Software for the finest computer – The Mind


Posted by Tim Bryce on August 9, 2013


– “Put him in me book!”

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During the 1952 classic movie, “The Quiet Man” (starring John Wayne), the antagonist is played by Victor McLaglen as Squire “Red” Will Danaher, a boisterous Irishman who tries to intimidate people through his physical presence. If you crossed him, you were placed on his “List,” which was maintained in a little black book by his assistant. If someone was placed on “The List” the Squire would not socialize or do business with that person until, through some miraculous stroke of fate, the person redeemed himself. I think we all have some sort of list we maintain. I know I do.

There are unscrupulous people I simply do not want anything to do with, not even to shake their hand. If I know someone has committed some indiscretion or injustice, be it to myself or someone else I respect, I put them on “The List.” Translation: I want nothing to do with them. As for me, I have come across such people not only in business but also in the various organizations I belong to. Frankly, I have no time for someone who wishes to undermine people for political gamesmanship, or to line their pockets through treachery.

I know of a person who was unfairly suspended by a fraternal order even after 50 years of service. He was a person I held in high regard. He may have been prone to coarse language now and then, but he was a good person and you could take his word to the bank. Unfortunately, there was a rush to judgment by the powers of the order and he was never allowed to defend himself of the suspicious charges. Other members of the order wouldn’t come to his defense as they were in fear of being penalized themselves. Cowards. Consequently, he was suspended indefinitely. There are a lot of people in that order I have put on my list, and will not shake their hand. That was five years ago. Some people have said to me, “Tim, why don’t you just let it go? This cannot go on forever.” I replied, “What if that had been you? Would you have wanted me to just let it go?” They looked back at me blankly.

Shaking of a person’s hand is very symbolic. It means you like them and trust their judgement to do the right thing. Not shaking someone’s hand may seem innocuous, but try it sometime. By not shaking the person’s hand you are are saying, “I do not trust you as a person; you are on The List.”

For some reason, I have several restaurants on my list, a few with prominent national names. A couple of them are highbrow, some are franchises, and others are just simple restaurants. I placed them on my “List” either because the food or service was bad (or both), or there was some other faux pas made, such as an obnoxious hostess, waiter, or manager. I would give you the names of the restaurants in question, but that is immaterial at this time. Suffice it to say, they did something which earned them a prominent spot on my list. Some people suggest I am being too stubborn, that I should give them another chance. I tried this a couple of times and lived to regret it. They were still screw-ups and I regretted revisiting their establishment. Consequently, once they had been rightfully placed on my “List,” they stay there until such time as an act of God occurs, which is usually never.

Maybe we’re too tolerant and forgiving of an injustice. People seem to “forgive and forget” too easily. I believe this to be a serious flaw in the American character. I’m not sure everyone should maintain a “List,” but I would certainly like to see people develop a better memory of indiscretions. Maybe we wouldn’t repeat the same mistakes so often if we did.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at

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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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14 Responses to “BEING PUT ON “THE LIST””

  1. Keith King said

    Hello Tim love your piece ” The List” best wishes Keith King in Oz.


  2. Alton Walston said

    Hi Tim. I have probably told you before, Runyard Kipling’s poem “IF” has been my standby since I was in grade school. There another that I might have mentioned, “Desiderata.”   There are a couple of line in that poem that bear resemblance to your post. “Go placidly among the noise and the haste, remembering what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible with out surrenderbe on good terms with all people.”  And this:  “Avoid loud and aggressive people, they are vexations to the spirit.”

    I have found that most people that fit my “list” fall into one of these categories.  Everyone and every place starts off with me on a clean slate. And they stay there until proven otherwise.      For want of a better term to describe it, there are some evil people in our world.  If you are tuned to human nature, these folks send a “presence” before them. Not something you can really put your finger on but there may be a little rise in the hair on you neck. I don’t really keep a list but I remember well, disrespectful and mean people. Yet, I do look for the good in everyone. Some folks  “good” is   almost impossible to find. I think we all have a list in the back of  our heads. some maintain it others do not.  Rare is it that someone on my list  redeems themselves but it has happened.



  3. Tim Bryce said

    An F.K. of Farmers Branch, Texas wrote…

    “Right on, Tim. I have MY list, too. And I won’t shake their hands anymore either, much less give them my time…”


  4. Tim Bryce said

    An M.B. of Clearwater, Florida wrote…

    “Yes, having a list of people and places works well for me. As for people that I do not shake hands with, the effect is the best way to send out a non verbal message that works quickly. Usually there is a verbal response by the other in front of others and sends a message. So now I find that selecting quality over quantity makes my choices better and makes my life easier to handle. Stay the course on your cause for those that shun others without due process.”


  5. Tim Bryce said

    A T.K. of Zephyrhills, Florida wrote…

    “A good article today; shoot, all of them are good, but I like your “list” and wish to shake your hand some day. I remember them ( you know who) putting you on their list and harassing you on the PSOC list. I still belong since I joined in 1974 when none of them belonged. Ah well, just my two cents worth as I read your articles every day. By the way, I forgot to write after seeing one of your letters to the editor in the ‘Tribune’ a few weeks ago. I keep the faith my brother.”


  6. Tim Bryce said

    An R.C. of Arkansas wrote…

    “Of all the things I have read from you, this hits closer to home for me than anything else. I refuse to shake hands with those who helped to expel me after 20 years of loyal service to the fraternity. All because of crooked lies and politics and refusal to give me a fair trial.I’m not going away; I owe this to myself. This will only be finished when I’m dead and only then. “


  7. George W EATON said

    Do you believe in giving them the benefit of the doubt?
    Innocent until proven guilty?


  8. Tim Bryce said

    A K.S. of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma wrote…

    “Tim, I’ve got my “List” too. “


  9. said

    I have mine as well. Most are justified.some. possibly not. But “the list” does exist.


  10. Tim Bryce said

    An S.W. of Alaska wrote…

    “Oh you speak to my soul there! I am forgiving to a fault. If I am driven to a point when I say, “No more second chances!” I still wind up doing it anyway because the past second chances created a different dependency with someone else and fulfilling that declaration at that moment would also affect that innocent by-stander.

    I guess I just seek peace. We all do I think. I just wish others would redefine “peace” to include not taking things that were earned by others.”


  11. […] BEING PUT ON “THE LIST” […]


  12. Tim Bryce said

    An S.M. of France wrote…

    “I read your article and it was very nice about the list. I do the same in life.”


  13. Milovan said


    The theme you touched is intriguing. Does it mean that following your point of view, any of us will be on somebody’s hidden personal black list? Nobody is perfect and polarity is a part of human nature. By forgiving you release yourself from negativity you experienced from others. In my opinion such a list does not protect us, and if you think carefully you will find out that such a list make the holder of the list a prisoner of his own negative thoughts and experiences.

    From the friend.


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