Surveys are the daily bread of public relations. PRs hope that cheap and cheerful journalists will pick up on some dodgy stats, build a cheap and cheerful story around it and supply some numbers to the art editor for a cheap and cheerful graphic. So here goes, albeit without the graphic.

   

"Its official, bosses hate meetings and unnecessary calls," screams the opening line of the press release, surely missing out on the grammatical requirement for an apostrophe and a colon. The numbers? OK then, here we go:

 

BOING! "54 per cent of UK PAs lie and make excuses for their boss on a regular basis to avoid unnecessary calls and meetings."

 

(So that makes 46 per cent of PAs liars then.)

 

BOING! "Sixty-two per cent of those surveyed confessed to rescuing their bosses from boring or irrelevant meetings by staging 'emergency' interventions."

 

(They did WHAT!!! Who knew?)

 

And saving the best for last:

 

BOING! "This latest survey follows Powwownow's 2008 research into the working habits of small to medium sized enterprise employees. The Dirty Habits Survey conducted in the final quarter of 2008 found that a whopping one in three men in SMEs had had a sexual thought about their work colleagues whilst in a meeting!"

 

(Oh yeah, but how about those gorillas working in large businesses?)

 

So we're assuming that Powwownow is giving us this valuable data because it loves us all. Nah.

 

"Powwownow sympathises with PAs and has created a solution to make meetings more bearable."

 

Next week, we'll bring you more duff surveys in an effort to liven up your Friday afternoons -- although 99 per cent of you asked us not to bother.