Sunday, February 20, 2011

Who's Lazy??

A realtor friend called me last  week surprised by the responses she had been getting from  people that she had confided to that she was getting out of the real estate biz.  I completely GET that this business is in the dumper and not a whole lot of laughs right now which have real estate agents dropping like fleas off a recently dipped dog. It really is the trifecta of bad jobs.  Because of the crummy market, no clients, because we're self employed, no benefits, and because of the prior two reasons, no paychecks.

In part she is annoyed by the fact  that everyone that she has told about her impending departure from the working world, is "What are you going to do with yourself???"  The inference being if you aren't gainfully employed, you must be a lazy bum.   (just to make a point, most Realtors aren't GAINFULLY employed right now anyway, so really what is the difference?) I see her dilemma. How is one to handle this??
Well, I think she has several ways to handle this. 

A.   The nice approach, "My husband is going to support me while I decide what my next career opportunity might be."
B. A more direct approach like " I am going to set my butt on the couch and fritz away the day reading, watching TV and playing on the computer".
C.  It's none of your damn business what I do with my time! Who asked you anyway???

Then as luck would have it last Saturday I noticed an interesting story headline in the Kansas City Star.  Seems there was a study conducted by the Center for Disease Control to determine the physical activity levels of every county in America.  While the CDC is calling it lethargy, all the articles about it are calling it the laziness survey.  Turns out the county that realtor pal and I live in is the LEAST lazy county in the state.
Collectively we are go-getters.  With only 17 percent of Johnson County's population being lazy, there is a pretty good chance that it's neither of us that are slugs. 

Local news release:

The national map showing all the counties where "lazy" resides

For you that have been reading my blogs for awhile, you already know that I will have to mentally dissect all of this and find the good, the bad and the weird. 

Here are just of few of my reason for thinking this survey might be sh*&%.

A.  They didn't talk to me.   If you clicked on the above map, you may have noticed ONLY ONE county in Kansas faired well.  More importantly, that is the county that Realtor friend and I live in.  If a person is "guilty by association" does that also mean "take credit and latch onto any good trait by association".

 Obviously, I didn't get to weigh in on who is lazy locally. I know a lot of people that LOOK lazy.  The Walmart clerk that seemed annoyed that I bothered her to check out may or may not be productively challenged. The group of people at the gym this morning that were using the equipment like lounge chairs while they visited looked less than motivated.  Actually, I can think of a few people that I am absolutely sure fit the definition of shiftless. 

 What if the CDC people had knock on my door?  Where would I fit in their definition of who is lethargic?

What would the questionnaire look like?

1.  Are you employed?  Yes,  but I make next to no money and I avoid working with banks (foreclosures) and working with clients that don't qualify to work with banks  (couldn't get a loan if their life depended on it).            X       Lazy         _______Not Lazy

2.  What to you do with you time?  I write a blog      X        Lazy            Not Lazy
3.  OK we are done here.  You are in the 17 percent  lazy group, so I will be going now.

According to the study,the CDC based respondents on the presence of Diabetes II, their weight, and activity levels.  In my opinion that leaves a lot of variables.  Just sayin', there have to be some thin, non diabetic, folks out there that are lazy and conversely aren't there some over weight people that have diabetes that are working hard. What if I work hard but would actually  much rather be sitting on the couch watching TV, and shoving food down my throat does that make me a closeted lazy person?

B.  They point out a "Lethargic Belt" running from Mississippi up through West Virginia along with Oklahoma coming along for the ride.   Who did they talk to in those states and what in the world did they say???
Because I lived a large part of my early childhood in Arkansas and some of my adult life in Texas, I am curious if the survey takers weren't confused by the slow drawl.  I personally know back in the day that I had a very pronounced southern drawl there were people  who thought I was slow in more ways than one. Let's assume some people are quick to judge and slow to know.

C.  Here is the biggest point to raise my skepticism.  This study was done in 2008 and just now is being released.  It took the folks at the CDC,  THREE years to get there homework done.  Are we really supposed to believe anything dealing with "lack of productivity"  from a group that took a survey 3 years ago and just now getting around to releasing it?  The results are already obsolete. Surely, some of those lazy people from Oklahoma or Mississippi have moved to  be near the energizer bunny types that took the survey in Colorado three years ago.

My take on these types of studies are that they are so skewed that they are unbelievable and absolutely unreliable.   I have no idea how they gathered their data but there are just too many variables.  What a productive, busy, valuable life looks like to one seems totally devoid of worth to another.  I have worked at many full  and part time jobs, but some have been less fulfilling than the years I was a stay-at-home mom. There have been times I have spent  filling my time keeping our home running, doing charitable work, gardening, reading, and a host of other things that I have a passion for.  Who is to be the judge of my ambition level  other than me. (and maybe hubby.)

The good today....fulfilled busy lives take a lot of forms.

The bad today.... Stupid outdated surveys that are probably no where close to the real numbers.

The Weird today....why did it take 3 years to put that study together and release the survey results.

Also weird is this self described lazy person that didn't want to get off the couch to retrieve a beer. Yo Dude, for $1500 bucks you can be this lazy too.

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