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Archive for May, 2021

WHY DO WE FIGHT EVERY LITTLE THING?

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 13, 2021

BRYCE ON BUSINESS

– Where is the cooperation and common courtesy?

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

Ever have a day where it seems it is almost impossible to get anything done? I’ve been experiencing a lot of these lately, as have my friends, and I’m not too sure why they occur. Let me explain by providing three examples which you might possibly be able to relate to. Even though these are minor incidents, they blossomed into ugly affairs and threatened business.

First, I was recently charged with obtaining a special plaque for a nonprofit organization I belong to. I had produced a mock-up of what I wanted, complete with text and graphics. The only problem was that my old trophy vendor retired, and I was forced to locate another one. A friend recommended another company, claiming he had used them for years and knew they could perform the task for me. I called the store and talked to a woman about my project. She said she would be happy to look at it, but I would have to get there before they closed at 5:30pm. So far, so good. I arrived at 5:00pm. As I entered the store there were two women behind the front counter sitting at their desks typing on computers. As I approached, I cheerfully said, “Good afternoon ladies; beautiful day out there, isn’t it?”

They displayed no emotion and didn’t reply. Although unlikely, I thought perhaps they hadn’t heard me. I then said, “My name is Tim Bryce, I called earlier about having a plaque made here.”

One of the ladies looked up at me, stone faced, and asked what I wanted. I judged her to be about my age, but it appeared she couldn’t care less as to my needs. I explained what I needed and showed her my mock-up. It wasn’t a complicated order, and I said my friend had something similar produced there which I would like to duplicate. This caused her to dig through her computer files to find my friend’s order and a description of his plaque. She then showed me a blank version of the plaque which I agreed would suit my needs.

After giving her my name, number, and e-mail address, I thought I was finished. Far from it. She insisted I send her the text and graphics by e-mail so they could just cut and paste it into their engraving software. She also pointed out I would incur a $30 fee for converting my graphics into another file format. I told her I could do the conversion for her, but it didn’t matter, I was still going to be charged $30. Finally, she said they would need seven business days to complete the job. Keep in mind, she wasn’t asking for my approval, it was kind of “take it or leave it” with the emphasis on “leave it.” It seemed she went out of her way to try and kill the deal. If I hadn’t been in such a good mood that day I probably would have told her to shove it where the sun doesn’t shine, but I let it go. I finally left the store shaking my head in bewilderment.

The second incident involves a restaurateur friend of mine who told me a story about his credit card machine going down due to an interruption in his Internet service. In all, the service was knocked out for approximately 15 minutes, but this didn’t satisfy one of his patrons who was eager to pay his bill and be on his way. My friend explained to him the problem he was experiencing and if the man could pay with cash or wait just a few minutes for the service to restart. This did not sit well with the patron who started to become belligerent. When my friend asked if the man had cash, the patron became more irritated and vocal. He said he had to leave and would stop back later to pay the bill. This, of course, did not sit well with my friend, who went out and recorded the patron’s license plate number. Interestingly, the man could have easily walked next door to a bank with an ATM to obtain cash, but he rejected this proposal outright and insisted on leaving. In other words, there was no interest in solving the problem amicably. To my knowledge, the man never returned to pay his bill, and he will likely never darken the door of my friend’s restaurant again.

The third incident involves another friend who sells industrial supplies to manufacturing companies in the Tampa Bay area. Recently, he visited one of his larger accounts. His contact there was pleased to inform him that she just issued a purchase order to his company for some supplies. He thanked her for the order, but as he studied it, he discovered it was incorrect in that she was entitled to a volume discount, which obviously pleased her. “Not to worry,” my friend assured her, “I’ll have my office correct it on the Order Confirmation which we’ll send you shortly.” He then dutifully called his office, talked to the people in charge, and reported to her that all was corrected and she’ll receive the confirmation shortly. She thanked him for saving her money before he left.

Three days later, the woman called my friend asking where the Order Confirmation was as she hadn’t received it. My friend checked on it and discovered the people hadn’t processed the order yet, which upset him greatly as it was rather simple procedure to perform. Days later, the woman still had not received the Order Confirmation and phoned my friend to tell him of her displeasure, and that it may threaten future orders.

All three of these incidents were relatively small and insignificant, yet they rippled into having an adverse effect on business. It seems people are going out of their way to irritate others, unnecessarily I might add. Such incidents should never occur, yet they are becoming more frequent these days. As another example, during the holidays, my mother wanted to send a Boneless Ham, fully cooked with a crunchy glaze to one of her neighbors. She contacted the local ham franchise (Yes, it was one of the big ones) and asked a clerk how much it would cost to purchase a whole ham and have it delivered. The clerk quoted a delivery price more than the cost of the ham. When my mother contested the price, the clerk became flustered and couldn’t answer the question. They obviously lost the order simply because the clerk was clueless and made no effort to solve the problem.

In theory, we have the finest technology available to us for communications and office management; technology which is intended to simplify our lives, not make it more complicated. So, why do we keep tripping over our jocks? It baffles me when people seem to come down with a bad case of the stupids over the simplest things. There is no spirit of cooperation or common courtesy anymore over the most mundane tasks. Is it that we rely too heavily on technology as opposed to brain power or do we no longer care? Historically, customer service meant bending over backwards to help customers, thereby allowing them to leave satisfied. I am not asking people to make a herculean effort, just some simple “please and thank you” and a little cooperation can make life so much easier to live, but I guess that is too much to ask in this fast paced world of personal technology.

Related articles:

“Easter Island Statues” (Mar 02, 2012)

“Indifference in Customer Service” (Jul 31, 2015)

First published: January 11, 2016

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – For a listing of my books, click HERE.

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

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance 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 © 2021 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on Spotify, WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; SVA RADIO – “Senior Voice America”, the leading newspaper for active mature adults; or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

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WHO ARE THE TRUE VICTIMS?

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 11, 2021

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– The “haves” or the “have nots”?

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

I recently came across a video from television reporter John Stossel which was recorded in 2015. It was titled, “Playing the Victim,” whereby he examined how politicians cultivated “victims” as supporters, particularly among Democrats. To illustrate, he showed how Hillary Clinton painted her supporters as “victims” while on her campaign trail for president. For example, she insisted all women, particularly those of color, are all being suppressed and victimized by others. Make no mistake, victimhood is an integral part of the Democrats’ platform.

Actually, this is a trick Democrats have used for many years and is a part of identity politics. They contend only their party can correct the situation on the victim’s behalf, that the people cannot do it themselves, which is why politicians need their support. Over the years, we have heard politicians promise “two chickens in every pot,” “a car in every driveway,” and even “40 acres and a mule.” The message is clear, their lower station in life is due to others, not themselves, and only the Democrats will protect them.

Taking such a position can be quite harmful to egos, and establishes a master/slave relationship. Instead of encouraging people to work harder and try to prosper, they simply pit “the haves” versus “the have nots,” thereby unfairly creating animosity between the classes, sexes and races.

Think about it, I’m sure we are all aware of people who know how to play the victim card. They adamantly believe someone else is always at fault for their problems and never assume responsibility for their own actions. In their minds, they are never guilty, never at fault, and never wrong. In reality, it is just the opposite. Such a mindset denotes a severe inferiority complex and hinders motivation and ambition. Therefore, they rely on others to tell them what to do, if for no other reason than to have someone else to blame when things go awry.

I have also found such people to be socially maladjusted, tending to act on perceptions as opposed to reality, something they have trouble coping with and explains why they are easy prey for politicians.

The antithesis are people who assume responsibility for their actions and try to improve their station in life. These are the people Democrats point at in terms of causing the problems for the “have nots.” Interestingly, it is the “haves” who ultimately pay for the “have nots” through taxes.

So, who are the real victims here, the “have nots” who have been taught to feel entitled to freebies, or the “haves” who work and pay taxes to care for the “have nots”?

This explains why the “haves” want smaller government, and the “have nots” want bigger a la Democrat promises. All because they have become convinced by the Democrats they are victims.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – For a listing of my books, click HERE.

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

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance 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 © 2021 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on Spotify, WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; SVA RADIO – “Senior Voice America”, the leading newspaper for active mature adults; or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

INHERITANCE AFTERMATH

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 6, 2021

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Twelve areas to consider following the death of a loved one.

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

My mother recently passed away and, as my father preceded her years ago, the family found itself going through the arduous process of closing the estate. One often thinks it is little more than reading the will and divvying up things accordingly. Not so fast. Normally, there are a lot of other things involved which most people overlook. Having gone through this process recently, I’ll bring my perspective to the table. Those of you who have already undergone this will know what I’m talking about and may have a few other wrinkles to add, which you should include in the comments section of this column. Therefore, think of this as a checklist.

1. There is the matter of the funeral and wake to consider, but I do not want to belabor the point. Hopefully, you will follow the wishes of the dearly departed and schedule it at a convenient time for all parties to attend. Eulogies are typically delivered by family members, but close friends may also want to add their two cents. The point is, consult with the funeral home and make it a respectable affair.

Also, get a suitable number of death certificates from the funeral home. If the dearly departed had considerable investments, get at least a dozen; you’ll need them.

2. Until the estate is settled, someone will have to pay the bills for the dearly departed, such as energy bills, telephone, Internet, cable, water, house payments, lawn maintenance, taxes, loans, etc. If you are paying for this out of your own pocket, keep track of all expenses you incurred, particularly if other family members are going to pay their fair share. If the dearly departed left money in a checking account for such an emergency, make sure someone in the family is authorized to write checks from the account. So, Yes, now is a good time to have your name added to the bank account.

3. Then there is the matter of pets the loved one left behind. Someone has to either adopt them, or turn them over to the pound. If they are very old, you may want to consider euthanizing them. The point is, you are responsible for the pets; try to do the right thing.

4. In all likelihood, the dearly departed will have at least one final Income Tax filing. Yes, the IRS does not give up easily. It will be your responsibility to process the necessary paperwork, either yourself or through an accountant.

5. If you are going to receive a substantial inheritance, do yourself a favor and contract a good financial advisor who can help you place your money in a secure and profitable account. Also, be sure to ask about handling pertinent taxes.

6. Close the accounts of the dearly departed, including such things as telephone, newspaper, credit cards, cable, bank accounts, as well as eliminating e-mail and social media accounts.

7. Cleaning out the residence will perhaps be your biggest headache as the dearly departed may have collected considerable flotsam and jetsam over the years. Your first pass will likely include valuables, such as jewelry and other high ticket items. The second pass will probably include memorabilia, such as photographs and other objects of sentimental value, and anything pertinent to the deceased’s finances. The third pass will be the hardest as you may want to keep some things but now realize you have no room for it at your residence. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but it is impossible to keep everything. You can either rent a garbage dumpster to dispose of items, or this brings us to our next subject…

8. Hire a company to perform an Estate Sale for you. You can do it yourself, but professionals have this down pat. I have heard of three approaches to this; either open up the residence for people to come in and bid on objects, or; the estate company comes in, writes you a check, and carts everything off to be auctioned off elsewhere. A third alternative has emerged and gaining in popularity; namely an on-line auction. In this instance, the Estate Sale company comes in, inventories and photographs everything, posts it to the Internet and then holds an auction a la eBay. One good example of this is CT Bids which is specifically designed for such auctions. This eliminates foot-traffic through the residence which may not be desirable. It you are going to do this latter approach, I suggest you notify as many people in your area about the auction, using e-mail and social media. We tried it and were happy with the results.

Understand this about Estate Sales, in all likelihood you will not make a lot of money from it. Your goal should be to have such auctions simply pay for the disposal of the brick-a-brac in the house. If you have major items you want to sell, you will likely be better off doing it yourself (if you’ve got the time and expertise).

9. After the residence has been cleared of debris, try to put it in good basic shape to be sold. Clean the house, wash the windows, steam-clean the carpets and make minor repairs. If you cannot do it yourself, hire someone to do so. It’s worth it. Do not try to put the house in pristine form as the new owners will have their own ideas in terms of paint and carpet. Just focus on making it clean and presentable.

10. Sell the residence. Go out for bids to secure a reliable realtor, someone who is intimate with the area, the housing market, and will do a professional job. Since the house is normally the largest item in a portfolio, it is taxed and can be hung-up in probate court for quite some time. To overcome this problem, a little known type of deed has been introduced in Florida and other states known as a “Lady Bird” deed. In simple terms, it is a form of co-ownership in a piece of property, and legally transfers the property from one owner to another (your heirs). By doing so, it keeps the house out of probate court, thereby expediting its sale. Be sure to check this out as it saved us considerable time!

When the house finally sells, consult with your financial planner or accountant in terms of taxes to be paid.

11. Depending on the cause of death of the dearly departed, it is not uncommon to have medical bills appear afterwards. This may seem odd, particularly if the person had Medicare or sufficient insurance. My recommendation is to sit on the bills for a few months as the hospital may have incorrectly billed you and not allowed the insurance to properly run its course.

12. The deceased may have had some life insurance. Check it out as you may be the beneficiary. This is one reason why it is so important to organize the person’s files. In addition to life, check out the person’s other plans, such as auto in the event the person died in an accident.

And you thought it would be easy.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Prior to the demise of your loved ones, please consider the following:

1. Clean out old files and debris. Try to do a little each time you visit. It’s like the old expression, “You can pay me now or pay me later, but you’re going to pay me.” Likewise, you’ll either have to address the debris now or later, after your loved one is gone and cannot answer your questions.

2. Have someone in the family given the power of attorney to represent the dearly departed or if they become incapacitated. This can be dicey if there is family politics, but someone should be appointed.

3. Investigate the “Lady Bird” deed and implement it ASAP. You’ll be glad you did. As I said, it is available in Florida and other states.

4. Change the mail address of the dearly departed and have it delivered to your home. It will save you time.

5. Assemble a list of passwords for accessing the person’s accounts, be it for e-mail, social media, credit cards, nonprofit groups, etc. This will greatly facilitate closing these accounts.

This may seem like a lot of detail, and it is, but it should hopefully simplify your life and get you through this process which just about all of us must experience.

Oh, one last suggestion, don’t forget to write your thank you cards for those expressing their kindness during this difficult period.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – For a listing of my books, click HERE.

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

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance 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 © 2021 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on Spotify, WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; SVA RADIO – “Senior Voice America”, the leading newspaper for active mature adults; or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

FOR THE LOVE OF WHITE CASTLE

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 4, 2021

BRYCE ON FOOD

– Big news for Florida.

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

Interestingly, the big news in Florida is not about the state’s new “anti-riot” law or rejection of the “vaccine passports,” but rather something bigger, namely White Castle has finally opened a restaurant in Florida, in Orlando specifically. It is said to be the world’s largest White Castle restaurant strategically placed near the theme parks and opened just yesterday (Mon, 5/3/2021).

News of the first Florida “Aluminum Room,” as aficionados call it, has set the state abuzz, particularly by northerners who now live in the Sunshine State, including yours truly. We have had access to frozen White Castles for several years, which is nice, but it doesn’t quite match those hot off the grill.

Of course, White Castle was the very first hamburger chain, founded in 1921, but it is family run and not franchised as others have done. They are small, square shaped burgers, steamed on a bed of onions, and possess a unique taste which northerners love. Originally, the small burger sold for just five cents, but I remember them at ten cents back in the 1960’s. Today, they are still a bargain which is why people “buy them by the sack.”

Hamburger connoisseurs have poo-poohed White Castle for years, but they do not appreciate its unique taste and loyal following. Frankly, they just don’t get it. These same people probably do not understand Cincinnati chili which is also unique and migrated to Florida some time ago.

True southerners seem to prefer Krystal Burgers which also features a small patty, but the taste is significantly different and the bun is larger, thereby you get the feeling you are buying more bread and less meat. I am confident the Orlando White Castles will convert a lot of southern skeptics.

White Castle has taken so much abuse about its size over the years, northerners affectionately refer to them as “sliders,” the first to do so. Nonetheless, northerners are devoted to them, which is why the opening of the first Florida “W.C. Steak House,” is greeted with considerable enthusiasm. Inevitably, this will cause both Floridians and visitors to make pilgrimages to Orlando just to satisfy their cravings. Hopefully the demand will flourish and we’ll see new restaurants open in other parts of the state, e.g., Tampa Bay (hint, hint).

One nuance worth mentioning is how the burgers are used in their famous turkey stuffing. I have friends in the north who swear by it, claiming it is simply delicious. You can find the recipe on their WEBSITE. There is also a new “Brunch Craver’s Benedict” which I want to try for breakfast.

As for me, I didn’t attend the grand opening as I loathe crowds, but I will be making the pilgrimage shortly to satisfy my “craving.” I plan on ordering a couple of sacks of cheeseburgers with jalapenos (one to eat there, one to bring home to Tampa Bay), or maybe it will be a “crave clutch” of 20, some onion chips, their legendary fries, and a Red Pop. And if you haven’t guessed by now, nobody orders just one burger; you order by the “sack” instead.

Yes, to the millions of misplaced Yankees living in Florida, this is very big news!

By the way, the new Florida White Castle restaurant is located in southwest Orlando at the new The Village of O-Town West development, 11595 Daryl Carter Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32836; Tel: 407/813-2516. Click for MAP.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – For a listing of my books, click HERE.

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

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance 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 © 2021 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on Spotify, WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; SVA RADIO – “Senior Voice America”, the leading newspaper for active mature adults; or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

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