Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

Do you like your job? How’s your job going? I’ve been asked this question a lot over the past year after switching jobs. And since I’m not good at small talk, I have a difficult time saying just “yes” or “no”. I found myself saying things like “its 95% good”. Or “it’s all good except for a small 5%”.

But recently I started hearing myself. Why couldn’t I just say “yes” if it was 95% good? Surely that is a “good” job. No job is likely to ever be 100% good. I evaluated the numbers again and my “time” really has been about 95% good. So that is true. I have not been fooling myself. Or have I?

We’ve all heard that there are several types of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. Or that you can prove anything with statistics. Apparently you can even lie to yourself, and use statistics to even prove it!

The problem for me is that my statistic was about my “time”. But it was not about “me”, or what I consider important to me. That 5% was maybe 5% of my time, but it was the significant part of my “worth”. I finally heard my own response, and realized why I couldn’t say “yes, I like my job”.

Now I am close to finding a new job that will work for “me”. It won’t be 100% either, but I hope I will finally be able to just say “yes, I like my job”! Last night I also found out that my friends that kept asking me about my job had never even noticed my 95% answer. But I finally heard myself!


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