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Work in the media? Struggle with statistics? Stan's irreverent (and often irrelevant) review of the latest media reports, news and gossip may not help at all... Stan the Statistician

Stan # 18: Questionnaires and office posters 25 January 1999

Did your mailbag bulge over the Festive Season, swollen by 'questionnaires' from worthy causes? They don't necessarily want a donation - unless you insist. But can you return the pen we've enclosed as it helps to keep our costs down. Did you return any of these surveys? Did you return the nasty pen? Did you bin the questionnaire and keep the pen? Or did you send back the questionnaire blank, keep the pen and send a nasty note telling them to stop trying to use emotional blackmail?

Britons ate four percent more fruit last year than in 1996 and nearly a quarter more than 10 years ago reports the recent National Health Survey. Great news - you'd think. But a new survey from Patek's (the Indian food firm) shows that one in five people rate curries as their favourite meal and three percent like the hot stuff first thing in the morning! Taylor Nelson Sofres' MealTrak shows that one in four Indian meals are eaten on a Saturday night and the most popular sauce is Korma. I'm surprised that they didn't team up with Kimberly-Clark to find out how many people keep a roll of bog paper in the fridge.

Both sexes seem to think that being a bloke is better, but until recently, I didn't know that there were 65 reasons. I'm sure you could make up more, but to get you started:

  1. Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
  2. Movie nudity is always female.
  3. A five day holiday only requires one suitcase.
  4. You don't have to monitor your friends' sex lives.
  5. Your toilet queues are 80% shorter
  6. You can open all your own jars.
  7. Old friends don't hassle you if you've gained or lost weight.
  8. Dry cleaners and hairdressers don't rob you blind.
  9. When clicking through channels, you don't have to stop on every shot of someone crying.
  10. Your arse is never a factor in job interviews.

I read in Leisure Opportunities (yes, my reading is eclectic) that Frank Reid, Managing Director of Virgin Active, the health club part of Richard's empire, has said that he wants to, "ensure that if you walk into a Virgin health club blindfolded you'll notice a thousand things which all tell you it is Virgin". Hot air clearly is important to Virgin folk. Why would I want to walk into a Virgin health club blindfolded? Is this the only way he can get people in? Will there be an army of people standing by to blindfold people? How would I notice anything if I was blindfolded anyway? Why would I need to be reminded a thousand times that I am in a Virgin health club? Are the target punters so moronic than they need reminding a thousand times before it dawns on them? Sounds like a thousand good reasons not to go to me. If you weren't blindfolded before you entered (as most punters will pass on this option, I guess), then you should have a pretty good idea that you have walked into a Virgin health club and not stumbled in there by accident when you really meant to go to Sainsbury's or the dentist. Is Frank Reid worried that people may be unable to tell the difference? Sounds like more worries for Richard.

Office Posters from the Data Dormouse:

  • Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
  • Doing the job right the first time gets the job done; doing the job wrong 14 times gives you job security.
  • Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings; they did it by killing all those who opposed them.
  • We put the "k" in kwality.
  • If something doesn't feel right, you're not feeling the right thing.
  • Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity.
  • A person who smiles in the face of adversity probably has a scapegoat.
  • If you stay calm while all around you is chaos, then you probably haven't completely understood the situation.
  • Plagiarism saves time.
  • If at first you don't succeed, try management.
  • Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid altogether.
  • Teamwork means never having to take all the blame yourself.
  • Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.
  • We waste time so you don't have to.
  • Hang in there. Retirement is only 30 years away.
  • Go the extra mile. It makes your boss look like an incompetent slacker.
  • A snooze button is a poor substitute for no alarm clock at all.
  • When the going gets tough, the tough take a coffee break.
  • Indecision is the key to flexibility.
  • Succeed in spite of management.
  • Aim low...reach your goals...avoid disappointment.
  • We waste more time by 8 AM than other companies do all day.
  • You pretend to work, and we'll pretend to pay you.
  • Work isn't just for sleeping anymore.
  • The beatings will continue until morale improves.

Check in again at my desk soon!

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