In their new show, United Stats of America (which debuts Tuesday at 10 p.m. E.T. on the History Channel), twin comedians Jason and Randy Sklar drill deep into the numbers that make America great — or at least, greatly filled with numbers. Their weekly one-hour examinations across topics as diverse as money, death and time reveal a lot about the business of America and other money-related topics. What did they learn? Glad you asked, because we already did. Here are five lessons about work that you won’t learn in school, courtesy of the Sklar Brothers. (Interview condensed and edited.)
1. Never eat lunch at your desk. It turns out the average desk has 400 times as much bacteria per square inch as the average toilet seat. In other words, it’s safer to eat a sandwich in the bathroom than in your office. Learning this gave us a great idea for a restaurant, where all the seats are functioning toilets. We would, of course, call it Johns.
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2. It’s hard out there for a man. Approximately 98% of all workplace fatalities happen to men. Why? Because men dominate manual-labor jobs. Now, don’t get us wrong — when you work in an office, your soul dies a little. But you have much less chance of dying while changing toner in the biz hub than you do working on a fishing boat. There’s a reason they call that show Deadliest Catch.
3. Bosses are even more annoying than you thought. Over the course of a lifetime, the average American male spends roughly five months complaining about his boss. This is approximately the same amount of time we spend on hold — and more than twice as long as we spend having sex. It’s a wonder we spend only an average of 2.7 days in our lives crying.
4. Want a raise? Wear lifts. On average, people who are 6 ft. tall earn over $5,525 more than people who are 6 in. shorter. This explains more than you think. In 1950 the U.S. was the tallest country in the world. Today we’re ninth. Behind Belgium. Is there anything else you need to know about our economy?
5. There’s a magic number when it comes to income. Most Americans feel like they don’t have enough money. And obviously, not having enough can make life pretty miserable. But having too much money isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The magic number appears to be about $75,000. People who earn less than that tend to feel like they can’t cover their costs and worry about their future. But when you earn over $75,000, the positive effects of not having to worry about basic needs begin to disappear. The more we have, in fact, the more we start to reach for even greater luxuries, which makes us feel strapped for cash, which makes us feel stressed. Not that we expect anyone making over $75,000 to return it to their employers. But they’re welcome to send it to us.
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