THE BRYCE IS RIGHT!

Software for the finest computer – The Mind

  • Tim’s YouTube Channel

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 962 other followers

  • Categories

  • Fan Page

  • Since 1971:
    "Software for the finest computer - The Mind"

    Follow me on Twitter: @timbryce

  • Subscribe

Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

THE NEED FOR COMPLIMENTS

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 16, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

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

Something I don’t think we do enough of, in either our personal or professional lives, is to pay someone a compliment. I’m not just talking about a simple “Thank You,” although that probably wouldn’t be a bad place to start, but a genuine note of gratitude for a job well done. A compliment may sound like a trivial thing, but most people tend to respond to recognition as they like to know they are on the right track and their efforts are appreciated. If compliments are not forthcoming, people tend to believe they are simply being ignored or taken for granted.

When a compliment is given, it is typically delivered badly. Expressions like “Cool” and “Awesome” may seem clever, but are hardly an effective form of appreciation. A compliment comes from the heart, it is certainly not mechanical. It must be sincere and a true expression of gratitude. As such, there is no pat formula for giving a compliment. It may be something as simple as a plaque or an award, perhaps a bonus or gift, some sort of public recognition, or maybe nothing more than a sincere handshake and a few kind words like, “Well done.” Actually, it depends on the person; whereas some people thrive on kudos, others are more private and prefer anonymity. Some are confident enough to realize they have done a good job and simply derive pleasure from the work performed; these are the true craftsmen. So, a lot depends on the person to receive the compliment as well as the person who wishes to express his/her gratitude.

Perhaps the best type of compliment is one where the person isn’t expecting to receive it. In fact, it may seem a little more genuine and sincere coming from out of the blue. Let me give you an example, back when Arnold Schwarzenegger was Governor of California, I sent a letter to Maria Shriver complimenting her on how well she handles herself as First Lady of California. As you probably know, she is a member of the Kennedy clan, well known for their liberal politics, but she was married to Gov. Schwarzenegger at the time, a confirmed Republican. She may not have always agreed with her husband’s politics, but she has always been there to support him and the people of her state. Regardless of her political agenda, which I personally differ with, she has always been a model of poise, dignity, and class. To me, she is a role model to be emulated regardless of your political persuasion. Consequently, I wrote and told her so. I don’t know if it is important for her to receive such a compliment as much as it was for me to say it as I believe it is necessary to recognize the integrity of role models, now more than ever. As First Lady, she may not have carried the same authority as her husband, but I thought it was important to let her know that her actions did not go unnoticed or were unappreciated by the public.

Frankly, I do not understand why people are afraid of giving a compliment. If we feel it is necessary to criticize, we should also be prepared to compliment. Whereas one is typically negative and destructive, the other tends to be positive and constructive. Yet we feel more comfortable criticizing than complimenting. I’m not sure why. I’ll tell you this though, a compliment is neither corny or unhip. If done properly, not only is it the right thing to do, but it can actually work miracles as a simple form of encouragement. As the old saying observes, “You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.”

As an aside, I received a gracious letter from Maria Shriver thanking me for the courtesy, “I am truly honored to be serving as California’s First Lady and it can be very challenging juggling the many duties, as well as being a mother of four children. However, we are making a positive difference in the lives of many people and I am thrilled to be doing my part to help. Again, thank you for your very kind words.”

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.

 

Advertisements

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

WHAT “If” TEACHES US

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 11, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Morality, tolerance, and patience.

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

Back in the 1960’s and 1970’s, the poem “If” by the renowned author Rudyard Kipling was a favorite on college campuses, and was frequently quoted at graduation ceremonies. I have been an admirer of it for many years and have taken Kipling’s lessons to heart. I just wish more people did likewise in these hate-filled political times. If we all took the lessons embodied in his poem to heart, I’m sure we would be more respectful and tolerant of each other. I would like to believe this should be read to every student in school or college at the beginning of the year.

(Here is John Facenda’s rendition of Kipling’s “If”)

“IF” — by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

The poem was originally published in 1910 by Kipling who was well known as a Freemason; from Hope and Perseverance Lodge No. 782. E.C., in Lahore, India (now Pakistan, near the India border). The Brotherhood tries to instill a sense of morality in its members, and promotes tolerance for those of different faiths and political persuasions. The lessons inculcated here in this poem are common sense and could easily be construed as derived from Masonic lectures.

Through his poem, Brother Kipling is trying to teach us in order to lead a mature and positive life, we should actively try to practice patience and understanding. Further, life is short and the best way to socialize and get ahead in this crazy world is to simply keep your wits about you. This isn’t quite as easy as it seems, particularly in the 21st century where road rage is common, office rage, political rage, religious rage, marriage rage, etc. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I blame a lot of our problems regarding impatience and intolerance on the excessive use of technology where our expectations are programmed to do everything instantaneously, and we resent any form of delay, be it a speed limit, waiting in line, or arguing with another, particularly regarding politics. Patience seems to be in short supply these days.

Practicing patience is an important part of our ability to socialize with others. Quite often, we believe it is someone else causing our frustration, and maybe that’s true. However, we must also admit we create our own problems by being self-centered and not practicing a little common courtesy to others. As Kipling reminds us, if you can maintain your focus, if you can remain calm in the midst of catastrophe, and do unto others as you would have others do unto you…

“Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!”

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: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

THE POLITICS OF CHILDREN’S GAMES

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 25, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Why are we banning certain games?

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

During my elementary grade school years in Connecticut, my neighborhood friends and I would play all kinds of outdoor games. Living in a wooded setting, we loved to run, hide, and tag each other. Kids have been playing such games for centuries. I’m not talking about a card game, board game, or even a computer game, just simple human interaction which we found exhilarating. Interestingly, I never knew these were all designed to be political in nature, but now we are hearing such games are affecting young egos and, consequently, are being banned in schools.

We did a lot of things outdoors, regardless of the season, but we were very keen on summer and autumn as we could run through the forests, play in a river, stay up late, and explore our world. I’m not sure children today play such games as they are probably perceived as archaic. I liked it because it gave us a chance to get some exercise, and use your imagination for competitive purposes.

Here are the games I remember:

TAG – was one of the easiest games to play. Someone is appointed “it,” who must then touch another person who becomes “it.” You, of course, tried to avoid becoming “it.” Remarkably, I have heard stories of adults playing this game today in the corporate world. I also remember watching my son playing it with his friends as well. The version I played included a “home base,” usually consisting of a tree, where a contestant could rest and be free of becoming “it.” The only problem here though, the “it” person stood near you to assure you didn’t get away. You had to time your escape carefully to elude being tagged.

According to “experts,” the game of tag promotes a predatory experience, thereby causing school districts in Alabama, California, South Carolina, and Washington to ban the game. Not surprising, some people today view the game as promoting sexual harassment and bullying. I never thought of the game this way, it was just a great way to learn to sprint, dodge around objects and, if captured, learn to defend “home base.” I never saw it as a game of intimidation, nor did my friends or my son’s generation. If you didn’t want to play, nobody forced you, but if you elected to play, you better be fast on your feet and know how to use your head.

HIDE AND SEEK – another old favorite, particularly being in a wooded setting which afforded some great places to hide. Here, the “it” person would have to close his eyes and count to ten (or higher), after which he would declare, “Ready or not, here I come!” and try to locate everyone who was concealed. Here, the “it” person didn’t wander too far from “home base” as the other contestants would race to the base and yell, “Home free” (meaning safe from capture). If the “it” person discovered a concealed contestant, the race was on for home base where the “it” person declared “Tap, tap, tap, I see Joe, 1, 2, 3.” Joe would then become the next “it” person.

I’m sure Hide and Seek is another game frowned on by some people as they see this it as another way to mentally scar children. If anything, the game taught the “it” person to be more cunning and protect home base. We used to play this for hours, and at night.

RED ROVER – originated in England and migrated around the world. The contestants are split into two teams. Each team holds hands and forms a line. The two teams, East and West, take turns calling for someone from the other team to try and break their human chain, “Red Rove, Red Rover, can Billie come over?” If they cannot break the chain, they join the other side. If the person breaks through, he takes two players back to his team. This goes on until one person is left on a team.

Some would say this somehow promotes discrimination, which, of course, is not so. It is a strategy game to build up your line, promote teamwork, and to find “the weakest link.”

RED LIGHT/GREEN LIGHT – was a favorite of mine. The “it” person would be separated from the rest of the contestants by approximately fifty feet. The objective was for the others to cross the distance as fast as possible to tag the “it” person. However, they had to observe the commands of the “it” person who would hide his face and yell, “Green Light” (meaning to go), and “Red Light” (meaning to stop). If the person yells “Red Light” and turns his head and finds someone moving, the offender must return to the starting line. Again, this was a game of strategy as you had to out-think the “it” person’s cadence.

This is somewhat like tag in that you had to act and think fast. Critics claim it is not fair as the fastest person typically wins. Not true. Quite often, the fast person would be spotted moving and caused to return to the starting line. The winner would be the person who would avoid the line of sight of the “it” person and steadily advance.

COPS AND ROBBERS – was another variation of tag, except this version was played as a team. The cops were “it” and had to find the robbers who would hide out and try to sneak back to home base to spring one of their fellow robbers.

In this age of political incorrectness, I suspect kids want to be “robbers” as opposed to “cops,” just the antithesis of my day.

SCAVENGER HUNT – was a rare game of seeking clues around the neighborhood until we discovered the end. If parents wanted to occupy our time at considerable length, they would have an adult design a hunt that would run us around the neighborhood, and even to our nearby school. Frankly, it was diabolical, but we had a ball chasing our tails around town.

Scavenger Hunts are still common today, particularly by the homeless in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

We also did such things as collecting lightning bugs (fireflies) in jars. Back in the 1950’s there was an infestation of Japanese beetles on the eastern seaboard. I can vividly remember using similar jars to catch the beetles before they ate everything in site. I’m sure someone will say this is cruel treatment for such insects. The lightning bugs we would eventually let go, but we killed the Japanese beetles as they were obnoxious little critters.

And finally, we spent considerable time spinning tops and yo-yos. I still have my top from grade school and know how to tie the string to spin it. I’m sure, those imbued in political correctness would say we were creating a hazard on sidewalks, or worse, we would strangle the blood flow to the finger, thereby causing amputation. Get real.

Again, if you didn’t want to play these games, nobody was holding a gun to your head to do so. If you didn’t want to play, you didn’t play, but if you did, you knew the rules and used your head.

I deeply resent these games being politicized and banned by public schools. Liberals typically object to these games as they feel they are unfair and, as such, accuse them of being abusive. On the other hand, conservatives understand and accepts the rules of the game and participates accordingly.

As far as I am concerned, let kids be kids. Let’s not inhibit their playtime as this is important for developing their socialization skills. Then again, maybe this is what the opposition is trying to control. By the way, in my neighborhood, boys and girls played these games together with no thought of one sex being superior to the other, but I’m sure someone will say it is harmful to equal rights.

One last thing. No, this is not about everyone needing to win a trophy or ribbon for playing such games. It was a simple matter of going out and having some fun.

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, Politics, Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

A HOME OWNERS ASSOCIATION TONG WAR

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 14, 2019

BRYCE ON NONPROFITS

– and a lesson for others.

Click for AUDIO VERSION.
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: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

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 »

SOMETHING IN THE WATER?

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 28, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– What’s causing people to become angrier and irrational?

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

My mother recently made the observation that people seem to be angrier these days. Frankly, I couldn’t argue with her as I see it too. I would like to believe there is something in the water causing this, but I’m afraid it is a bit more complicated.

I tend to believe it is primarily because we do not promote cooperation but stubborn independence instead. We see this on the road where people like to block traffic, cut in line, or do anything that suits their specific needs. We see this in public schools with a lack of discipline, lack of enforced dress codes, and lack of respect for teachers and others. Students are not being taught how to cooperate, other than in sports. Even then, there seems to be greater encouragement for individual achievement as opposed to team effort. However, I would remind people that every state High School athletic team championship I’ve ever seen is won by cooperation, not by individual effort.

We see stubborn independence just about everywhere, including the politics of the corporate world, someone seeking petty notoriety in a nonprofit organization, or even in the supermarket where people clog the aisles to suit their personal needs, with no concern whatsoever for others around them . All of this means people have become self-aware of their own needs and desires, and lack empathy for others.

This reminds me, ever notice in the supermarket, there always seems to be one person you cannot elude who constantly blocks your path? No matter how you try to alter your path through the store, you inevitably run into the same person time and again. I don’t mean to sound paranoid, but I tend to believe the store assigns “blockers” to shoppers to assure we spend more time in the store purchasing more stuff than we really need. Wouldn’t it be nice if they painted a dashed line down the middle of the aisles to suggest people stay on one side or the other? It would be an interesting experiment to say the least.

The second aspect of our anger deals with our dependency on technology. Whether I’m in a company, a store, or on the highway, people are plugged-in and tuned out. It is no small wonder our socialization skills are deteriorating as people prefer their technology over human contact. Such a shift signals the decline of such things as common courtesy and manners.

The third and final aspect with anger is our declining moral values which includes respect for the human spirit. Gallup polls clearly show religion and morality have been declining in recent years. Again, this affects our socialization skills and recognition of what is right and what is wrong. The media blurs the lines as well as they no longer practice restraint in telling a story or accurately reporting the news. From this, an ideological chasm has emerged which continues to widen.

My mother also made the observation that people seem to be making more mistakes these days. This is based on her shopping experiences either over the telephone or on the Internet. She said it has become quite common for vendors to ship the wrong product, or cause a delay due to improper shipping instructions, or perhaps bank cards are improperly credited or debited. “I’m sorry” is the common excuse, but nothing is done to truly correct the problem which is often repeated. Under this scenario, the problem is apathy, whereby the company is indifferent to the problems of the customer. Even if you threaten to terminate business with a company, the general attitude is “Okay,” meaning they do not really care. Instead of fighting for your business, they just move on to someone else, and the mistakes continue unabated.

Is the anger issue related to mistakes? I cannot help but think it is for the same reasons mentioned earlier. People have become jaded in terms of socializing with others. The sad thing is, it is so unnecessary. If people would only become a little more sensitive to others around them, maybe we would start to wear a smile again.

I don’t know. Maybe there is something in the water after all causing all this. I hope it’s not the fluoride.

Come on America, take a breath and loosen up!

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

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 Life | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

ARE THESE THE GOOD OLD DAYS?

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 23, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– That’s up for our kids to decide.

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

As we get older we’re very much inclined to talk about the “good old days.” I’m sure I have bored my kids to death over what happened back in the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s. My parents liked to talk about the 30’s and 40’s as they survived the Great Depression and World War II. And my grandparents used to talk about World War I and the Roaring 20’s.

However, it occurred to me recently that nowadays may very well be considered the “good old days” for someone else, probably my children’s generation. If these are really the “good” old days, it makes me wonder what awaits us in the years ahead. Today’s sociopolitical unrest makes us worry about tomorrow, e.g., will we remain a capitalist society or will we turn to the dark side of socialism; will America remain the beacon for liberty in the world or will it be snuffed out like the Romans? Our permissive society makes me wonder what our morality and values will be. Will religious fanaticism and/or the struggle over energy plunge us into a new kind of war? Will we be kind to mother Earth? And will our ever-changing technology affect global communications and economics? There are a lot of unknowns here which we can only speculate on without absolute certainty. It’s hard to plan for the future not knowing where it might take us.

It would be wrong to paint a picture of nothing but doom and gloom. As a species, we must always try to put our best foot forward and hope to build a better tomorrow, but to do so we have to become engaged in what is going on and chart our own course of action as opposed to allowing others to dictate our future, such as the media. This means we have to become more proactive, and less reactive, in living our lives. We have enough people sitting on the sidelines, it’s time for the younger generation to get into the game and run with the ball, not just in government, but in our companies, our communities, our schools, our places of worship, and other volunteer organizations. As Americans, we can ill afford to simply maintain the status quo.

One reason we like the “good old days” is because they represent a seemingly simpler time in our youth, something we all yearn for as we grow weary of the rat race. I’ll be curious to see in twenty to thirty years from now, God willing I’m still around, if we look back at this decade as a simpler time. I tend to describe it as much more fast-paced and fiercely competitive than the last forty years. If this is true, what will the 30’s look like? The 2000-30’s (2030) that is.

I take comfort watching my grown son still interested in casting a fishing line now and then, watching a baseball game, working hard, showing empathy to others, and by performing his civic duty by voting or serving on a jury. Such simple acts, gives me hope for our future.

God help us.

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

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 Life | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT BECOMING A SENIOR?

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 14, 2019

BRYCE ON AGING

– AKA, “Why I wrote the book.”

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

Following the release of my new book, “Tim’s Senior Moments,” interviewers asked what compelled me to write it. As I mentioned in the introduction of the book, I discovered people tend to treat you differently the moment you reach the magical age of sixty, the Big 6-0. Younger people think you are through with the productive part of your life and are just phasing into retirement. It’s like, “Hey Big Guy, here is your cookie, just sit there in the corner and we’ll take it from here.” And it gets worse with every passing year. I’m sorry, but I still have quite a few dances left on my card and I am not ready to give up yet. That’s why I particularly enjoyed Jack Palance’s acceptance speech at the 1992 Oscars, followed by his one-handed push-ups on the stage.

My old friend Chris Payne, who drew the cover of the book, made the following observation years ago, “Guys like us always have to keep doing something; with you, it’s writing; with me, it’s drawing. If you were to force us to quit, you might as well take a gun out and shoot us dead, as our lives are tied to what we do. It is an intricate part of us, something we have always loved to do.”

Chris is right, and as long as someone enjoys our work, we will persevere. In other words, you can take that cookie and…

Some people are embarrassed about growing old (like we can control it, right?), others recognize the change and role with the punches. While we might not be as physically agile or strong as we once were, we’re certainly smarter thanks to experience and the naivety of youth. Instead of picking up and moving that refrigerator like I used to, now I say, “Hmm, let me think about that for a moment,” and come up with a less strenuous way of moving the object. So, Yes, we get smarter, or is it guile?

I know seniors who would love to play golf everyday if they could. Not me. I was never too fond of it, and don’t look for me on the shuffleboard courts or in basket-weaving classes either. I simply like to meet people, attend meetings, and find out what is going on this crazy world of ours. If I lose my spark, I hope somebody will put me down quietly. Maybe a Viking funeral.

This is why when I hear a High School classmate proudly say to me, “Hey Tim, guess what, I’m retiring and moving to Florida (or Arizona).” Naturally, they expect me to say how happy I was for them, but instead, I say, “Oh, I am so sorry for you.” These are people who obviously hated their jobs and couldn’t wait to move along.

I have found retirement is like a race where people are competing for bragging rites as to who did it first. I have seen several friends rush into retirement, only to become bored out of their minds, and eventually go back to work in some capacity.

The other thing I mention to interviewers is that as you transfer to the senior ranks, your problems and concerns do not dissipate and go away, they just go through a metamorphosis. Let me give you an example. As we begin our professional careers and start a family, we are concerned about the development of our offspring. As years go by, and our children leave the nest, we honestly believe things will slow down and we can start to smell the roses. Wow, was I wrong. You discover you now have to look after your parents or perhaps an aunt or uncle. Next, along comes grandchildren to babysit and entertain, and of course your spouse. In other words, your concern and responsibilities shift from one group to another. This, of course, assumes you are not a deadbeat and willing to assume responsibility. In fact, the only time you are not taking care of someone is until the end, when you are trying to take care of yourself.

As you become a senior, your priorities begin to shift to figure a way out of this life with as few a complications as possible. Your mantra becomes, “Simplify, simplify, simplify.” You find yourself downsizing to smaller living quarters and disposing of the tons of junk you managed to accumulate over the years. As I often remind people, everything you own, be it valuables, automobiles, houses, and all the other bric a brac you possess, must all eventually end up in the junk yard some day, like it or not.

So, while my friends line up for shuffleboard or golf, I would like to learn the tango instead, as it looks much more interesting. But in the end, I’ll settle for doing more interviews and lectures on aging. Call me.

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 Life | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

CHECKING OUT THE CHECKOUT

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 18, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– In appreciation of old brass cash registers.

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

When I was a young lad visiting my grandparents in Buffalo, New York, there was a local grocery store I loved to visit with them. It had wooden floors, a pickle barrel, and separate barrels for butter and cheese. Milk was still sold in glass bottles, and the store butcher cut meat in accordance with your wishes and wrapped it wax paper and string. There was also freshly ground coffee that smelled heavenly, as well as the fresh bread sold there. To a young boy, the shop was a wonder to behold with all of its sights, sounds, and smells. The only other institution that could hold a candle to it was an old hardware store in my hometown of Norwalk, Connecticut. It too had wooden floors, barrels on the floor for different nails and screws, a wide array of tools for just about any task, and the smell of freshly cut pine enraptured me. Such stores were magical and I never wanted to leave.

The focal point of both stores understandably was the checkout counter featuring a massive cash register with a wide array of white ivory buttons. I was mesmerized by the clerk whose fingers flew across the rows of buttons rapidly and accurately to record the transactions, each making a distinct and authoritative mechanical click. When the register drawer was opened, a pleasant sounding bell would ring. A simple receipt was printed which identified the store by name and number, today’s date, the price of each item you purchased, sales tax, and the total. The whole receipt was no bigger than a baseball card. The machine itself was a majestic instrument made of brass with decorative swirls and lines adorning it and there was a massive handle on the right side of the register to process the final transaction. The register drawer inside it was made of wood and the oils from the fingers of clerks over the years turned it deep brown thereby revealing its age. The machine was sturdy, reliable and never broke down. To my young mind, it was truly a work of art and added a touch of class to the establishment.

Today the checkout counter is a much less pleasurable experience. Registers are plain looking plastic boxes with considerable electronics, making them much less impressive than the splendid grandeur of yesteryear. In most stores we are asked to swipe credit cards or insert the memory chip. Then we must sign our names to acknowledge the transaction, not on paper, but on a touch screen which has a tendency of making our autographs look garbled as if it were signed by a five year old huckleberry.

Then there is the matter of the paper receipts. Instead of simple slips of paper, the machine now generates “War and Peace” containing legal terms and conditions, rebate offers that are too illegible to properly process, along with coupons and discounts on everything except what you want to buy. Reams of paper are generated thereby taking up considerable space in our wallets or purses. For a paperless society, we sure know how to kill a lot of trees.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, I’m always amazed by the automatic checkout counters in the mega hardware stores and supermarkets. The concept is to allow customers to check themselves out without assistance from clerks, thereby saving the company money in terms of personnel needed to process the order. Interestingly, I have yet to see an automatic checkout counter without a human standing nearby to supervise activity and intervene when trouble arises, which seems to be always. Because these checkouts seem to be prone to processing snafus, I wonder why companies bother. After all, I prefer human contact where you are, in theory, to be treated cordially and friendly, thereby encouraging repeat business, references, and increased sales. I don’t need clerks heckling me with “Good Mornings,” but rather someone who cares about me visiting his/her store.

God, how I miss those big brass cash registers.

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 Life | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

FIGHTING WITH MY GARAGE DOOR REMOTE

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 12, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– It’s the little things that makes life enjoyable.

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

When I was younger and starting my professional career, I relished tackling big projects, probably because I saw it as an adventure and a learning experience. However, as the years went by and I mastered many big things, I started to appreciate the little things in life, such as a graduation, a wedding, a birth or an anniversary (you can skip the birthdays). It might even be a little simpler like a fine meal, warm slippers or comfortable clothes.

Recently, I noticed my remote garage door opener wasn’t working. I dutifully changed the battery but, alas, it still didn’t work. Thinking I had somehow lost the proper signal, I tested my wife’s remote unit. Yes, it worked fine, but mine was being finicky. So, I took my unit apart, replaced the battery and delicately tried to put it back together again, again, and again. Frustrated, I took the unit apart and pretended to play technician with the computer chip included therein, which is actually a bad idea. I delicately blew on it, rubbed it clean, tried to position the parts back together carefully, all to no avail. I then found myself talking to it, first calmly, “Come on, nice and easy, let’s try it again.” Finally, as I was close to losing my sweet disposition, I ended up cursing at it with some choice expletives. I raised my hand and threatened to throw it against the wall in a fit of rage when, lo and behold, it started to work. In other words, a good cursing worked wonders. Even though I wasted a half hour on this small task, I felt triumphant for having conquered this problem, and proudly showed it to my wife (who, having watched me through all of this, thought I was about to lose my mind). Nonetheless, fixing this little triviality made my day.

Likewise, it is the little things in baseball that attracts me to the sport. Home runs are nice, but I enjoy a clean well-targeted base hit better, or a well layed down bunt, a stolen base, a pick-off, and the nuances of the defensive field positions. I particularly enjoy a runner on first base distracting a pitcher by threatening to steal a base, thereby upsetting the pitcher’s rhythm and accuracy to the batter at home plate. It’s these little things I love to watch.

I also appreciate simple common courtesy from a clerk or waiter, be it in person or on the telephone. Expressions like “please” and “thank you” still go a long way in my book, as well as a smile and good service. It may not sound like a lot, but it is what makes life bearable.

No, I don’t need the big or flashy car anymore, nor a yacht or be a globe trotter (as I have already seen the world). All I need is some good conversation, a politically incorrect joke, honesty, politeness, a fly-rod, and perhaps a good drink. Like I said, it’s the little things.

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

 
%d bloggers like this: