Software for the finest computer – The Mind


Posted by Tim Bryce on August 30, 2013


– Where should the buck stop?

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Have you ever noticed how people try to make their problems yours? Let me give you an example, we have a small garbage dumpster next to our office building and other people began using it to dump their trash as soon as we installed it. Of course, we then put a lock on it but this didn’t seem to deter a few people who put their trash on top of the dumpster. We even had one instance where someone deposited an old sofa on the dumpster which caused me to pay the garbage man a little extra to dispose of it. In other words, people transferred their problems to me.

There seems to be a lot of this going on, particularly among Customer Service people. A lot of the service people I talk to seem to be more interested in compounding my problems as opposed to solving them. Nobody really likes to deal with problems, but if that’s what you’re getting paid to do I fail to see the rationale of complicating life as opposed to simplifying it.

You see this “pass the buck” mentality just about everywhere, not just in the office but at home as well. It has become so prevalent it’s like a giant merry-go-round with everybody passing their problems on to someone else. Here’s an idea; why not pull the plug on the ride and have everyone address their own problems, it’s what we call “responsibility,” something a lot of us cannot seem to accept.

As to our dumpster problem, we picked through a couple of bags of garbage that had been dropped off on us and found the name and address of the person who dumped it. We then dutifully returned the bags of trash to their rightful owner who was unhappy to see it returned. I think we need to see more of this type of action, instead of letting the buck stop on our doorstep, how about returning it to its rightful owner?

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.

NEXT UP:  MAKING YOUR PROBLEMS MINE – Where should the buck stop?

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Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Lance Tormey & Brian Teegarden (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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  1. Tim Bryce said

    A J.S. of Skidway Lake, Michigan wrote…

    “Excellent! An important question is to ask “Who owns the problem?” then turn it over, or back to, the accountable person. Some communities have fines for using private dumpsters. You might want to check into it. I’ve heard the fines are steep.”


  2. Wayne said

    I just had such an experience. For the past three weeks my home alarm has been tripping every day. When the alarm monitoring company called us, it was always the same issue…the main living area motion detector. The company made two visits to the house to work on the system and never once did they replace that motion detector. The problem persisted. Finally, I demanded they replace the detector or remove the system…they complied…problem solved. Up to that point, it seems that it was more my problem than theirs yet they were charging me a monthly fee. Bill Clinton taught us that it is okay to do just about anything as long as you don’t get caught…that is the real crime it seems. Bully for you on that garbage!


  3. Alton Walston said

    Hi Tim,
    Many year ago, somebody sent me an article, “Monkey on your back.” The article was a lot about what you say in this post, “passing the buck,” and it happens everyday. An employee or subordinate will come to the boss with a problem and ask for a solution. Finding the answer then becomes the boss’s problem, or a monkey on his back. There are some great articles dealing with this. I have found that you can just as easily give that monkey back by suggesting that the person that brought it to you find the solution and bring it back to you for approval. Your dumpster solution was the prim and proper way to solve the problem. I have solved that problem two ways. One was to return the garbage and the other was to send a bill for the service, by way of a constable. The last of course is more drastic but effective. One more case for morality gone sour. I applaud your solution. I remember well the slogan on the back of Ft Lauderdale’s garbage trucks. “Satisfaction guaranteed or double your garbage back.”

    ole Blake


  4. Tim Bryce said

    A J.M. of Denver, Colorado wrote…

    “And I loved how the dumpster issue was resolved” 🙂


  5. said

    I’m with you.


  6. Tim Bryce said

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

    “Hilarious. It reminds me of the song Alice’s Restaurant (the entire song). The address in the trash I mean!”




  8. […] “Making Your Problems Mine” – Aug 30, 2013 […]


  9. […] article – “Making Your Problems Mine” – Aug 30, […]


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