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Archive for the ‘Social Issues’ Category

WHAT WE LEARN IN SUPERMARKETS

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 17, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also published in The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

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

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

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

 

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

WHAT CAUSES “THE STUPIDS”?

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 15, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Get along little doggie!”

Also published in The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

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

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

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

 

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

RESPECTING PRIVACY

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 12, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– What to do about a loudmouth neighbor.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also published in The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

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

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

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

 

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

IS AMERICA ON THE BRINK OF FALLING APART?

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 17, 2016

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– A comparison between the 1960’s and the 2010’s.

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

The recent shootings in Dallas and Minneapolis, along with the resulting protests and police assassinations, makes us wonder if America is spinning out of control. Racial disparity is the highest it has been since the 1960’s when our cities burned and people died. If the 60’s taught us anything, violence can easily erupt despite the best intentions for peaceful and nonviolent protests.

Today, we live in a land of political correctness where it is acceptable to say “Black Lives Matter,” but not “White Lives Matter” or “Blue” or any other color. We also seem to conveniently overlook the fact whites are killed more than blacks by the police by a wide margin of 2:1. Maybe this is because our president is African-American and insists on such correctness.

According to Gallup, our morality is steadily declining. To illustrate:

* Many years ago, declaring bankruptcy was considered a disgrace, now it is commonplace and a convenient way to avoid paying your bills. Over the last 100 years, bankruptcy in the United States has slowly climbed. It began to accelerate in 1980, when there were less than 500K filings, and skyrocketed to its height of +2M in 2005. True, bankruptcy will affect your credit and future ability to use money, but it has become the escape hatch of choice for people inundated with loans or bills. Declaring bankruptcy may get you out of the hole, but it certainly will not help your creditors.

* Divorce was considered scandalous for many years. Attitudes change though and the 1970’s marked the decade where the divorce rate began to skyrocket.

* Pregnancies out of wedlock were also considered a family disgrace. Since the 1960’s though, it has steadily increased. For example, in 1980 18.4% of all births in the United States were to unmarried women; in 2007 the rate was nearly 40%.

* Premarital sex, which was long considered a taboo, accelerated dramatically in the 1960’s, from 22% to 74% in 1991.

* Being unemployed was considered a black mark against a person, particularly if you were fired. Not so anymore, primarily due to the financial instability of our economy.

* It used to be, the very idea of accepting charity from anyone was considered an embarrassment. Not so anymore. Today, over 100 million people accept federally funded welfare.

* Female-headed households has grown considerably since 1960 at about 8% of households to 23% by 2000.

* Whereas attending church was considered a natural part of life years ago, attendance has steadily declined since the 1960’s.

So, what caused these changes? During the 1960’s, it was a revolt of the attitudes and values of our parents. Likewise, in the 2010’s, the Millennials are trying desperately to distance themselves from the Baby Boomers, including lifestyles, work habits, and politics. For example, the Millennials now embrace extreme sports and high living, and consider the rise of Craft Breweries versus traditional American beers. They also despise micromanagement and want to be more entrepreneurial. As to politics, they avoid capitalism and embrace socialism, probably because they do not understand the difference between the two. Rational political dialogue is replaced by visceral shouting.

During the 1960’s, places like Chicago, Watts, Newark, and Selma became icons of disturbance in our country. Likewise, in the 2010’s, it is Ferguson, Baltimore, Dallas, Minneapolis, New York, Atlanta, and Oakland.

The 1960’s was a decade where a counterculture of drugs emerged; where people like Timothy Leary encouraged young people to “turn on, tune in, drop out,” and people like Dr. Benjamin Spock encouraged parents to give their children more freedom and independence as opposed to discipline and teamwork. It was a decade where our music changed, and the words accompanying it reflected the mood of the young people, of protest and social change. And thanks to the space race of the 1960’s, our technology changed in leaps and bounds, and the electronic media became a dominating influence in our society. Likewise, the 2010’s saw the rise of drugs, particularly heroin, significant changes in music, and a growing addiction to technology.

In both decades, parental attitudes and values were challenged and a new libertine era of permissiveness was born. We have lost respect for our government, our institutions such as schools, churches, the rule of law, and the concepts of conformity and teamwork. Although we didn’t realize it at the time, we tried to reinvent America with youthful exuberance. However, as long as we remain governed by the U.S. Constitution, the ship will somehow right itself.

Evidently, this is something we must suffer through every fifty years. The next revolution should take place in the 2060’s, assuming the country hasn’t been overthrown by then.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

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 30 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 © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  LEAVE IT TO THE COPS – Is law enforcement being overwhelmed with responsibilities?

LAST TIME:  ARE GOVERNMENT WORKERS ENGAGED?  – And what is it costing the taxpayers?

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), 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.

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

TECHNOLOGY’S EFFECT ON SOCIETY

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 24, 2015

BRYCE ON TECHNOLOGY

– Technology is an effective tool for civil unrest and war.

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

In the past, I have discussed the adverse effects of technology, focusing on its addictive powers on a personal level, (see Bed Bugs & Our Changing World”), but what about society in general? As I concluded in my “Bed Bugs” paper, personal technology plays a detrimental role in the public’s moral values, and the rise of a “socially liberal” agenda. It is also a catalyst for social activism. For example, personal technology (smart phones, the Internet, and social media, etc.) was actively used in the riots and protests of Ferguson, Baltimore, New York, and other places, not to mention the Arab Spring of 2012. It was also a key factor in the Occupy Wall Street movement a few years ago. Abuse of such technology has demonstratively led to civil unrest, civil war, mayhem and violence.

People using such technology no longer subscribe to the rule of law, preferring to use it for agitation purposes instead. To illustrate, in the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner, the people did not embrace the simple concept, “A person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.” Instead, the people charged with the deaths were tried and found guilty in the court of public opinion. Regardless of the legal outcome, the protestors and rioters rejected the verdict and caused helter-skelter. The news media shares some of the responsibility for their “sensational” reporting, thereby fanning the flames of outrage.

In the Middle East, Muslim extremists have long understood the power of personal technology and use it to devastating effect. Groups such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, et al, use it for communication purposes in waging war, recruiting, public relations (such as when they butcher innocents), and intelligence gathering. Without technology, these groups would be disorganized and rudderless; so much so, the world would likely not know who these groups are, and their power would be dissipated.

From this, we can conclude the use of personal technology has had an adverse effect on the world socially. It therefore seems rather obvious thwarting the use of it in times of crisis would be an effective deterrent to the break up of communications and mob rule. This could easily be done by creating jamming devices for smart phones, blocking social media, or simply suspending the Internet. Without such communications, leadership and coordinated activities break down, making it easier for law enforcement to disperse mobs.

Critics would argue such blockage is an affront to the freedom of speech. Not necessarily. Freedom of speech is not applicable in creating crisis, such as when a person falsely yells “fire” in a theater. The same can be claimed when violent confrontations occur between police and rioters and looters. Freedom of speech is one thing, a danger to society is another. Nonetheless, some 1st Amendment lawsuits are likely in the offing.

Whether it is the police trying to control civil unrest, or the military fighting our enemies, the key to subjugating opponents is through personal technology. If you take it out of their arsenal, you have greatly improved the odds for dominating your opponent.

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 30 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 © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  JUST PLAIN WEIRD – Some obscure observations on the mysteries of life.

LAST TIME:  STRUCTURED BRAINSTORMING  – Better than the shotgun approach to solving problems and creating ideas.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and 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.

Posted in Social Issues, Technology | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

DIFFERENCES IN FAMILY VALUES

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 3, 2015

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– What is the true cause of our changing world and what can be done about it?

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

In lieu of the riots in Baltimore, I thought I would talk about the importance of family values. Like millions of people, I watched in horror at the “protestors” on television. Perhaps a better name is “rioters” or “thugs” (regardless if it is politically correct or not, it is an apt description). The brightest spot though, was Toya Graham, the Baltimore mom slapping her son during the riots. It was refreshing to see a parent take charge of their offspring and straighten him out.

This incident says a lot about family values and discipline of our youth. This caused me to think about how parents raise their children today:

* If you were taught by your parents education was important, you will embrace it and take it seriously and improve yourself. If not, you are likely to drop out and grouse about others getting better paying jobs than you do.

* If you were taught by your parents the merits of work, you will become industrious. If not, you will probably become shiftless and undependable. Crime, drugs, and prison are likely in your future.

* If you were taught by your parents the meaning of responsibility, you will become dependable and a good citizen. If not, you will likely blame others for your problems and spend your life taking handouts and develop a dependency on welfare.

* If you were taught respect, manners and common courtesy by your parents, you will be considered socially well adjusted and experience prosperity through personal connections. If not, your social connections will likely be gangs, thugs, and criminals.

* If you were taught ethics by your parents, you will likely attend a place of worship and treat people fairly. If not, you will probably suffer from low self-esteem and treat people brutally.

* If you were taught right versus wrong by your parents, you will make better decisions. If not, you’ll make the wrong ones.

* If you were taught American history and the responsibilities of citizenship by your parents, you will likely become a patriot. If not, you will likely try to subvert the country.

It’s all about parenting. This, of course, means two things; first, parents are the prime source for personal guidance and social adjustment, and; second, they are role models for their offspring, good or bad. If they fail in either area, the child will likely take notice and learn their values from others, such as thugs and television. Children also have a tendency to emulate their parents. If they are misfits, the child will likewise become one. If they are industrious and responsible, the children are likely to assume these values.

Finally, if you were taught to be thankful for the little pleasures and bounties of life, regardless of how sparce they may be, you will lead a decent life.

Frankly, I think the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling should be mandatory reading in every household.

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 30 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 © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  SLOWING DOWN? – Are we working harder or smarter?

LAST TIME:  BED BUGS & OUR CHANGING WORLD  – What is the true cause of our changing world and what can be done about it?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and 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.

Posted in Family, Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

WORKING FOR GOONS

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 17, 2014

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– Making the work environment unbearable.

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

One of the reasons Scott Adams’ cartoon, “Dilbert,” is so successful is because it hits close to home in depicting office life. Corporate management is one of Adams’ favorite targets in which they are shown as bumbling idiots. They are very determined in controlling all activities of the business. Their approach is predictably wrong, and they embrace every management fad that comes along. Because of their strong sense of authority and control, perhaps “goons” is a more appropriate label. This is essentially no different than Hitler’s goon squads during World War II where they harassed people, and practiced thuggery to implement the Führer’s policies. Under this approach, management’s policies are implemented top-down with no bottom-up input being tolerated.

Earlier this year, I wrote a column entitled, “Beware of the MBA’s,” whereby I made the observation today’s management tends to manage people more from a numbers point of view as opposed to a results perspective and their ability to work with others. I recently saw this first hand in a company with a national chain of outlets for manufacturing products. After several years at the helm, the founder and president stepped aside and retired. Shortly thereafter, the board of directors appointed a new CEO, someone with experience in the company but who was much younger and ambitious. The first thing he did was replace all of the regional sales managers with younger people (late twenties), and office managers in their early twenties. The more experienced sales and office managers were demoted and pushed aside. Instead of sales volume, the sales force was managed by a series of spreadsheets which considered the number of sales calls made, both in person and on the telephone. Instead of worrying about customer care and satisfaction, the numbers were of paramount importance. To make matters worse, whereas salesmen had previously been managed by the local sales manager, who was there to review their progress and solve their problems, the sales force now reported to a goon squad of regional sales managers, who were located out of state, and local office managers who acted as the eyes and ears of the regional managers.

This resulted in a serious morale problem. Since people were managed primarily by numbers, they became apathetic in the company’s business. They quickly realized concepts such as customer service and quality assurance were considered passé. They also knew they could easily outfox the young office managers who lacked experience. Over time, the office units started to experience delays in shipments to customers, lost revenue, sloppy inventory, and a general disregard for the company overall. Since they realized fighting the goon squad was futile, they undermined the company instead. Conditions became so bad, the employees began to resign, the key ones first (sales and customer service), then the clerical workers. Today, approximately 40% of the people in the local office have resigned and moved on. At first, the goon squad believed it would be easy to find replacements, but after realizing what the corporate culture entailed, the company can only afford mediocre workers. Maybe that is how management wants it.

Businesses certainly do not have a monopoly on goon squads. Nonprofit organizations typically have more than commercial enterprises. When the goons have captured the leadership of such groups, they recruit assistants and deputies not because they are intelligent or hard workers, but because they know how to follow orders with gusto, regardless if they know them to be harmful.

To the goons, it is not about offering inspired leadership, it is all about maintaining control over the organization and stifling resistance. It is no small wonder we live in an age of autocratic rule (Theory X). Goon squads are not interested in listening to the input of the workers. You either play ball or be prepared to be turned out. Such a management philosophy is dangerous in my opinion. It means spreadsheets take precedence over customer service, sales calls over sales volume, and in the case of nonprofits, suffocating rules over flourishing membership.

I am certainly not suggesting all companies operate in this fashion, but the reality is Scott Adams has a lot of material to work with for a long time. If we cannot relate to it, it wouldn’t exist. Unfortunately, goon squads are very much alive and well in this country.

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 30 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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO UNIVAC? – Why it is necessary to learn industrial history.

LAST TIME:  GANG MARKINGS

  – Gangs exist because parents fail.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), and 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.

Posted in Business, Management, Social Issues, Society | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

HONEST DEBATE (OR THE LACK THEREOF)

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 13, 2014

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– Our lack of tolerance has a lot to do with it.

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

Like any other red-blooded American male on a Sunday afternoon, I like to exercise my right to surf the television channels using my remote control from the comfort of my easy chair. Years ago, when there was only four channels on TV, such a device wasn’t really needed, but now with the hundreds of available channels, it would be unimaginable to live without one. Nonetheless, I was flipping through the channels and started to notice something…

CLICK – a show describing the men and women serving in our military. The show highlights their spirit of teamwork and sacrifice for the betterment of all.

CLICK – a documentary describing the proliferation of street gangs and how people become territorial and find ways to beat the system for personal greed and vice.

CLICK – a Wall Street report on the virtues of the free enterprise system and how the entrepreneurial spirit of small companies promote job growth.

CLICK – a show describing the plight of the homeless and why it is necessary to redistribute the wealth in this country.

CLICK – a report on the Tea Party and 9.12 movements.

CLICK – a community talk show featuring a college professor discussing why conservative values are no longer valid in the world today.

CLICK – a variety of shows providing a forum to worship God.

CLICK – a program discussing the point of view of atheists and agnostics who want to have “In God we Trust” removed from American currency.

It struck me there were extreme opposites for just about everything in our society. The incompatibility between extremes is such, you start to wonder how this country survived for over 200 years. Then again, I guess it is not surprising as America’s melting pot represents a heterogeneous society, most definitely not homogeneous. This is nothing new and has been with us a long time. Also, think how boring our society would be if we all thought the same.

The only difference is we no longer practice tolerance and have forgotten how to engage in honest debate. For example, on the Internet, rarely is there any respect for other opinions and beliefs. Instead, people are inclined to viciously attack others and slander their character, a sort of “attack mode” of operating. I guess this is the price we must pay for becoming a technology based society.

French writer Voltaire is credited with saying, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” I don’t think people feel this way anymore. Instead of talking through a problem or issue, as all of the great civilizations have done before us, we have to suffer through spin and attack. Plain and simply, we no longer know how to practice the art of honest discourse, which I interpret as a sign of deterioration of our culture.

We may not always agree with each other, but we must find ways to work together, not apart. This requires tolerance, respect, and the need to be a heck of a lot more articulate than just saying, “Up yours!”

Originally published: December 11, 2009

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 30 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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  GANG MARKINGS – Gangs exist because parents fail.

LAST TIME:  WHAT DOES CORPORATE ‘INFUSION’ MEAN?  – Or is it a misnomer?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), and 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.

Posted in Social Issues, Society | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

WHAT “COPS” TEACHES US

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 15, 2014

BRYCE ON LAW ENFORCEMENT

– “Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do when they come for you…”

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

The “COPS” television program recently began its 27th season. Originally on FOX television, it has since moved over to SPIKE TV. Over the years I sampled some of the episodes, but it wasn’t until SPIKE started playing its “COPS” marathons that I really got hooked on it. I have probably seen hundreds of episodes and I never seem to tire of them.

I’m not sure why it fascinates me, other than the suspects captured represent the dregs of society. I am also surprised how professionally the police officers handle themselves in the face of these bone heads. If it were me, I would probably taser them first and ask questions later; “Zip,” “Zap,” “Zip,” “Zap,”… Even when the criminals are tasered, they somehow continue to resist by chanting, “What I do? What I do?”

The suspects have an excuse for everything and accept no responsibility. Even when they are captured red handed, especially with drugs, they adamantly contend, “That ain’t mine.”

“But I found it on you,” the officer argues back.

“Nope, that ain’t mine.”

Most of the suspects do not carry any form of identification. The cars they drive (or stole) are somehow “borrowed” from a friend or relative who doesn’t exist. You have to wonder how the police officers keep a straight face when they hear the excuses. It’s hilarious. I particularly like it when the police officer says, “What do you think, I’m stupid? I wasn’t born yesterday.” Nope, “That ain’t mine.”

I find it amusing even after the police have read the suspects their Miranda rights that they continue to talk and volunteer information to the police. The officers play this well. For example, after reading the suspects their rights and asking if they understand them, the officer’s next question is, “Okay, what were you doing in there?” And the suspects begin to babble away freely.

The drugs of choice on the show are primarily methamphetamine, crack, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, and marijuana is everywhere. I suppose they are all unrelated, one doesn’t lead to another, right?

Having watched the show so many times, I contend the people in possession of drugs is anyone with tattoos and piercings, no shirts, pants hanging half-way down their butt, with a baseball cap on backwards or are driving a POS. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out. No wonder the police pull over so many people for “suspicious behavior.” The suspects might as well slap a sign on their car stating, “Drugs on board. Come and get me.” They should be tasered just for how they look. None seem to have a job, and they’re all out on parole. Instead of cleaning up their act though, they would rather carry a gun or deal drugs. No wonder we have so many career criminals.

I’ve also come to the conclusion that my wife and I are the last ones not to have tattoos, take drugs, are under the influence, or who haven’t stolen a car. God I feel old. It’s scary when you consider there are more of “them” as opposed to “us.”

Critics contend the “COPS” program trivializes police work and focuses on the poor. Hardly, it simply shows what they have to deal with on a routine basis (which is not good). Yes, there are moments when the officers have to get physical with some suspects, but my hat is off to them in terms of maintaining their composure and remaining civil and objective even when faced with these knuckleheads. If it were me, all you would hear is “Zip,” “Zap,” “Zip,” “Zap,”…

After reading this, some might accuse me of lacking compassion. Not true, but I no longer have patience for these products of immoral parenting.

Next time you need a good laugh at some dunderheads, or want to watch people performing their job professionally, tune in “COPS” or their sister show, “JAIL” where they show how suspects are booked and incarcerated. Both shows portray law enforcement personnel in a positive light.

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 30 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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  OUR LAME DUCK PRESIDENT – The sad thing is, he doesn’t realize he has already become one.

LAST TIME:  BECOMING AN EDUCATED VOTER  – How to become conversant in politics and government.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), and 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.

Posted in Crime, Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

10 MOST WANTED LIST

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 6, 2014

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– A list for improving America.

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

The “Ten Most Wanted” list was a brainchild of former FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, as a means to solicit the public’s assistance in capturing the hardened criminals of the day. Over the years, it has proven to be an effective means for assisting in the apprehension of such desperatos. I still check the list from time to time to see who is on it. I have also noticed many magazine articles today are developing a list of top tips, tricks, or celebrities doing this or that.

Recently, I started to consider another type of “10 Most Wanted” list, something also requiring the public’s assistance, but a list of those items to make this country great again. Some items are aimed at our government, others at our culture. Here then is my…

“10 Most Wanted List for improving America”

10. Balance the Budget – the notion our country cannot operate within its own means is mind-boggling. A balanced budget would greatly facilitate cutting the deficit through spending reductions and make us less dependent on outsiders. Some believe our government is too big and complex to implement such a budget. If so, perhaps it is time to reduce our size and complexity.

9. Create a responsible press – it has been a long time since we have referred to the mainstream media as “fair and balanced.” Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought the purpose of the “fourth estate” was to track government, regardless of party, and protect the interests of the people, not those in charge.

8. Immigration – What we are currently witnessing is nothing less than an invasion by outsiders. The floodgates need to be closed at our borders, even if this means using the National Guard. It is simple math, regardless of our compassion, we cannot afford to take care of everyone. Heck, we have trouble taking care of our own people.

7. Energy Independence – foreign energy has cost America greatly, both in terms of lives and expenses. We have the resources and technology to become independent, but not the will. This item alone would put the country back to work and return us to a leadership role in the world.

6. Taxes – a fair and equitable form of income tax is long overdue. A reduction of our business taxes would also stimulate business and make us more competitive, not to mention returning jobs back home.

5. Improved economy – a smaller and less intrusive government would greatly improve our GDP, and reduce the welfare state by putting more people back to work.

4. The truth – some call it “transparency,” I call it the truth. Yes, I would like to know what honestly happened at the IRS, the VA, at Benghazi, Fast & Furious, the Associated Press, etc. I would like to see this investigated quickly and properly, take corrective action, and move along. I am not one for wallowing in messes. Let’s clean it up and restore the credibility and trust in our government.

3. Society – I would like to see a society where the individual is encouraged to develop an entrepreneurial attitude, take risks, and be amply rewarded for taking them. I would like to see less government barriers, and more breaks to help in this regards.

2. Peace – although my generation missed WW2, I have only known us to be at peace for a handful of years. It would be nice to know a world at peace, but there are too many forces at work who will not allow us to have it. If we are to remain the policeman of the world, I would like to see the world community pay their fair share.

1. Morality – some simple morality could go a long way to improving our quality of life, such as honesty, integrity, accountability, responsibility, courtesy, respect, citizenship and a little patriotism. A little pride in ourselves and our profession (e.g., craftsmanship), would certainly be a welcome change.

Obviously there are many other things I would like to see implemented, but these represent my “Top 10.” Some people would say I am being naive about these items, that none of them are possible. Maybe so, but I would like to see us try. Even the FBI doesn’t catch their Top 10 all of the time, but they never give up. Neither should we.

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 30 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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  60+ YEARS OF JAMES BOND (007) – The characters have evolved and adapted to the times, making it just as relevant today, as when it first debuted.

LAST TIME:  IS IT TIME FOR CENSORSHIP?  – It’s not the NRA; it’s Hollywood.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), and 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.

Posted in Politics, Social Issues, Society | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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