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Archive for June, 2019

365 TIMES A YEAR?

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 18, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Is this the right approach for maintaining relationships?

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

A few years ago, I read about a married couple in Tampa who agreed to engage in sex every day for a year. It seems they were trying to improve their relationship and commitment to each other, and even their church condoned it. I chuckled and turned the page, but I recently heard of other couples trying to do the same thing and posted their rationale on the Internet. One was even posted in “Good Housekeeping.” Hmm…

Evidently, the concept here is to encourage romance and commitment among couples, particularly as we advance in years and we’re past the kid stage. It seems some women have self-esteem issues after child birth and are concerned with they’re attractiveness to their spouse. I suspect men are no different, but beer guts suggest otherwise.

According to the National Opinion Research Center, on the average, couples engage in sex about 62 times per year, a little over once a week. When you’re young, you have no problem exceeding this number. However, as children come and middle-age sets in, we start to miss the mark, probably because we’re exhausted and need to re-charge our batteries. It’s not that we do not love our spouses, we do, but hard work and advancing age tends to burn us out and we are no longer on top of our game so to speak.

62 times a year is not a bad number to shoot for, but 365? Perhaps some knotty pine is required to reach such a lofty number. In the studies I read, there are testimonies indicating regular sex makes people happier, less angry, and less stressed. As Helen Fisher, PhD, a research professor at Rutgers University points out, “It’s good for your health and good for your relationship. It’s good for respiration, muscles, and bladder control. It’s a fine antidepressant, and it can renew your energy.” I believe Milk of Magnessia can do the same thing.

Nonetheless, studies indicate a regular diet of sex leads to more romance, and stronger relationships.

During my research on this, time and again I read where sex was treated more like a job as opposed to a true romantic encounter. Some commented they were simply going through the motions, and some were quickies. In other words, several were not genuine passionate affairs, yet it was claimed this enforced romance and commitment.

I have trouble with this analogy to work. On the job, I see a lot of people who don’t know where they are going, don’t know what they’re doing, and afterwards didn’t know where they had been, regardless of how many times they performed the same task. I wonder if this is the same approach they use in the bedroom? Then there are the problems of boredom, tardiness, absenteeism, poor performance and defects in workmanship. I’m sure there is little sexual craftsmanship going on if it is a regularly scheduled activity.

As much as I marvel at the concept of assembly lines in manufacturing, I do not see the romance in it. Here, I would rather build something unique as opposed to mass production. I guess what I’m suggesting is that sex should be more spontaneous as opposed to scheduled. The 365 day approach is an interesting concept, but I tend to see the repetition as dulling the experience.

It is true, relationships are something you have to work at, but not to the point it becomes mechanical (and meaningless). As to the physical demands of 365 at my age, I think I would be a dead man.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Don’t forget my new book, “Tim’s Senior Moments” now available in Printed and eBook form.

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 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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A HOME OWNERS ASSOCIATION TONG WAR

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 14, 2019

BRYCE ON NONPROFITS

– and a lesson for others.

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To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

My Home Owners Association (HOA) is currently involved in a dispute between the Board of Directors and the residents. It has become so nasty, it is starting to resemble a Tong War. Interestingly, this is not the first time this has happened. About 25 years ago the association built a substantial brick wall at the front of the neighborhood, but the Board refused to account for the money spent. This turned into an ugly donnybrook and caused a changeover in the board, and feelings were hurt. This is what caused me to get involved and help cleanup the association and restore confidence. Many years have passed since then and many new neighbors have moved in, none with a sense of what happened before, but it appears history is repeating itself.

Our HOA is relatively small, with 163 properties. Shortly after my reign, the board contracted with a management company to implement the administrative detail of the association. This is quite common these days as board members have become reluctant to do hands-on work, regardless of how simple it is. During my day, I built a data base for the group and was able to churn out customized letters, dues notices, and much more. I was fortunate to have a treasurer who was an accountant who used some basic PC financial software. Even though this was hardly rocket science, this was all dropped after the board changed and turned the administrative detail over to the management company.

As time passed, our HOA became overly dependent on the management company. Residents complained of the callous behavior of the company. It got to the point where it appeared the HOA worked for the management company as opposed to the other way around. A flash point occurred earlier this year when our new treasurer asked for a series of financial reports from the management company, none of which were forthcoming. This raised a red flag and caused the treasurer to resign from the Board and write a letter to residents explaining his reasons for his departure.

To me, this was deja vu all over again, as the cover-up of financials is what caused the friction 25 years earlier. Instead of publicly answering the former treasurer’s accusations, the president consulted the association’s attorneys which produced some fine gobbledygook to hide behind, thus arousing suspicions in the neighborhood. Had the president answered the treasurer properly, the issue would have been closed, but instead it escalated, fearing something was being hidden from the residents. So much so, the association called for a full audit of its financial activities by an independent firm, a very expensive proposition I might add. This vote to call for an audit essentially meant the board had lost the trust of the association.

As I mentioned, managing a nonprofit organization as small as this is not exactly rocket science. I have written about this in the past, “Managing a Nonprofit Organization.” In such groups, the board has a fiduciary responsibility to its membership. As such, finances, minutes, and governing docs must be transparent. In both instances, 25 years ago and today, this is the cause for the uproar.

As the board hides behind its lawyers, the association realizes they cannot fight city hall and the only thing to do is to fire the board at the end of the year, and start over again with new members (and hopefully without the management company). I am somewhat philosophical about this, as I have a sense of history with this association. It’s good to clear the air every so often. Like any organization, a lot of crud creeps into a nonprofit over time, and without strong management, it will continue to grow unabated (see Parkinson’s Law).

I have served on many board of directors over the years, for a variety of groups. I would have to say though that participating on a HOA board is the most thankless job around. It is essential to keep things simple, transparent, be well organized, and act professionally. In other words, learn Robert’s Rules of Order, print an agenda, get a gavel and give it to someone who knows how to use it. This will go a long way to simplifying work, communicating with your membership, and maintaining their trust. It is rather sad to see neighbors viscerally attack each other and hurt feelings in the process. This type of pettiness and drama is what discourages residents from participating in such associations. Further, this has an adverse effect on the spirit of the neighborhood and is actually detrimental to house values. After all, who wants to move into a neighborhood where everyone is at each other’s throats?

Hopefully, we can begin the mending process once the board has been voted out of office. The only positive effect of all this, is that people are beginning to ask to participate on the board. I’ve been asked, “Tim, why don’t you get involved again?” The answer is rather simple, after I cleaned it up last time, finally getting us to operate in the black for the first time, I stepped off the board, whereby new members changed it and turned everything over to the management company. I cleaned up one gigantic mess years ago, and they screwed it up. I certainly am not going to go through such madness a second time. What’s the old expression, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice…”?

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Don’t forget my new book, “Tim’s Senior Moments” now available in Printed and eBook form.

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 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Life, Management | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

THE POLITICAL WAR OF THE ENTERTAINMENT MEDIA

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 13, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Was Truman Capote correct?

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To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

The liberals in Hollywood are panicking over the anti-abortion bills as put forth by states such as Missouri, Alabama, Louisiana, and Georgia, which will inevitably lead to a challenge of Roe vs. Wade. So much so, they are resorting to blackmail politics, telling these states, particularly Georgia, they will not film in their states if the law is implemented starting in the new year. Both Netflix and Disney have indicated they will pull out if the bill is implemented. Disney is no longer the simple film studio and amusement park we grew up with. Now it is a conglomerate consisting of Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar movies, and amusement parks, hotels and ocean cruises around the world.

Disney CEO Bob Iger said, “I think many people who work for us will not want to work there, and we will have to heed their wishes in that regard. Right now we are watching it very carefully.” He want on to say, “I don’t see how it’s practical for us to continue to shoot there.”

I wonder what Walt Disney would have to say about this if he were alive today, probably nothing as he was “old-school” in Hollywood, and knew such discussion would lead to lost revenues at the box office and viewership on television. Like many other studios, Disney thrived on “wholesome” entertainment and avoided controversy like the plague. Not so anymore as the language has become rougher and the situations more risque. We saw this at entertainment giant MGM who also pushed a “wholesome” agenda. Motion picture stars used to understand this, which explains why most of them kept their politics to themselves throughout the first half of the 20th century. Stars like Henry Fonda and John Wayne were political opposites, yet they found a way to work together on film. They knew that politics in entertainment was just bad business for everyone. Period.

This all changed in the second half of the 20th century, particularly in the 1960’s as the country dealt with the Viet Nam war and civil rights. Entertainers came out of the closet in terms of expressing their political beliefs, a practice which has accelerated in this century. Understand this, I don’t have a problem with someone holding an opposing opinion, but when it turns to extortion, it is time to take the kid gloves off. This was all caused by the growing militancy of the far-left among the Democrats. As I mentioned recently, the party is rapidly turning to the left and alienating moderates.

Hollywood’s liberal agenda has turned a lot of people off as evidenced of declining viewership at award ceremonies. People are simply tired of the political rhetoric at these events. If the Hollywood establishment is prepared to pull the plug on doing business in states such as Georgia, they should also be prepared to have the public back away from their partisan entertainment. After all, what is good for the goose, should be good for the gander, right? As for me, the entertainment industry, particularly Hollywood, lost me a long time ago when it became apparent they were only interested in comic-book stories implemented by computers. God forbid, someone in Hollywood should learn to write an intelligent script with an inventive plot and interesting dialog. Their recent actions in the southern states only confirms my suspicions that they do not maintain a fair and balanced approach for the general public.

It has also confirmed to me the liberal entertainers are not the smartest bulbs in the pack. Actress Alyssa Milano recently called Jon Voight a “has been” actor. As we all know, Voight has an impressively long list of movie and television accomplishments to his credit, including an Academy Award for Best Actor and four Golden Glob Awards. Milano has done well with such organizations as the Young Artist Awards, Kids’ Choice Awards, and Teen Choice Awards, which are hardly the caliber of what Voight has earned. No, Ms. Milano’s criticism of Mr. Voight was triggered by his conservative leanings which are polar opposite of hers. Interestingly, when he was much younger, Mr. Voight also followed a liberal agenda, but over the years switched over to conservatism. I wonder if this same fate awaits Ms. Milano.

Years ago in an interview, author Truman Capote made the observation that actors and entertainers weren’t especially intelligent. He recounted his relationship with actors Sir Lawrence Olivier and Sir John Gielgud, two excellent and well recognized actors of his generation. According to Capote, both were nice guys, but he hardly considered them intellectual heavyweights. Both could memorize a script, but lacked problem-solving skills. I suspect a lot of entertainers today fall into this category as well. This includes actor Robert De Niro who has tried to provoke President Trump with foul mouthed oratory. There is no doubt Mr. De Niro is a fine actor, but an intellectual? Hardly, as he dropped out of high school at age 16 to pursue acting. As Capote suggests, actors can memorize lines and act, but they are not necessarily the brightest.

The reason why the Hollywood types are so boisterous, they are well aware their personalities can sell products, such as in television commercials for automobiles, trucks, beer, wine, soft drinks, travel, snack foods, pet foods, you name it. Politics is just an extension of all this. They may be able to handle a well scripted TV commercial, but don’t expect any eloquent discourse defending their position.

Plain and simple, Capote was correct.

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 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

RUNNING THE LIFE MARATHON

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 11, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– It is something we must all run.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

As we pass through life there are several milestones we observe, such as our sixteenth birthday when we normally get a driver’s license, or our 21st birthday when we become “legal.” I didn’t think too much of it when I turned thirty, nor did I pay much attention to forty; frankly, I didn’t know what all the hubbub was about. However, when I turned fifty I suddenly went, “Whoops!” I guess it was the greeting from AARP that got my attention and let me know that time was quickly passing.

I’ve found that once you enter your fifties you become more reflective on where you’ve been and where you’re going. When you think about it, you have an internal clock telling you there are several appointments you have to make during your life, assuming you live a full life; to illustrate:

1. Time to get married – time to grow up, clean up your act, and get a job.

2. Time to have kids – time to start thinking about insurance, including life, medical, and auto.

3. Time to buy or build a house – which, coincidentally, also represents the official point where we start to go into debt.

4. Time to advance your career – after all, someone has to pay all those bills.

5. Time to send the kids off to college, the military, or wherever – it is at this point when you develop a false sense of independence. Even as the kids move away, they still depend on you for guidance, advice, a few bucks, and anything around the house that isn’t nailed down.

6. Time to get the kids married off – time to get a bank loan, particularly if you are the father of the bride.

7. Time to retire – which is also when you make plans for your demise. For example, you no longer celebrate Labor Day at the beach, but rather tour cemeteries picking out grave sights.

8. Time to play with the grand kids and watch them grow up – This is also the time when you celebrate your wedding anniversaries and take trips you couldn’t afford earlier.

9. Time to checkout.

Interestingly, when you go to High School reunions, you compare notes with your classmates as to where they stand on this time line. I guess misery loves company after all.

Actually, I resent the time line we impose on ourselves and don’t recall this as being part of the job description. It’s kind of like saying, “All right, come on, do this, do that, move along, and don’t forget to do this as well, move along.” It kind of reminds me of an assembly line where we are nothing but products moving from one work station to the next. It strikes me that we spend so much time running the marathon, we never take time to truly enjoy the scenery. But alas, the marathon is something we all must inevitably run.

My father-in-law had a simpler way of expressing our passage through life. It was his contention that we have 30 years to learn, 30 years to earn, and 30 years to burn (the money that is). I can’t help but believe he was on to something.

By the way, turning sixty is another wake-up call. Interestingly, you find the physical pains of life intensify, you are no longer care about being politically correct, and you certainly do not impress easily anymore as you’ve seen too much.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Don’t forget my new book, “Tim’s Senior Moments” now available in Printed and eBook form.

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 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Life | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

IS IMPEACHMENT TRULY NECESSARY?

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 6, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– A comparison between Presidents Nixon, Clinton, and Trump.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

The Democrats and main stream media are currently consumed with impeaching President Trump, particularly as we approach the 2020 elections. Frankly, they are fooling nobody but themselves regarding their agenda. Even if the Democrats in the House passes charges of impeachment, they will inevitably fail in the Senate which is under Republican control.

Only two U.S. presidents in our history were impeached: Our 17th president, Andrew Johnson, in 1867, and Bill Clinton in 1998-1999. Let’s be clear, impeachment means charged with misconduct only. A trial is then conducted by the Senate to determine guilt or innocence. In the cases of Johnson and Clinton, both were found not-guilty by the Senate. President Richard Nixon resigned as opposed to having the country suffer through impeachment proceedings. Of the presidents, let us compare and contrast Presidents Nixon, Clinton, and Trump, as they are the most recent presidents to undergo this treatment.

INTRO

Richard Nixon – 37th president, Republican, served in office 1969-1974
Bill Clinton – 42nd president, Democrat, served in office 1993-2001
Donald Trump – 45th president, Republican, serving in office 2017-present

Mr. Nixon was the first and only president to resign from office before his term was over. He was succeeded by VP Gerald Ford, also a Republican.

POLITICAL CLIMATE

President Nixon worked with the 93rd Congress where both chambers were controlled by the Democrats.

President Clinton faced the 106th Congress where both chambers were controlled by the Republicans.

President Trump faces the 116th United States Congress which is split, with the Democrats controlling the House of Representatives, and the Senate controlled by the Republicans.

Mr. Nixon was elected as a “law and order” president to bring stability from the chaos of the 1960’s and promising to end the Viet Nam war. Although not a favorite among liberals, he easily won over Hubert Humphrey who served as LBJ’s Vice President.

Mr. Clinton was elected because of the perception he was more youthful and full of ideas than incumbent President George H.W. Bush, who presided over a faltering economy.

Mr. Trump was elected as an alternative to career politicians and to correct the liberal policies of President Obama. Democrats were shocked that Trump won as they believed Hillary Clinton would easily win. Their shock turned into hysteria and a resistance movement to obstruct every decision he made.

RELATIONS WITH THE PRESS

Perhaps the only president to earn such hatred from the press, other than Mr. Trump, was Richard Nixon, going back to when he was Vice President in the 1950’s (see Checkers speech of 1952) and helping to defeat him in the 1960 presidential election, losing to JFK. In 1962, he ran for governor of California, losing to Pat Brown. In his concession speech, he made the following statement which indicated his displeasure with the press, stating, “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference.” He obviously returned to public life with his presidential victory in 1968.

President Clinton had a warm relation with the press during his two runs for president. They portrayed him as young and vibrant, and Republican candidates George H.W. Bush and Sen. Bob Dole were portrayed as old and stodgy.

President Trump has had a feud with the press ever since his first presidential campaign. He coined the term “Fake News” to describe the spin of the press.

In all three situations, the press played an important role in impeachment. There is no doubt they have a demonstrative record supporting Democrats over Republicans.

CHARGES

President Nixon was accused of covering-up the break-in at the DNC Headquarters at the Watergate Complex. There was no evidence to indicate he had any role in initiating the break-in, just the cover-up. The House spent considerable time sifting through evidence as presented by the FBI and the media, particularly The Washington Post. The president eventually resigned as opposed to facing the embarrassment of impeachment.

As for President Clinton, the House relied on the findings of an extensive investigation by independent Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr, which included 11 charges, mostly lying under oath and obstruction of justice.

In terms of Mr. Trump, the country awaited a two year investigation by Independent Counsel Robert Mueller whereby no charges were presented. This did not satisfy the Democrats in the House who continue to investigate alleged improprieties by the president.

PUBLIC SUPPORT

President Nixon’s public support can be described as shaky at best. It eroded as evidence continued to pile up, particularly disclosure of the White House tapes which contained damning evidence as to Mr. Nixon’s involvement in the cover-up.

In terms of President Clinton, everyone seemed to know he was guilty, including the Democrats, but they didn’t believe the punishment fit the crime. Although he remained popular among members of his party, he also became a political liability, which explains why his endorsement is no longer sought.

As to President Trump, his support among Republicans and many independents appears to be on solid ground, much to the chagrin of the Democrats.

SUMMARY

If we have learned anything about impeachments over the years, it is they are always political, and always divisive. It used to be impeachment was considered a last resort to take, but it is rapidly turning into a common political tool, which is disturbing and hints at the desperation of the party pressing the issue. If the Democrats think such a move is going to unify the country, they are sadly mistaken. Impeaching President Trump is a risky political maneuver as it will only energize his base, particularly since the Mueller investigation produced no sign of wrong-doing. This is substantially different than Nixon and Clinton. Consequently, the American people will see President Trump’s impeachment as the charade that it is.

From the perspective of the Republicans, an impeachment of the president will be the best thing that could happen as the American populace will strongly re-elect the president and drive the Democrats out of office in the House. This will damage the Democrats for years to come.

The Democrats insist we have a “constitutional crisis” at hand. I agree, but not for the same reasons. I perceive them as undermining the Constitution by wanting to eliminate the Electoral College, changing the composition of the Supreme Court, and changing our fundamental rights and freedoms, such as speech and to bear arms.

So, why are the Democrats doing this? They know Mr. Trump has strong support from the populace thanks in large part to his economic policies. As such, they hope to distract voters by simply besmirching his character.

One last thing to consider, under Presidents Nixon and Clinton, the Congress kept on working and produced considerable legislation. Unfortunately, this is not true today. Because of their preoccupation with trying to stop President Trump, the Congress has come to a standstill. In all likelihood, the 116th Congress will go down in history as one of the most incompetent sessions, doing nothing for the American people they are supposed to serve.

Just remember, in our nearly 250 years of existence, no sitting U.S. president has ever been removed from office through impeachment. In the cases of Presidents Johnson and Clinton, they both returned to work after being found not guilty, and completed their term in office.

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 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 12 Comments »

HOW ABOUT SOME LOYALTY REWARDS?

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 4, 2019

BRYCE ON BUSINESS

– What freebies do we get for being a long-time member? ZIP.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

On a recent visit to my gym, the manager had erected an inflatable air-dancer puppet by the front door along with a sign encouraging membership. Under the program, they waived the initial sign-up fee, as well as the first month’s membership fee. Added to this was two free sessions with a trainer and a t-shirt. Okay, fine, I get it, they want new members. What about those of us who have loyally paid their bills but didn’t receive any freebies? I paid all of the initial fees and have been a regular-paying member for three years now. What have I received? Zip.

I have seen this same phenomenon over the years, particularly with magazines. We used to regularly subscribe to a multitude of magazines, including news and sports. For many years we paid the full rate and received no “freebies.” Then, in the 1990’s, as printed magazines started to succumb to the Internet, they offered a myriad of gifts, such as clocks, radios, cameras, special edition publications, etc. Again, what did the long-term subscriber receive? Zip.

Credit cards typically allow you to earn points for such things as travel and gifts, but there is still no loyalty incentive. Not long ago, I had a minor problem I reported to one of my credit card companies. The agent I talked with on the phone pulled up my records on his computer and said, “Oh, Mr. Bryce, I see you’ve been a member of ours for over thirty years now; Wow!” His reaction led me to believe I had been a member longer than the agent had been alive.

I had called the company to make a simple correction to a payment I had made (something incredibly minor). The agent said he would have to have it reviewed with management before he could update the correct entry (even though he recognized I had been correct). When he said it would take a month or two to correct, I told them if they wanted to keep me for another thirty years, he better make the change in the next thirty seconds or I will cancel my membership. Instead of trying to correct the problem right then and there, he said there was nothing he could do. In other words, he called my bluff. Regrettably, I wasn’t bluffing and cancelled forthwith.

I was amazed they were willing to let a long-term customer go, but this is not the only time I have seen this occur. I have had to do similar actions with banks, trash collectors, phone companies, and cable companies (which I think are perhaps the worst). I have changed cable operators at least a dozen times over the years, going to a cable operator who was offering new members lower rates. I guess they count on the older customers to just grin and bear it. I do not.

Like I said, I understand the need for a “come-on” to engage new customers, but what is the benefit of remaining a loyal customer over a number of years? Zip. This is why it is becoming more common for people to quit a service, only to return to it later to get the new cheaper rates, and any “freebies” along the way. To me, this sounds like a “make work” scenario and is certainly not smart from a customer service and sales perspective.

There should be some sort of benefit for customer loyalty, maybe something simple at first, and something more pronounced later. As a company, imagine the cash flow from a loyal clientele, but people do not think long-term anymore, just “quick and dirty” (or is it “agile”?). I know this mindset disturbs managers and executives who hate to lose market share. Let me give you an example…

A few years ago, I had a manager from a cable company come to my neighborhood. He knocked on my door to ask why I had quit his company. I told him I recently saw an increase on my bill, and another cable company offering comparable service at a less-expensive rate. I talked with one of his company’s agents and asked if they could match the lower price. Of course, the agent said “No,” but perhaps worse, there was no concern for the possible loss of business. The manager shook his head in disbelief. “If I met the price right now, would you switch back to us?” he asked.

I told him, No, for two reasons; first, the installation of the new service had recently been completed and I was in no mood to change it again, and; second, I was offended by the disregard the company showed for their loyal customers. He thanked me for my time, but went away frustrated with his own company.

Interestingly, the same phenomenon happened with the new cable provider; rates increased progressively until I decided to go to a new cable provider. Again, the agent did nothing to retain my business.

If companies started to implement a true loyalty program based on length of service, fewer customers would drop service, meaning less maintenance costs, and improved profit-margin.

Then again, I am still a creature of the 20th century.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Don’t forget my new book, “Tim’s Senior Moments” now available in Printed and eBook form.

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 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

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