Sunday, December 15, 2013

NUMBERS, NUMBERS, NUMBERS


I’m going to be talking to you about numbers this week. Of course, numbers are extremely important to everyone. Time, wages, bills, age, height, weight…are all numbers and they impact on everyone’s life all of the time. It seems that there are a number of significant numbers that have recently come to my attention inspiring this week’s theme.

            If you open this edition of the paper on the 12th of December and you are reading this column you will be reading it on my 57th birthday! Thank you, thank you. How nice. Send gifts or cash or both to…just kidding.

            Fifty-seven, eh? That’s not a bad number, I guess. For a classic car! The 1957 Chevy Bel Air Sport Sedan and the 1957 Chevy Nomad station wagon are in a classic car class by themselves. In fact, a couple of my old buddies ran ’57 Chevys back in the day. I racked up more than a few miles in the 1970’s with Ronnie Balogh in his classic black Bel Air and around the same time Tim Morson’s immaculate yellow Nomad could be found in more than one parade around here, too. If you Google the Top 10 American Cars of All Time the picture of a ’57 Chevy comes up. ‘Nuff said.

            This Friday will be the second and last Friday the 13th of 2013. There must be at least 13 reasons why the number 13 is considered unlucky and there are probably even more reasons that Friday the 13th is REALLY unlucky but we just don’t have the time nor the space to cover all of that information so maybe ask any Triskaidekaphobian, (a person with an acute fear of the number 13), and they’ll tell you why 13 is so unlucky. Of course, all of us Rider Priders know that the number 13 was unlucky in the 2009 Grey Cup game but extremely lucky in the 2013 version. Two completely different tales of the 13th man indeed!

            Coincidentally, the Friday December 13th edition of The Citizen will probably hit your mailbox on Thursday the 12th of this week leaving only…count ‘em…13 days ‘til Christmas. I know!

            Here are some other very curious numbers for you. Potash Corp of Saskatchewan announced on December 3rd that they were laying off 1045 employees globally, 440 of which are from their Saskatchewan operations. Getting laid off is never good news but three weeks before Christmas?! Yikes!

If given the choice between being laid off three weeks shy of Christmas, before the bulk of the shopping and spending has been done, (unless your one of those damn keeners, but I digress), or getting a notice on the 3rd of January when the bills are due and the New Year has just begun…I think I’d maybe take the early Christmas Bah Humbug news, don’t you?

Now, let’s get to the most interesting numbers of all…Potash Corp’s CEO, Bill Doyle and four of its key executives had a combined total of $24,310,327.00 in compensation packages in 2012 alone. That was a 28.65% increase over the previous year (stats provided by Morningstar.ca). Bill Doyle alone has been compensated through salaries, bonuses and stock options to the tune of nearly 30 million dollars since 2008! Potash Corp’s Key Executive Compensation for the years 2008-2012 inclusive are a staggering $103,411,583.00. That’s for five people. Just saying.

“It is a sad day for the employees and the company. One that we know is tough on a lot of folks. We have great concern and we are going to do everything we can to make sure that these people are well taken care of.”-Bill Doyle (PotashCorp President and CEO).

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