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Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

EQUALITY OF DRIVING

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 16, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– We meet on the level, and drive upon the square.

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

Whenever I have somewhere to go with friends or family, I normally volunteer to drive. When people ask me why I do so, I explain it is not simply because I enjoy the act of driving, as much as I somehow appreciate the equality involved. Let me explain. It occurred to me a long time ago that driving is one of the few venues in the world that doesn’t recognize a socioeconomic class structure, race or religion. Regardless if you are a multimillionaire driving a Rolls Royce or Lamborghini, a bum driving a jalopy, or anything in-between, driving requires everyone to behave equally. Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief, everyone is on the level and must behave as such in order for this important transportation system to work. And for some reason, knowing I can start each day on the level with everyone else is encouraging to me.

Some people are easily wowed when they see an expensive automobile on the road. Frankly, I couldn’t care less what you drive or who you think you are. We’re all equal on the road as any member of the Law Enforcement community can attest. They only care the rules are being observed and traffic is flowing unimpeded. Other than that, they are unconcerned with your stature, regardless if you are a politician, celebrity, millionaire, or whatever.

Some see driving as analogous to socialism whereby we must all move along on the roadways equally. Well, not quite. I see it more akin to capitalism where I can drive as ambitiously or lackadaisically as I am inclined to be, not to mention courteous or rude. Nonetheless, I am responsible for my actions. If I decide to drive recklessly, I may incur a moving violation or perhaps worse, an accident. In this event, I will have to pay the bill, not the other motorists. To my way of thinking, I see each day as another chapter where I must get from point A to point B in the most efficient means possible. In other words, a capitalistic race to the top.

My grandfather, who moved to this country from England following the first World War, also loved to drive his car everywhere. So much so, he would even drive his car down the block just to post a letter in the mailbox. His car was his pride and joy, and he would go to great lengths to keep it clean and running smoothly. His pride of ownership clearly demonstrated he was a capitalist.

The one bit of satisfaction I get on the highway is when I either outmaneuver the millionaire in the Lamborghini or watch him get a ticket for speeding. Either way, I realize the system works. Yep, I’m a capitalist too.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

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:  MEDIA MONITORS: SPINNING THE SPIN – Another reason why the press is not fair and balanced.

LAST TIME:  HOW WE ARE JUDGED  – Describing how we size people up.

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 »

HOW WE ARE JUDGED

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 14, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Describing how we size people up.

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

Ever wonder why people treat you the way they do? A lot has to do with how you are perceived by others. Let me give you an example, years ago when I lived in Cincinnati, Ohio I would often drive up to Canada to visit customers along The King’s Highway 401 in lower Ontario. My point of entry and exit was Detroit and I would either take the Ambassador Bridge or Detroit-Windsor Tunnel to and from Canada. Regardless of the route I took, I noticed I would always be asked by the customs agents to pull my car over to the side where I would have to endure the hassle of a search. This went on for years until I realized it was probably my demeanor and expression on my face that caused me to be pulled over, which was tired and cranky looking. As an experiment, I approached the customs agents with a smile on my face, my window down, and was very chatty and approachable with them. Surprisingly, I was let through without any trouble, and I’ve never been pulled over again.

The point is, we primarily act on our perceptions, right or wrong, and regardless of the facts. How we are perceived by others is the basis by which others judge us, both in our personal and professional lives. It has been my experience that there are three attributes people use to judge each other:

1. Social Stature – representing our pedigree and, consequently, our place in society. People naturally act differently around someone who is perceived to be cultured and refined versus someone viewed as “trailer trash.” Its kind of like the difference of how people act in church as opposed to in a saloon. This is also indicative of why we distinguish people by classes (high/medium/low) and how we delineate workers as blue collar/white collar. People like to know what the pecking order is, whether it is in their personal or professional lives, so they can act accordingly. It denotes such things as superior/subordinate/equal relationships, thereby defining who we can dominate, who we cannot, and who we must coexist with.

2. Intelligence – this is an important factor in judging a person, particularly in the workplace where we are evaluated based on our knowledge, skill set and ability for taking instruction. We are either perceived as someone who can quickly grasp and implement concepts and techniques, versus someone who has trouble taking instruction and learning something.

3. Character – beyond intelligence is the perceived character of the individual, consisting of his ethical makeup, dedication and drive, along with his record of actions and decisions made. This denotes the person’s integrity, reliability, and responsibility. Unlike intelligence which denotes what a person is capable of doing, character defines what the person will do in fact. Let me give you an example, I used to know a brilliant guy with a photographic memory in the engineering department of a manufacturing company. His IQ scores were always head and shoulders above everyone else’s, but he had trouble applying his intellect. Instead, he was used by the company as nothing more than a walking encyclopedia who could recite complicated formulas and algorithms at a moment’s notice, yet had no idea how to use this knowledge in practice.

It is these three attributes, used in concert, which we use to evaluate someone, personally or professionally. It is the determining factors we use to communicate with someone, socialize with them, invest trust in, and delegate responsibility to. Managers use these elements to determine what a worker is capable of doing and assigning pertinent responsibilities. It is also what we use to evaluate a new neighbor, or meet someone for the first time socially or professionally. In a nutshell, it is what we use to “size people up.”

We should all be cognizant of how we are perceived by others and adjust where required to fit into the corporate or local culture, but we should also be wary of people masking their weaknesses by appearing or acting as someone they are not. I used to have a gentleman who worked for me in Customer Services who dressed to the teeth, was sharp in social etiquette, and was a pretty smart guy. The only problem was he was a poor performer. He talked a good game, but could never produce anything on time or to the satisfaction of our customers. He was a past master of facade, not substance.

Again, the point here is that people are judged by perceptions first, facts second (ask the tabloid media if you don’t believe me). Appearances are important and should be cultivated, be it the workplace or in our private lives, but we should also know that looks can be deceiving and, as such, we should also cultivate a track record of performance and credibility. Just remember, we are judged by all three attributes mentioned, not just one or two. Appearances mean little if people can see through the disguise.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

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:  EQUALITY OF DRIVING – We meet on the level, and drive upon the square.

LAST TIME:  TECHNOLOGY: SHOW ME THE PROOF  – Is is really improving our lives?

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 »

FOR THE LOVE OF STATUS SYMBOLS

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 9, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– What do you win with them?

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

Have you ever heard the expression, “The guy who has the most toys, wins”? This was obviously invented by someone keenly aware of status symbols. It may sound clever, but I have to wonder what they “win”; the adoration of the vendors they bought everything from? It sounds rather shallow doesn’t it?

There are a lot of status symbols we use to impress others, both tangible and intangible. I’ve categorized them accordingly:

General appearance – an expensive “power suit” is used to denote your corporate status, whether worn by men or women. Your hair is also very important, not just how it is cut or styled, but who does it for you. Other things like glasses, jewelry, and watches are used more for effect as opposed to practicality. Breast augmentations fall under this category. Even our mannerisms, walk, and form of speech is used to send specific signals to others.

Trinkets – the latest technology always makes an impressive status symbol, be it a computer, a cell phone, a TV or camera, a game, etc. The only problem is technology changes at an astounding rate, thereby turning this into a nonstop game of one-upmanship. After all, what is “state-of-the-art” today, is a “has-been” tomorrow.

Automobiles – no other single product tells people your status better than the automobile you drive. Luxury car dealers have known this for years and have used it to their advantage in sales. Snob appeal is often more important than practicality.

Residences – there are two aspects to this: where you live, and what you live in; representing a symbiotic relationship. For example, if you have a magnificent house, yet live on the wrong side of the tracks, people will not care.

Recreation – this represents several things, boats, airplanes, swimming pools, RV’s, etc., but it also includes such things as travel (the more exotic, the better), venues (such as resorts and hotels), and attending events (such as galas, benefits, awards presentations, etc.).

Interpersonal relationship – representing who you know and how you know them, particularly celebrities. For men, it also includes marrying the perfect “trophy wife.” Even sexual conquests are considered status symbols.

Status symbols are a form of communications. It’s our attempt to try and tell others who we are and we’re all probably guilty of using such symbols at different points in our lives. It gets a bit disturbing though when we become obsessed with status symbols, such as “Keeping up with the Jones’.” In other words, it’s not what you have accomplished in your life, but who you think you are.

I tend to call the status seekers the “ST Generation” as they are consumed with having the faSTest, oldeST, neweST, beST, biggeST, smalleST, and moST expensive or powerful. In other words, they measure their social status by things like volume, grade, size, frequency, and age.

Like anybody, I like nice things, but I can’t say I’m easily impressed by status symbols anymore, as I tend to think they’re impractical and costly. Maybe it’s my Scotch blood showing. I tend to be more impressed by people whose actions speak louder than their symbols, such as finding a cure for a disease, an architect who designs a skyscraper, or the contractor who actually builds it. Looks may be important, but they can also be deceiving. As for me, I’ll take actions and accomplishments over status symbols any day of the week. Like I said, what do you “win” with status symbols?

Also published in The Huffington Post.

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:  TECHNOLOGY: SHOW ME THE PROOF – Is is really improving our lives?

LAST TIME:  THANK GOD FOR DONALD TRUMP  – Standing up to the news media.

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 »

TALKING WITH YOUR HANDS

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 2, 2017

BRYCE ON COMMUNICATIONS

– Do we do it to excess?

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

I find it interesting how people use their hands when they talk, kind of like a comedy routine. Just about everyone does it, yours truly included. We use our hands to emphasize a point, exemplify something, but more than anything we use them to command the attention of our audience. So much so, people tend to use hands as a second set of lips. Actually, I do not believe we can help ourselves as we tend to emulate everyone also suffering from the same affliction.

I find it difficult to talk without the use of hands, and it seems the people who can do so are few and far between (and generally tend to be quite boring). Comedians and politicians often use their hands to emphasize a point. In fact, some people are better remembered not for what they said, but how they said it instead. Comedian Jack Benny exemplified the point of someone who is better remembered for his mannerisms than his jokes. Jack could get a laugh simply by looking at people or using his hands.

The occasional hand gesture is fine but it becomes somewhat distracting and annoying when you start using your hands excessively thereby taking on the appearance of an animated windmill. Those who are deaf have a legitimate excuse, but the rest of us do not want to suffer with someone who seems to be going through mime school.

I tend to believe there are three types of active uses of the hand for communications: what I call “The Fencer,” “The Gunslinger,” and “The Punctuator.” “The Fencer” (aka “The Boxer”) uses his hands to swirl, parry and thrust himself in a debate; in his mind, he is in the midst of a dual with an opponent, but with a lot of finesse and footwork. Make no mistake, such histrionics represent a contest to dominate or win over an opponent. Then we have “The Gunslinger” who uses his hands less than the others, often keeping them hidden in his pockets as he contemplates a response to a question, but when he responds, out come the hands like six-guns blazing and shooting down his opponent. The “Punctuator” tends to be less threatening and more academic in nature. Here, hands are used to highlight a point, such as using two fingers on both hands to make the “quotes” sign, or an exclamation point, an underline or a period. Do we tend to favor one form over another? Sometimes, but I tend to believe we use all three forms to suit our needs in a conversation.

What I find most interesting in our use of hands is that we are usually not cognizant we are using them in our daily discourse. Sometimes I will parody a friend when I notice they are speaking excessively with their hands. This usually results in a look of total surprise as they were unaware of the use of their hands. It’s all very subliminal.

Using our hands is a natural part of the way we communicate. However, if you are worried you use your hands excessively, either ask your friends, or better yet, try sitting on your hands during a conversation. If one or both hands pop out, you probably use them to excess.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

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:  STOP THE PRESS! – Time to get tough with the news media.

LAST TIME:  IF YOU CANNOT BEAT THEM, INSULT THEM  – Has liberal humor gone too far?

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

ARE AWARDS REALLY IMPORTANT?

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 26, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– or is it your job performance?

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

I recently snuck away for a little fly fishing in North Carolina with a couple of friends who happen to be illustrators, very respectable ones I might add. One is a personal friend I have known for many years and although we have different professional backgrounds, we inevitably talk about business. The art industry is a highly competitive field, probably because colleges have been churning out a glut of artists, illustrators, and graphic designers over the years. Compounding the problem is the computer which greatly leverages the ability of even the most mediocre talent. Frankly though, companies do not care whether a piece of artwork was created by hand or with computer assistance. They just want a graphic which will enhance an article, a magazine, a book, or whatever. This means the graphics business is not just competitive, but fiercely so.

Within the art world, there is a multitude of awards for excellence at the local, regional, and national levels, even some international awards. All are considered prestigious to a certain degree, some more than others, and artists and illustrators regularly enter their work in hopes of gaining some recognition. In particular, young people crave such awards in the hopes it will boost their career and look good on a resume. As my illustrator friends were quick to point out, such awards may be useful for stroking one’s ego, but they certainly do not put food on the table. Consequently, it is not uncommon for winners of such awards to bypass award presentations as they are more focused on their next job.

You typically find more awards in the arts as opposed to the sciences, even though they have their fair share as well. Instead, sciences rely more on certifications denoting a person is properly skilled to perform a certain task. Whereas, awards stroke the ego, certificates offer prima facie evidence of your qualifications. It means you have passed certain tests of workmanship.

As my friends correctly pointed out, your job performance is more important than any award you can win. The applause of your customers is much more important than winning the esteem of your critics and contemporaries. Satisfied customers represent repetitive business and a more consistent cash flow. They also make better references than any award.

If you find yourself being squeezed between working on a billable job and winning an award, don’t think twice about it, take the money and run. Your work is much more important than any award.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

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:  WISCONSIN’S “CAMPUS FREE SPEECH ACT” – Get ready for another showdown.

LAST TIME:  GETTING FIRED  – What to learn from the experience.

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 »

GETTING FIRED

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 24, 2017

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– What to learn from the experience.

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

People get fired from their jobs for a lot of reasons, such as a company struggling in today’s economy, poor job performance, corporate politics, or even petty jealousies. Being fired is a real shot to the ego regardless of the reason. The first question one asks is, “Why?” Unfortunately, we don’t always get the answer, maybe because companies are afraid of possible litigation resulting from the dismissal or they believe they are trying to let the worker down easily. Consequently, employees are dumbfounded as to why they were fired or are left with a fabricated excuse, which, to me, can be more damaging than the actual firing itself.

Years ago, my father had to fire someone who had risen above his level of competency (aka “The Peter Principle”). He pulled the man aside, explained what he had done wrong and let him go. Years later, my father bumped into the man who was now working at another company. My father wasn’t sure how the man would react to their meeting. Actually, the man was quite warm to my father and confided to him that getting fired was the best thing that happened to him as he realized he was on a collision course with disaster in his old job and my father’s advice helped point him in the right direction. In other words, the firing had ultimately benefited the man in the long run and proved the point that keeping a poor performer does a disservice to both the company and the person.

Aside from economic downturns, employees typically get fired for a variety of reasons: incompetence, inability to grow and assume responsibility, failure to adapt to the corporate culture, excessive tardiness and absenteeism, bad attitude towards work, illegal acts, etc. In this situation, it is about you, the employee, and highlights a character flaw you may or may not be conscious of. In this situation, you should resist the temptation to become bitter, and try to learn from it instead. It must be something you have done (or not done), or the perception of what you have done. Either way, try to find the truth. If it is something concrete, that’s easy, but if it is a problem of perception, try to determine what the cause of the perception is and try to correct it. For example, maybe you were the victim of gossip or something misreported. Then again, maybe there is something in your character that causes people to perceive you as something that you are not. In other words, it’s time for some retrospection and soul searching. Regardless, do not dismiss the firing as just the ravings of a nut job. Remember, it is either something you have done, or the perception of what you have done.

This is why I’m a big believer of regularly scheduled employee performance reviews, which many people avoid as they feel uncomfortable talking about a person’s character. These reviews should not be taken lightly by either the manager or the employee. They are invaluable for pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of the employee, clearing up misconceptions, and formulating a course of action to improve the employee. Some companies have a policy of performing such a review 30 days from the first day of work, others wait 60 or 90 days. They are then reviewed either on an annual or semiannual basis. The point is, don’t take your evaluation lightly, try to understand what the manager is telling you and ask questions. Otherwise you might find yourself totally surprised when the boss fires you.

Hopefully, the person doing the firing will do it professionally. I have seen too many people stumble clumsily through it thereby turning it into an ugly affair, benefiting no one. This is why I wrote the paper “Firing Employees isn’t for Sissies” some time ago.

Bottom-line: Don’t be bitter about firings and reviews. You might not like them, but you should definitely learn from them.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

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:  ARE AWARDS REALLY IMPORTANT? – or is it your job performance?

LAST TIME:  TRUMP’S “BIG AGENDA” (Book Review)  – Trump was vilified like no other presidential candidate in history, yet he still defeated the Democrats.

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

WHAT WE LEARN IN SUPERMARKETS

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 17, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– You can learn a lot from a supermarket, perhaps too much.

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

You can learn a lot from a supermarket. For example, if you want to know what a community is really like, visit the local supermarket. To me, it is a microcosm of the community, complete with local cuisine, customs, speech patterns, fashion, and social stature. It also tells us a lot about our driving skills. That’s right, driving. The similarities between how people push their shopping carts in the store and how they motor around town is truly remarkable. Think about it, here’s what you typically find as you meander the store aisles:

Speeders – these are the people who know exactly what they want, and go in and out of the store as fast as possible. They have little time for chitchat and God forbid you get in their way, WHAM! Actually, I like to follow the speeders through the store as they tend to clear the aisles for me (kind of like following an ambulance or fire truck). Most people are put off by speeders though, particularly when they accidentally ram into other shopping carts.

Slow Pokes – obviously this group represents the antithesis of the speeders. These are the people who either go grocery shopping like it is a carefree social outing or the geriatric types who can barely see above the carts. Then of course there are the people talking on cell phones or the handicap wheel chairs the size of a Sherman Tank. All of these people move at a snail’s pace and are totally oblivious to everyone else around them thereby causing traffic jams.

Road Hogs – these are the people who push their carts down the middle of the aisles making it difficult to pass from either direction, left or right. These are the same people who like to double-park their carts in the most congested parts of the store and look offended if you ask them to move (which, of course, they do reluctantly).

Navigation through the supermarket is probably the biggest reason why people loathe going to them. Perhaps if they were designed more like highways it would be simpler, such as turning lanes, traffic signs, and lines painted down the middle of the aisle floors (actually, I think this would be a great idea as people are conditioned to follow painted lines on the road and would probably observe one side or the other).

Thank God nobody ever thought of adding a horn to a grocery cart as I suspect the sound would be deafening. Maybe what we need is a motorcycle cop driving a two wheel Segway up and down the aisles writing tickets or traffic cops strategically located around the store.

Actually, I think they should give driving tests in supermarkets as a precursor to getting your actual driver’s license. Imagine kiosks in supermarkets like Kroger, Publix, and Safeway where you have to complete a written test and then be evaluated by Troopers with drill-sergeant hats and reflective glasses with clipboards judging shoppers on their driving skills. This should significantly cut down on the number of idiots on the road wouldn’t it?

Yes, supermarkets tell a lot about ourselves, maybe too much.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

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 WE LEARN IN SUPERMARKETS – You can learn a lot from a supermarket, perhaps too much.

LAST TIME:  WHAT CAUSES “THE STUPIDS”?  – With the masses, it’s all about crowd control.

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: , , , , | 4 Comments »

WHAT CAUSES “THE STUPIDS”?

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 15, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– With the masses, it’s all about crowd control.

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

Shortly after graduating from high school I went to work at a large amusement park in Cincinnati for a summer where I ran the cable car ride. I had a lot of smaller jobs while in school, but this was the first where I was exposed to the public on a grand scale. The amusement park provided instructional materials to try and prepare employees in dealing with the public, but I don’t think anything truly prepares you for something like this other than to throw you right into it whereby you either sink or swim.

I have to admit, dealing with the masses for the first time is an eye-opening experience and definitely not for the faint of heart. The public’s indiscretions and atrocities are truly mind-numbing as anyone who has ever worked at such a venue can tell you. While at the park, I saw motorcycle gangs, groups of transvestites, drunk hillbillies, etc., but it was Orphan Day at the park that finally pushed me over the edge. Basically, the park opened its doors to every orphan in the state of Ohio which, to me, seemed like releasing all of the animals from the zoo. The kids basically ran amok throughout the park un-chaperoned. In addition to just being pests, they endangered others on the rides, and frequently injured themselves. As I recall, the log-flume ride had more than its share of chopped off fingers from kids who wouldn’t listen to instruction and keep their hands inside the ride. On more than one occasion they caused my cable-car ride to shut down by jumping up and down in the car during the ride. As an aside, seeing a cable car bounce up and down on a line like a pogo stick is a frightening sight. Bottom-line, Orphan Day was my last day of employment at the park.

Recently, I was asked to help out at a major community event in my area. This was not just another rinky-dink arts and crafts festival, but rather a major outdoor event involving thousands of people. The particular group I was involved with was charged with directing parking and securing the entrances and exits to the event. As the human throngs invaded, I started to experience flashbacks to my amusement park days. Instead of dealing with orphans, motorcycle gangs, etc., I was dealing with basic families and retirees. Interestingly, I discovered they suffered from the same case of “the stupids” as the whackos I had in Ohio, It thereby occurred to me that “the stupids” know no boundary and can be found just about anywhere involving large groups of people.

Here are the earmarks of people suffering from “the stupids” in massive venues:

* Sensory impairment, particularly sight and sound. It seems people cannot see the largest of signs, even when it is blinking in front of them. Further, they seem to become deaf when you are trying to give them instruction; either that or they seem to forget the English language and look at you like you are from another planet.

* People become self-centered. Instead of trying to cooperate and wait their turn, they are more interested in pushing and shoving to the head of the line. When you try to correct them, they become belligerent, regardless of how polite you try to be.

* People develop a herd mentality whereby they follow anyone wherever they are going, right or wrong, kind of like lemmings.

Basically, I find people tend to lose consciousness in mass settings and prefer to have others do the thinking for them. If I have learned anything from this, it is:

1. People have no common sense in massive settings and need to be told what to do, not just once but repetitively until it sinks in.

2. People prefer to be led and told what to do. They are more content if they know someone is watching over them.

3. People are easily manipulated using simple commands. If the message is complicated, the less likely they will understand and obey it. Short, simple commands are all that is necessary (and all that John Q. Public understands).

If this all sounds like a cattle drive, it is, complete with park attendants who play the role of cowboys. Next time you visit an amusement park or political rally, observe how the masses are manipulated and you will see what I’m talking about. Just be careful not to spook the herd though, you might start a stampede. This is why you often hear soothing music at such venues, as it tends to calm people down (like the cowboy’s harmonica).

“Get along little doggie!”

Also published in The Huffington Post.

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 WE LEARN IN SUPERMARKETS – You can learn a lot from a supermarket, perhaps too much.

LAST TIME:  RESPECTING PRIVACY  – What to do about a loudmouth neighbor.

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 »

RESPECTING PRIVACY

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 12, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– What to do about a loudmouth neighbor.

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

When I first went to Japan, I found it fascinating how so many people could get along in a small amount of space. For example, if you take the subway in Tokyo during rush hour, you better not be claustrophobic, as people are jammed in with you any way they can. Fortunately, I’m tall enough where I can keep my head above the fray and get some fresh air, but down below are Japanese pushed into my navel (and just about everywhere else). Remarkably, as close as the quarters are on the subway, the Japanese try to respect the privacy of the people surrounding them. I’ve always admired the Japanese for this; quite simply, there is great respect for the concern of others. Because of the small amount of available space, I guess they really have no alternative.

Contrast this attitude though to the United States where we have a heck of a lot more space, but we still have areas where people live in close quarters, such as apartment buildings and condominium complexes. I recently had a reader complain to me about a neighbor in her apartment building who was causing a lot of trouble for the residents there, whereby he would be loud, knock on doors in the middle of the night to wake people up, and generally be an all-around nuisance. They tried to talk to him, but he disregarded their complaints and continues on his war path. My reader asked me what she should do about the situation.

First, you have to recognize you are dealing with someone who is either immature or socially dysfunctional, and such people can be dangerous as they have no concern for anyone else but themselves, the absolute antithesis of the Japanese culture. Second, find out the rules pertaining to your apartment complex as written and attached to the lease or contract, perhaps some governing documents. If such rules and regulations do not exist, look up local government ordinances. Next, register a written complaint with the proper authorities; in fact, get as many people as possible to sign the complaint with you which adds more credibility to your argument. Although you may want to take your complaint to your landlord, in all likelihood, he will not care. From his perspective, an obnoxious tenant that pays his rent on time is better than a quiet, empty apartment for lease. In other words, you will have to register your complaint with law enforcement officials.

When your complaint is officially registered and the person is notified, he will either be forced to conform or may become more belligerent. Now is the time to keep a journal of any other incidents that may arise, including pictures or audio if pertinent. Hopefully, the situation will go away, but it may also erupt on a grander scale, whereby you end up in court or be forced to move yourself.

Such a situation is unimaginable in Japan. The neighbors would talk to the person who, in turn, would become embarrassed and comply in order to maintain harmony and not to lose face. However, in the “home of the free,” such a talk would only make the problem worse, not better.

There are of course other alternatives, such as a baseball bat persuader, or hire Nunzio “Three fingers” to have a little “chat” with the problem child, but it is probably best to try legal alternatives first. Then again, you could move to Japan, if you don’t mind being squashed into a subway car.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

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 CAUSES “THE STUPIDS”? – With the masses, it’s all about crowd control.

LAST TIME:  CONFIDENCE IN PRESENTATION  – Getting the audience on your side.

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 »

THINKING SMALL

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 8, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– It is preventing us from achieving greatness.

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

When I catch up with old friends through social media, particularly those from my youth, I am often asked something like, “Well Tim, how has your ride been?” In other words, have I had a good life? More importantly, knowing of my business background, they want to know what I have learned along the way, particularly in my field of endeavor, Information Technology.

Without hesitation, I admonish them that Americans tend to think “smaller” than we did years ago which, of course, requires some explanation. Keep in mind, as a Baby Boomer I lived through the space race, the cold war, and mainframe computers where the intent was to develop massive Management Information Systems (MIS), processing everything from soup to nuts. This is in sharp contrast to today’s world involving smart phones, the Internet, and writing an “app” representing a single program. The idea of writing something small seems to be preferable to working on major systems. In a way, it is like owning a dog, smaller ones do not require as much maintenance as larger ones.

The massive systems of yesteryear are still around, but developing new ones is avoided, primarily because they have forgotten how to build them and, as such, can no longer be effectively developed on-time, within budget, or according to specifications. The government alone is inundated with a plethora of system snafus. In contrast, the idea of writing an “app” is much more appealing to our sense of developing something “quick and dirty.” Consequently, our defense systems, health care systems, agriculture systems, and commercial systems are crumbling much like our physical infrastructure.

Examples are everywhere. Whereas 60-70 years ago we talked about landing astronauts on the moon, building a nationwide highway system, building bridges, dams, and skyscrapers; today thinking “small” has resulted in decaying buildings and highways, and turned over leadership in the space program to others.

Maybe the reason we think small is because most people are looking for an easy way out. I tend to believe there are a lot of people who prefer operating on autopilot as opposed to daring to think greatly. Instead, they rely on talking heads to shape their opinions and attitudes. I realize we rely on the help and society of others in our journey through life, but perhaps too much. It takes men and women of character to think big, and those that do are often scorned and ridiculed because they have the audacity to challenge the status quo.

Our initiative and ambition has also changed. The Greatest Generation were the tough guys who won a world war. In the process, they learned to assume risk and were more inclined to make gutsy decisions than their successors. They also possessed a strong work ethic resulting from the Great Depression where they learned the value of a dollar. Their energy and ambition has never been matched by the Baby Boomers or ensuing generations.

Adding to this is our troubling habit of reinventing the wheel year after year. As an example, in the Information Technology business, there is no sense of history, as I presume is true in other industries. Today’s programmers have little understanding of the earlier concepts of such things as writing in machine code, assembly, and how the procedural languages emerged; nor are they aware of various data base models, such as hierarchical or network. Consequently, there is an inclination to delete and rewrite programs as opposed to re-using information resources thereby saving time, money, and allowing system integration. As we all know, without a sense of history there is a tendency to repeat mistakes from an earlier time.

In the process of thinking smaller, we tend to make life more complicated through excessive use of rules and regulations. Take airline flying as an example, which used to be considered an enjoyable experience. Long before elaborate security systems were established, passengers could just walk to the gate, present their ticket, and walk on to the plane. In-flight, it was common to have a full meal as opposed to peanuts or pretzels. One of the best I remember was on an old Republic Airlines flight from Chicago to Milwaukee where I was served a fabulous corned beef hash and egg breakfast. Not bad for a thirty minute flight.

Today, we have to be sensitive to allergies to snacks, going through security is like the Bataan Death March, a drink now costs upwards to $10, smoking is prohibited, the overhead compartments are packed with luggage, you’re squeezed into seats like a can or sardines, and entering or exiting the airport is like crossing over at Check Point Charley. Today, I would much rather drive my car than suffer through the indignation of air transportation.

Airlines are not alone, and government red tape is becoming stifling, causing companies to become frustrated, and think smaller in terms of determining their objectives. What is the point of trying to tackle major projects if government is going to be more of an impediment than a facilitator? We also see this in how we manage people. Instead of delegating responsibility and empowering people, companies prefer to micromanage every little action of its workers. Very dehumanizing.

Our society is heterogeneous, meaning we are a mixture of people with different perspectives, different beliefs, and different values. We have people residing in this country from every nation on the planet, all of which shapes our morality, our sense of right and wrong. The Gallup organization has been monitoring morality for several years and notes our changing values. Nearly 75% of the people believe our morality is getting worse, not better. I tend to believe this is caused by our inclination to resist cooperation and focus on our individualistic needs, a narcissistic attitude where we think of ourselves first, and others second.

Without a sense of morality and a diminishing set of social skills, people tend to avoid teamwork and assuming responsibility, thereby denigrating our productivity and ability to get things done. Hence, we are back to thinking small again. Teamwork and cooperation can be taught through leadership and the establishment of national objectives. To illustrate, the country typically pulls together in times of war or catastrophe. As another example, in his 1962 speech at Rice University, President Kennedy called upon the nation to win the space race by landing a man on the moon by the end of the decade, which we did. This resulted in a renewed sense of pride, cooperation, and a positive spirit of accomplishment, simply by establishing a national objective.

Even in today’s polarized political climate, we can realize a similar spirit and national pride, but it requires one important ingredient: an ability to think big once again. The only problem though is, it is easier to think small than to think big.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

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:  CONFIDENCE IN PRESENTATION – Getting the audience on your side.

LAST TIME:  WHAT IS FAIR?  – Is it in the eye of the beholder?

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 »

 
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