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Friday, May 26, 2017

ARE AWARDS REALLY IMPORTANT?

BRYCE ON LIFE

- or is it your job performance?

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

I recently snuck away for a little fly fishing in North Carolina with a couple of friends who happen to be illustrators, very respectable ones I might add. One is a personal friend I have known for many years and although we have different professional backgrounds, we inevitably talk about business. The art industry is a highly competitive field, probably because colleges have been churning out a glut of artists, illustrators, and graphic designers over the years. Compounding the problem is the computer which greatly leverages the ability of even the most mediocre talent. Frankly though, companies do not care whether a piece of artwork was created by hand or with computer assistance. They just want a graphic which will enhance an article, a magazine, a book, or whatever. This means the graphics business is not just competitive, but fiercely so.

Within the art world, there is a multitude of awards for excellence at the local, regional, and national levels, even some international awards. All are considered prestigious to a certain degree, some more than others, and artists and illustrators regularly enter their work in hopes of gaining some recognition. In particular, young people crave such awards in the hopes it will boost their career and look good on a resume. As my illustrator friends were quick to point out, such awards may be useful for stroking one's ego, but they certainly do not put food on the table. Consequently, it is not uncommon for winners of such awards to bypass award presentations as they are more focused on their next job.

You typically find more awards in the arts as opposed to the sciences, even though they have their fair share as well. Instead, sciences rely more on certifications denoting a person is properly skilled to perform a certain task. Whereas, awards stroke the ego, certificates offer prima facie evidence of your qualifications. It means you have passed certain tests of workmanship.

As my friends correctly pointed out, your job performance is more important than any award you can win. The applause of your customers is much more important than winning the esteem of your critics and contemporaries. Satisfied customers represent repetitive business and a more consistent cash flow. They also make better references than any award.

If you find yourself being squeezed between working on a billable job and winning an award, don't think twice about it, take the money and run. Your work is much more important than any award.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim's columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  WISCONSIN'S "CAMPUS FREE SPEECH ACT" - Get ready for another showdown.

LAST TIME:  GETTING FIRED - What to learn from the experience.

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.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

GETTING FIRED

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

- What to learn from the experience.

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

People get fired from their jobs for a lot of reasons, such as a company struggling in today's economy, poor job performance, corporate politics, or even petty jealousies. Being fired is a real shot to the ego regardless of the reason. The first question one asks is, "Why?" Unfortunately, we don't always get the answer, maybe because companies are afraid of possible litigation resulting from the dismissal or they believe they are trying to let the worker down easily. Consequently, employees are dumbfounded as to why they were fired or are left with a fabricated excuse, which, to me, can be more damaging than the actual firing itself.

Years ago, my father had to fire someone who had risen above his level of competency (aka "The Peter Principle"). He pulled the man aside, explained what he had done wrong and let him go. Years later, my father bumped into the man who was now working at another company. My father wasn't sure how the man would react to their meeting. Actually, the man was quite warm to my father and confided to him that getting fired was the best thing that happened to him as he realized he was on a collision course with disaster in his old job and my father's advice helped point him in the right direction. In other words, the firing had ultimately benefited the man in the long run and proved the point that keeping a poor performer does a disservice to both the company and the person.

Aside from economic downturns, employees typically get fired for a variety of reasons: incompetence, inability to grow and assume responsibility, failure to adapt to the corporate culture, excessive tardiness and absenteeism, bad attitude towards work, illegal acts, etc. In this situation, it is about you, the employee, and highlights a character flaw you may or may not be conscious of. In this situation, you should resist the temptation to become bitter, and try to learn from it instead. It must be something you have done (or not done), or the perception of what you have done. Either way, try to find the truth. If it is something concrete, that's easy, but if it is a problem of perception, try to determine what the cause of the perception is and try to correct it. For example, maybe you were the victim of gossip or something misreported. Then again, maybe there is something in your character that causes people to perceive you as something that you are not. In other words, it's time for some retrospection and soul searching. Regardless, do not dismiss the firing as just the ravings of a nut job. Remember, it is either something you have done, or the perception of what you have done.

This is why I'm a big believer of regularly scheduled employee performance reviews, which many people avoid as they feel uncomfortable talking about a person's character. These reviews should not be taken lightly by either the manager or the employee. They are invaluable for pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of the employee, clearing up misconceptions, and formulating a course of action to improve the employee. Some companies have a policy of performing such a review 30 days from the first day of work, others wait 60 or 90 days. They are then reviewed either on an annual or semiannual basis. The point is, don't take your evaluation lightly, try to understand what the manager is telling you and ask questions. Otherwise you might find yourself totally surprised when the boss fires you.

Hopefully, the person doing the firing will do it professionally. I have seen too many people stumble clumsily through it thereby turning it into an ugly affair, benefiting no one. This is why I wrote the paper "Firing Employees isn't for Sissies" some time ago.

Bottom-line: Don't be bitter about firings and reviews. You might not like them, but you should definitely learn from them.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim's columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  ARE AWARDS REALLY IMPORTANT? - or is it your job performance?

LAST TIME:  TRUMP'S "BIG AGENDA" (Book Review) - Trump was vilified like no other presidential candidate in history, yet he still defeated the Democrats.

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.

Monday, May 22, 2017

TRUMP'S "BIG AGENDA" (Book Review)

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- Trump was vilified like no other presidential candidate in history, yet he still defeated the Democrats.

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

David Horowitz' new book, "BIG AGENDA - President Trump's Plan to Save America," has been receiving good reviews and is a bestseller on the New York Times list. In it, he outlines President Trump's plans to take back the country and reverse the Progressive agenda as put forth by President Obama, the Clintons, Senator Bernie Sanders, et al. From the outset, Horowitz makes it clear the country is at war with itself, something many of us have long known, but others should study, particularly Republicans.

The author begins by discussing the tactics of the Left, which is ultimately based on the work of Saul Alinsky, the famed community organizer and mentor to Obama, Clinton, and many others. Alinsky's approach is less about frontal warfare and more designed to undermine the status quo by capturing the minds of the masses. The Progressives genuinely believe they are on a noble mission on the same scale as a religious movement, hence their zealous ferver. They believe they know what is best for America and will not be deterred. Consequently, no lie or wrongdoing is too great as long as the end justifies the means.

The Left portrays Republicans as unfit to lead the country. This comes from the Alinsky playbook whereby the best way to undermine your opposition is to vilify them. Calling people "racist" or any other deplorable moniker is an an attempt to make them social outcasts and enemies of the state. In reality, Progressives are the real party of hate as they try to prohibit free thinking and free speech using bullying tactics.

Democrats do not accept the Constitution as it is viewed as an impediment to their agenda of social change. For example, they do not want a Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution, but implement social justice instead. This was obvious during the presidential debates and recent Judge Gorsuch confirmation hearings. Their Achilles' heel is their sense of morality; e.g., they do not believe in the rule of law as it pertains to illegal immigrants.

The Left is aided by the media and academia which is overwhelmingly Democrat and influencing the masses, particularly our youth. Congressional Democrats have implemented a stalling tactic in hopes the country will elect a new Congress controlled by the Democrats, and anarchists funded by Democratic causes stay in the media's eye to protest anything violating their agenda. Such chaos could very well backfire on them come time for next year's mid-term elections as independent voters grow weary of the Left's whining.

With all this in mind, Horowitz makes an important point: Donald Trump was vilified like no other presidential candidate in history, yet he still defeated the Democrats. This shocked the Republicans as much as it did the Democrats. For example, Mr. Trump was the first nominee who had the audacity to stand up to Hillary Clinton, a woman no less, and called her a liar and crook during the debates. Republicans let out a gasp of disbelief, as this had never been done before, even by Mitt Romney who had the chance to call out Barack Obama during the 2012 debates, but failed to do so. Trump's outspokenness resonated with Americans who were tired of "business as usual" in Washington. It also provided an important lesson; the Democrats must be put on the defensive. The Republicans need to learn how to be tough, a strong lesson Trump gave to a bewildered set of GOP Presidential candidates. He taught us it is time to be strong and fight back.

Towards the end of his book, Horowitz finally gets around to describing his vision of Trump's battle plan, particularly in the first 100 days of his administration. Interestingly, most of the items listed have been addressed by the President. There are some points that were not implemented but will likely be considered shortly, such as relocating America's Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Infrastructure spending, and attacking the past indiscretions of the IRS, but there is still considerable time remaining to do so.

Horowitz also stresses the importance of offering a new deal to Black America in the inner cities, who have suffered for decades under the rule of the Democrats. If Trump can improve education, clean up crime, and create jobs for the inner cities, this will be welcomed by Black Americans, an important voting block for the Democrats. This is why the mayors of Democrat-controlled cities are fighting Trump over such things as Sanctuary Cities and school voucher programs.

As I said, Horowitz' book will be an epiphany for those who haven't been paying attention to the political landscape over the last ten years, but it is common sense for the rest of us. All Republicans should read it for the battle-cry it represents. High school and college students should also study it to understand both sides of the two political ideologues. Yes, this is war, yet some Republicans naively believe it is nothing more than simple politics. As Horowitz points out, we have gone well beyond simple politics, this is a fight for the fundamental character of America, our morality, our sense of right and wrong. A war where one side embraces the morality and governing principles of our founding fathers, and another determined to set us on a different path. One side believing in capitalism, another in the redistribution of wealth a la socialism. One aimed at improving the gross domestic product, and the other nothing more than a rearrangement of the deck chairs on the Titanic.

The book spells out a "take no prisoner" approach to fighting the Left and saving the country. Basically, Horowitz is admonishing Republicans to reverse the tables and do unto Democrats what they have been doing all along to the GOP.

"BIG AGENDA - President Trump's Plan to Save America" - David HorowitzHumanix Books
http://www.humanixbooks.com/bigagenda.html
ISBN 978-1-63006-087-9 (hardcover)
ISBN 978-1-63006-088-6 (E-book).
188 pages

Also published in The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim's columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  GETTING FIRED - What to learn from the experience.

LAST TIME:  THE 99% COMPLETE SYNDROME- You're probably measuring the wrong thing if you keep asking for this figure.

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.

Friday, May 19, 2017

THE 99% COMPLETE SYNDROME

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

- You're probably measuring the wrong thing if you keep asking for this figure.

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

It is an undocumented fact that the last 1% of anything takes longer than the other 99%. There are plenty of examples to support this argument, perhaps none quite as visible as the progress bars we see on computers. You know, those little bars telling you how you are progressing in the installation of software or the execution of a program. More often than not, such progress bars seem to race through the first 99% like a blazing track star, yet when we get to that last 1% it seems to slow down to a snail's pace.

I have also witnessed this same phenomenon in project management situations. As we were building our office in Florida our contractor proudly proclaimed he was 99% complete and we should prepare ourselves to move in. Interestingly, that last 1% dragged on for days, weeks, and even a few months, thereby delaying inspections and prohibiting our move.

In the Information Technology field, it is difficult to get a realistic picture of how much work remains on a project. Programmers love to announce they are 99% complete in writing their programs, but somehow that last 1% never seems to come to conclusion. Either something was wrong in the design of their software they hadn't anticipated, something had changed, or gremlins had compounded their best efforts. Regardless, the project never ends.

This phenomenon is related to our perspective on work, specifically, "Is the glass half empty or half filled?" Instead of focusing on the work completed, people should be more concerned with the amount of effort remaining. For example, instead of asking about percentages, workers should be constantly evaluating the amount of effort required to complete remaining tasks in hours. Only after this is known should we consider the application of percentages, not before. Unfortunately, that is not the mindset in most project environments. Instead, people tend to consider the amount of work expended against the original estimate, not the remaining effort. This is certainly not a realistic or reliable way of reporting progress. It is pure fantasy.

Surprisingly, there are still quite a few project management packages allowing people to post percentages as opposed to automatically calculating it based on the estimate of hours remaining on project tasks which is simply ludicrous.

So, next time you hear someone claim they are 99% complete with something, it means they still have a long way to go and the person hasn't got a clue when it will be completed, but it's close...maybe. Ask yourself this, when was the last time you saw the final two minutes of a football game finish within 120 seconds? I've never seen it either.

"The last 1% of a project can take as long as the first 99%." - Bryce's Law

Also published in The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim's columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  TRUMP'S "BIG AGENDA" (Book Review) - Trump was vilified like no other presidential candidate in history, yet he still defeated the Democrats.

LAST TIME:  WHAT WE LEARN IN SUPERMARKETS  - You can learn a lot from a supermarket, perhaps too much.

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.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

WHAT WE LEARN IN SUPERMARKETS

BRYCE ON LIFE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also published in The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim's columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

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

LAST TIME:  WHAT CAUSES "THE STUPIDS"? - With the masses, it's all about crowd control.

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

Monday, May 15, 2017

WHAT CAUSES "THE STUPIDS"?

BRYCE ON LIFE

- With the masses, it's all about crowd control.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Get along little doggie!"

Also published in The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim's columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

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

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

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

Friday, May 12, 2017

RESPECTING PRIVACY

BRYCE ON LIFE

- What to do about a loudmouth neighbor.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also published in The Huffington Post.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim's columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  WHAT CAUSES "THE STUPIDS"? - With the masses, it's all about crowd control.

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

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