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Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

THE DRIVING TOP TEN

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 16, 2017

BRYCE ON TRANSPORTATION

– What drives me wild on the open road.

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

I recently drove from the South to the Midwest and back again. It has been quite a while since I’ve driven a long distance (about 1,000 miles each way) and it caused me to remember why I don’t like to take such trips anymore. We all have our own little idiosyncrasies for driving; for example, older people tend to move more slowly and cautiously than younger people who race pell-mell down the highway; and people tend to drive according to the customs of the geographical region they come from. Nonetheless, I have assembled a “Top 10” list of the basic driving habits irritating me and, if corrected, would make driving a lot more bearable for all of us. There is nothing earth-shattering here, just some observations on common driving deficiencies:

10. TURN SIGNALS – I guess I’m among the few people who still know what that little stick to the left side of the steering column is all about. It amazes me how many people do not use turn signals anymore. Maybe its because most of us are driving with one hand on the steering column and talking on a cell phone with the other. I guess letting another driver know where you are turning pales in comparison to asking Aunt Edna what to pick up at the grocery store. I tend to believe people who drive with a stick shift are more inclined to use turn signals as they are less likely to be talking on the phone as they are shifting (although I have seen it done). As trivial as the turn signal appears to be, it is a simple and effective means of communicating to other drivers what your intentions are, be it a turn or a lane change, but I think most drivers just want to keep others guessing what they are doing.

9. TAILGATING – You see this a lot in situations where younger and more aggressive drivers are frustrated with the old codgers driving below the speed limit. Its a little nerve-racking seeing someone draft another car like it was the Daytona 500. It makes you wonder why there aren’t more accidents. Maybe the best way to overcome this problem is to assign times during the day when we are allowed to drive, thereby overcoming the problem of different driving speeds; for example:

AgeMorningLunchtimeDinner

16-22 6:00am – 7:30am 11:30am – 12:00pm 3:00pm – 4:30pm
23-65 7:30am – 9:00am 12:00pm – 1:00pm 5:30pm – 7:00pm
66-90 9:00am – 11:30am 1:00pm – 3:00pm 4:30pm – 5:30pm

You are on your own anytime between 7:00pm – 6:00am.

8. OBNOXIOUS TRAFFIC LIGHTS – This is more of a problem with the Department of Transportation than a particular set of drivers. I don’t know who programs the traffic lights these days, but someone seems hell bent on gnarling traffic during rush hour. Maybe its a game someone is playing with us as to who can cause the biggest traffic build up. I’ve had people tell me that traffic lights are becoming very expensive. If this is true, maybe it would be more economical to replace them all with traffic cops who at least know what they are doing. I realize we have some pretty sophisticated computer technology to help us with traffic but I for one don’t see how it is helping us. When it comes to traffic control, I still don’t believe a computer can match the commonsense of a human being.

7. WEAVING – No, I’m not talking about drunk drivers driving erratically on the highway. Instead, I’m talking about the younger people who are weaving between lanes at breakneck speed, either on motorcycles or high performance vehicles. Weaving has become somewhat of a national pastime on our interstate highways, a dangerous game of “Chicken” that could kill not just the drivers, but the other innocent drivers who are trying to mind their own business as well. Why can’t they just stay home and do this on their X-Box or Playstation as opposed to driving the rest of us crazy?

6. LOST “OUT-OF-TOWNERS” – You know what I mean; those people who are just plain lost and instead of reading a map, they are content to slow down at every intersection to see if this is the road they should turn into. Wouldn’t it be nice if the out-of-towners simply drove in the right-hand lane with their emergency signals flashing to let us know they are lost and to avoid them? It will never happen.

5. RUBBERNECKING – This drives me particularly crazy as I have been tied up in miles of bumper-to-bumper traffic too many times only to discover that drivers were rubbernecking to look at some insignificant problem on the highway. I don’t care if the problem is large or small, keep your eyes looking forward and drive the car. You can always read about the accident in tomorrow’s newspaper. Hey, maybe that’s it: Instead of sending out a tow-truck or emergency vehicle to the site of a problem, let’s rush a news team to the site first so they can report on the accident which the other drivers can tune into on their radios.

Rubbernecking turns small problems into larger ones.

4. LACK OF COMMON COURTESY – How many times have we seen people cut off others, or someone not allow another driver to enter traffic? Far too many I’m afraid. I tend to believe how we drive is a reflection of our socialization skills. As opposed to cooperating, we tend to viscously compete on the roadways which, of course, leads to road rage. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had some other signal to use other than the one finger salute?

3. SLOW TURNS – Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of drivers who don’t seem to know how to make a turn. Instead of just slowing down a bit before making their turn, I’m seeing people come to almost a standstill; kind of like having an invisible red light they are obeying. I hope they are not seeing something that I’m not.

2. EXPRESS LANE DRIVERS – Another name for the express lane is “passing lane” which perhaps more accurately describes the intent of the left lane on our highways. It disturbs me when it isn’t used for this purpose. For example, some people get into the express lane and do nothing more than the speed limit, if that. They act like a pace car when the danger flags are out. I don’t know why they do this other than they want to deliberately irritate the other people driving around them. It is kind of like them saying prissily, “Well the speed limit is 55 and I’ll be damn if I’ll let anybody go faster than that.” I just wish I had a James Bond type of car where the rear axle would extend with knives on the end to rip out their tires.

1. CELL PHONES – Well, Duh!! What did you think my number one would be? I wish I had a jamming device which would shutdown all cell phones around me when I’m driving. This would force the other drivers to use both hands on the wheel and concentrate on traffic.

The rules and regulations of the road are really not that complicated. I remember when I first took the written test when I turned 16. The one section I found humorous is where they asked you to identify various street signs. For the “Crossroad” sign they gave you the following multiple choices: 1-Crossroad ahead, 2-Church ahead, 3-A person died on this spot. I wonder how many people got this wrong? Interestingly, I remember the Valedictorian of my High School class (a real “Brainiac”) failed the written test three times. I guess he was looking for the meaning of life in a stop sign.

Driving should be a simple and pleasurable experience. Unfortunately, it’s not. It seems we go out of our way to misinterpret the rules or devise our own on the fly. Which makes me wonder who is passing out the drivers licenses: 1-Homer Simpson, 2-American Foundation for the Blind, 3-Your local gas station attendant (Hint: we haven’t had gas station attendants in 30 years).

Back in 1965, CBS aired the National Drivers Test during prime time, the purpose of which was to educate adults and try to determine the level of driver competency. This was well received and helped improve awareness of basic driving techniques. Sounds like it’s about time CBS ran it again.

First published: August 13, 2007

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 timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  LIFETIME WARRANTIES – They make good business sense.

LAST TIME:  EMPTY NESTS  – What happens when your children finally leave home.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

Posted in Life, Transportation | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

EMPTY NESTS

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 14, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– What happens when your children finally leave home.

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

I have finally reached that stage in my life where my children have grown up and are off pursuing other interests. Its kind of strange experiencing the empty nest syndrome. You start to notice small changes right away, such as how the volume of trash goes down, as does your water, power, and food bills. The phone doesn’t ring as much and it’s generally a lot quieter around the house at night. Maybe the hardest part is changing your eating habits. Instead of shopping and cooking for a group of people, you find yourself staring at the TV over a Marie Callender pot pie or a Stouffer’s pizza. It takes quite an adjustment to learn how to cook for two.

As your offspring leaves, you determine its finally time to clean out their rooms. This is when you find that socket set you’ve been missing for the last five years and your old records and CD’s you had forgotten about. And when they come back for a visit they look at you mortified as to why you found it necessary to clean out their rooms. “Wasn’t it okay the way it was?” Some people like to go the extra mile and replace the furniture and create a new guest room or den. This really exasperates the kids as to why you didn’t do this earlier when they were still home.

Although you were always looking for a little peace and quiet around the house after the kids were gone, now you find you cannot sleep as the house seems too quiet to you. I guess we get conditioned to a little helter-skelter being around us.

You also discover you’re starting to get some free time on your hands. Instead of school functions and chasing the kids around the ball fields, you finally have time to reacquaint yourself with your spouse. The only problem is you are not in your twenties or thirties anymore and you both find more solace in reading a good book or watching a movie then chasing each other around the bedroom. You’re not dead yet, but you come to the painful realization that life isn’t quite the same anymore.

Perhaps the hardest part of the empty nest is realizing the kids are no longer chasing you around anymore and that you are now chasing them. You no longer take them for granted and cherish every moment you speak to them on the phone as well as every e-mail or letter they send you. The hardest part is simply missing them.

First published: June 18, 2007

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 timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  EMPTY NESTS – What happens when your children finally leave home.

LAST TIME:  THE DRIVING TOP TEN  – What drives me wild on the open road.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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

BEWARE OF BAITING

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 7, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Do not allow yourself to be baited in debate.

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

Every once and awhile you run into a person who is determined to “get your goat,” someone hell-bent on antagonizing you. It doesn’t have to be over anything in particular, some people just contrarily want to pick a fight with you. You say “white,” he says “black,” not for any particular reason other than to just irritate you. Regardless how polite you might be or how rational your argument is, they fight you. In fact, most of the time they offer sardonic witticisms and perhaps some vulgarities to refute what you are talking about and try to bait you into a brawl in order to make you look bad, and they can be successful if you are suckered into such a confrontation.

For years I have run into such people; not too many, just enough to leave an impression on me. These types of people fall into the category of what I have been calling “Homo Sapien Ass*****” (HSA) whose perceptions of reality are distorted and there is no swaying them otherwise. In some cases, their perception of reality is fine, they are simply jealous of anyone else in the spotlight and argue just to make you look bad.

I’ve noticed this occurring more and more recently in Blogs and Internet discussion groups. I’ll see someone write something valuable in such forums only to have someone else maliciously ridicule it, not because it is wrong, but because they simply don’t like the person and want to discredit him. It’s interesting, such forums offer the means to conceal your identity. People seem more inclined to criticize and ridicule when their identify is concealed, as opposed to when it isn’t. They seem more apt to write a poison pen letter than to confront you face-to-face. These people are, of course, cowards. The negativity and sniping in some of these discussion groups is such that I am reminded of the old expression, “If you haven’t got anything good to say, don’t say anything.”

Regardless, what is the best way to deal with such people? Well, having survived such attacks on the Internet perhaps I can offer some advice. First, never take the bait. Never dance to their tune. Never. Always take the high ground and maintain your dignity. Remember, other people will be watching your response. They already know there is a troublemaker trying to get to you, but do yourself a favor and don’t lower yourself to their level. Remain calm and if you have to refute their arguments, due it respectfully and professionally, especially if they do not follow suit. Those watching will take note and think the better of you. Stay above the fray. Make the other person look like the idiot that he is. Inevitably, you will get more supporters than your antagonist. I am reminded of something Oscar Wilde said years ago, “Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”

How you handle an antagonist in the public is one thing; how you handle such a person one-on-one is something else. Understand this, they are not interested in rational discourse, only making you look bad in some public forum. Always take the high ground in publicly refuting them, but for one-on-one confrontations, the kid gloves are off.

I write on a variety of topics and I’m not expecting everyone to agree with me all of the time, believe me they do not. I’m simply trying to get people to think about things they normally wouldn’t. I welcome all calm and respectful discourse, but if it turns malicious, I know how to hit the delete key and filter out such people from participating in future dialogues. This brings up an important point, if you have the means to control the text entries, be sure to do so. After all, it is your story, not theirs. They may whine about you deleting their comments, but you have to do what is best for the article.

I remember one time when I was in a meeting and had an antagonist heckle me throughout the session. Despite my attempts to answer his questions, he kept badgering me to the point of irritating everyone in the room. Finally I looked at him and said, “Tell me, did your parents have any children that lived?” This resulted in a pregnant pause and gales of laughter (and finally broke the logjam).

Usually your antagonists will try to get in the last word on a subject. If you are lucky, you can get the last word in before they do, but that is uncommon. Its more likely they’ll get the last word, but don’t despair, if you have done your job, they are the ones who will look like the fool, not you.

Remember, don’t let yourself get baited; don’t let them get your goat. Defuse the situation and stay in control.

First published: September 18, 2006

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 timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  WHAT PRICE QUALITY? – And who is responsible for its implementation?

LAST TIME:  YES MEN  – In reality, such people contribute nothing worthwhile.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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

THE BENEFITS OF NETWORKING

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 31, 2017

BRYCE ON SOCIALIZATION

– Instead of watching TV, attend a meeting.

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

I’ve been bumping into a lot of younger people lately; young men in their early to mid-20’s who have been asking me for advice on a variety of issues as they begin their careers. Basically, I tell them to start a life insurance policy, write a will, how to dress, and basic social amenities such as how to greet someone and tell a joke. More importantly I stress upon them the need to network with their contemporaries.

When I was entering the work force back in the 1970’s I found networking to be invaluable in my professional growth. I was particularly active in trade related organizations such as the local chapters of the Association for Systems Management, the Data Processing Management Association, and the Association for Computing Machinery. I also founded a local OS/2 Users Group and Java Users Group. I have also participated in other civic and fraternal organizations. All of these groups were invaluable in terms of education and the development of a network of contacts with whom I have relied on time and again.

I’ve noticed the younger people are less inclined to join any such organization these days. I’m not sure why. Perhaps they don’t think its cool. Perhaps there is no professional curiosity. Or perhaps they just don’t know any better. Frankly, I think its the latter. As a result, these organizations are in decline. For example, ASM is now extinct; and DPMA changed its name and focus to the Association of IT Professionals; regardless their numbers are still diminishing. Instead of resisting participation in such organizations, I encourage young people to join them.

Networking is a great way to learn about your field of interest and to develop local contacts who might be helpful to you in your walk through life, and you might be able to help them in return. Many people go into such organizations with the wrong intentions, such as they are going to sell the membership something. This is most definitely not the point; its about your professional growth. Its about learning; its about refining your social skills, and its about gaining visibility; all of which is important for developing a professional reputation. Once this is established, people will recognize you as the “go to” guy in your area of specialty, then, Yes, you may vary well get some business, but don’t go into an organization thinking you’re going to conquer the world, think of it as an investment in your personal development.

One of the lessons I learned during my college career was that “We enjoy life through the help and society of others.” I have found this to be particularly true in my professional development.

So, instead of staying home and watching that trash on TV every night, how about getting off your butt and attend a couple of meetings? Start with a trade group from your industry; then there’s the chamber of commerce and Jaycees; then there’s volunteer organizations such as the Rotary, Kiwanis and the Lions; then there’s fraternal organizations such as the Masons and the Shrine. The list is actually endless; but seek out those organizations that will help you the most in your professional development. You might learn a thing or two in the process, and others might just learn a thing or two about you.

First published: May 8, 2006

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 timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  THE PERILS OF NEGATIVITY – Learn to avoid the whiners.

LAST TIME:  THE DEATH OF COMMON COURTESY  – A little sincerity can go a long way.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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

THE DEATH OF COMMON COURTESY

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 28, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– A little sincerity can go a long way.

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

The other day we had a new FedEx driver make a delivery at our office in Palm Harbor. Since I happened to be by the front door, I opened it and watched him approach. He wore a scowl on his face as if he had been having a bad day. I opened the door, greeted him warmly, shook his hand and asked how his day was going. As I signed for the delivery, the driver looked at me strangely. I asked him if there was a problem. He said, No, it was just that I was the first person that day to be friendly to him and actually ask how he was doing. He said in most companies he visits he’s pretty much taken for granted and treated rudely.

I asked if he thought this was something unique to him as an individual. He said, No, the other drivers often speak of the callousness of their clientele. Come to think of it, I have seen evidence of this elsewhere. For example, when I go to a restaurant, the waiters and waitresses are often taken aback when I kid with them and ask them about their day. Often they look at me like I might have some ulterior motive. But once they get past this, they warm up to me and we have a good working relationship.

This made me stop and think about today’s corporate work place. Have we become so jaded and insensitive as to disregard the interpersonal relationships of our employees, our customers, and our vendors? Have we become so self-centered and aloof that we no longer care how we treat other people?

You know, I learned a long time ago that you can catch a heckova lot more flies with honey than you can with vinegar. A little courtesy and hospitality can go a long way with people. For example, I learned the virtues of a firm handshake some time ago. I don’t just give them some wishy-washy handshake and look through the person. I look them squarely in the eyes, shake their hand and tell them how glad I am to see them. Something as simple as a sincere handshake can work miracles.

We must remember that we don’t conduct our business with inanimate objects, but rather with human beings. Sharpening our people skills is incredibly important to accomplish anything worthwhile in life. Simple common courtesy is a big part of this. Try it. Next time that FedEx or UPS driver comes to your door or a waitress to your table, look up at them, greet them with a smile and ask them how they’re doing; heck, even often them a handshake. You will be pleasantly surprised with the service you’ll get in return. I’ll tell you this; we have no problems with shipments or deliveries at our office. How about yours?

First published: September 12, 2005

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 timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  THE BENEFITS OF NETWORKING – Instead of watching TV, attend a meeting.

LAST TIME:  PARENTING MANAGEMENT  – Like it or not, businesses must teach the young how to act.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Life, Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

TAKE HIM AWAY FOR REGROOVING

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 19, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– What happens when you find yourself out of step with the times.

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

I am an avid fan of the Firesign Theatre, a comedy troop which came to light in the late 1960’s. Their humor was considered rather avant-garde even for this turbulent period in our history. You couldn’t find them on television or in the movies, and rarely would their comedy be broadcast over the radio waves. Instead, it was primarily distributed in vinyl form (good old 33rpm records) and appealed primarily to college students who treated it like an underground movement. Today, their comedy has attained cult status, not just for its humor but as a great parody of the times and their prophetic vision of the future. Their first album, “Waiting for the Electrician or Someone like Him” (1968) includes a satirical tale of the future based on the values of the psychedelic sixties. In particular, there is one track involving two police officers of the future traveling together in their patrol car. As part of their duties, they have to check to see if all of the citizens are “groovy.” If a citizen looks suspicious, the police would stop them, ask them some pointed questions to determine their grooviness, what drugs they were carrying, as well as to check their clothing and body paint. If the citizen wasn’t compliant, he/she would be “taken away for regrooving” which meant a massive reorientation to bring them up to date with the times. In the story, the people become so overtly groovy that underground study cells begin to emerge whereby students began to read books and discuss major issues of the day, all to the horror of their parents and teachers.

Lately I have begun to feel like one of the older pedestrians in the story, as I am sure I no longer appear to be “groovy” and in need of a major update. For example, I no longer know all of the names of today’s musical artists and motion picture stars. I still say “actors” and “actresses” as opposed to just “actors”; “pictures” as opposed to “movies”; and “Ethyl” and “Hi-Test” as opposed to “Premium” gasoline. Although I grew up in the digital age, I still appreciate analog technology which makes me think I’m in desperate need of some “regrooving.”

Not long ago I gave a couple of talks at the local High School. I deliberately chose to wear a suit and tie that day as opposed to a casual look. With rare exception, the students looked shabby and grungy, not to mention undisciplined. Please keep in mind the students come from some rather affluent families in the area. While I was speaking, I got the uneasy feeling the students were there more for me to teach them as opposed to them being there to learn. In other words, the teaching experience was unidirectional in nature, from me to them. I don’t consider this a healthy educational environment as the student has to at least be willing to put forth effort to learn.

Although I think I made some progress with several students and the teachers present, I got the uneasy feeling the students considered me to be a dinosaur and definitely not “groovy.” Normally when someone feels like time is passing them by, you make an effort to bring your skills and perspectives up-to-date, an attitude readjustment if you will. I’m not sure I can do this anymore and let me explain why. I don’t have a problem with technology and fashion passing me by, but to properly “regroove” myself, it will be necessary to reappraise and adjust my moral values, and herein lies the problem. I still believe in such things as common courtesy, such as holding a door open for people, to say “please” and “thank you,” and to volunteer my time to help others. I like to tuck my shirt into my pants and would be mortified if my underwear was exposed. I still appreciate the genius of classical music, the taste of a good glass of scotch and a fine cigar, and I still believe in such antiquated concepts as honor and respect, discipline, citizenship, patriotism, and doing unto others as I would have others do unto me, etc.

To properly upgrade I must alter my sense of right and wrong and, frankly, this is something I cannot bring myself to do. Maybe as creatures of habit we get too comfortable with our daily routine, but I do not think this is the case as I can (and have) changed habits many times over the years. No, this is more about my perception of right and wrong as ingrained in me, and something quite difficult to change, if not impossible. To change a person in this manner means to change his very essence as a human being. It would be like asking an honest person to wrong, cheat and defraud others, which is something he cannot do with a clear conscious.

In order to change my values requires me to admit everything I had done previously was incorrect, that I had lived a big lie, and a disservice to everyone I had come in contact with over the years. That is a bitter pill to swallow no matter who you are. No, instead I do not believe I’ll allow myself to be “taken away for regrooving” and suffer the consequences, if there be any. Instead I’ll have to start one of those underground study cells and hope for the best.

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 timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  IS PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY A DRUG? – If it behaves like a drug, and possesses the same characteristics of a drug, then it may very well be a…

LAST TIME:  REMEMBERING NAMES  – “Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.”

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

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REMEMBERING NAMES

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 17, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– “Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.”

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

I hate to forget a person’s name. There is probably nothing more rude in business than to forget someone’s name, particularly if you have had to deal with them one-on-one. Years ago, when I was just starting out in business, I met a gentleman from Worcester, Massachusetts who attended one of our training courses in Cincinnati. He was a nice guy and I actively worked with him during the class. Two weeks later, we held a customer conference in French Lick, Indiana where I happened to run into him again, this time on the golf course. My mind went totally blank as to what his name was, thus creating an awkward moment as we greeted each other (he, of course, remembered my name, but I was blocked). After some clever maneuvering, I finally got him to say his name which I instantly recognized. However, to make matters worse, I mispronounced the name of the town he is from which, if you are not from Massachusetts, is easy to butcher (look up “Worcester” in the dictionary and you’ll see what I mean). All in all, I didn’t score well in front of my customer that day. Consequently, I was determined not to let this happen again.

Following this episode, I started to take introductions more seriously and made a concerted effort to learn a person’s name, how they liked to be addressed, where he or she was from, and their interests. At the time, I developed a Rolodex file with this information printed on it. If I had to leave my office and visit customers on their premises, I would be sure to take pertinent cards from the file with me. Today, of course, I keep everything in a Personal Information Manager (PIM) which I can take with me anywhere on a flash drive, but the principle is still the same. This little intelligence has served me well over the years and I have impressed many customers with what I remembered about them, even years later. It’s not that I have developed a great memory, I haven’t, it’s just that I recognized the usefulness for remembering little details about people, cataloged them, either in my head or written down somewhere, and used it as needed to develop a good rapport with my clients.

Customers find it very comforting when such detail is remembered by their vendor. It gives them a sense of security that their interests are being maintained, which helps to develop trust and a bond between customer and vendor.

These days though, few people take the time to remember your name. As a small example, when you go to the drive-up window of a local bank, tellers are typically hospitable, but rarely do they take the time to remember your name. I hate it when they try to be pseudo-flirtatious with you when they don’t know who you really are. No, it doesn’t endear me to the bank.

It is these little observations that go a long way. As an example, perhaps the best secretary I ever saw was a lady named Myrna who worked for an I.T. Director in Chicago. The first time I visited the office, Myrna warmly greeted me and asked if I wanted a cup of coffee. Saying Yes, she then asked me what I wanted in it. I said cream and sugar, which she then made for me. Months later when I returned to visit the I.T. Director, Myrna greeted me by name and presented me with a cup of coffee with cream and sugar. Frankly, I was startled that she not only remembered my name but how I also liked my coffee. Later I found out that Myrna also maintained a simple card file; whenever someone visited the office, Myrna would record their name and the type of coffee they liked. Sharp. Very sharp.

It’s these little details that make a difference in customer relations. As Michelangelo said, “Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.”

As an aside, it has been many years since the incident with the customer from Worcester, MA, but to this day I can still vividly recall his name. It’s…ah…ah…

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 timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  REMEMBERING NAMES – “Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.”

LAST TIME:  TAKE HIM AWAY FOR REGROOVING  – What happens when you find yourself out of step with the times.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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CHECK HER TEETH

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 10, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Do your homework before you make an important decision in a relationship.

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

Over the years I have had the pleasure of watching several fine young men grow into adulthood. Inevitably, they become serious about a woman and consider marriage. On more than one occasion I have been asked what they should be looking for in a woman, e.g., a potentially good mother, cook, sex partner, or whatever. I flippantly advise them to “check her teeth,” which is an expression I picked up from a horse trainer years ago. Now, please, I do not mean any disrespect to women by this remark. In fact, I recommend the same thing to young women considering a husband, “check his teeth.”

I was advised by the trainer that you should, of course, review the animal’s papers, check it with your hands, study how it walks and rides, see how it responds to the human voice, and inspect its hooves, but checking the teeth says a lot about the health and treatment of the horse. In other words, carefully study the animal before you buy it. We should do anything of substance likewise, be it an automobile, a boat, or a major appliance or piece of equipment. Too often people become enamored with the advertising sizzle and overlook the actual state of the object and end up with something they regret later on.

The same is true in marriage. Too often people overlook deficiencies in the other person and becoming preoccupied with the other person’s sexual prowess or money. Only later do they realize they should have done some more checking on the other person and some soul-searching. The divorce courts are littered with millions of couples who didn’t do their homework properly and paid dearly for it.

Over in the Middle East, Saudi men can still practice polygamy, whereby they can have as many as five wives; one as his principal or senior wife, one to do the cooking, one to do the cleaning or to teach, one to raise the children, and one for sexual pleasures. The wives don’t always get along with each other which is why the man may have to pay for multiple houses for his different wives to live in, which sounds like a pretty high price to pay for a man not being able to make up his mind.

In this country, we practice monogamous relationships, at least we’re supposed to in marriage. In most marriage vows, we promise to love, honor and obey until death do us part, which implies marriage is for a long time. Unfortunately, there seems to be fewer people these days who take this obligation seriously and change partners like they change clothes. Then again, I guess this stimulates the economy as it keeps a lot of attorneys, judges and law clerks gainfully employed.

We would have a lot fewer divorces in this country if we just took the time to study some teeth. Maybe the expression “look before you leap” would be more appropriate, but I have found “check his/her teeth” makes a more indelible impression on the young person.

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 timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  UNDERSTANDING CREDIT SCORES – You would be wise to keep track of yours.

LAST TIME:  ASSUMING RESPONSIBILITY  – Why should I pay for somebody else’s mistakes?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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

ASSUMING RESPONSIBILITY

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 7, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Why should I pay for somebody else’s mistakes?

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

I recently saw a picture of a boy who had been running through his house with a fork and somehow tripped and got it stuck in his nose. Perhaps you’ve seen the photo yourself on the Internet. It looked pretty painful, funny but painful. It occurred to me this is how changes begin to be implemented in our society. I’m sure this incident resulted in a costly hospital bill to have the fork surgically removed from the boy’s nose, along with some plastic surgery, and in order to avoid a costly medical bill, the family will inevitably try to sue someone, such as the manufacturer of the fork. If successful, we will probably see some legislation emerge requiring fork manufacturers to change the design and create a “safety fork,” imprint a safety warning on all forks, e.g.; “Warning! Use of this fork may be hazardous to your health,” and there will probably be a recall on all existing forks. All this, because the parents were too stupid to supervise a five year old.

In reality, the parents and child are obviously at fault here. Either the parents didn’t teach the child properly, which would be my guess, or the child was just plain thick and needed to learn the lesson the hard way. Instead, someone else will have to pay for this little snafu and take a great tool like the fork and make it illegal. Suddenly, it’s not the parents fault, it is yours. We have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of such frivolous lawsuits over the years, such as the infamous McDonald’s hot coffee case.

I don’t know where this propensity for being portrayed as a victim comes from, but I have my suspicions, namely those who do not assume responsibility for their actions and prefer to be wards of the state, whereby someone else picks up the bill every time the person screws up. I fail to see the logic in this.

“But Tim, have you no compassion for the suffering of these poor souls?”

I have plenty of compassion, a whole truckload of it, but I’ll donate my money to those I believe deserve it, not to some misfits who are forcing me to pay for the problems they created. Where I come from, that’s called “bunco.”

If you live in a capitalist society, as we do, you are required to assume responsibility for your actions and demonstrate a little personal initiative. Sure, we should help those less fortunate than ourselves, but this should be voluntary as opposed to mandatory. Unfortunately, there is a movement underfoot in this country to change all of this which would negate the need to be responsible. However, if everybody gets on the dole, I’m just wondering who is going to pay the bills? You know what, it won’t work.

Next time you think your problems are caused by someone else, look in the mirror first.

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 timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  CHECK HER TEETH – Do your homework before you make an important decision in a relationship.

LAST TIME:  ARE WE BECOMING A GODLESS COUNTRY?  – What the “separation of church and state” really means.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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THE MYTH OF EQUALITY

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 30, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– More than anything, equality is about ego.

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

The Declaration of Independence tells us that all men are created equal, but we sure don’t want to be treated as such when we get older. Americans steadfastly and openly proclaim their belief in the concept of equality, yet adamantly refuse to be treated in this manner. Equality, therefore, is an American myth and one reason why we tend to act more like stubborn individualists as opposed to team players. Being treated equally and fairly sounds nice, but it’s a matter of who knows who, and what we can do for each other (aka, “Politics 101”).

Waiting in line is a good example of everyone being treated equally; basically, everyone waits their turn in line, but inevitably there are people who want to cut in line, or go directly to the front of it and are willing to pay handsomely to do so. Celebrities and the rich pay for special privileges, e.g.; to get the best table in a restaurant, the best medical treatment, legal breaks, free drinks, and the best seat in the house.

Equality in business is definitely a myth. First, you have to understand companies act more like dictatorships as opposed to democratic institutions. We use job titles to differentiate people and reflect the chain of command. Organization charts, which depicts a hierarchy, represents documented proof that people are not equal, even if it is nothing more than a management versus labor relationship.

Even in nonprofit organizations and fraternal groups that openly promote the concept of equality, you will not find it. Instead, you have people craving recognition through titles, sashes, badges, pins, and other such nonsense, thereby trying to delineate themselves from everyone else. Basically, it’s a game of one-upmanship. As an aside, I find it amusing when a a person who didn’t accomplish anything in their professional career, tries to find glory and power through nonprofit organizations. I refer to this as “much ado about nothing.”

There are three areas where people try to differentiate themselves:

* Their physical attributes, such as strength, size, abilities, and appearance.

* Their intellect whereby we try to discern who is smarter than who.

* Their social attributes, which is probably the most powerful of the three, as defined by wealth, personal connections, social standing, and conduct.

More than anything, equality is about ego and we are taught at an early age not to be just be as good as someone else, but to be better than them; and if you cannot be better than them, then undermine them every chance you get. Compare this to the Japanese who are taught at any early age to work together collectively towards common goals. Even as you enter the workforce you are placed on an even footing with others in your “class.” It is only after a number of years working at the company (ten normally) when it is decided what your position and job title will be. The Japanese may not tout equality in their culture as much as the Americans do, but it is much more ingrained in them than the Americans.

In the United States, we have a lot of rights, we have a lot of rules, but we really don’t have as much equality as people believe we do, which is why I call it a myth. You might have an understanding about racial, gender, and social rights, but you will never have equality in the minds of the American masses. So, please put down the placards saying you want equality. Don’t make me laugh. You don’t want equality, you want to leapfrog ahead.

I am reminded of the story of the ant and the aardvark who happened upon one and other on the street. The ant being somewhat nervous about the aardvark’s intentions said to him, “Brother Aardvark, it is good to see you. We are both creatures of the earth, we both drink the same water and breath the same air. We’re equals.” The aardvark shot out his long sticky tongue and devoured the ant in the blink of an eye, burped, and replied, “I’m afraid you’ve been misinformed my boy.”

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 timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  BECOMING AN EDUCATED VOTER – How to become conversant in politics and government.

LAST TIME:  FAILING TO ACT  – It goes well beyond insanity.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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

 
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