Watercooler Stories

By United Press International  |  Dec. 8, 2004 at 6:30 AM
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Nurses top Gallup ethics, honesty poll

PRINCETON, N.J., Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Nurses, as they have every year but one since 1999, lead the annual Gallup survey, of people in the United States regarding honesty and ethics.

Gallup said 79 percent of those questioned gave nurses a "very high" or "high" rating for honesty and ethical standards. The figure was down slightly from 83 percent last year. The only year since 1999 nurses did not lead the poll was in the wake of the 2001 terror attacks when firefighters topped the list.

Grade school teachers, appearing as a option for the first time, finished second with 73 percent of those asked giving them a "very high" or "high" rating. Pharmacists and military officers each garnered 72 percent in those categories while medical doctors were fifth with 67 percent.

At the bottom of the chart, car salesmen, at 9 percent, were last among this year's occupations listed, just behind advertising practitioners at 10 percent. Lawyers rated an 18-percent "very high" or high" totaled while business executives and congressmen were tied at 20 percent.

The survey was based on telephone interviews with 1,015 adults across the United States conducted Nov. 19-21. Respondents were asked to rate 21 various professions, given in random order, in honest and ethics. The margin of error is 3 percentage points.

Beijing bans Nike ads as anti-Chinese

BEIJING, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- China has banned a Nike TV commercial in which U.S. basketball star LeBron James defeats animated Chinese characters, after viewers complained on the Internet.

The 90-second advertisement, which resembles a kung-fu video game, shows the Cleveland Cavaliers forward defeating five challengers labeled Hype, Temptation, Envy, Complacency and Self Doubt.

Three of the characters appear Chinese, with Hype represented by a kung-fu master, the South China Morning Post reported Tuesday. Temptation appears as flying female martial artists who flirt with James, and Complacency is a pair of Chinese dragons.

The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television said the TV ad provoked strong resentment among viewers and violated regulations requiring commercials to maintain state dignity and respect the country's traditional culture.

Zhou Xiaomeng, spokesman for Nike in China, said the company respected national laws but considered the ad's message to be upbeat. "We are trying to encourage young people to combat challenges. It's very positive," Zhou said.

Nike faced similar problems in Singapore last month with LeBron James advertisements that resembled graffiti. Posters at city bus stops attracted at least 50 complaints in the city with its strong penchant for cleanliness.

Workers told to swap words for e-mail

CHICAGO, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- A growing number of big U.S. companies are taking steps to force their workers to actually speak with one another instead of e-mailing, USA Today reported.

Among them is the marketing department of Veritas Software in Mountain View, Calif., where e-mail with other on-site employees in the division has been banned on Fridays since the summer.

"You can be furiously e-mailing someone even as you're looking at the back of their head," said spokesman Andrew McCarthy.

Michael Parker, 40, marketing manager at Veritas said many people are unaware of how insidious e-mail has become.

"E-mail is like drug addiction. You say, 'I can stop anytime,' or 'I'll just send one more.' Then you're on for hours," Parker said.

Radio Shack's new riverfront campus in Fort Worth has cubicles for employees. But to encourage more in-person conversation, common areas have wireless Internet access so employees can sit together and work.

Woman gets threatening telemarketer letter

WATERFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich., Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Jill Beyer of Waterford Township, Mich., says she recently hung up on a telemarketer and then received a threatening letter.

WDIV-TV in Detroit reported Tuesday the letter arrived postmarked El Paso, Texas, and read: "Before you are rude to another telemarketer, you should keep in mind that he or she has your phone number and your address. Many of them live in your own state and most don't give a (expletive)!"

Beyer said the telemarketer who called her wanted a donation for a veterans' association, but when she refused to donate he wouldn't take no for an answer. She finally hung up on him.

"I slammed the phone very hard," Beyer said. "It makes me nervous. Obviously he's not playing with a full deck and even my kids are nervous."

El Paso police detectives are investigating.

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