THE BRYCE IS RIGHT!

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Posts Tagged ‘The Bryce is Right’

CHECKING OUT THE CHECKOUT

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 18, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– In appreciation of old brass cash registers.

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

When I was a young lad visiting my grandparents in Buffalo, New York, there was a local grocery store I loved to visit with them. It had wooden floors, a pickle barrel, and separate barrels for butter and cheese. Milk was still sold in glass bottles, and the store butcher cut meat in accordance with your wishes and wrapped it wax paper and string. There was also freshly ground coffee that smelled heavenly, as well as the fresh bread sold there. To a young boy, the shop was a wonder to behold with all of its sights, sounds, and smells. The only other institution that could hold a candle to it was an old hardware store in my hometown of Norwalk, Connecticut. It too had wooden floors, barrels on the floor for different nails and screws, a wide array of tools for just about any task, and the smell of freshly cut pine enraptured me. Such stores were magical and I never wanted to leave.

The focal point of both stores understandably was the checkout counter featuring a massive cash register with a wide array of white ivory buttons. I was mesmerized by the clerk whose fingers flew across the rows of buttons rapidly and accurately to record the transactions, each making a distinct and authoritative mechanical click. When the register drawer was opened, a pleasant sounding bell would ring. A simple receipt was printed which identified the store by name and number, today’s date, the price of each item you purchased, sales tax, and the total. The whole receipt was no bigger than a baseball card. The machine itself was a majestic instrument made of brass with decorative swirls and lines adorning it and there was a massive handle on the right side of the register to process the final transaction. The register drawer inside it was made of wood and the oils from the fingers of clerks over the years turned it deep brown thereby revealing its age. The machine was sturdy, reliable and never broke down. To my young mind, it was truly a work of art and added a touch of class to the establishment.

Today the checkout counter is a much less pleasurable experience. Registers are plain looking plastic boxes with considerable electronics, making them much less impressive than the splendid grandeur of yesteryear. In most stores we are asked to swipe credit cards or insert the memory chip. Then we must sign our names to acknowledge the transaction, not on paper, but on a touch screen which has a tendency of making our autographs look garbled as if it were signed by a five year old huckleberry.

Then there is the matter of the paper receipts. Instead of simple slips of paper, the machine now generates “War and Peace” containing legal terms and conditions, rebate offers that are too illegible to properly process, along with coupons and discounts on everything except what you want to buy. Reams of paper are generated thereby taking up considerable space in our wallets or purses. For a paperless society, we sure know how to kill a lot of trees.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, I’m always amazed by the automatic checkout counters in the mega hardware stores and supermarkets. The concept is to allow customers to check themselves out without assistance from clerks, thereby saving the company money in terms of personnel needed to process the order. Interestingly, I have yet to see an automatic checkout counter without a human standing nearby to supervise activity and intervene when trouble arises, which seems to be always. Because these checkouts seem to be prone to processing snafus, I wonder why companies bother. After all, I prefer human contact where you are, in theory, to be treated cordially and friendly, thereby encouraging repeat business, references, and increased sales. I don’t need clerks heckling me with “Good Mornings,” but rather someone who cares about me visiting his/her store.

God, how I miss those big brass cash registers.

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

TRUMP’S TAX RETURNS, PART DEUX

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 16, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Much ado about nothing.

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

You’ve got to hand it to the Democrats and their lap dogs, the main stream media, as they do not give up easily. This month it is President Trump’s tax returns. Only God knows what it will be next month. At least they know how to mount an attack. I would love to see their strategy room adorned with a portrait of George Soros, their patron saint of counter-culture.

I brought the subject of presidential tax returns up a few years ago, but it recently resurfaced. The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-MA), made a request of the the Internal Revenue Service commissioner for six years of President Trump’s personal and business tax returns, which will inevitably result in a spirited brawl with the White House. Actually, we shouldn’t be surprised; after all, we’re in an election cycle and the Democrats have again embarked on another smoke and mirrors campaign to assassinate the president’s character. They couldn’t take him down with the Mueller investigation, so now they are grasping at straws to find a way to besmirch his character. So, this isn’t about obtaining his tax returns, which they know they are not entitled to, as much as it is a part of their overall strategy to bash the president.

Donald Trump’s failure to disclose his tax returns thus far has once again come under scrutiny by the press. They contend it is their “right” to review all candidate returns to assure they are not cheating or using unscrupulous tax schemes. Mr. Trump contends his tax returns are being audited by the IRS and, based on the advice of his lawyers, he should not release them prematurely. Of course, the Democrats and the press do not accept this and adamantly demands to see his tax returns. Frankly, it is none of their business.

Let’s see if we can clear up a few things regarding this issue.

First, there is absolutely no legal requirement for a candidate to disclose his/her tax returns. This is something the press views as unwritten law, but there is no sand in it. Further, not releasing tax returns is certainly not without precedent. Tax Analysts, a nonprofit organization who monitors presidential tax returns, lists many exceptions:

* “For tax year 2001, both President Bush and Vice President Cheney released partial returns. For tax year 2000, Bush released only his Form 1040; Cheney provided a summary of his taxes, but released no forms.”

* Ronald Reagan did not report his returns for the 1980 election.

* Jimmy Carter also didn’t report his for the 1976 campaign.

* “Gerald Ford did not release his returns, but he did release summary data about his federal taxes for the years between 1966 and 1975.”

* “Franklin Roosevelt did not release tax returns during his presidency, but many returns were later made available by his presidential library.”

And there are no tax returns listed for Dwight Eisenhower and John Kennedy. So, as you can see, there is no mandate to release tax returns. It’s just something the Democrats and the press insists they have a right to. They do not.

As an aside, the only tax report on record for President Trump is for 2005 which was mysteriously produced in 2017 and revealed nothing improper.

Second, rarely does anyone read the tax returns, people just want to know if they have been released. In President Trump’s case though, the attacking liberal media will go through it with a fine tooth comb, spotting any possible indiscretion and blowing it out of proportion. If and when the president releases his tax returns, they will undoubtedly be squeaky clean, leading the press to conclude, “Well, yes, I guess he knows how to make money” (but will never openly admit it to the public).

Third, Mr. Trump provided a summary of his financials in his book, “Crippled America.” Why is the press not interested in analyzing this report?

As long as President Trump holds on to his tax returns, the press and his political opponents will claim this is a liability, that he has something to hide. However, let’s assume the president is correct, that he is being audited by the IRS. Those of you who have suffered through such a review will probably side with the President by saying, “It’s none of your business,” or possibly something a little stronger.

First published: June 15, 2016. Updated 2019.

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

FIGHTING WITH MY GARAGE DOOR REMOTE

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 12, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– It’s the little things that makes life enjoyable.

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

When I was younger and starting my professional career, I relished tackling big projects, probably because I saw it as an adventure and a learning experience. However, as the years went by and I mastered many big things, I started to appreciate the little things in life, such as a graduation, a wedding, a birth or an anniversary (you can skip the birthdays). It might even be a little simpler like a fine meal, warm slippers or comfortable clothes.

Recently, I noticed my remote garage door opener wasn’t working. I dutifully changed the battery but, alas, it still didn’t work. Thinking I had somehow lost the proper signal, I tested my wife’s remote unit. Yes, it worked fine, but mine was being finicky. So, I took my unit apart, replaced the battery and delicately tried to put it back together again, again, and again. Frustrated, I took the unit apart and pretended to play technician with the computer chip included therein, which is actually a bad idea. I delicately blew on it, rubbed it clean, tried to position the parts back together carefully, all to no avail. I then found myself talking to it, first calmly, “Come on, nice and easy, let’s try it again.” Finally, as I was close to losing my sweet disposition, I ended up cursing at it with some choice expletives. I raised my hand and threatened to throw it against the wall in a fit of rage when, lo and behold, it started to work. In other words, a good cursing worked wonders. Even though I wasted a half hour on this small task, I felt triumphant for having conquered this problem, and proudly showed it to my wife (who, having watched me through all of this, thought I was about to lose my mind). Nonetheless, fixing this little triviality made my day.

Likewise, it is the little things in baseball that attracts me to the sport. Home runs are nice, but I enjoy a clean well-targeted base hit better, or a well layed down bunt, a stolen base, a pick-off, and the nuances of the defensive field positions. I particularly enjoy a runner on first base distracting a pitcher by threatening to steal a base, thereby upsetting the pitcher’s rhythm and accuracy to the batter at home plate. It’s these little things I love to watch.

I also appreciate simple common courtesy from a clerk or waiter, be it in person or on the telephone. Expressions like “please” and “thank you” still go a long way in my book, as well as a smile and good service. It may not sound like a lot, but it is what makes life bearable.

No, I don’t need the big or flashy car anymore, nor a yacht or be a globe trotter (as I have already seen the world). All I need is some good conversation, a politically incorrect joke, honesty, politeness, a fly-rod, and perhaps a good drink. Like I said, it’s the little things.

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

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

DEATH OF THE BUSINESS LETTER

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 11, 2019

BRYCE ON COMMUNICATIONS

– Texting is destroying our ability to communicate effectively on a corporate basis.

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

I have noticed I do not get much mail anymore from the post office. Of course, I still get bills and junk mail, but aside from this, little else. I surmise only a handful of people know how to write a business letter anymore. Most of the true correspondence I get nowadays is by e-mail and telephone (both of which have their share of junk).

When you do get a business letter today, it is typically poorly written in terms of style, layout, and grammar. I know we have made a lot of progress in word processing technology over the years, but it sure seems people do not know how to run such things as spelling and grammar checkers. I think the real culprit here though is text messaging which has basically annihilated any sense of syntax and word formation.

Now, instead of this…

Dear Sir,

It was a pleasure talking with you today.  Concerning your order, I have made the correction and credited your
account accordingly.  Thank you for bringing this to my attention.  If I can be of any further assistance, 
please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

We now have this…

Dude,
don't tabooma. cy. all is kewl. cm.
stys
plo

Actually, I don’t blame the younger generations for these bad writing habits as they are only innocent victims of technology. Instead, I blame my generation for not teaching them how to communicate properly in a corporate setting.

I first learned to write business letters in my high school typing class and have written numerous letters over the years. However, the kids today do not take typing anymore and are definitely not familiar with writing for business. Text messaging may be fine for quick and dirty interpersonal communications, but it also leads to some horrible writing habits. I do not care what your age is, a well written business letter can work miracles in terms of sales and service. Too bad it is slowly disappearing from the corporate landscape.

NOTE: for text messaging syntax, see NetLingo.

One last note, it has been proven that old techniques like Shorthand and Morse Code can record and transmit messages a lot faster than any electronic technique used today. Who-da-thunk-it!

First published: September 22, 2008. Updated 2019

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

Posted in Business, Communications, Writing | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

THE REPARATIONS GAME

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 10, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Here we go again.

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

I have been hearing about reparations for many years. Of course, this is for American blacks whose descendants were slaves in this country years ago. I first heard of it back in the 1960’s and it seems to come around every ten years or so, usually around election time.

Democrats have brought it up once again as we go into the 2020 election cycle. It’s a desperate attempt to attract African-American votes and keep them in line. Democrats are big into “giveaways,” you know, the “chicken in every pot” routine in exchange for votes. The more they give away, the deeper the country goes into debt. Basically, they won’t be happy until they have redistributed the wealth. Instead of offering programs encouraging people to work, they sucker them into winning the Lotto.

Democrats currently supporting reparations include Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Former Secretary of HUD Julian Castro, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA), and Sen. Cory Booker (NJ), all considered left of center in terms of their politics.

The subject of reparations is always a hot topic for blacks, particularly young people becoming politically aware, but it is also designed to lay a guilt trip on whites for their possible involvement, even though slavery ended over 150 years ago, and nobody is alive from that generation, black or white. As for me, I do not feel the slightest bit of guilt as my family didn’t arrive in this country until the 1920’s, and legally I might add, meaning my family had nothing whatsoever to do with slavery. As far as I am concerned, reparations is a non-issue, and I am offended if anyone tries to lay this guilt-trip on me.

One question that has always troubled me regarding this issue is, why do they want reparations from Americans only and not the Africans who sold them into slavery to begin with? And what about the northerners who fought to free the slaves; why should they be forced to pay for it, or any Republican for that matter as they were the party of Lincoln, aka The Abolitionists? Come to think of it, the Democrats should be footing the bill as they represented Southern interests and were the slave owners.

Having observed these periodic reparation attempts over the years, I see it as nothing more than an attempt to heighten racial tensions, thereby further dividing the country. The Democrats are playing a dangerous game; they want to redistribute the wealth at the expense of race relations.

In all likelihood, reparations will play a small role in the 2020 elections. African-Americans should be more concerned with their recent economic prosperity as more have been gainfully employed over the last two years than ever before in our history. Unfortunately, there will be others who will cling to the past and enslave themselves to the Democrats.

After the election is concluded, reparations will quietly go away until the next time it is needed to secure the black vote.

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

Posted in History, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

AMERICANS EMBRACE REACTIVE MANAGEMENT

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 9, 2019

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– Why we are inclined to accept disaster.

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

Planning is not natural to most Americans. We resist it because it requires some foresight, analysis, and change. In other words, work. Our history is littered with stories of snafus resulting from poor planning, both large and small; Pearl Harbor, 911, and Hurricane Katrina are legendary. In the case of Pearl Harbor, the Army’s Colonel Billy Mitchell studied the island’s defenses and wrote a report detailing how the island would be attacked with incredible accuracy. The report was written a full 17 years prior to December 7th, 1941. Instead of heeding his advice, the Army would eventually lose patience with Mitchell and run him out of the military.

In terms of Hurricane Katrina, civil engineers were acutely aware the weaknesses of the levee system protecting New Orleans was inadequate to withstand a Category 5 storm, as well as Category 4. Their warnings though, unfortunately, went unheeded.

Overseas, particularly in Asia, planning is more common. For example, it was incredibly important in the re-development of Japan following World War II. In business, Japanese companies spend much more time planning than Americans as they like to “look before they leap.” Americans, on the other hand tend to take the plunge before they know what they are jumping into. Even worse, they often take the wrong course of action when faced with disaster. Allow me to explain…

I know a Florida fraternal organization who, like a lot of nonprofits, is losing members. However, this is not new as they have been losing on the average of +1,500 members per year for the last 15 years. Everyone in the organization is cognizant of it, but the leadership has done nothing to stem the problem, hoping it is a temporary condition and will simply go away. Whereas there were in excess of 58K members in 2003, by 2017 there was approximately 35K. It was only this year that the leadership decided to take action by leveraging a hefty per capita tax on each member, which will inevitably drive more members away. Whereas they should have been studying the problem all along, they waited until the last minute to make a decision which will ultimately have an adverse effect on membership.

Similarly, New York State has one of the highest tax rates in the country. So much so, it is causing New Yorkers to flee the state as economic refugees seeking shelter in more tax-friendly states, such as Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. To compensate for their departure, the state recently added new taxes in New York City; a “congestion tax” to ride on city streets, and a “mansion tax” on expensive estates. This too will likely cause more New Yorkers to flee the state. Instead of cutting expenses and lowering taxes to make the state more inviting to live in, they continue to tax and spend madly. As an aside, according to a recent Mercatus Center study, New York State is ranked #41 of the fifty states in terms of fiscal health (Florida is #4, North Carolina is #9, Georgia is #18, and South Carolina is #20).

As in the Florida fraternal example, New York State waited too late until conditions worsened, failed to change their ways, and opted to burden the remaining people instead. Such “knee-jerk” reactions is typical of incompetent leadership.

Then we have the crisis of illegal immigrants at our southern border, a problem threatening our country’s sovereignty. While some claim the problem is “manufactured,” reports from the Department of Homeland Security are undeniable. The American people have known this to be a problem well before the 2016 elections. Remarkably, the Congress fails to address the problem, even to this day. Regardless of the party in power, if this is a legitimate problem, where is the House and Senate in terms of changing our laws? The fact they insist of ignoring the problem goes beyond simple dereliction of duty; it is pure negligence, if not treasonous.

These three incidents are typical of American planning, as they prefer waiting for disaster to strike before taking action. This, of course, is madness. The reason for it should be rather obvious, we feel comfortable operating in an auto-pilot mode and resist making hard decisions that might offend someone. Yet in the end, reactionary behavior ultimately hurts everyone.

Let me give you one last example, knowing our Fraternal Lodge was losing membership and money, and realizing the costs to maintain our building were escalating, I prepared a Feasibility Study which came to the conclusion the Lodge should sell the building and move in with a neighboring Lodge. Had we done so, we would have probably sold the building for $750K. Unfortunately, the members voted to stay and hoped the problem would alleviate itself. It did not. Consequently, 13 years later, the Lodge was finally forced to sell the building for $500K, a substantially lower number. In other words, they avoided the inevitable which ultimately cost them. Think about it, it is essentially no different than the Billy Mitchell story which cost the military dearly.

Planning requires foresight, keeping a pulse on changing conditions, the ability to adapt to change, and above all else, effective leadership. If the leaders are operating on auto-pilot, the group should not be surprised by the consequences when havoc strikes.

For more information on Reactive Management, click HERE.

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

MAYBE YES MEANS NO

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 4, 2019

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– There are some significant differences between Eastern and Western management.

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

I have been to Japan several times over the years on business and have had the privilege of seeing Japanese work habits first hand, which are noticeably different than in the United States. As a small example, the first time I visited, I noticed that in addition to having Coke and Pepsi machines on a street corner, there were also beer and whiskey machines. I discovered the Japanese were not worried about their youth getting alcohol from the machines as it would cause their families to “lose face” through embarrassment. If we had such machines in this country, they would probably be emptied by our youth faster than the vendors could stock them.

Aside from this though, there are a few other differences I observed in corporate Japan:

* Japanese do not like to say “No” to someone as they do not want to offend the person. Instead, they tend to say, “Maybe Yes,” which, when translated, means “No.” This is similar in intent to the American habit of saying, “I’ll try to make it” (to a meeting or appointment), yet never do.

If the Japanese nod their heads in the affirmative, it only means they understand what you are saying but they don’t necessarily agree with you. Because of this, it is not uncommon for American businessmen to fool themselves into believing they are being successful when they make a presentation in Japan. In reality, the Japanese understood the presentation but need time to digest and discuss it among themselves. If an American asks them something like, “Was I correct in this regards?” If they answer, “Maybe Yes,” the American is in trouble.

* I have been in a few large offices in Japan where I have seen young employees suddenly jump up on their desks and give a five minute speech on why he/she is proud of his company and what a pleasure it is to work with their coworkers. When finished, the rest of the office politely applauds before returning to their work. I wish I could say I have seen this in the United States, but I’m afraid I cannot.

* It is not proper for an employee to be insolent and openly criticize his superior. Knowing this may lead to pent up frustrations, some companies have small closet-sized rooms where the disgruntled employee can go into, close the door, and quietly beat an effigy of the boss with a bamboo stick. It may sound kind of silly, then again, you don’t hear of anyone going “postal” in Japan either.

* It is still important for the Japanese to reach a consensus on any significant decision. This process may take some time to perform, but they want to emphasize team building and inclusion of employees in the decision making process. In other words, you do not see too much in the way of “micromanagement” over there.

* When you join a major company in Japan it is common to first “pay your dues,” whereby you and your “class” (those who joined at the same time) are put on the same employment level and work for ten years, after which it is determined who the hard workers are and reward them with a major job promotion. If you didn’t work hard, the company won’t necessarily fire you, but your advancement in the company is arrested. Nonetheless, the emphasis here is on teamwork and creating a spirit of cooperation.

In the United States though, things are a little different…

* Americans are not afraid of offending anyone. So much so, that “Hell No!” (or stronger) is a natural part of our vernacular. Unlike the Japanese who digest something before speaking, Americans do not hesitate to tell you whether they agree with you or not.

* Rarely do you find an American employee who is steadfastly loyal to his company. Instead, it is more likely he will start an anonymous blog to bitch about his company and slander the character of the boss and his coworkers.

* Americans tend to vent their frustrations more publicly than the Japanese. For example, you might get attacked in the company parking lot, or someone may pull a gun out and start shooting.

* Instead of group decision making, Americans prefer rugged individualism whereby decisions tend to be made unilaterally as opposed to seeking the counsel of others. Consequently, employees tend to undermine any decision which is jammed down their throats.

* When you join a major company in the United States, you are rewarded more for individual acts as opposed to team playing. This results in a never ending game of scratching and clawing your way up the corporate hierarchy. Obviously, this approach promotes interoffice politics and cutthroat tactics as opposed to a spirit of cooperation.

Why the substantial differences? Primarily because Japan is a homogeneous culture, and the American “melting pot” is heterogeneous which includes people of all races, faiths, and beliefs.

Although the differences between east and west are noticeable, things are slowly changing in Japan, whose youth have grown up with the Internet and are starting to emulate the work habits of their counterparts in the west. In other words, instead of observing courtesy, honor and respect, Japan is slowly becoming Westernized and I fear that some time in the not too distant future “Maybe Yes” will mean nothing more than that.

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

CAN HONEST JOURNALISM EVER MAKE A COME BACK?

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 3, 2019

BRYCE ON JOURNALISM

– Maybe, but not in its present form.

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

I recently visited the studio of political talk-show host Chris Ingram of WWBA-AM 820 Tampa. We talked on a wide range of topics regarding current events, but he said something interesting that caught my attention, namely, “There is still journalism in this country, but no HONEST journalism,” meaning our news media is more interested in sensationalism than in facts.

In the last few months alone, the press has shot themselves in the foot on more than one occasion:

First, there was the Covington Catholic incident in Washington, DC where a student wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat was falsely accused by the media of trying to provoke a fight with a Native American activist. This resulted in a $250-million lawsuit against the media by the student.

Then there was attorney Michael Avenatti who represented adult-film star Stormy Daniels in a lawsuit against President Trump, which she lost and was forced to pay the president’s legal expenses. This suit elevated the attorney’s exposure and he became the darling of the main stream media where he was given an enormous amount of television coverage to bash the president, which the media relished. There was even talk of having him run against President Trump in the 2020 election as the candidate for the Democrats. Recently though, Mr. Avenatti was accused of trying to extort $15-25 million from Nike, suddenly making him persona non grata with television journalists, and quickly torpedoing his political career.

Finally, we have the conclusion of the Mueller Investigation. For nearly two years, the main stream media was preoccupied with reporting leaks and innuendos from the probe and publicly insisted President Trump was guilty of collusion. When the investigation was finally concluded, and the president was found innocent of such charges, the media and the Democrats refused to believe it and continued to insist he was guilty.

In none of these three high-profile instances, has the press come clean and issued an apology for misleading the public. Instead, they insist their actions were correct. To illustrate, as Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” tweeted on March 26th (@morningmika), “The President and his corrupt team continues to spread lies — we will continue to follow the truth.” This typifies the media’s response to the Mueller report by the press. Instead of being happy the president was found innocent, they continue to condemn him, and this will go on regardless of the details contained in the full report.

The Washington Times reports 90% of the media’s coverage of the president is still negative (and 88% negative of Republicans in general). This means the president is not getting a fair shake from the news media. This is supported by a recent report by Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz claiming he was banned by CNN as he didn’t push the network’s contention of Trump-Russia collusion.

The media would ultimately like to see “Russia Gate” go on forever as sensationalism is good for selling advertising. So, No, do not expect the media to apologize for their actions any time soon. They will continue to defy and push back in order to defend their position. There is just one problem with this though, they have lost the trust of the American public. They simply will not learn how damaging their position is, not just to the country, but to their profession as well.

A Gallup/Knight Foundation survey on “Trust, Media and Democracy” found, “that most Americans believe it is now harder to be well-informed and to determine which news is accurate. They increasingly perceive the media as biased and struggle to identify objective news sources.”

There are many eye-opening conclusions in the report, but among them:

* 1 percent overall “trust all news organizations”; 0 percent of Republicans, 0 percent of independents and 2 percent of Democrats agree.

* A majority of U.S. adults consider “fake news” a very serious threat to our democracy.

* Less than half of Americans, 44%, say they can think of a news source that reports the news objectively. Republicans who can name an accurate source overwhelmingly mention Fox News, while Democrat responses are more varied.

As to this last point, this explains why Fox News continues to dominate cable television. Following the release of the Mueller report, AdWeek reported:

Basic Cable Top 10 – Total Viewers (Prime Time)

1. Fox News (2,473,000)
2. TBS (1,947,000)
3. TNT (1,722,000)
4. MSNBC (1,721,000)
5. HGTV (1,298,000)
6. History (1,208,000)
7. USA (1,186,000)
8. Investigation Discovery (1,048,000)
9. truTV (1,046,000)
10. Discovery (1,020,000)
(13. CNN)

Such a commanding lead by Fox News may suggest the chances of President Trump’s re-election in 2020 is very good.

The Achilles’ Heel of the news media is their belief they are somehow smarter than everyone else. This is reflected in their smarminess on camera and their sophomoric witticism’s which the far-Left may find amusing, but the rest of America does not. In other words, they lack the professional discipline of their predecessors, such as Edward R. Murrow, Chet HuntleyDavid Brinkley, Howard K. Smith, John Chancellor, Walter Cronkite, Roger Mudd, and the like. There is simply no comparison between this crowd and today’s class of biased anchors.

Not surprisingly, this is why President Trump is at odds with the main stream media. As he tweeted on March 26th (@realDonaldTrump): “The Mainstream Media is under fire and being scorned all over the World as being corrupt and FAKE. For two years they pushed the Russian Collusion Delusion when they always knew there was No Collusion. They truly are the Enemy of the People and the Real Opposition Party!”

People are plain and simply tired of the feud, but tend to blame the news media more than the President as evidenced by their sagging ratings.

So, can honest journalism ever make a come back in this country? Certainly, but it begins with instituting journalist ethics, integrity and discipline. They must remember people follow the news to be informed, not to be entertained, which is something news executives have difficulty grasping, and explains why the public no longer trusts the news.

Unfortunately, I’m betting they will continue in their ways, thereby trying to stir up political intrigue in order to sell advertising. However, they better make their money while they can. As CNN’s ratings indicate, the end may not be far away.

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

Posted in Media, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

A NEW CONTRACT WITH AMERICA

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 2, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– How the Republicans can take back the House.

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

The Republicans have a problem. They botched control and lost the House of Representatives to the Democrats. This was not surprising as they did not inspire public confidence and their leadership was sorely lacking. I liked Paul Ryan as a member of the House but thought he was in over his head as Speaker. Americans saw it as nothing more than, “same old, same old,” and voted them out. Had the Republicans been more aggressive and demonstrated some unity, they would still be in control. They plain and simply did not, and this is an important lesson for the Senate to observe as well.

The 2020 elections are not far away, but the GOP will not re-take the House unless they can demonstrate they have their act together. Fortunately, the Democrats are working overtime to shoot themselves in the foot. Although they typically vote in a unified manner, the House Democrats are splintered between moderates and the zany far-Left. They offer no platform other than Socialism and Trump-bashing, believing this will carry them to victory next year.

The American public however is tired of the hateful histrionics and desperately wants to see the country tackle real problems, thus presenting the Republicans with a golden opportunity, namely: a new Contract with America.

The first Contract with America was written back in 1994 by Republican Representatives Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey. It was positive and upbeat, and the public took notice thereby allowing the GOP to finally retake the House, under a Democrat President no less (Bill Clinton). To their credit, they followed the contract and made sweeping reforms.

This is just the type of thing necessary for the Republicans to take back the House and secure their position in the Senate. If they were to introduce a new contract, it would go a long way to re-instilling confidence in the party.

We do not lack for areas to address in a new contract; immigration, health care, infrastructure, lobbying reform, term limits, reducing the debt, election reform, energy and environment, all come to mind immediately. This would show true initiative, something the Democrats are incapable of producing at this time. They only want oddball things to secure their control over the government, such as eliminating the Electoral College, changing the number and tenure of Supreme Court justices, lowering the voting age to 16, give illegal immigrants the right to vote (and collect social security), and The New Green Deal (aka, the “Socialist Manifesto”).

To make a new Contract though requires leadership, a la Newt Gingrich, but I am afraid I do not see this yet in the Republican House ranks, except possibly coming from the House Freedom Caucus. A new contract is nice, but new Republican leadership is needed to make it happen. Milquetoast candidates need not apply.

Again, a new Contract for America is a golden opportunity to re-take the Congress and actually do some good for the country. Let the Democrats desperately squawk about President Trump all they want. While they turn the country off doing this, the Republicans could create a contract with substantive legislation. The Far-Left won’t be interested, but most of America certainly will, at least those who want to see our Congress return to work.

Should the Republicans fail to produce such a compact, they will be admitting they are nothing more than a part of the Washington “establishment,” and don’t deserve our votes.

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

KEEPING MEN GUESSING

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 29, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Guys have a hard time guessing what women like.

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

I’ve been married now for over 35 years and you would think that after such a period of time I would have a good idea what my wife likes and dislikes. Frankly, I haven’t a clue, and I don’t think I’m any different than a lot of other guys out there who still have trouble understanding the feminine mystique. Let me give you some examples…

In preparing to go out for a major social function, my wife typically comes out to model an outfit she is considering to wear and asks what I think about it. Usually she gives me a couple of choices, either this, this, or that. They all look nice, but regardless what I choose, she always settles for something else. After the outfit is selected, then it’s a matter of what shoes to wear; again, this, this or that. Whatever I pick, she picks the opposite. Then of course comes the accompanying purse to complete the ensemble where I, of course, swing and miss again. Strike three. Frankly, I believe I’m a broken barometer when it comes to predicting what a woman wants to wear.

My daughter picked up this same modeling habit as she was growing up and would ask my son and I what we thought she should wear. Again, whatever we picked, she picked the opposite. Although she trusted my wife’s judgment, my son and I always struck out. However, I got a little comfort out of this as I realized I wasn’t alone in picking the wrong fashion.

This phenomenon isn’t restricted to clothing either. I run across it whenever I want to order her food, or shop for presents. Whatever I pick, it’s never quite right.

I’m flattered she still asks for my opinion on what she wants, but it’s all very demoralizing when she ignores you. I am not allowed to take on a defeatist attitude either. For example, if I were to say something like, “Pick whatever you like,” I’m accused of not caring. Then again, there is the game of deliberately picking the wrong item in the hopes she will pick what you want. Unfortunately, she sees though this ploy too easily and doesn’t fall for it. Bottom-line she picks what she wants and I am nothing more than a shallow endorsement.

I guess the point of this exercise is to simply keep men on their toes and never allow them to get the upper hand.

While I’m on it, another part of the feminine mystique is the woman’s purse. This is something I learned a long time ago not to go into as God only knows what you’ll find in there, least of all something you’re looking for. As I was growing up, my mother would ask me, “Just reach inside my purse and get me this or that.” Of course I could never find “this or that” and, instead, learned to just retrieve the purse for her to look through. My wife is no different in this regards.

Women store a lot of things in a purse, such as their wallet, cosmetics, memo pads, glasses, cigarettes, cell phones, menus, report cards (from the 1960’s), broken items in need of repair, and other pieces of bricabrac. Actually, the purse is more of a footlocker than anything else, which makes me wonder why anyone would try to snatch a purse as they would get a hernia trying to do so and wouldn’t be able to find anything in it even if they were successful.

I also find it interesting how women have different sizes of purses; small dainty ones for social occasions, medium sizes for travel, or the “Big Mama” pack horses. Regardless of the size, they all manage to squeeze the same paraphernalia in them, which would even impress Harry Houdini. Regardless, I’ve learned to keep a safe distance away from women’s purses and when asked to retrieve one, I treat it like a delicate Claymore mine.

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

Posted in Life | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

 
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