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Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

“I SCREWED UP”

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 5, 2019

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– “The longer you delay admitting a mistake, the more expensive it will be to correct.” – Bryce’s Law

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

Nobody likes to admit making a mistake. We tend to believe it makes us look bad in the eyes of our coworkers, friends and particularly the boss. It’s a real test of our integrity. Some people like to cover-up mistakes so they go undetected or, even worse, let someone else take the blame for them. I find mistakes tend to fester and grow if left unchecked, thereby causing bigger headaches and costing a lot more money if we don’t catch them in time.

Every once in awhile you have to look your boss straight in the eye and say, “I screwed up.” It’s kind of like having a priest listen to your confession. Although the boss may be disappointed, he will be appreciative of the fact you came clean with him early on and brought the problem to his attention where it can be caught and corrected with minimal damage.

In this day and age of micromanagement you don’t see too many people willing to admit a mistake. They take on an assignment, get in over their head, and fail to yell for help in time. This does a disservice to the assignment, the people depending on you, and yourself. In business, it is not uncommon to see people rising above their level of competency (aka, “The Peter Principle”). In other words, they have been placed in a position where they are incapable of performing their job effectively. Keeping them in this position is a disservice to the company as well as to the person. Frankly, I think we have too many people in over their heads who refuse to ask for help, which I consider a pretty scary operating scenario.

We have all made mistakes we wish we could take back and correct, some small, others real beauts, but there is nobody out there without a blemish on their record, which is why we are all willing to forgive, provided the person comes clean with it early on.

There’s an old axiom in business that says, “If you make 51% of your decisions correctly, you will be a success.” I’m not suggesting we don’t strive for perfection, but we should all realize it is an impossibility. After all, the last guy who was perfect, they hung on a cross.

Originally published: July 15, 2008

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my new books, “How to Run a Nonprofit” and “Tim’s Senior Moments”, both available in Printed and eBook form. Great holiday gifts!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

THE USE OF TIME

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 3, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– As opposed to what we produce.

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I’m seeing a strange perspective emerging in business as it applies to productivity. Instead of considering the amount of output produced, people now seem only concerned with the amount of time served at work. I see this in I.T. organizations where programmers have said to me, “Wow, I spent twelve hours at work today.” I heard this same exact expression from a guy who was laying sod on my lawn. I answered them both the same way, “That’s nice, but what did you produce in that time?” Interestingly, they both were at a loss for words and vague in terms of what they produced. It appeared to me, they thought they were being productive simply by the number of hours attending work.

I contend it is not the hours in the day that is important, but rather what we produce. In a way, counting hours reminds me of how the military viewed performance during the Viet Nam War, whereby they counted bodies as opposed to geography won. Let us also not forget, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is measured by output, not hours worked.

Years ago in business, employees were taught to do what was necessary to get a job done. If it meant working evenings and weekends, so be it, and you didn’t complain as you knew the importance of the assignment and genuinely liked your work. Even if you didn’t, you possessed personal pride to see the job through to completion. Today though, there is more emphasis on personal time and vacations, so employees have become mindful of how much time they serve and how much they can relax, hence the emphasis on time.

When it comes to the nature of time, we have long promoted the concept of “Effectiveness Rate,” (ER) in Project Management. Unlike “Man Hours” which falsely assumes a person is 100% productive, ER considers time in terms of the amount spent on “Direct” assignments versus “Indirect” interferences. “Direct” means real work, it is what you were hired to do. “Indirect” represents those interruptions keeping us from doing our “Direct” assignments, such as breaks, bathroom visits, meetings, telephone calls, casual reading, social media, etc. The ratio between Directs and Indirects is what we refer to as “Effectiveness Rate.”

In the average office setting, the ER is typically 70%, e.g., in an eight hour business day, 5.6 hours are used for direct work, and 2.4 hours for indirect activities. Studies have shown construction workers are typically 25%. The point is, nobody can be 100% effective, there will be interferences which is a much more realistic perspective of time. Further, employees will have different rates based on their capabilities and experience. Also, please understand ER is NOT a measure of performance; it is simply an analysis of the use of time by workers. Just because one employee has a higher ER as opposed to another, simply means the person has fewer interferences. Whereas “Direct” time is the responsibility for the individual to manage, “Indirect” time is the responsibility for the manager to manage. If a manager observes an employee is experiencing too many interferences, he/she may take measures to minimize them.

To illustrate how ER is used in scheduling, let’s assume we have a person who has made an estimate of 100 “direct” hours (who also averages a 70% effectiveness rate), and there are eight (8) available hours in the business day. Under this scenario, 100 Direct Hours divided by .70 (ER) equals 142.85 elapsed hours. In turn, the 142.85 would be divided by 8 (available hours per day) to equal 17.85 elapsed days. The “man hour” approach mentioned earlier does not take the environmental influences into consideration and assumes an effectiveness rate of 100%. Under this approach, the sample schedule would be completed in 12.5 business day. In other words, ER is a more realistic and reliable approach for producing schedules.

So, going back to the programmers and sod layer mentioned in the beginning, when they claimed, “Wow, I spent twelve hours at work today.” I should have asked what their Effectiveness Rate was. I suspect 10%.

For more information on Effectiveness Rate, click HERE.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my new books, “How to Run a Nonprofit” and “Tim’s Senior Moments”, both available in Printed and eBook form. Great holiday gifts!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

Posted in Business, Life | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

THANKSGIVING & THE LOVES OF OUR LIVES

Posted by Tim Bryce on November 26, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Celebrating the many loves in our lives.

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

Thanksgiving is a favorite of mine and I have written about it on numerous occasions (see below). It’s more than just the food, it’s about being around friends and family. It’s the telling of a joke or story, a fond memory, and a glass of cheer. All of this reflects on the love we have for those who surround us, to wit…

THE LOVES OF OUR LIVES

Throughout our lives we touch a lot of people.

Before you are born, you are the twinkle in your father’s eye.

When you are born, you warm your grandmothers’ hearts.

When you are a toddler, you are the apple of your mother’s eye.

When you are in grade school, you become the buddy of your grandfathers.

You form bonds with family and friends that often lasts a lifetime.

When you play well in a game, you are celebrated by your teammates.

As you enter your clumsy teenage years, you are the scourge of your parents,

But when you graduate from school, you are their pride.

As a young adult, you finally meet the love of your life.

When you marry, your mother is delighted but your father shed’s a tear.

When you have children of your own, your friends and family rejoice.

When you succeed at work, you are the toast of your business associates.

As you retire, you surround yourself with old friends and reminisce.

And when you are gone, you reside in the recesses of our loved ones’ memories, all of whom you have touched.

Each person touches many lives, not only receiving love but passing it on to others as well.

And when we gather around the Thanksgiving table, let us give thanks for the blessings we have and the love we share.

Happy Thanksgiving.

My other columns on Thanksgiving:

* Tim’s 2017 Thanksgiving Grace (Huffington Post, 11/22/2017)
* How not to cook a Thanksgiving Dinner (11/23/2016)
* A Thanksgiving Moment (11/27/2013)
* What are we giving Thanks to? (11/20/2012)

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my new books, “How to Run a Nonprofit” and “Tim’s Senior Moments”, both available in Printed and eBook form. Great holiday gifts!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

Posted in Family, Life, Marriage | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

THE SNOWBIRDS RETURN

Posted by Tim Bryce on November 19, 2019

BRYCE ON FLORIDA

– They’re baaack…

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The snowbirds are finally back in Florida. For the uninformed, this represents the migratory habits of our elderly neighbors in the north who have developed an aversion to winters at home and head for the warmer climate of the Sunshine State for five or six months. Our restaurants thereby become overcrowded and our roads are clogged with motorists with a wide variety of driving habits, resulting in stop-and-go traffic to drive us crazy. Make no mistake though, we welcome our northern neighbors back as they represent +90 million tourists who visit us (yes, it is that much) and pump over $60 billion into our economy.

When the Snowbirds arrive, native Floridians typically drive to work a little earlier, and expect to eat at a restaurant a little later than normal, all to give the tourists ample time to enjoy themselves. The only problem we have with them is their varying driving habits. How someone from Michigan drives is considerably different than someone from New York, which is different than someone from Maine, Ohio, and just about anywhere else. It’s very exasperating to drive under such conditions which tests our patience.

The trademark of the Snowbird is, of course, the Recreational Vehicle (RV) which comes in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and costs. Whatever the size, they somehow manage to clog the roads and Walmart parking lots. I’m always amazed by owners of opulent RV’s who do not bring another form of transportation, such as a bicycle, motor scooter, or automobile. They have to do a lot of walking otherwise. Close to our office is a trailer court where I’ve seen a Snowbird with a state-of-the-art bus-length RV which includes a tow hitch to pull an equally impressive trailer. Inside the trailer are two beautiful motorcycles and a complete shop to maintain them. Although I consider it a rather smart setup, I would be concerned with driving such “Hogs” down here which can be a rather dangerous proposition.

Over the years I have learned there are RV groups who enjoy traveling in “caravans” throughout North America, and Florida gets more than their fair share this time of year. A caravan is nothing more than a group of friends who travel together as a support group on outings. The first RV in line is considered the “Wagon Master” to lead the group. Somehow the image of Gil Favor leading a cattle drive in “Rawhide” comes to mind. The last RV in line is called the “Tail Gunner” which is reminiscent of a B-17 Flying Fortress. Such caravans represent considerable money to trailer park owners and, as such, they are warmly received.

Although you can easily detect snowbirds by their vernacular, you can just as easily spot them by their attitude which borders on pompous arrogance. Coming from the north, they somehow believe southerners are rubes who know nothing, that only northerners know how things should be done. As a displaced northerner myself who settled here many years ago, I am acutely aware of the cultural divide. I have learned Southerners know plenty, they just express themselves differently than their northern counterparts. They may seem rather cold initially, but if you are kind and open to suggestion, they make you feel right at home. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the food of the south who enjoy such things as grits, different interpretations of barbecue, and such oddities as crawdads and deep fried turkey. Northerners simply do not understand southern cuisine. Then again, it took them about 100 years to learn to appreciate southern fried chicken.

Quite often you will hear snowbirds lament, “That’s not how we do it back home.” Maybe not, but you are not in the north anymore and you have to learn to acclimate to the local culture. This begins by losing the stuffy northern attitude, relaxing, and learning to enjoy southern hospitality. Welcome Y’all!

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my new books, “How to Run a Nonprofit” and “Tim’s Senior Moments”, both available in Printed and eBook form.  Great holiday gifts!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

EVEN MORE POLITICAL CORRECTNESS

Posted by Tim Bryce on November 5, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– You won’t believe this.

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For some time we have witnessed how political correctness has affected our speech, manners, even our senses of humor and history. We are asked to forget everything taught to us as it was undeniably wrong, at least according to the far left. Normally, such antics would be dismissed as silly, but then again, there is a subliminal agenda underway here. Two recent examples remind us of how strange it is becoming.

For many years, the expression “okay” was considered a quick way to verify something was satisfactory and ready to go. The question, “Are you okay?” would normally be answered with a thumbs-up gesture or the “OK” symbol expressed by holding up your hand and having the tip of the index finger touch the tip of the thumb. The people at NASA used it for years during the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs, not to mention the Space Shuttle and other programs. The expression became so popular, just about everyone used it in all walks of life.

This all changed recently as “OK” is now considered an expression of racism, and as iconic as the one finger salute. Today, the Left contends the hand gesture is a symbol of “White Power” as the three fingers are alleged to represent a “W” (for White), and the thumb/index finger connection represents a “P” (for Power); “White Power.” I don’t know who exactly dreamed this one up, but it is a real stretch of the imagination to do so.

We may laugh at the use of this symbol as a mark of white supremacy, but an actor at Universal Orlando didn’t find it amusing when it cost him his job. The actor, who remains unidentified, was dressed in character and made the “OK” symbol while standing behind the back of a biracial girl in a photo on the set of a movie. Universal confirms the story. In addition, the Anti-Defamation League updated its data base of hate symbols last week with the “OK” gesture.

Frankly, I never realized NASA was so racist. 😉

Next, we recently learned the use of mathematics is racist. Calling it “Weapons of Math Destruction,” Dr. Cathy O’Neil, a mathematician from Harvard, contends math, particularly statistics, has been used extensively to regulate blacks by whites. As such, math is used for discrimination and therefore is evil. She explains this in a recent YOUTUBE video. This one is particularly hard to swallow, maybe it is her green hair that is at the root of all this.

I saw an interview on Tucker Carlson recently where another liberal defended the notion of math being used for racist purposes, but took it further by contending all whites are, by definition, racists. I was confused by this as she was white as well. Perhaps she meant all liberals are nuts for suggesting such an idea.

All of these taboos are getting out of hand and I wonder when it will ever stop. Probably never.

The next thing you will hear is that expressions such as “please” and “thank you” denotes racism as it suggests subservient behavior towards others thereby creating a master/slave relationship. In this case, they are mistaking simple manners with racism.

So, is political correctness “OK” with you? Oy!

Also see: “More Political Correctness Run Amok” (Oct 23, 2018)

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my new books, “How to Run a Nonprofit” and “Tim’s Senior Moments”, both available in Printed and eBook form.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

WHEN TRAGEDY STRIKES

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 29, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– How it affects us.

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

Whenever I lecture on “Tim’s SENIOR MOMENTS,” I remind the audience how lucky we have been to live in the times we did. Speaking as a Baby Boomer, I particularly rejoice in the music we experienced, not just the Beatles and the British Invasion, but entertainers like Jimi Hendrix who I had the pleasure of seeing in concert in 1968 (and changed my perspective of Rock and Roll). I saw many concerts along the way, including Sinatra in 1984. There was just something extraordinary in our music, but I also appreciated much of the music from earlier in the 20th century, particularly Jazz and Big Band. It was all so imaginative and amazing.

We were also lucky to witness Apollo 11, where we put the first man on the moon, as well as many others thereafter. I saw a wonder horse in 1973 win the Kentucky Derby on his way to winning the Triple Crown of horse racing for the first time in 25 years, Secretariat. In baseball, I had the privilege of watching the emergence of the Big Red Machine, an unbelievably talented team, rock solid in every position, and the likes of which we’ll never see again. There were other sports greats, such as Mickey Mantel, Willie Mays, Joe Namath, and Dick Butkus who exhibited their greatness on and off the field.

We also bore witness to the go-go years of the 1960’s and 1970’s, led by the Greatest Generation. This was when it seemed only the sky was the limit, and computers began to transform offices. We didn’t go out at lunchtime just to eat; such meals were used to plot strategy, forge relationships, and make deals. And, No, we were most definitely not politically correct by today’s standards. It was fun, it was exhilarating, and I’m glad I didn’t miss it.

Such events shaped our character in they represent the joys of life.

Unfortunately, good times are accompanied by bad-

As much as we like to remember the “good old days,” we also faced considerable tragedy which shaped our perspective of life. In the lifetime of the Boomers, we watched havoc strike us time and again, both man-made and natural disasters.

Man-made Disasters-

1963 – The assassination of John F. Kennedy – this shocked the country considerably, both Democrats AND Republicans. To this day, those that lived during this period remember where they were when they heard the news. Some say America was never the same after this. We also saw assassination attempts on President Gerald Ford (1975), and President Ronald Reagan (1981).

1967 – The Apollo 1 fire, claimed the lives of Astronauts Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Edward H. White II, and Roger B. Chaffee. Despite testing and precautions, we were to lose more people along the way, such as the 1986 Challenger Space Shuttle disaster, killing seven, and the 2003 Columbia Space Shuttle burning up on re-entry, also killing seven.

1979 – “The Who” concert disaster in Cincinnati – where eleven people were trampled to death due to “festival seating.”

1983 – Beirut barracks bombings – resulting in the loss of 307 U.S. and French military personnel.

1986 – The Chernobyl disaster in Russia was a painful reminder of the dangers of nuclear energy. Others followed, such as the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan.

1995 – Oklahoma City bombing – resulting in the loss of at least 168 lives.

1999 – Columbine High School mass shooting in Littleton, Colorado, where twelve students and one teacher were killed. This was followed by over 30 copycat shootings plaguing the country to this day.

2001 – The 9-11 Attacks represented the Pearl Harbor event of our generation and forced military action in the Middle East where thousands of U.S. soldiers died or were maimed.

Then there were the serial killers who terrorized whole cities, much like Jack the Ripper did in London during the late 1880’s; Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Richard Speck, Charles Manson, and David Berkowitz (Son of Sam). There were also wackos like Mark David Chapman who gunned down legendary musician John Lennon in 1980.

Natural Disasters-

We have always had disasters caused by Mother Earth. During our time, we’ve witnessed:

1964 – Alaska earthquake – registering at 9.2, it remains the most powerful earthquake recorded in North American history. Anchorage was particularly ravaged and 131 people perished.

1974 – Super Tornado Outbreak – the most violent tornado outbreak ever recorded with 30 F4/F5 tornadoes confirmed. Over two days, there were 148 tornadoes confirmed in 13 U.S. states and one Canadian province (Ontario). In particular, the city of Xenia, Ohio was wiped out by the dedliest individual tornado on record.

1980 – Mount St. Helens volcano eruption – which blew its stack in Washington state and covered the world with ash.

1992 – Hurricane Andrew – a Category 5 storm which decimated southern Florida.

2005 – Hurricane Katrina – another Cat 5 which crippled Louisiana.

2017 – Hurricane Irma – yet another Cat 5 which pummeled Puerto Rico.

We have also had our share of tornadoes:

1999 – Oklahoma Tornado Outbreak

2011 – Super Tornado Outbreak

There were also numerous wild fires, earthquakes, tsunamis, and blizzards. As to the latter, I survived the great 1967 Chicago blizzard.

People will talk about these natural phenomena for many years to come, and, NO, I do not blame it on climate change. We have been plagued by such natural disasters for as long as we have been a nation. For example, the bitter winter of 1777-78 was so harsh at Valley Forge that more than 1,000 soldiers perished.

What have we learned?

These tragedies killed and injured thousands of people, left many homeless, took a toll on our mental well-being, cost billions, and was an insurance nightmare. In many cases, it took mere moments to wreak havoc and considerable time to repair.

Whether it was a man-made or natural disaster, a lot of this could have been avoided, had we performed better planning. For example, civil engineers long knew the weaknesses of the dikes and levees protecting New Orleans prior to Hurricane Katrina, yet politicians diverted money to other projects. Had the Secret Service insisted on affixing the roof of President Kennedy’s limousine, we wouldn’t have suffered such a traumatic event.

Instead of planning and being pro-active, Americans prefer to be reactive and allow havoc to strike as opposed to preventing it. There are many examples of this throughout our history, including Pearl Harbor, 9-11, and the Challenger disaster.

We do not like to remember such tragedies, but such events also shape our character, just as much as the joys of life, as it affects our senses of empathy, charity, our will to survive and overcome, and learn from our mistakes. To illustrate, it is impressive to see how Americans lend a generous hand to those maimed by disaster. As soon as a disaster hits, such as a major hurricane, we see Americans mobilize and come to their neighbor’s aid in boats, bringing supplies, clearing debris, repairing homes, and much more.

The only good thing you can say about how Americans react to tragedy is that it brings out the best in us.

It is when we forget about these disasters that we court their repetition.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my new books, “How to Run a Nonprofit” and “Tim’s Senior Moments”, both available in Printed and eBook form.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

THE POLITICAL CORRECTNESS OF JOKES

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 22, 2019

BRYCE ON HUMOR

– It’s okay to laugh.

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

I was recently delivering a talk at The Villages in Florida regarding my new book, “Tim’s SENIOR MOMENTS.” I was talking about how life has changed over the last fifty years, such as technology, social customs, our music, even our humor. As to the latter, I reflected on how we do not tell jokes anymore. Interestingly, a hush fell over the audience as I had hit a politically incorrect topic and they seemed apprehensive as to what I would say, which I’ll explain momentarily. As for me, I was startled by the silence but persevered and told the joke which was well received.

The American sense of humor has changed radically over the years. We don’t tell many jokes anymore in social or business settings. Instead, jokes have been replaced by Internet videos and cartoons, and somehow I miss the art of storytelling. Years ago, while waiting to change planes at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, I happened to stop for a drink at a small bar near my gate. Standing at the bar was comedian Jackie Coogan (Uncle Fester from the old Addams Family TV show) who was also in transit and stopped for a drink. He started telling jokes and in no time at all had everyone in gales of laughter as he told one risque joke after another.

Over the years, I think I’ve heard just about everything. So much so, when a person tries to tell a joke, I can often guess the punch line. I have heard jokes about sex, politicians, the military, traveling salesmen, prisons, hair lips, animals, blondes, midgets, gays, religion, but the most prevalent jokes have been ethnic in nature.

As I traveled around the world, I noticed everyone has an ethnic group they like to pick on, for example: the Brazilians tell Portuguese jokes (as do the Spanish), the Japanese tell Korean jokes, the Greeks tell Albanian jokes, Canadians tell “Newfie” jokes (people from Newfoundland), South Africans tell “Von der Merven” jokes (Dutch related), Texans tell “Aggie” jokes (Texas A&M University), and it seems Irish and French jokes are universal. When I lived in Chicago, I heard the best “Pollock” jokes, mostly from the Polish themselves. Come to think of it, most of the ethnic groups I’ve met love to tell jokes about their own kind which seems a bit odd. Now that I think about it, I cannot remember hearing of a Swiss joke. Maybe it’s because the country is neutral, or maybe they are just not funny.

You don’t hear too many ethnic jokes anymore, probably because it is not considered politically correct, and you will inevitably be labeled a “racist.”

Regardless of the type of joke, they are rarely told anymore in social settings, which I consider rather sad as we have forgotten how to laugh at ourselves, such as human perspectives, priorities, and sense of right and wrong.

When I attend meetings with young people half my age, I am often asked to tell a joke from my ancient repertoire. The jokes may be 40 to 50 years old, but the young people haven’t heard them, thereby providing me with a new audience. Frankly, I am surprised how many I can remember.

Here is the joke I used. I originally heard it from my next door neighbor years ago (I have to clean it up a little):

One day, an elementary school teacher was trying to teach some lessons of morality. She asked the class, “Can anyone tell me a story which leads to a moral lesson?”

Little Betsy raised her hand and said, “I can teacher. Not long ago I was visiting my grandparents’ farm in the country. They asked me to collect the eggs in the hen house and bring them inside. I collected all of them and put them in a basket. However, I accidentally tripped and dropped the basket, breaking all of the eggs in the process.”

“And what was the lesson learned there?” the teacher asked.

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” Betsy replied.

“That’s very good Betsy, that is the type of story I’m looking for. Is there anyone else?”

Little Sally raised her hand and said, “I have somewhat of a similar story. I was visiting a friend recently who had an incubator with twelve chicken eggs in it. We watched in amazement as they all began to hatch. Unfortunately, my friend tripped over the power cord causing the incubator to turn over, break the eggs, and kill all of the chickens.”

“And what was the lesson learned there?” the teacher asked.

“Don’t count your chickens before they hatch,” Sally said.

“Very good. Has anyone else got a story with a moral they would like to share?”

“I do teacher,” little Eddie said as he waved his hand. “My Uncle John was a pilot in Viet Nam during the war. One day he was flying a cargo mission and was shot down by the North Vietnamese. He crash landed in the jungle, and was only able to save his M60 machine gun, a machete, and a case of beer stored on the aircraft. He hid out in the jungle hoping a chopper would pick him up. After he had finished drinking all of the beer, he was discovered by the Viet Cong who attacked him. In defense, he took out his M60 and killed fifty of them. When he ran out of bullets, he used his machete to kill fifteen more, and when his blade broke, he killed five more with his bare hands.”

The teacher looked ashen at little Eddie reeling from his tale. She stammered, “And what…what…what is the moral of that story?” she asked.

“You don’t mess with my Uncle John when he’s drunk.”

Yea, I know, the joke is not politically correct and appears to be insensitive to life, but it has also resulted in gales of laughter both yesterday and today, particularly from vets. It also illustrates how our sense of humor has changed.

Frankly, we need to loosen up a bit and quit taking ourselves too seriously.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my new books, “How to Run a Nonprofit” and “Tim’s Senior Moments”, both available in Printed and eBook form.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

Posted in humor, Life | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

SHOPPING AT MEN’S STORES

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 15, 2019

BRYCE ON MEN’S FASHIONS

– Women are very important in what you select.

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

I have been shopping for men’s clothes for many years. Although I have my own tastes, I have always counted on the opinion of the women in my life, be it my mother years ago or my wife since I’ve been married. Both have good taste and I rely on their opinion. I even enjoy their company when I’m shopping for men’s clothes.

Early in life, my mom worked at a men’s shop in Buffalo (Riverside Men’s Shop). This is where she learned the merchandise and how to judge quality. As to my wife, she always had a good sense in style. Both have picky tastes, thank God.

I find, with few exceptions, guys lack the fashion sense that women possess. I know I do not. A lot of guys want to go in like it is an Entebbe raid, get the merchandise, and retreat. They want to look good, but do not want to go through the hassle of trying on different coats and pants.

If you go with women, they are likely to put the brakes on some of your decisions. One of my favorite lines is, “You’re not going to pay good money for that, are you?” Even though I may be halfway out the door, such a comment makes me stop dead in my tracks and think about what I was about to purchase.

I listen to the female opinion carefully as I know if I cannot pass their test, I won’t be presentable to other people, particularly women. Since they know my conservative tastes, they know I will resist anything flamboyant and help me select something to cultivate a professional image. Frankly, I’m surprised men’s stores do not cater to the woman as opposed to the man. Without the female’s approval, nothing will be purchased.

I have always enjoyed visiting such stores, it is kind of like going to a good cigar shop or golf club for me, thereby making it an enjoyable experience. Sometimes, the salesmen can be rather pushy, which is a real turnoff, regardless of the price. Actually, I prefer female salesmen as they have a better sense of working with men and I value their opinion. Maybe men should work in the dress department as it would have a similar effect.

The most interesting suit I ever purchased was in Hong Kong years ago. I was connected with a tailor who made a suit for me in 24 hours. The trick was to come back for three fittings, which was awkward for me to make. However, I have to admit I enjoyed the final product which was made at a reasonable price. I wore that suit for years.

This brings up an important point, you know you have been successful at a men’s store when the following three things happen:

1. You are proud of the suit you purchased and cannot wait to wear it to your next business or social function.

2. You do not feel cheated by the price, that you got your money’s worth.

3. The women in your life are happy with your selection.

Just remember, clothes may make the man, but women “make” the clothes.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my new books, “How to Run a Nonprofit” and “Tim’s Senior Moments”, both available in Printed and eBook form.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

GOD HAS A SENSE OF HUMOR

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 8, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Now there is proof of it.

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

I am now convinced God possesses a sense of humor. Proof can be described in one word: toenails.

When you are young and very limber, cutting your toenails is not a big deal. Snip, snip, snip… and it is all over in a scant few seconds. However, as we get older and our joints stiffen, it becomes an arduous task to clip them. In fact, it is downright comical how we try to get down to our toes to perform the task. I cannot help but believe God laughs his ass off watching the contortions we put ourselves through to clip something as simple as toenails. It’s a riot. This explains why nail salons make a ton of money on pedicures as nobody wants to do it anymore.

Toenails also evolve over time into something that can look rather gnarly. We thereby become embarrassed to show our feet to others, including pedicurists who gasp at the sight of some of them. It can be rather nasty. Some require a few coats of Sherwin-Williams to make them look half palatable for human sight. Again, I can hear God chuckling over all this.

There are other things which must amuse Him as well, such as ear and nose hairs. I think He invented a mechanism whereby the more hair we lose from our head goes directly to our ears and nose. Then there is the problem of women who grow mustaches which embarrasses them to no end. Actually, I think this one is rather mean spirited.

The one that amazes me though is how the Lord consolidated our reproductive organs with our plumbing system. I think God was having a bad day when he came up with this one. No engineer in his right mind would combine the pleasure center with the sewer system. I think this one had Him in convulsions.

Then He made it so we either can or cannot urinate on a regular basis. It seems men cannot turn it on and women cannot turn it off, or vice versa, with neither being in sync. Feet then become swollen and other problems ensue.

There are many other little nuances in life He has created which seems rather ridiculous, such as nervous perspiration, sunburns, mucous, ear wax, an irritable itch here and there, pains and sprains, gas, and of course hemorrhoids.

Yes, God indeed has a sense of humor.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my new books, “How to Run a Nonprofit” and “Tim’s Senior Moments”, both available in Printed and eBook form.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

MISSING SAM KINISON, REDUX

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 17, 2019

BRYCE ON HUMOR

– Would he have fit in with political correctness?

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

As many of you know, we lost comedian Sam Kinison in an automobile accident back in 1992. For those of you who do not remember him, Sam was described as a “heavy metal” comedian who was well known for being raunchy and irreverent. Interestingly, prior to becoming a comedian he was an ordained Pentecostal Minister, but he was better known for his shock-rock humor who made biting commentaries of our time. It seemed nobody was spared, but his favorite targets were Rev. Jim Bakker of the PTL Club and his wife Tammy, Jessica Hahn, the Pope, Oral Roberts, religion in general, World Hunger, Gays, and several commentaries on sex, drugs and Rock n’Roll. I can still vividly remember his trademark scream.

No, he was certainly not politically correct, by both today’s and yesterday’s standards. His humor would make just about everyone blush, but behind it all you had to admit there was an element of truth and wisdom in his comedy, and this is what ultimately endeared him to the public. Many didn’t understand how a former minister could be so vulgar, but as for me, I clearly understood what he was trying to tell us.

What is sad is that Sam was cut down just as the times were changing and we needed his biting humor more than ever. Had Sam survived, imagine what he could have done with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill. He could have done hours on the Clintons and Monica Lewinsky alone. There was also Drummer Tommy Lee and Pam Anderson, Anna Nicole Smith and Paris Hilton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, and much, much more.

Sam’s humor though was not confined to sex. I would have loved to have heard his take on Bill Gates and Windows, Steve Jobs and the iPhone, the Internet, the Taliban, Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, Iraq and Saddam Hussein, immigration, and on and on. Unfortunately, Sam missed a period of time which would have given him more fodder for his humor than he could have imagined. But such was not to be.

What few people realize is that just prior to his death, Sam was planning on giving up comedy and going back to being a Minister. As for me, Sam taught me that in an age of political correctness, maybe some intolerance and ridicule is deserved; maybe we shouldn’t just sit back and accept the status quo and instead we should speak up and voice our displeasure, and; perhaps we take ourselves way too seriously.

So, Yes, I miss Sam, not just for how he ranted and raved, but more importantly, what he was trying to tell us.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my new books, “How to Run a Nonprofit” and “Tim’s Senior Moments”, both available in Printed and eBook form.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

 
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