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Friday, March 12, 2010

THE ASSHOLEMETER

As many of you may remember, I wrote a paper a few years ago entitled, "Homo Sapien Asshole," (HSA) which was a clinical explanation as to why people act in strange ways. As I noted in my thesis, we all become HSA's at different points in our lives. The study of this phenomenon has been a pet project of mine for a number of years. So much so, I have been keeping track of the number of HSA's I encounter during the average day, which is seven, regardless if it is a business day or weekend. I suspect the average is higher for people living and working in larger metropolitan areas. You also have to remember I work in a small company located only a few miles from my home, so my exposure to HSA's is much less than what you might find in Manhattan for example.

For a long time I kept track of these statistics manually and learned to classify the various HSA's by their nuances, such as their driving habits, behavior in group settings, language, dress, and general deportment in public. As a systems man, it occurred to me I could create a device to detect and statistically track the number of HSA's I encountered, hence I introduce you to...


"THE ASSHOLEMETER" (tm) (pronounced "ass-hall-au-met-er") - a powerful new tool for detecting HSA's. It's modeled after today's handheld radar devices as used by law enforcement personnel and baseball scouts, except it can be used by anyone. Perhaps the best way to think of it is as a sort of "gaydar" on steroids. However, it doesn't judge people by race, age, gender, or social standing; only if the person is an asshole.

At the heart of the Assholemeter is a powerful preprogrammed microprocessor linked to special sensors to detect such things as motion, sound, temperature, and surrounding technology. It is programmed to detect erroneous perceptions, sensory deprivation, changes in noise levels, wavering speech patterns and slang, brain wave activity, heart rates and the active use of technological devices such as cell phones, portable media players, and computers. In addition, there is a module included for statistical analysis. A handy USB port is also provided to download data for use in spreadsheets. The unit sits comfortably in a handsome holster making it convenient for use in supermarkets, on the road, airports, or anywhere.

A small statistical display is included in the handset. The unit also makes a pulsating high frequency squeal, audible to ordinary people and canines, thereby alerting everyone to the presence of a HSA.

The Assholemeter impressed me in field tests. For example,

* I discovered sharp increases in HSA behavior during commuter rush hour traffic as opposed to the open road. It also detected increases in people driving while talking on cell phones or having an excessive number of bumper stickers on their car.

* It clearly delineated HSA behavior in large crowd settings, such as at stadiums, arenas and outdoor events. As an aside, it went bananas at flea markets and monster truck rallies. It also distinguished HSA's at airports, and on virtually any kind of public transportation, including subways, trains and buses.

* In office settings, it detected innocuous meetings, slimy salesmen, time wasters, and overbearing bosses. It includes a "Peter Principle" function to detect people rising above their level of competency. There is also a special detection setting for bankers, lawyers, realtors, and insurance agents.

* The device seems to peak late at night or on weekends after people had a few drinks. I had no problem finding drinking establishments featuring "Ladies Nights" and two-for-one specials.

* Interestingly, its "spin detector" feature works on the news media where I used it to scan newspapers and television programs.

* Last, but certainly not least, it went off the Richter Scale when I pointed it in the direction of Washington, DC or any local government building.

I see this as a useful tool for preventing personal injuries from obnoxious HSA's. It won't fight your battles for you, but you will see your nemesis coming from a mile away. Airport and airline personnel will find it invaluable in terms of detecting terrorists and annoying passengers. Imagine the orders from truck drivers alone where they can now easily traverse the highways and make their deliveries on schedule. It should also be considered mandatory at voting precincts, political party rallies, press conferences, and for watching television news. Quite frankly, the potential is limitless.

So, be the first on your block to order the new Assholemeter and impress your friends. We are also working on two new smaller models to either fit in your pocket or clip on to your glasses or hat. It's a great gift idea for National HSA Day (which seems to be celebrated everyday now). Patent pending.

Keep the Faith!

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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 © 2010 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.