By Trina Machacek
A statistic, statistically speaking is one of a collection of quantitative data. Yep that’s me, a Labor Day holiday statistic. I have heard statistics spewed out by statisticians. You know. Two percent of the population control ninety eight percent of the wealth. Well that isn’t anywhere near the lineage of statistics I have become. No I am afraid that I fall into the line that had a car crash over the Labor Day long week-end. Yep, totaled my car.
Everyone is fine and all have gone our separate ways but this statistic thing has stuck in my mind so I decided to dissect it a tad—no not like a tad pole aka frog is dissected in school. I wonder if that is still done. Oops skidded off the statistical track.
I didn’t know until recently that you can go to school to become a statistician. In some circles they might be called actuaries. A person who calculates risk and manages the risk so that the risk isn’t too risky. The actuary community is highly regarded by insurance companies. I can see that. They need to know the likelihood of yours truly scrunching my car against how many out there will not scrunch their car on the same day. I hope I was the only who scrunched that day. One was quite enough!
This is a whole nother world for me, this being a statistic. Lots of responsibility comes with it. I now need to realize that forever I will be one, of who knows how many, have had something happen to them that someone somewhere is taking note of. Jotting down on a spreadsheet and filing the information away for later. No pressure there huh?
I get that great big companies figure they need to know all the numbers and risks and probabilities. But what about just dumb luck, good or bad. Or my ever popular—it’s my turn in the barrel. I recently wrote about a big low hanging dark cloud that might gather over your head. Well mine seems to still be hanging around. But just like gossip I hear about myself, my reaction is that if they, whoever they are, are talking about me they are leaving someone else alone. So if I am in line for this big low hanging dark cloud to cover me with a shadow, at least someone else is out in the sunshine. That is the best I can do—statistically speaking.
Of course there are great reasons to have statistics too. Like what flavor of ice cream Ben and Jerry need to make the most of to quench the ice cream monsters out and about during July festivities of next year. My vote is Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch. I would much rather be in that actuary/statistical table than the one I was recently plotted on.
My other half was very precise about things. Calculating, comparing, weighing all the ins and outs of whatever the matter at hand was. This is where I would fall very short on the statistical table. It might be said that there is a 20% chance of your favorite football team going to the super bowl, even though in your heart you tell yourself the chance is more like 87%. Me? Well my mathematical skillset tells me everything is 50/50. Either it will or it won’t happen is my motto. Used to drive my other half nuts that I wouldn’t take a stand more than my 50/50 decision. Apparently the “it will happen” won out with my recent situation.
Statistically speaking I wonder where I fit on the actuary lucky table of how lucky I was to meet Frank a great tow truck driver from Twin Falls Towing help me to gather myself up and get my car unloaded of all the stuff in there. (Do you know how much stuff you have in your car? Amazing!) Or the great officer who responded along with the fire men, very cute I might add. And the men from the surrounding business’ who directed traffic and watched out for me. It was bad but it could have been much worse.
Friends remind me that cars are replaceable, people, not so much. As one who has recently lost a person I know that all too well. It reminds me of that saying about airplane mishaps. Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing. I was blessed to have a good landing. So from me to you-Happy Landings always.
Trina lives in Eureka. Share with her at firstname.lastname@example.org