Letters: Office morale, FMLA and Greek yogurt

Kai Ryssdal Feb 24, 2012

Kai Ryssdal: A couple of days ago, Stephen Dubner and I were doing some Freakonomics about the positive correlation between office morale and productivity. One goes up, so does the other. But what does negative morale even looks like? Apparently, you can tell by the way people park. Backing into a space means you hate your work and wanna get the heck out of there.

Jack Parker of Danvers, Mass., says not where he works.

Jack Parker: We have like shopping mall parking lot, so everybody just naturally faces your car out. No, we don’t really have that kind of frustration.

The ultimate tell-tale sign of bad morale, though, is absenteeism. Dubner and I talked about the Family and Medical Leave Act, FMLA. It’s the federal law that lets employees take time off for certain family and medical reasons.

Nancy Yedlin from New Haven, Conn., says I framed it the wrong way.

Nancy Yedlin: You just don’t come in to work one day and say, oh by the way, I’m taking tomorrow off and I am using FMLA. There’s a process, there’s criteria. And it’s not paid time off.

Finally, Greek yogurt. Ben & Jerry’s now has four new flavors on the market, as I remarked the other day, while also innocently wondering aloud: What it is about Greek yogurt that’s got everybody all excited anyway?

Ramona D’Viola from Berkeley, Calif., says are you kidding, me?

Ramona D’Viola: You clearly haven’t tried this luscious delight. My first taste of Greek yogurt was ironically in Greece. Since then, I’ve sought it out at chi-chi gourmet shops, bypassing chocolate, cheese and wine from around the globe to find the yogurt.

Two things: I have tried it, I take mine with a little bit of honey, to be honest. But also, I bet in-Greece Greek yogurt is way different.

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