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Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

A QUARTER-LIFE CRISIS?

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 20, 2018

BRYCE ON MILLENNIALS

– Another indication of our changing times.

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

It used to be, you might experience a mid-life crisis in your late 30’s, as you approached the mythic age 40 milestone. This would result in erratic behavior, and cause people to change their lives personally and professionally, possibly even resulting in divorce. However, according to a new report from the United Kingdom, this crisis appears to have moved up in years and is now plaguing our Millennials.

Although the study was aimed at Britain, their conclusions are likely applicable to all Millennials, including those in the United States. The report was produced by First Direct, an on-line banking service in the UK, to study, among other things, Millennial financial habits. To do so, they teamed up with Dr. Oliver Robinson, Senior Lecturer for Psychology at the University of Greenwich.

Remarkably, 56% of 25-35 year-olds in the study claimed they were experiencing a quarter-life crisis which left them feeling “stressed,” “overwhelmed,” and “struggling to cope,” the same type of anxieties as people experiencing a mid-life crisis.

Top causes behind Millennials having a crisis episode in the last 12 months:

Causes by Age Group 25-29 30-35
Financial difficulties 59.89% 47.63%
Your living situation 37.91% 34.41%
Working in a challenging job 30.40% 26.18%
Lack of romantic relationship 25.27% 27.93%
Trying to find a job 25.82% 20.45%
Being in a challenging romantic relationship 23.63% 26.06%
Trying to get on the property ladder 21.61% 9.48%

Source: FirstDirect

Notice the differences between the two age groups. The figures for 30-35 age group suggests more stability than the younger group, more confidence, and maturity.

First Direct produced a report describing these problems and how to address them, “How to turn your Quarter-Life Crisis into a Quarter-Life Catalyst,” which is available for free at their web site. In it, they explain how to use this crisis to spark change in your life. This is a good read, not just for Millennials, but for their parents as well.

Personally, what I find interesting about the report, it hints at a stunting of the maturation process of Millennials due to declining socialization skills. To me, this is likely caused by our growing addiction to technology, where young people now prefer texting as opposed to verbal communications. This is enforced by the report’s encouragement for young people to network socially, something that has been declining in recent years.

Some will make light of the concept of “quarter-life” crisis. I do not. I interpret it as another indication of our changing world, a decline in our culture, and the dangers of technology.

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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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REINVENTING THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 6, 2018

BRYCE ON LIFE

– More political correctness running amok.

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I’m told English is the most difficult language to learn as it is chock full of colloquialisms, slang, jargon, and expletives. There is even disparity among the English speaking countries of the world, causing the famed playwright George Bernard Shaw to observe, “The United States and Great Britain are two countries separated by a common language.”

I never truly understood why we like to reinvent the wheel every so often, but we do. Perhaps it is nothing more than naiveté but more likely it is just plain foolishness. Take for example, the recent effort at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana where a writing guide has emerged discouraging the students from using the word “Man” as it is considered to be sexist. Instead of saying “Mailman” for example, they want you to say “Mail Carrier.” Instead of “mankind” they want you to say “people” or “humanity” (which happens to have “man” hidden within it). To follow the guide properly means we have to avoid such words as “Freshman,” “Chairman,” “Gentleman,” “Craftsmanship,” “Management,” and many others.

This could also lead to some serious problems in diplomatic relations as we must change the names of countries such as Germany, Oman, and Romania to Gerpersony, Operson, and Ropersonia. I’m sure these countries will understand and follow suit. Let us also not forget Personila, the capital of the Philippines, and Kathpersondu, the capital of Nepal.

Come to think of it, all of the Latin based languages observe the masculine/feminine tense, including English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Gerperson. Instead of saying in Spanish something like, “Donde esta la Casa de Musica?” we’ll have to say, “Donde esta persona Casa de Musica?”

Instead of using the Spanish words of “el” or “la” to denote the sexual orientation of an object, we’ll have to drop the word “the” from the Spanish language, likewise for the others. I still don’t know what to do with “Hombre” as I’m sure this will offend someone. Nonetheless, this change shouldn’t affect too many people.

By the way, we can no longer refer to these various tongues as “Romance languages” as they originated from the language spoken by the Ropersons.

Recently, there have been efforts to reinvent math through the “Common Core” program, as well as rewriting American history to make us feel more guilty about ourselves, and now we are trying to reinvent the fundamental structure of the English language. I can’t wait for them to change physics whereby I’m sure they will contend, “What goes up, must be shared.”

I lectured at Purdue years ago in their business school, a fine institution. As we all know, the school’s nickname is the “Boilermakers,” a reference to the train steam boilers built there years ago. By the way, a “Boilerman” is a person who tends to boilers; I guess this will all have to be changed as well.

I don’t know why Purdue is pushing this effort, as it sounds like political correctness running amok. Purdue is also well known for agriculture and producing first-rate engineers. I just wished they would stop trying to re-engineer the English language.

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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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

2017 YEAR-END WRAP-UP

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 22, 2017

BRYCE ON BRYCE

– My most popular columns this year.

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

This is my last column for the year as I prepare to enjoy the holidays and rest up for 2018. As has become customary, I’m using this opportunity to review my top essays from the past year.

As you know, I write on a variety of subjects, such as management, systems, technology, social issues, politics, and observations of our changing world. Sometimes my work is instructional and informative, other times it is controversial or humorous. I certainly hope it isn’t boring. By the number of subscribers I have, their comments, and the hits I have on my web site alone, I do not believe this is the case.

NOTE: You can find the audio versions for many of these columns on My Web Page.

My top columns for the year were:

1. The Importance of the Family Restaurant – The popularity of this article was a pleasant surprise for me. In it, I describe the role the family restaurant plays in our lives. I also heard from a few restaurant owners who appreciated the piece.

2. “Penny for Pinellas” faces up-hill Battle – Even though it was an off-year politically, there was one issue commanding the attention of voters in my neck of the woods, renewal of the “Penny for Pinellas” tax which was slipped past the voters due to low turnout.

3. Rebuilding Loyalty – Discussed why loyalty is important in our lives and why we should maintain it.

4. The Liberal Playbook – describing the tools used by the Left as they re-arm themselves for the midterm elections.

5. Where are the Adults? – written as the “resistance” movement heated up.

6. How Liberals Control the Media – this was one of many pieces I wrote regarding the Main Stream Media.

7. The Differences between Left and Right – discussed the differences in codes of conduct.

8. What the March on Washington was all about – more on the “resistance” movement.

9. Why the Left hates Donald Trump – an older piece I wrote which gained ground again.

Remarkably, there were two older pieces that were frequently read this past year:

* The Five Elements of Mass Production – written in 2013, this is a textbook explanation of the components of manufacturing and why they are necessary. The popularity of the piece suggests to me it is being referenced in school programs.

* How Did Our Moral Values Change? – another piece from 2013, I was pleased to see it resurface as morality is a favorite subject of mine.

I will be on sabbatical for awhile until I am ready to get back in the saddle.

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

LAST TIME:  WHAT IS BUSINESS?  – Sounds like an innocent question, but do we have a consensus understanding?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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

STUNTING THE MALE MATURATION PROCESS

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 19, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Is it being driven by technology?

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

I have described the adverse effects of technology on numerous occasions, such as its addictive powers and effect on the human brain. However, something recently occurred which causes me to believe it also affects the maturation process, most notably in males.

I recently visited a hospital for some tests (nothing serious, just routine). While sitting in a waiting room, I happened to meet three black ladies who happened to be talking about football. Their personas and banter reminded me of “Diamond and Silk” of Trump fame, who all seemed to be of one mind and possessed an acute case of common sense.

I happened to join their conversation and we discussed everything from high school football, to college, and the NFL. I found their candor refreshing. As Floridians, they were well versed in college football in our state, including Miami’s recent loss to Clemson. We discussed the pros and cons of the college playoffs and who we thought would win the national championship, but they were also keenly aware of the need for effective coaching, both on and off the field. One of them made the observation that college players were often supervised by the coaching staff and disciplined accordingly, but in the pros there were no mentors or supervisors to keep these young men in check, which explains why it is easy for them to get into trouble. The other ladies agreed.

I happened to mention my recent essay, “Understanding the NFL’s Problems,” whereby I noted the players unpatriotic conduct and how they are prone to get into trouble. They agreed with my observations and were frustrated the players were acting immaturely.

Afterwards, I thought about their comments carefully and considered why this phenomenon with young men is occurring. We always knew women tended to mature faster than men, but it appears men are becoming slower in the maturation process. For example, studies show they are less inclined to marry and remain at home longer as opposed to just a couple of decades ago. Men at this age also have trouble managing their money. “Sports Illustrated” performed an analysis of spending habits of NFL players and found 78% of them are bankrupt, or nearly so, just two years after their athletic careers are over. As they break into the league, most go on an insatiable spending spree and develop financial habits which haunts them later on.

To top it off, it appears men are more inclined to become addicted to personal technology than women, not just via computers and phones, but through game consoles as well. This then begs the question, “Does technology stunt the male maturation process?”

Although there is considerable evidence to indicate it does, there is no concrete proof. However, years ago, when a man completed college or a stint in the military, it was assumed they were mature enough to leave home and lead a productive life independently. However, business managers today are spending more time with young people mentoring them and performing what I call “Parenting Management.” In other words, teaching them what their parents failed to do by performing the role of guidance counselor.

All of this explains why the ladies I talked to regarding football are right, the players need to be supervised to keep them out of trouble. Unfortunately, the young men are not mature enough to make proper decisions for themselves. By failing to offer them guidance, morality suffers, not just by the players, but by the younger people who want to emulate them. This is a major failure by the NFL which needs to be addressed.

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 IS BUSINESS? – Sounds like an innocent question, but do we have a consensus understanding?

LAST TIME:  WHERE DOES YOUR TIME GO?  – How it adds up.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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

WHERE DOES YOUR TIME GO?

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 18, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– How it adds up.

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

I was recently stopped at a traffic light on legendary US19 here in Palm Harbor during rush hour. For those of you unfamiliar with US19, it is the main artery running north-south in our county (Pinellas). There are three lanes on each side and traffic volume can be considerable. If you get caught in rush hour traffic, you can be hung-up for quite some time. It can also be quite dangerous; the bumper sticker, “Pray for Me, I drive on US19,” pretty much sums it up. There are traffic lights spread approximately three miles apart, which means there is a lot of stop-and-go traffic. So much so, I started to wonder how much time we waste waiting in traffic. To learn the answer, I checked various sources on the Internet and learned more than what I was originally looking for, for example:

WAITING – on the average, we spend 45 to 62 minutes daily. This includes waiting in traffic, in lines, or for service.

COMMUTING – According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the national average daily amount of time we spend commuting to work is 24.3 minutes. Actually, I thought this was surprisingly low.

EATING – According to the USDA, Americans spend 67 minutes eating and drinking during meal times, but we also spend an additional 23.5 minutes eating while doing something else, and an additional 63 minutes drinking beverages while doing something else, e.g., coffee/tea breaks. In total, 153.5 minutes.

BATHROOM – we average 57 minutes in the bathroom each day, either relieving or grooming ourselves. Women tend to spend more time than men in the powder room, but that is immaterial for the purposes of this article.

TELEVISION – a 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, indicated Americans spend a staggering 2.7 hours watching TV each day.

LEISURE AND SOCIALIZATION – several reports indicate we spend 100 minutes on other recreational activities, excluding television.

SLEEPING – most reports still indicate we spend eight hours each day sleeping. Some reports have it a little higher, but I tend to believe it is less than this. Nonetheless, eight hours appears to be the average.

So, let’s add it up for the typical work day. I’ll round off the numbers to the nearest half hour:

1.0 – WAITING
.5 – COMMUTING
2.5 – EATING
1.0 – BATHROOM
2.5 – TELEVISION
1.5 – LEISURE AND SOCIALIZATION
8.0 – SLEEPING
17.0 – TOTAL HOURS

This leaves us with just seven hours to pursue our labors which doesn’t seem like much when you compare it to everything else. It also makes you wonder if we’re truly earning our keep which is a bit disheartening.

Then there is the matter of how much time we spend on these activities in a lifetime. If I were to use just 50 years as an average, we would find the following number of DAYS spent:

760.4 – WAITING (2 years)
380.2 – COMMUTING (1 year)
1901.0 – EATING (5.2 years)
760.4 – BATHROOM (2 years)
1901.0 – TELEVISION (5.2 years)
1140.6 – LEISURE AND SOCIALIZATION (3.1 years)
6083.3 – SLEEPING (16.6 years)

Please remember, these numbers are based on averages and doesn’t take into account such things as vacations, disabilities, unemployment, etc.

As amusing as these numbers are, they should make us cognizant of whether we are wasting our time or not.

See what happens when you leave me stuck at a red light on US19?

First published: October 26, 2012

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:  STUNTING THE MALE MATURATION PROCESS – Is it being driven by technology?

LAST TIME:  A LITTLE SILLY  – Why we need a light hearted distraction now and then.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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

A LITTLE SILLY

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 15, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Why we need a light hearted distraction now and then.

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

There’s not too much to laugh about these days; the country is still polarized politically, and the main stream media has the general populace whipped into a frenzy over just about everything. In fact, the general disposition of the country is rather depressing, which is why it is refreshing to see or hear something that lifts our spirits, something a little silly. As for me, not long ago I was waiting in line at my bank’s drive-in window when a man drove up on a red motorcycle whom I judged to be in his sixties. This was no ordinary motorcycle as it had an attached sidecar with a golden retriever proudly perched inside wearing goggles and a red bandana. It appeared the dog was enjoying himself immensely and didn’t seem encumbered by the attire his owner had dressed him in. The sight of the dog stopped everyone in their tracks, both in and outside of the bank. The bank tellers called their colleagues to the window to see him, and the other patrons waiting in line rolled down their window to get a better look. He was simply a very cool pooch who seemed to enjoy the attention, as did his master.

This particular couple have become regulars in our area and are often seen on the roadways around Palm Harbor, a tiny community on the suncoast of Florida. Everywhere the two go, they are met by smiles and pointed fingers. They lift the spirits of people wherever they go. Golden retrievers are pretty cool dogs to begin with, but when you add goggles and a bandana, they become real hams. It’s as if they know what they’re doing and are daring you not to laugh. I’ve seen other types of dogs sitting in sidecars, but the golden retriever seems to own it, particularly if he is dressed properly.

Now, more than ever we need a little silly in our lives. Walking around in a depressed or angry mood can make for some rather deep psychological scars. It is important to now and then do something a little silly thereby lifting the mood of others and ourselves. I believe our friend with the motorcycle is very cognizant of this, which is why the pair take to the streets like Batman and Robin to bring a little cheer to the citizens of our area. We don’t know exactly who the Dynamic Duo are, as their goggles conceal their identity, but they are warmly welcomed wherever they go. It’s a nice little silly that can break the tension regardless of who you are or the problems you are experiencing. For one brief moment, you cannot help by being distracted, thanks to a little silly.

First published: September 14, 2012

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:  WHERE DOES YOUR TIME GO? – How it adds up.

LAST TIME:  WHY DO OPPOSITES ATTRACT?  – Good question and something that has puzzled us from time immemorial.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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

WHY DO OPPOSITES ATTRACT?

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 13, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Good question and something that has puzzled us from time immemorial.

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

On a recent trip to work one morning I was tuned into a local radio talk show. One of the DJ’s mentioned he happened to be married to a vegan, yet he was a confirmed meat eater. The other two DJ’s sharing the microphone with him found this amusing, as did I, and they asked him what life was like living with a vegan, particularly at dinner time. Somehow they found a way to avoid squabbles and respect each other’s culinary preferences. One didn’t intrude on the other, and they have lived happily together for quite some time.

I am always intrigued by couples who appear to be incompatible on the surface, yet somehow find a way to build a successful marriage. I have seen tall people marry short people, fat and thin, wild versus mild, mixed religions, mixed races, and mixed politics. As to the latter, there is probably no better example than political pundits James Carville (Democrat) and Mary Matalin (Republican) who were married in 1993 and have two daughters. Even though they worked on opposing political campaigns, they somehow found the right chemistry to make their marriage work. This particular union has puzzled people for years, particularly due to their different personalities. When they appear on television, Carville is very animated and chatty, and Matalin appears more sedate and thoughtful. Both have strong personalities in their own right. When they appear on television together, they make it clear they do not agree on several political issues and try to correct each other, which can be rather amusing to watch. As I understand it though, politics is a taboo subject at home, particularly around their children. As an aside, I wonder if this political odd couple votes at election time since they will undoubtedly cancel each other out.

Then there are the law-abiding citizens who marry convicts while incarcerated. I never did quite understand this; a spouse who is free on the outside and a convicted criminal on the inside, never having physical contact or living together. Even people committing some of the most heinous crimes seem to score well from within the walls of prison. Maybe there is sex appeal in the forbidden fruit of a mass murderer, or maybe they’re just plain nuts. Somehow I have a hard time grasping death row as a lover’s lane.

How the opposite ends of a magnet are attracted is easier to explain than human compatibility. Scientists have a lot of theories for the attraction of people, but no conclusive facts. There are those who believe it is based on a biological and chemical arousal whereby people are attracted by scent which somehow matches the female’s hormonal status. This would suggest it’s all in the DNA. Then there are those who believe it is based on complementary psychological makeups, or maybe based on some astrological compatibility where the stars must be in some specific alignment.

As for me, I don’t buy any of this. Frankly, I’m not sure what it is that makes another person float your boat. Maybe it’s physical, maybe it’s logical. I tend to believe there is some specific element of the other person we find intriguing, and realizing they are complete opposites, we tend to work harder at building and maintaining a relationship than those people who are much more compatible. Keep in mind, there has to be more “give and take” in a marriage of opposites as opposed to those who are evenly matched. They have to work harder if they want to sustain it. A relationship of opposites will be obviously more challenging than a compatible relationship which will likely be more sedate. I guess some people thrive on a challenge, and some do not.

Maybe the only way this can be proven is by studying the duration of marriages and divorce rates of compatible couples versus polar opposites. Wouldn’t it be interesting if the opposite couples were more successful? Keep in mind, Carville and Matalin have now been married for 24 years, and it certainly couldn’t be due to their politics. In 2009, the two were interviewed by CNN’s John King who asked them how to maintain a happy marriage:

Carville: “I don’t have a position on anything domestically. So I just say yes, and then go on and do it. I mean it. I would say the three ingredients to successful marriage is surrender, capitulation and retreat.”

Matalin: “Spoken like a true liberal. What a martyr. Faith, family and good wine. That’s how we do it.”

First published: September 28, 2012

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:  WHY DO OPPOSITES ATTRACT? – Good question and something that has puzzled us from time immemorial.

LAST TIME:  A LITTLE SILLY  – Why we need a light hearted distraction now and then.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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

COMMON COURTESY

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 11, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– A simple form of communications which reflects our character.

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

I recently discussed the four basic types of personalities; A, B, C and D. In addition to the different personality types, we as humans have a wide variety of interests and non-interests (“turnoffs”), as well as highs and lows. As such, it is impossible to know precisely how to properly relate to everyone in every situation all of the time. The common leveler is common courtesy. By this I most definitely am not referring to “political correctness” which is concerned with pseudo-courtesy for political purposes. Instead, common courtesy represents a genuine respect for the human spirit and how we should interact. This is much more than just saying “please” and “thank you,” it’s treating others as we want others to treat us.

Each day we transmit a series of messages which communicate how we regard others. This is done either verbally or through other means affecting our senses. These messages can either be perceived as positive or negative. For example, someone who dresses or smells badly is sending a message that he has no regard for the others around him, as does foul habits such as belching or flatulence. Conversely, good grooming means you care how people perceive you. Other positive messages are conveyed through such things as greetings and handshakes, punctuality, and simple manners. Common courtesy, therefore, is concerned with sending positive messages as opposed to negative. It also means our ability to practice common courtesy is a reflection of our character and how we want other people to treat us.

Introductions, Handshakes & Greetings

In Japan, an introduction in a business setting is very important. In addition to identifying yourself, it establishes your professional image, and the superior/subordinate relationship for the two parties to assume (the “pecking order”). Consequently, the Japanese practice introductions carefully, particularly how a business card is presented, as they realize its importance. In contrast, people in the western world have a much more cavalier attitude towards introductions. Nonetheless, the introduction is every bit as important and sends signals as to how we perceive each other.

A lot of people underestimate the importance of a handshake. Actually it is the single most important message we can convey in an introduction. Some people like to give a strong vice grip handshake in an attempt to intimidate you, but most handshakes today by young people are weak and flabby. Actually you need to find a good balance, not too flabby and not too strong. Further, look the other person square in the eyes when you shake hands, this conveys your sincerity in meeting the person. Do not trust anyone who simply shakes your hand but doesn’t look you in the eyes; they simply do not care about you.

Shaking hands has historically been a very masculine custom, but this has changed in recent times. However, men still question the appropriateness of shaking a woman’s hand. Because of this, it is the woman’s responsibility to offer her hand. If she does not offer her hand, do not reach for it as she may feel uncomfortable doing so.

Upon meeting someone for the first time, be careful about using the other person’s first name or nickname as this may be reserved for the person’s friends and family. Use “Mister”, “Ms”, “Mrs” or “Miss” depending on how you were introduced and allow them to say, “Please call me Joe.” But if by chance you ask, “May I call you Joe?” Don’t be surprised if someone says, “No.” In other words, do not risk embarrassment, let the other person make the offer to use their first name or nickname. And please, whatever you do, do not call the other person “Dude,” this should have gotten out of your vernacular after graduating from High School.

It is also a good practice to memorize the other person’s name, particularly when a business card is unavailable. Nothing is more embarrassing in a business relationship to both parties than to forget a name. Write it down if you cannot remember it.

It is a good practice to greet your boss and coworkers on a daily basis when reporting to work (as well as saying your farewell at the end of the day). Nobody wants to feel unwelcome or unappreciated. If they do, they will feel like outcasts and less likely to help you with something. The objective is to make people feel at home. This can be accomplished with a simple greeting such as “Good morning” or “How are you?” It is easy to detect when a greeting is sincere or routine. Your goal is to appear genuinely concerned about the person. This can be achieved by:

* Complimenting on some personal attribute of the person (e.g., clothes, hair, car).

* Inquiring about a person’s family (e.g., birthday observed, anniversary, graduation, pets, health, etc.).

* Asking about an event the person recently experienced (e.g., attendance at an event, a trip, participation in a volunteer organization/charity, a new job or project assignment, etc.).

* Commenting on something newsworthy – community, sports, weather (“What did you think about…?”).

Such greetings are an expression of your interest in the person. Too often greetings become routine and, as such, less credible. Try to break it up.

A good basic greeting can work wonders in building cooperation and relations between people.

Attention to Detail

Small details can have a dramatic effect in your relationship with others. For example:

* Be observant – if there is anything constant in life, it is change. Change is always around us, but it takes a perceptive person to be able to spot the smallest of changes, whether it be a new hair style, someone losing weight, a small job well done, or whatever. When a change is observed, ask yourself why it has happened. Be inquisitive and understand the rationale for the change. This will help you adapt to the change as well as improve your interpersonal relations. For example, people are easily flattered when someone compliments them on a change. It means you are perceptive and interested in the person, both of which puts you in good standing with the other person.

It is these little observations that go a long way. As an example, perhaps the best secretary I ever met 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 Director, Myrna greeted me by name and presented me with a cup of coffee with cream and sugar. Frankly, I was startled she not only remembered my name but how I also liked my coffee. Later I discovered Myrna 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.

First published: September 14, 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

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Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  AMERICAN RENAISSANCE – It is no longer business as usual.

LAST TIME:  FLY FISHING IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA  – Beware of hatchery fed trout.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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THE GOOD NEIGHBOR

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 1, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– The joy and benefits of a little cooperation.

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

Every now and then I take an elderly friend home from my Masonic lodge (I’ll pick them up as well). If they need help getting into the house, I do so. If I am just dropping them off, I make sure they get inside the front door before I leave. For friends who are away from home on vacation or business, I check their houses at night to make sure everything is alright. If they ask me, I pick up their newspapers in the driveway as well as the mail. If they need to be dropped off at the airport or picked up, I’m glad to oblige. On a few occasions I have mowed the lawns for my neighbors when it got too long and someone failed to cut it. Every now and then I am called upon to help move something heavy at a neighbor’s house or assist in some awkward task, such as helping my neighbor get her gravely ill husband back into bed after he had fallen out. All of these acts are appreciated and not taken for granted by my acquaintances. I certainly do not expect any recognition or compensation for this other than they reciprocate in kind. However, most respond by remembering to buy me a good cigar which I certainly appreciate. I do not consider this an imposition as they are good friends and neighbors.

I am not sure where I learned to be a good neighbor, probably from emulating my parents who did likewise over the years. As I was growing up in the various communities throughout the United States there was always a sense of community, that you kept an eye out for your neighbor and helped out where needed. During the Great Snow of Chicago in 1967, the roads were clogged with snow. Adults and kids helped clear driveways, and checked on neighbors to make sure they were alright. Some would take sleds and trudge to the grocery stores to pick up basic food supplies, not just for themselves but many others as well. Everything closed down during that storm, including schools, businesses, transportation, etc. I have never seen anything quite like it since. This resulted in some of the best block parties as the neighbors were determined to socialize as opposed to being trapped in their houses.

Disasters, such as tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes and flooding, seem to bring out both the best and worst in us in this country. Sure there are those who loot and take advantage of emergency services unnecessarily, but most of us seem to be more than willing to lend a helping hand in the face of disaster, be it in distributing food and supplies, fixing a roof, using a chainsaw, clearing debris, offering transportation services, helping people find shelters, tending to pets, donating clothing, or whatever. How we respond is truly admirable. Such response represents our compassion for humanity.

I only wonder why it takes a disaster to behave this way and why we are not like this the rest of the year. Many people today believe volunteerism is for chumps and won’t extend the most basic courtesies to their neighbors, be it nothing more than a simple greeting. I fear though, common courtesy is no longer common, nor is it being taught by parents. I do it, not because of my parents or anyone else. I just realized it is the right thing to do, and believe it or not, it is not costly or painful. I certainly do not feel like a “chump” when I volunteer my services, and feel sorry for those who do not as they will never realize the benefits of cooperation.

As I write this, I am reminded of the old Frank Capra movie, “Meet John Doe,” starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck, where a grassroots movement is started to promote good citizenship. A John Doe philosophy then spreads like wildfire across the nation, and clubs sprang up to promote the concept of being a good neighbor. It may sound naive, but maybe we need some more John Doe Clubs to again learn to “Be a better neighbor”.

First published: August 17, 2012

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:  SHAPETH UP AND GETITH THINE ACT TOGETHER – Some tricks of the trade for being productive.

LAST TIME:  SEX EDUCATION, THEN AND NOW  – Are we truly any smarter today?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

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

SEX EDUCATION, THEN AND NOW

Posted by Tim Bryce on November 29, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Are we truly any smarter today?

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

I wonder how much of sex education is learned through television, the Internet, and movies these days? Probably more than we know. As a result, I suspect parents spend considerably less time discussing it with their children than my generation. Back in my day, sex was a subject few people openly discussed, but I’m sure they were just as preoccupied with it. Even though “Playboy” was coming into vogue, nobody discussed such things as erectile dysfunction, social diseases, or openly joked about human sexual anatomy as they do today on prime time. Bawdy jokes were told privately or in Las Vegas. Even tampon ads in magazines were considered risque. The movie “Goldfinger” broke a lot of ground in raising sexual awareness though. Everyone knew what “Pussy Galore” meant, and still chuckle about it to this day.

My father gave me “The Talk” about the birds and the bees somewhere around fifth grade and he treated it rather seriously and matter-of-factly. Prior to this, I hadn’t given it much thought and was thereby surprised about the facts of life, particularly with the opposite sex. This was all reinforced a couple of years later when I was in Junior High School in Chicago. We were bused to the school on a Saturday morning, where the boys and girls were separated and listened to lectures on sex and watched an educational film. Interestingly, before the movie, the boys and girls joked around on the bus and sat together. However, on the trip home, the boys sat on one side of the bus, and the girls on the other; not a word was spoken by anyone. I presume the session had the desired effect the school administrators were looking for.

Following the class, our P.E. teachers would also provide some talks and film strips on sex education. I suspect the films were shown to the GI’s in WW2 as they looked rather old and warned of the dangers of Syphilis and Gonorrhea. Afterwards, we all started to watch our scalps to make sure clumps of hair wouldn’t fall out. It was also at this age when young men start wearing jock straps in gym class. There was an instance where a new kid came to our school and joined our class. In addition to the jock strap, his mother insisted he wear a condom. This really puzzled us. We all knew what the condom was for but were at a loss as to why she insisted on him wearing it in gym. Nobody sat next to him while we were changing.

During high school I played football and would naturally get quite dirty and sweaty. We all took showers afterwards and nobody thought twice about it. One of my teammates eventually became the Athletic Director at the school. When I went back to visit him years later, he gave me a tour of the old locker room where I noticed the shower room was shrunk in half. When I asked him about it, he told me nobody takes showers after a game or practice anymore as the kids have become rather “Homophobic.” I just rolled my eyes and said, “Idiots.”

Despite the absence of the active sexual climate in the media back then, we all got the message, be it from our parents, our school, or amongst ourselves, but I’m not sure it is like that anymore. I know of companies today where managers have to counsel young employees about their sex lives. The biggest danger seems to be they are misinformed about what they are doing, and are incredibly naive about birth control and social diseases. It seems odd a manager has to discuss such affairs with a worker but it is inevitable as many moms and dads have abdicated their parental duties in this regard. I suspect the same is true in the military where sergeants have to give advice, such as, “If you don’t know what you’re doing, keep it zipped.”

Today we may be more sexually active in the media, but our young people appear to be ignorant of the basics when it comes to sex education, just the antithesis of my day. Now there are more sexually transmitted diseases, and we all want to be at the top of our game in sexual performance, at least that is what television tells us. I’m not sure which generation is more correctly “adjusted” to sex, but I sure loved that “Pussy Galore” gag.

First published: August 10, 2012

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 GOOD NEIGHBOR – The joy and benefits of a little cooperation.

LAST TIME:  CLEANING OUT MY E-MAIL ADDRESS BOOK  – It’s just like cleaning out a sock drawer.

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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