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Archive for May, 2021

REPUBLICAN CLUBS FALTER

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 27, 2021

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Members are moving to new activist groups.

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

Conservative political clubs are proliferating following the 2020 election. Now we hear about such groups as “Republican Liberty Caucus,” “Community Patriots,” not to mention “Trump Clubs,” and even old Tea Party groups are going through a Renaissance. In the mean time, traditional Republican clubs are going through turbulent times as people are gravitating to the new clubs. One can only ask why.

To me, the Republican clubs are showing signs of impotency. They have evolved into more of a social committee as opposed to an activist group. I have been visiting the new groups recently and can readily see a sharp contrast between the old and new.

The new clubs appear to be more in tune with the issues and legislation. They are also more organized and enthusiastically make their presence known at School Board and County Commissioner meetings. Whereas the old GOP clubs are playing defense, the new groups are on the offense, something very important to those unhappy with the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

Whereas the staid old GOP groups are content following rote procedures, the new groups are more proactive and think outside of the box. Not surprising, the enthusiasm at the new clubs is infectious.

Recently, I wrote about “Turning Nonprofits Upside-Down” where I suggest instead of top-down monarchies, bottom-up grassroots institutions are actually more effective. This is precisely what we are seeing in the new conservative clubs.

To illustrate, consider the principles of the Republican Liberty Caucus (RLC), where all members must embrace a pledge (click for FLORIDA’s page). Further, they will not endorse any political candidate that doesn’t support the following “Liberty Compact”:

“I pledge to the citizens of this State, and to the American people, that as their elected representative I will work to restore liberty, not restrict it; shrink government, not expand it; reduce taxes, not raise them; abolish programs, not create them; promote the freedom and independence of citizens, not the interference of government in their lives; and observe the limited, enumerated powers of our Constitution, not ignore them.”

Those politicians who fail to take the pledge will not be embraced by the RLC, plain and simple. In fact, they will now have an organized group working to stop the politician.

The RLC also keeps tabs on the voting records of government officials and even has a “Hall of Shame,” complete with certificate for politicians who have really screwed-up, a clever way for their members to express dissatisfaction with specific politicians. All of this is pro-active as opposed to reactive as typically found in traditional GOP groups.

Because of such changes, some Republican clubs are cancelling party sanctions, and switching over to the new groups. As one example, the North Suncoast Republican Club (NSRC) in Citrus County, Florida recently had its charter pulled inexplicably by the Citrus County GOP. They were not provided anything in writing as to why this occurred. The club tried to appeal the action, but, so far, nothing from the Republican Party of Florida. Because of this, the group seized on the opportunity to drop the Republican moniker and go independent, as the “North Suncoast Conservative Club.” Remarkably, after switching over, they had a windfall of new members. Keep in mind, this had been the oldest GOP club in the county. Their message to the Republican establishment is simple, “Don’t tread on me.”

Such political shenanigans will haunt the Republican party as they are no longer the only game in town. In terms of activity, political parties would be wise to spend less time dictating policy and more time listening to their constituents. Failure to do so will only weaken the party. To illustrate, when was the last time a GOP club organized a simple poll to define constituent interests? I, for one, have never seen it. Such input is essential for political campaigns, as well as to help voters decide which candidates to support.

As I keep saying, it is time to “turn nonprofits upside-down.”

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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MOVING UP TOO FAST

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 25, 2021

BRYCE ON BUSINESS

– What happens when you do not pay your dues?

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As we enter the workforce, it is natural to be ambitious and make a name for ourselves thereby establishing credibility. This is certainly not new. However, as the Baby Boomers begin to retire, they are rapidly being replaced by Millennials, and frankly, many are not prepared.

Regardless of what they teach in the business schools, there are several nuances to assuming the role of manager. You have to have the proper social and communications skills to work with people, you should be cognizant of the corporate culture and how to manipulate it to your benefit, understanding the systems and technology of the business, and much more. This can only be learned through experience, and hopefully a mentor. Unfortunately, few companies appreciate the mentor concept and throw junior people into the breech prematurely to see who will survive. Without proper supervision, most of the junior people are doomed to failure.

A local distributor of manufacturing products recently changed their management hierarchy, demoting mature sales and administrative managers, and replacing them with people who were young enough to be their children (about 27 years old). There was a lot of unbridled enthusiasm about them, but little in terms of common sense for running a business. To illustrate, their massive warehouse had only one operable light bulb. The young administrative manager believed the landlord was responsible for replacing them, yet it was theirs to maintain. Office equipment was sorely in need of maintenance, particularly the photocopier which regularly printed fuzzy dark images on paper. Neither of the managers knew how to process a customer order electronically. Consequently, the company began to experience delays in processing. Having never performed a year-end inventory, they fudged the numbers as opposed to getting it right. And the year-end company Christmas party was a bust.

None of this was complicated, yet they lacked the experience and common sense to run the office smoothly. Not surprising, employee morale is at an all time low, and for some strange reason, their corporate managers accept their performance.

More troubling, although the juniors may possess infectious enthusiasm, their inexperience could lead the company into a lawsuit due to some unintended faux pas.

The point is, these two junior people were promoted much too fast. Instead of weaning them with a viable career path, corporate officers threw them into their new positions unexpectedly. Being impetuous, they were not interested in seeking the advice of their predecessors who were still employed by the company. The elders simply shook their head in disbelief as they watched the juniors commit one mistake after another.

This is just one instance, but I am seeing similar situations occur in other companies where junior people are asked to sink or swim in higher positions. The logic for this is bewildering to me as the productivity of such companies diminish using this approach. It is also unfair to the junior people who are put into this position and lack the maturity and experience to perform their jobs effectively.

One can only wonder, what in God’s name are they thinking at corporate?

First published: February 8, 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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TURNING NONPROFITS UPSIDE-DOWN

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 20, 2021

BRYCE ON BUSINESS

– “Who serves who?”

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Most nonprofit organizations with franchises, e.g., “chapters,” are structured in a top-down hierarchy, typically featuring autocratic rule. It is not uncommon to see such groups organized as:

National -> State -> County/District -> Municipal

I have found this in political organizations, fraternal, and professional trade groups, but I’m starting to believe we have it all wrong; it should be bottom-up, not top-down. After all, it is the bottom-level who represents the true constituents. In theory, the higher levels are there to render administrative support, nothing more. Even in Freemasonry, Masonic Lodges existed well before the Grand Lodge system was invented in 1717. The intent was to bring consistency to rituals and standards for administration, but it didn’t exactly end up this way, and Grand Lodges today tend to throw their weight around to bully the Lodges and their members.

Unfortunately, it seems the bigger the bureaucracy, the bigger the egos are to manage it. We now live in an era of control freaks. Instead on encouraging personal initiative, such dictators want to micromanage the actions of everyone which I personally find disturbing. Typically, these are people who didn’t accomplish much in their professional lives, which explains why they become Attila the Hun in running nonprofits.

Probably the best way to differentiate between a commercial enterprise and a nonprofit organization is by asking, “Who serves who?” Whether it is a small business or a major corporation, the commercial enterprise is primarily concerned with serving its customers. In general, such companies will go to great lengths to keep their customers happy in order to promote repeat business and improve cash flow. They are also fully aware their customers have choices, if they are not satisfied with their product or service there is always someone else waiting to take the business away from them. It’s called the “free enterprise system.” A nonprofit organization is another beast altogether.

In theory, a nonprofit is supposed to provide a service or product for its constituents. Such people are pooled together primarily due to a common interest of some kind, be it a professional trade group, politics, a homeowners association, a sports club, a fraternal/civic organization, etc. Such organizations are usually legal entities operating under the sanctions of a state government and perhaps a parent organization. Normally, nonprofits are administered by a board of directors which include officers serving for a specific term of duty involving various responsibilities, such as a President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Committee Chairman, etc. It is not uncommon for people to covet such titles as it looks impressive on a resume and is often used to climb a social ladder. Whereas the intent for the administration of the nonprofit is to serve its constituents, quite often the reverse is implemented whereby the membership is coerced into serving its officers thereby creating a monarchy where one should not exist. As trivial or petty such organizations may appear, there are certain types of people who become drunk with power.

Ideally, in a nonprofit, the officers should be ego-less and ever reminded that such groups are typically volunteer organizations and, as such, are under no obligation to follow orders. True, such groups will undoubtedly have governing documents defining specific duties and responsibilities; regardless, it is a volunteer organization where people participate as it suits them. The last thing a nonprofit needs is a bully or someone exerting his/her will to disrupt the harmony of the group.

So, what should we do when we find the constituents are serving the officials? Voting is obviously the first alternative that comes to mind, but people can be rather apathetic and behave like sheep, which officials count on to manage the flock. Brainwashing and information management (aka “spin”) are devices commonly used for such control. Term limits is another alternative, unless it is discovered a one party system has been implemented whereby cronies take turns running an operation for someone else behind the scenes.

Perhaps the best approach though is to privatize nonprofit organizations thereby causing administrators to truly work for the people. Such institutions are certainly not new. To illustrate, commercial management companies are proliferating throughout the country to serve homeowner associations (since the officials are too lazy to assume responsibility themselves). Although you have to pay for such service, you can change companies at a moment’s notice. Privatizing nonprofit organizations offers one important advantage; since they are run by commercial enterprises, who understand the need for properly serving their customers, we would at least know “who serves who.”

The point is, maybe it’s time to turn nonprofits upside-down, thereby reminding officials they work for their constituents, not the other way around. The only way to implement such a scenario is to make the nonprofit independent thereby making them free to recognize and associate with those organizations the group wish’s to. To illustrate, this is one reason why GOP clubs are abandoning the “Republican” moniker and labeling themselves as “Conservatives” instead. This is happening because the grassroots people have grown weary of the bullying and incompetence at the county and state levels.

Just remember, “who works for who?” Do the officials serve the constituents or are the constituents expected to serve the officials? If the latter, you likely have an unhealthy situation brewing.

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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FINDING THE TIME AS MANAGER

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 18, 2021

BRYCE ON BUSINESS

– Where is the cooperation and common courtesy?

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

As you probably know, I am not an advocate of micromanagement, a Theory X form of management featuring autocratic rule. I tend to subscribe to Theory Y where you “manage from the bottom up,” meaning a manager should train and empower his/her people to perform project tasks, and get out of their way. However, the manager should run interference for his people to overcome problem areas, real or potential. From the sound of this scenario, the manager spends little time with their people. Not quite. It is true they will manage more and supervise less, but they should always be cognizant of the needs of their people.

I knew a Chief Information Officer (CIO) for a Fortune 500 conglomerate who spent the bulk of his time away from the office, attending a multitude of meetings, either with the executive board, visiting the company’s many offices, or attending industry conferences where he often gave speeches. Although he had a mobile phone, the best way to contact him was either by e-mail or through his secretary who tracked his whereabouts.

His subordinate managers rarely knew where he was, and desperately wanted more face time to address some of the problems arising in the organization. Without the guidance of the CIO, they were forced to second guess how to best solve problems, usually wrong. This forced the managers to form an alliance to mutually solve problems, an unintended benefit resulting from the CIO’s absence. Aside from this, the managers and his workers felt abandoned and became apathetic.

One of the objectives of any manager is to “do yourself out of a job,” meaning to train your people to be able to take over the organization in the event the head manager is disabled or unavailable. If the department can run smoothly without him, he has done his job. Actually, this approach is derived from the military where it has long been the practice to prepare subordinates for advancement in times of crisis. However, to make this work, the subordinates must be properly trained. Unfortunately, many managers overlook this little detail and, consequently, the subordinates flounder.

Aside from this, the manager’s main attention should be focused on their people. Knowing corporate direction and planning is one thing, but it is imperative managers understand the problems and needs of their people. This means attending meetings, one-on-ones, keeping tabs on the pulse of their departments, status reports, brainstorming sessions, etc. As the captain of his ship, the manager should understand the direction of his department and make sure the crew has all the tools and instruction necessary to competently sail the ship.

In the example of the CIO mentioned earlier, most of the workers had no clue as to what the manager was thinking or what was expected of them. Consequently, they worked independently, certainly not in a concerted manner. In other words, the crew was not rowing on the same oar.

Just a little time socializing with your workers, remembering their names and important dates, such as birthdays and anniversaries, can work wonders in terms of improving morale. Sorry, but tweets, e-mails, and text messages will not suffice. Find the time to meet with your people, even if its nothing more than walking the trenches and checking progress first hand. As the leader of your area, it sends a powerful message that you care. Bottom-line, make yourself more accessible to your people. Hiding behind a wall will not enhance productivity.

First published: February 3, 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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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?

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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.

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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.

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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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