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Posts Tagged ‘pet peeve’

THINGEES

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 27, 2009

Have you ever noticed how we tend to use certain words when we either don’t know the proper name for something or we simply forget what to call it? I don’t know about other languages, but the English language is full of such words, for example:

* Thingee – this is an expression typically used either by young children or older people too reserved to curse. People using this word typically point at the object of their attention when saying “thingee,” both young and old.

* Thingamajig – is an old expression you still hear every now and then. It’s normally used to ask for something; e.g., “Can you hand me that thingamajig?”

* Thingamabob – an even older variation.

* Whatchamacallit – I find this is used more in regards to a person’s title or profession; e.g., “Joe is a professional whatchamacallit.” (I always wondered what P.W. stood for).

* Whatsajig – I think this is a southern variance of whatchamacallit.

* Schravits – this is an unusual one. I first heard this from a friend of mine from the Midwest who primarily uses it to describe a tool or instrument; e.g., “Hand me the schravits will you?”

* Doohickie – although this can be applied to just about anything, it is more commonly used in connection with a blemish or insect bite; e.g., “Boy, that’s an ugly doohickie you have on your arm there.”

These are words that have existed for many years and I think we’re all guilty of using them now and then. This usually comes about when we are tired or lazy and don’t want to engage the brain. You also see it when we’re too preoccupied with something else and don’t want to waste time searching for the correct expression.

My father would use such words for years, particularly at the dinner table, where he would ask for this or that. As he got older though, I noticed he stopped trying to ask for anything verbally and, instead, would just point at it with his finger, which we would instinctively know what he wanted, almost telepathically. It was quite amusing to watch, a bit rude, but amusing nonetheless. There’s a word that describes this phenomenon, I believe it’s called a …..

Such is my Pet Peeve of the Week.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) 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:
http://www.phmainstreet.com/timbryce.htm

Copyright © 2009 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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Posted in humor | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A CURRICULUM FOR SOCIAL SKILLS

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 21, 2009

On more than one occasion you’ve heard me talk about the deterioration of social skills in the work place, primarily due to the heightened influence of technology. It is not uncommon to find people who have basic problems interacting with customers, vendors, or fellow employees. This fundamental flaw has an adverse effect on teamwork, customer service, and sales.

I recently had a reader call me to task on this and asked what kind of curriculum I would recommend to teach proper social skills to younger workers entering the work force. From my perspective, I can think of three prime areas to concentrate on:

* Communications – both written and oral. It’s not simply a matter of mastering the media to be used, but more importantly, the content. Text messaging and the Internet has basically destroyed civil discourse and how to write an effective business letter which, of course, is critical for customer service and sales. Beyond this, people need simple speaking skills, such as how to engage in conversation, the proper way of performing an introduction, how to make a presentation or conduct a meeting. This includes lessons in persuasion, negotiation, and rhetorical thought. In addition to writing and speaking, listening is equally important, after all, it takes two to Tango.

* Ethics – dictates our value system, and is a little more than what is right and what is wrong. It also includes respect for others as well as yourself (a “Do unto others…” philosophy). Ethics plays a significant role in terms of teaching such things as self-worth, dedication, integrity, ambition, and the value of a dollar. Ethics is an expression of the expected code of conduct for everyone to adhere to and abide by.

* Common Courtesy – represents basic manners and how to interact with others. It’s a little more than “please” and “thank you”, but that’s not a bad place to start. It includes how to invite someone to participate in something, how to thank someone for a service performed, and how to include others and make them feel welcome. This also includes how to dress, personal appearances, how to act and conduct themselves with others (“right” versus “wrong”), etiquette and protocol, even the importance of being punctual.

Come to think of it, isn’t this what parents are supposed to be teaching their children? Unfortunately, our youth are learning their socialization skills more from Hollywood, video games, and the Internet, as opposed to their parents, which, unfortunately, is doing a lousy job of raising our kids. Instead, I recommend some simple courses to teach these socialization skills, either as a group or, preferably, some one-on-one coaching such as in a mentoring program (of which I’m a big believer). And for God’s sake, don’t give them a DVD or video on this, have a human-being talk to them instead!

As an aside, something that might help in this regards is my book entitled, “Morphing into the Real World – The Handbook for Entering the Work Force,” which is a survival guide for young people as they transition into adult life. (And makes for a great graduation present I might add).

Such is my Pet Peeve of the Week.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) 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: http://www.phmainstreet.com/timbryce.htm

Tune into Tim’s new podcast, “The Voice of Palm Harbor,” at:

http://www.phmainstreet.com/voiceph.htm

Copyright © 2009 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Posted in Business, Family, Society | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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