Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

Percentage of Americans who believe students respected teachers when they were in school, according to a Harris Poll: 79

When thinking about school dynamics when they were K-12 students themselves, percentage of Americans who recall mutual respect between teachers and parents as having been especially strong: 91

Percentage of Americans who believe parents respect teachers today: 49

Percentage who believe today's K-12 students respect teachers: 31

Source: Harris Interactive.

Ranks of gas (54 percent), electricity (36 percent) and all other types of fuel (9 percent) on the list of the most common heating fuels used in American homes, according to the Census Bureau: 1, 2, 3

Estimated number of occupied housing units in America: 115 million

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Percentage of executives who said they are optimistic about their companies' near-term growth prospects, according to a Robert Half survey: 91

Percentage of chief financial officers who are less certain about their ability to recruit skilled candidates for professional-level positions: 63

Source: Robert Half.

Percentage of American vacationers who said they have booked a rental home when traveling with family or a large group, according to the results of a TripAdvisor survey: 61

Of those respondents, percentage who said the main reason they enjoy a rental is spending time together in common living space: 48

Source: TripAdvisor.

Idle Thought

"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." -- Thomas Paine, philosopher and writer (1737-1809)

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