diamond geezer

 Thursday, November 21, 2002

Our survey said...

I'm always suspicious of surveys in the media masquerading as news. There's always one somewhere in every newspaper, an advertising campaign dressed up as serious research.

When a survey was published recently suggesting that carbohydrate-loaded lunches are to blame for 40% of the total UK workforce suffering from "afternoon apathy", it came as no surprise to find that that this research was sponsored by Ryvita. It just had to be a survey by a bedding manufacturer that found that one in six workers aren't sleeping enough because they work from their beds, and that if you sleep with a partner it's best to use separate duvets to minimise the disturbance created by the other person's movement. And one suspects that the Girl Guide movement knew all along that their survey into teenage girls' life skills would uncover that 40% of the girls questioned had never even boiled an egg.

Today a survey sponsored by the Halifax reports that office staff spend an average of 13 minutes of their working day planning their finances. Hey presto, that's another advert they've sneaked into the newspaper without paying for it. Of more interest is that their finding that the average office worker also spends 54 minutes gossipping, 14 minutes surfing the internet and 16 minutes flirting. Apparently men flirt for 17 minutes a day compared with only 15 for women. I guess that means the men are spending 2 minutes a day flirting with each other...

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