I know a lot more about our country today, but I'm not really smarter for it
One benefit of a career in journalism — perhaps the only one — is that you get paid to read.
As editor of this website, I peruse the worldwide web for stories about money. That’s making it, spending, borrowing it, and stealing it. And that often leads me to weird research projects I can’t really write about anywhere else.
Just last week, I learned…
1. Too many Americans buy grilled-cheese sandwiches
I don’t know how to cook, but I pride myself on never having bought a grilled-cheese sandwich in a restaurant — because I can damn well make one of those at home.
Alas, “More than one-third of Americans (37 percent) reported that they purchased grilled cheese outside the home in the past year.” So says a new survey from a very happy company called Cheeseboy, a Northeast sandwich chain that sells several varieties of grilled-cheese sandwiches.
Now, I know what you’re thinking (if you’re really thinking about this topic at all). That significant percentage is dominated by parents buying grilled cheese for their finicky offspring. Nope: “Nearly 7 out of 10 adults who purchased grilled cheese outside the home did so for themselves.”
2. Americans like music more than other Americans
This can only be good news to music companies like Sol Republic, whose new survey reveals, “62 percent of Americans say a day without music is worse than a day without human interaction.” But to me, the most interesting stat is, “40 percent would kill their workout completely if they didn’t have their headphones.”
3. Americans can work with their eyes closed
I’ll just quote directly from the latest survey by Accounting Principals, a job placement company: “American workers are most likely to take a nap in their car (18 percent), office chair (16 percent) or break room (11 percent). They are less likely to stoop to sleeping under their desk (3 percent) or in the equipment room (1 percent).”
4. Most Americans screw up backups
A data recovering company called Kroll Ontrack polled Americans who lost data in computer crashes. First, the good news: “65 percent of survey respondents had a backup solution in place at the time of data loss.” The bad news: They still lost their stuff. Why? Because they’re idiots. Reasons included:
- “The external drive was only connected on an occasional basis.”
- “The computer was not on during a scheduled backup.”
- “The backup ran out of destination space.”
5. Americans are slobs
In the category of, “Who the hell comes up with these questions?”, a poll commissioned by a cleaning supply company called Cintas asked more than 3,000 Americans “where they stop to use the restroom when traveling long distances by car.”
The top three reasons for deciding on a place to pee (or, well, you know):
- How badly they have to “go” — 72 percent
- Convenience to the highway/road — 61 percent
- Safety/security of the area — 54 percent
Coming in fourth at 53 percent was “cleanliness of the restrooms.” But this makes perfect sense when you consider another poll conducted at the same time by cleaning service Molly Maid, which asked more 2,000 homeowners about their cleaning habits. Most disgusting stat: “37 percent of respondents change their bed sheets only once per month.”