aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

Lies, damn lies, and statistics

I finally got around to inputting the data for Table III of our annual Check Day reports to HQ. I had finished Table I (membership and participation) and Table II (expenses) on time, but our Financial Secretary's wife had been ill, so Table III (giving) was a bit late. Anyway, I got 'em done. Then the Conference website wouldn't let me submit them until I had given written explanations for some anomalies.

The program noted a marked decrease in the market value of church assets. In explanation, I wrote, "Blame Obama." Then, the program noted a marked decrease in the church's debt. I wrote that we were paying our mortgage down and this was a good thing. Third, the program noted a marked decrease in church program expenses. I wrote that we were tightening our belts. See above (Blame Obama). Finally, the program noted a marked increase in operating expenses. I wrote that costs are going up. See above (Blame Obama).

And with that, the program allowed me to submit my final reports on the year 2010.

Please note that I'm not just bashing the President (though that's a worthy goal in itself). I just thought all four of these "anomalies" were garden-variety simple and demanding a written explanation was silly. Any and all of these categories of expenditure will fluctuate significantly even in normal times. Asking somebody to explain normal is a waste of time.

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