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Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

GETTING NASTY

Posted by Tim Bryce on November 10, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Do nice guys always finish last? Well, ah…

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

Something I find interesting in our society is our predisposition for being rude and offensive. About a year ago I saw a high school graduation ceremony at a football field where the parents were outright obnoxious. Instead of quietly sitting in the stands and offering polite applause at appropriate moments, it was a ruckus affair where parents pushed and shoved, shouted and whistled at their kids, some even stepped over the lines and on to the field reserved for the students so they could take a picture of their offspring, something they could have done afterwards. When they were asked by the police to step off the field and go back to their seats in the stands, they ignored them and even told them to mind their own business. It was quite ugly. So much so, this year the high school sent forms to the parents stipulating the decorum they must follow. Further, the forms had to be signed by the parents and if they violated the agreement, the student’s diploma would not be presented that day. I found this a bit mind boggling. Usually, it is the students that are asked to behave properly, not the parents, but I guess the times have changed.

It wasn’t always like this of course. People practiced common courtesy, such as holding doors open for others, letting people speak, displaying good manners, dressing for the occasion, etc. Acting obnoxiously was generally frowned upon, but now it seems to be commonplace. In fact, it appears to be the expected form of conduct. Let me give you an example.

Recently, I noticed a problem with the invoice from my Internet Service Provider (ISP). I discovered we were getting double-billed on a couple of items and charged for a particular service we no longer used. When it was first brought to my attention I sent a note to my ISP representative politely asking them to correct the problem. I did this twice as I didn’t receive a reply the first time. After a few weeks, I decided to check my account on-line and lo and behold I discovered nothing had changed. Frankly, I blew a fuse. Instead of exchanging additional pleasantries, I penned a threatening e-mail to the ISP warning them to either fix the problem or we would take our business elsewhere (the actual e-mail was obviously worded more strongly). Basically, I had to lose my cool and get nasty with them. Remarkably, the problem was suddenly rectified within a few scant minutes of threatening the ISP by e-mail. The speed by which this occurred caused me to wonder why. Surely I had articulated the problem clearly in my earlier correspondence to them, a rather professional note, at least so I thought, but they didn’t act on it. Instead, they acted on an obnoxious threat.

It seems odd the only way you get action anymore is by becoming nasty with people as opposed to being courteous. Maybe the problem is that people have all learned “the squeaky wheel gets the oil,” that the only way to get action is to push your way on to the field, regardless of who gets in your way. Otherwise, you are ignored and taken for granted.

I am certainly not suggesting we should all become more crass than we already are, but it is important to recognize there will be instances where it will be necessary to become nasty, particularly when you are being ignored. There certainly is still room for civility in society, but I fear there is a general inclination to think and practice “me first” as opposed to patiently cooperating.

Somehow I am reminded of Mark Twain’s observations on how man socializes with others:

“Man is a reasoning animal, such as they claim, though I believe that’s open to dispute. I’ve been studying this ‘reasoning animal’ for years now and I find the results to be humiliating. Well for example I experimented with a cat and a dog. Taught them to be friends and put them in a cage. I introduced a rabbit and in an hour they were friends. Then I added a fox, a goose, a squirrel, some doves, a kangaroo, and finally a monkey. They lived together in peace. Well next I captured an Irish Catholic and put him in a cage and just as soon as he seemed tame I added a Presbyterian, then a Turk from Constantinople, a Methodist from the wilds of Arkansas, a Buddhist from China, and finally a Salvation Army colonel. Why when I went back there wasn’t a single specimen alive.”

Maybe society hasn’t actually changed too much since Twain’s time.

As an epilogue, this year’s High School graduation ceremonies at the football field were washed out at the last minute by rain. Instead of waiting for the rain to subside, school administrators decided it would be safer to postpone the ceremony until the following day where it would be held indoors. This didn’t sit well with the parents who blasted the principal with irate e-mails and telephone calls. Instead of a little patience and cooperation for the purpose of safety, the parents became upset simply because they were “inconvenienced.” Maybe we should have taken these parents and put them in a cage as Twain suggests. I wonder if any would survive.

First published: June 25, 2012

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  PRODUCING NEWSLETTERS: BEWARE OF THE BIRDCAGE – Writing newsletters that will be read as opposed to discarded.

LAST TIME:  WHAT DOES A CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION MEAN?  – A Trump card for the President.

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

 

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

WHERE HAVE ALL THE WRISTWATCHES GONE?

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 16, 2016

BRYCE ON LIFE

– They are slowly disappearing.

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

My wristwatch recently broke and I had it taken in for repair. At first I kind of felt like a dog who had lost his collar, like an important part of me was missing. After awhile though, I got used to it and felt somewhat unshackled. I think the last time I was without a watch was back when I was in high school. Surprisingly, I discovered I didn’t miss the watch that much and may go on without wearing one. I have no problem knowing the time as I can find it just about everywhere, including my PC, in my automobiles, on television and radio, and general wall clocks. Cell phones and other personal electronic devices also maintain the time. So much so that young people imbued with the new technologies are less likely to wear a watch than their elders.

One of the reasons we wear wristwatches is as a status symbol, a sort of “coming of age” thing and is an expression of our personality. Gaudy and gold watches are worn by wannabe power brokers. Sleek watches are worn by people who want to appear hip and contemporary. The super-gadget watches are worn by the techno-geeks, and the basic sports watches are worn by the jocks and naturalists.

As watch wearing declines, watch makers are scrambling to make new models that will appeal to the younger generation and include such things as temperature readings, GPS, Internet access, multimedia or whatever. In a way, it will be reminiscent of Dick Tracy’s 2-Way Wrist Radio/TV.

However, I think the days of wristwatches as a status symbol are winding down. Young people do not seem to look upon the prestige of watches like my generation did or my predecessors. Basically, the watch has been replaced by the smart phone with its many different features, everything from simple phones to sophisticated devices that can be used for just about anything, e.g., camera, recording device, radio/television, dictation machine, etc. As for me, I’m waiting for a model that comes with either an electric razor or a phaser.

I see many friends and business contacts constantly trying to do one-upmanship over their smart phones. This doesn’t impress me, but then again neither did an expensive watch. Nonetheless, the transfer of status from watches to cell phones is a phenomenon that should not go unnoticed, as it is marking the end of an era, the start of another, and a change in our culture.

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 © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  GETTING BURNED – Some people have to learn the hard way.

LAST TIME:  POLITICS AT THE DINNER TABLE  – Do we use this as an opportunity to reason and discuss?

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 Life, Society | Tagged: , , , , | 4 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 »

THE FAMILY DOCTOR

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 3, 2016

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– A dying breed.

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

My family recently suffered through a major medical emergency. My hat goes off to the paramedics who arrived in the nick of time and saved my family member’s life. They were a Godsend as were the emergency room staff at the hospital. It was certainly an enlightening experience for me to watch them work. I am very grateful.

My family member was placed in an Intensive Care Unit for five days. As I sat there, I felt I was in a mini-Mission Control room with beeps, buzzes and pings emanating from respirators, cardiac monitors, and basic life monitoring equipment. Yes, I felt like saying, “Houston, we have a problem.”

I was also charged with producing identification and insurance cards to be inputted into the administrative systems of the hospital. This went way beyond name, rank, and serial number, to a plethora of health questions.

As a systems man, I was impressed by the technology the nursing staff and administrators had to use, but beyond this, the most valuable asset we had at our disposal was our family doctor who appeared promptly at the hospital and carefully guided us through some major decisions.

We have known our family doctor for over thirty years, a good man who has a warm manner about him in treating his patients. He is empathetic, knowledgeable, a good bedside manner, and possesses vast experience. More than this, he has the ability to step back and look at a problem objectively, as opposed to acting on impulse. He’s a dedicated professional with talents no machine can match.

I understand there is a new on-line video app which you can download to your smart phone allowing you to speak face-to-face with a physician. The millennials may gravitate to this, but I certainly will not. There is something to be said about a kind word, a gentle touch, and a sense of humor to help ease the pain. It’s called “personal medicine,” something we have been moving away from in this country due to our technology addiction.

I’m not sure how much longer our family doctor will be practicing medicine. He finds himself harassed by an overbearing government bureaucracy involving countless rules and regulations distracting him from caring for his patients. Every year, more and more doctors are taking early retirement as opposed to putting up with such nonsense. I cannot help but believe this is an attempt to push socialized medicine down our throats. This results in such things as the app I mentioned where you can talk to “Bob” located somewhere in Asia.

Medical care will be more sterile and less personal without the family doctor. The government may not appreciate him, but I, for one, certainly do.

Thank you David.

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:  WORKING WITH MILLENNIALS – An interesting study managers should read.

LAST TIME:  DO WE REALLY NEED TO UNIFY?  – Is it really necessary for Trump to unify the GOP?

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); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Doctors, Society | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A NEW WAR BETWEEN THE STATES?

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 11, 2016

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– It’s already here and New York cast the first shot in the LGBT debate.

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

Trouble is brewing between Republican and Democratic governed states. It started recently when North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (R) signed into law a bill barring transgender individuals from the use of restrooms of their personal choosing, not their proper gender. It also prohibits municipalities from extending such options to LGBT citizens (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender).

This created a stir among Democratic governors who looked upon this act as discrimination. In response, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (D) penned the first executive order banning all non-essential travel to North Carolina by state employees until they lift the law. This was quickly followed by other governors and mayors. As of this writing, it includes:

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (D)
Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (D)
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton (D)
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D)
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D)

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (D)
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D)
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (D)
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (D)
West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio (D)

By issuing such orders, these officials are interfering with the affairs of another state.

Further, because of the North Carolina bill, PayPal has suspended plans to open a new operations center in Charlotte for 400 workers. The NBA is also threatening to move next year’s All-Star game from Charlotte if this matter isn’t reversed.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D), who is openly bisexual, denounced North Carolina’s policy but refused to issue a travel ban, fearing repercussions. This was actually a shrewd move on her part as North Carolina may very well fight back. There are several things they can do in retaliation, such as:

* Banning non-essential travel to the opposing cities and states.

* Hindering travel from these states and cities. Imagine what life would be like along the east coast should the Interstates be closed, or stopping cars and trucks from the opposing states and forcing them to produce identification and other records.

* Opposing commerce, such as banning the purchase of goods from these locales which could start a trade war.

And it could get even uglier after that.

The differences between North Carolina and these other states are substantial. Perhaps the most noticeable difference is North Carolina is a “right to work” state, the others are not. Not surprising, North Carolina’s economy is on the upswing, while others such as New York and Connecticut are steadily losing people and businesses due to their exorbitant tax structure.

Let’s take it a step further. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant (R) also recently signed into law a bill similar to North Carolina’s. This quickly resulted in travel bans by most of the same states and cities opposing the Tar Heel State. Interestingly, Mississippi is also a “right to work” state that is growing economically.

In Georgia, another “right to work” state, its legislature will likely override their governor’s veto and approve a bill to give faith-based organizations the right to deny services and jobs to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) has already said he would institute a travel ban to Georgia if this comes about. The others will likely follow suit.

Other “right to work” states, particularly in the South, will probably follow North Carolina’s, Mississippi’s and Georgia’s lead with similar legislation. More travel bans will likely ensue, and retaliatory actions will undoubtedly follow.

So, are we nearing another Civil War? Let’s certainly hope not. However, the more states issue such legislation, the louder we will hear from the Democratic controlled states voicing their disapproval. The point is, do they have the right to interfere in the laws and policies of other states? Of course not. They may not like it, and can voice their displeasure, as Oregon Governor Kate Brown did, but trying to provoke another state through orders and decrees is only going to accelerate the tensions between the states and the parties.

In hindsight, a lot of this could be avoided if North Carolina installed some strategically placed porta-pottys, which are neutral when it comes to sexual orientation.

The scary part though is the analogy between this conflict and the first Civil War is uncanny. Whereas the north and south fought over the freedom of slaves, now it is about LGBT rights.

I hope cooler heads will prevail, and the Democrats lift their bans before this goes any further. I understand they want to pacify certain constituents in their states and cities, but this is a matter for the citizens of North Carolina, Mississippi, and Georgia to tend to, not the other states. Frankly, it is none of their business.

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:  A NEW WAR BETWEEN THE STATES? – It’s already here and New York cast the first shot in the LGBT debate.

LAST TIME:  THE TIN HORN COMPLEX  – A term to characterize the micromanager.

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); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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

THE DUMBING DOWN OF MEN

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 29, 2016

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– But what purpose does it serve?

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

My wife recently made the observation men are being portrayed as idiots on television, a phenomenon that seems to be occurring more and more. I hadn’t considered it before, but I believe she is right. I think both television and movies are depicting men as fools and Neanderthals.

You see this in several television ads, particularly in the insurance field, such as the wife in the “Jake from State Farm” ad who falsely accuses the husband of having a relationship with another woman.

In other State Farm ads, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has to deal with an obnoxious cheesehead fan obsessed with “Discount Double Check.” He also consoles an NFL referee who had made some unfortunate comments while his mic was left on during a game.

State Farm is not alone. Liberty Mutual features a couple where the wife corrects the husband. Also, Flo from Progressive Insurance often corrects incompetent men.

I know this is all meant to be humorous, but you’ll notice women are never characterized in this manner. No, it’s men, be it black or white. This is happening so frequently, you cannot help but believe it is premeditated, that someone has an agenda to emasculate men. Maybe it’s spearheaded by angry feminists who want to be in charge of the world.

Back when I was in college and studying Radio-TV, we learned nothing appears in an ad by accident, everything is done for a specific purpose, either to attract more viewers or send a subliminal message. To illustrate, there was the old Ajax ad featuring a white knight on horseback shooting his lance at people with the jingle “stronger than dirt.” The ad series was finally pulled from the air when people discovered the lance was a phallic symbol. There was also the “Honeycomb Kid” who was allegedly driving “6 white horses”; in reality, there were only four horses which the kids were quick to point out to their parents (and increase sales). So, everything has a purpose in advertising, there are no accidents, and quite often, its more than just selling a product or service.

Humor is one thing, devising a subliminal message is quite another. Thanks to Hollywood, what we are witnessing today is the dumbing down of men in America. Gee, this couldn’t possibly be related to Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president, could it? Hmm…

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:  APPRECIATING SALESMANSHIP – How the little guys can win the business away from the mega stores.

LAST TIME:  WATCHING THE CLOCK  – Do we watch the clock or the work product we’re producing?

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; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Life, Society | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

WHEN THE OLD SURPASSES THE NEW

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 19, 2016

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– What does this say about our culture?

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

“Chart Attack,” an on-line publication monitoring the entertainment industry, recently reported on a Nielson survey revealing old music is outselling new music for the first time in history.

The survey revealed “Current” music (new), was outsold by “Catalog” sales (albums released more than 18 months ago).

Current – 118.5M
Catalog – 122.8M
Source: Nielson

This includes physical albums (CD’s and vinyl), and digital tracks. The one exception was digital albums where “Current” sales squeaked by “Catalog.” Remarkably, the sale of vinyl records experienced a 52% increase in 2015. Once considered a dead music venue, vinyl is developing a cult following which explains its resurgence. To illustrate, Nielsen reported Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” vinyl album sold 50,000 copies in 2015.

The big question is, Why? I believe it has less to do with vinyl records and more to do with a change in our culture. I suspect a new form of music is in the offing, as Hip Hop (rap) may have run its course and youngsters are becoming more cognizant of quality music. In a way, it is reminiscent of the cultural change in the late 1940s and early 1950s when Rock and Roll supplanted Big Band music at the top of the charts.

Another indicator of the change in our culture is the rise of nostalgia television. On January 1st, Antenna TV began running reruns of “The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson.” Likewise, Sony’s GetTV began showing reruns of “The Merv Griffin Show,” as well as the “Decades” network featuring the old Dick Cavett show. If they ever bring back the old Joey Bishop show from ABC or Mike Douglas, I will start to wonder what decade we’re living in. I believe these networks are tapping into the viewer loyalty of old shows the way Turner Classic Movies (TCM) created a venue for older films.

I also suspect nostalgia TV is doing well with the Baby Boomers who cannot relate to today’s version of late nite television, finding the humor sophomoric and too political for their liking. So much so, they do not even find it worthwhile to DVR. But Carson and the others, that’s another story. If these old talk shows start pulling viewers away from the new shows, as in the case of the music poll, some network heads will likely roll and the late nite talk show will have to be reinvented.

Another reason for the rise of the older music and talk shows is a longing for normalcy, particularly by the Baby Boomer generation who cannot relate to today’s music, television or movies. And by ignoring the latest in entertainment, a schism grows between the generations.

Technology, war and political unrest are normally recognized as causes for social change, but our technology is stagnating and we are relatively at peace, not counting the Middle East, so the reason must lie elsewhere. Perhaps it is nothing more than content or the lack thereof, or youth no longer wants to buy what the media moguls sell.

One thing is clear, if these trends persist, where we embrace the old versus the new, something has to change in our culture. It is inevitable.

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:  WASTING TIME WITH MY CREDIT CARD COMPANY – Actually, the programmers are at fault.

LAST TIME:  TRUMP’S “CRIPPLED AMERICA” GIVES INSIGHT INTO HOW HE THINKS  – A book review of Mr. Trump’s latest work.

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; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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

GANG MARKINGS

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 15, 2014

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– Gangs exist because parents fail.

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

I recently attended a couple of meetings on gang activity here in Pinellas County. They were conducted by the county’s special prosecutors. Although we do not have as massive a problem as places like Los Angeles or Miami, make no mistake, there is gang activity in beautiful Pinellas County (more in the south as opposed to north county).

In Florida, gangs are defined as three or more people with similar markings and plot to conduct illicit criminal activities. No, the Masons are not on the watch list. Not everyone who wears uniform clothing is a gang member, but this is what law enforcement is trained to observe. They are also trained to look for certain tattoos and body piercings.

Tattoos are not just for decoration any more. It is not uncommon to see criminal bodies totally covered much like Ray Bradbury’s “The Illustrated Man.” Gang tattoos are more designed for meaning as opposed to artwork. They denote membership in a specific gang, describe personal history (what crimes they have committed), the skills they possess (e.g., burglary, drugs, murder, etc.), and the gang’s history which evidently is very important to the gang members. By depicting gang history, the tattoos represent a celebration of the gang’s past and cherished members, much like depicting a family member.

Click HERE for a sampling of gang related tattoos.

The only problem with tattoos, they are a convenient means for the public to identify lawbreakers, and for law enforcement to check criminal backgrounds. Because of this, a recent AP report indicates the use of tattoos are starting to decline as gang members want to avoid being identified.

What is puzzling is why anyone would want to join a gang in the first place. Gangs simply represent a surrogate family. While the family unit has slowly deteriorated in America, especially among the poor, young people gravitate to gang leaders who assume parental responsibility and give the person a sense of purpose. The military does likewise, but gang members start at a very young age, much too young to serve in the military.

Within the gang, the younger members learn their moral values from their leaders, something they never learned from their parents. The more they identify with the other members of the gang, the more loyal they become and act more like a family. Nevertheless, the rise of gang activity in this country can be directly attributed to the decline of parenting.

Consider this, music is very important to gang members, particularly Rap music. This helps to build spirituality amongst its members. Again, this is something lost in the family unit but enforced within the gangs.

If the moral values of gangs weren’t so evil in intent, gangs would be a great way to raise kids from broken homes. Perhaps a younger version of military service would be more beneficial. Something that would teach structure, purpose, and morality. I believe we used to call them “Boy Scouts.”

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:  WORKING FOR GOONS – Making the work environment unbearable.

LAST TIME:  HONEST DEBATE (OR THE LACK THEREOF)   – Our lack of tolerance has a lot to do with 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), 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, Society | Tagged: , , , , | 2 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 »

 
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