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Friday, August 30, 2013

MAKING YOUR PROBLEMS MINE

BRYCE ON LIFE

- Where should the buck stop?

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

Have you ever noticed how people try to make their problems yours? Let me give you an example, we have a small garbage dumpster next to our office building and other people began using it to dump their trash as soon as we installed it. Of course, we then put a lock on it but this didn't seem to deter a few people who put their trash on top of the dumpster. We even had one instance where someone deposited an old sofa on the dumpster which caused me to pay the garbage man a little extra to dispose of it. In other words, people transferred their problems to me.

There seems to be a lot of this going on, particularly among Customer Service people. A lot of the service people I talk to seem to be more interested in compounding my problems as opposed to solving them. Nobody really likes to deal with problems, but if that's what you're getting paid to do I fail to see the rationale of complicating life as opposed to simplifying it.

You see this "pass the buck" mentality just about everywhere, not just in the office but at home as well. It has become so prevalent it's like a giant merry-go-round with everybody passing their problems on to someone else. Here's an idea; why not pull the plug on the ride and have everyone address their own problems, it's what we call "responsibility," something a lot of us cannot seem to accept.

As to our dumpster problem, we picked through a couple of bags of garbage that had been dropped off on us and found the name and address of the person who dumped it. We then dutifully returned the bags of trash to their rightful owner who was unhappy to see it returned. I think we need to see more of this type of action, instead of letting the buck stop on our doorstep, how about returning it to its rightful owner?

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  MAKING YOUR PROBLEMS MINE - Where should the buck stop?

LAST TIME:  DO NOT USE TRAVELOCITY! - Of course, if you can live without refunds and don't mind talking to India...

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 "The Morning Zone" with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington
"The Morning News" with hosts Lance Tormey & Brian Teegarden (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim's postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen's Association, and throughout the Internet.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

DO NOT USE TRAVELOCITY!

BRYCE ON TRAVEL

- Of course, if you can live without refunds and don't mind talking to India...

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

Not long ago I wrote about the perils of Travel Planning (July 14, 2013) where I described my displeasure with being forced to become a travel agent. I also described the problems with on-line discount travel agencies. Unfortunately, it took a turn for the worse recently.

A few months ago I booked a business trip to western New York through Tavelocity, complete with rental car and hotel room. When the trip fell through, I naturally contacted Travelocity to cancel my reservations. I had no problem cancelling the hotel and rental car via the Internet, but hit a brick wall when trying to cancel my airline reservation which, of course, was the most expensive part of the trip. I cannot remember the exact wording, but the web page indicated there was a problem with the cancellation. Naturally, I wanted to know why and called their toll free number. I was put on hold and waited my turn to talk to a customer service agent which I discovered was in India.

I do not have anything against the Indians offhand, but I experienced difficulty trying to understand the English dialect of "Apu", and I suspect he had trouble understanding me as I had to repeat myself several times. I even called back a second time as I was unsure whether the first Apu understood my problem. Unfortunately, Apu2 was even worse than Apu1. The best I could understand from their yammerings was they were unable to issue a credit to my credit card. Instead, I had a credit against my Travelocity account whereby I would have to book another flight through them within one year. If I didn't use it, I would lose the credit. I told Apu2 this was unacceptable and I would seek some other way to reclaim my money. Frankly, he was unapologetic, but I think he plain and simply didn't understand my displeasure (or anything else I was telling him).

Since I didn't receive satisfaction, I decided to write about it, so other consumers do not experience the same snafu I faced. It's bad enough you cannot get your money back from Travelocity following a cancellation, but to make the consumer talk to customer service representatives who do not have a command of the English language adds insult to injury.

This was a horrible experience for me. I feel truly scammed by the company. Perhaps my only way out is to convince others not to use Travelocity. I may never get my money back, but hopefully I can convince others not to use them as well. Hopefully this will have an adverse effect on the Indian gnomes they use.

One thing is for sure, it will be a cold day in Hell before I use Travelocity again, and I will certainly think twice about using any other similar on-line discount travel agency. They all lost a lot of credibility with me on this one.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  MAKING YOUR PROBLEMS MINE - Where should the buck stop?

LAST TIME:  PRICE VERSUS VALUE - Are we really comparing apples to apples, or apples to oranges?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 "The Morning Zone" with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington
"The Morning News" with hosts Lance Tormey & Brian Teegarden (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim's postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen's Association, and throughout the Internet.

Monday, August 26, 2013

PRICE VERSUS VALUE

BRYCE ON BUSINESS

- Are we really comparing apples to apples, or apples to oranges?

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

In business, there seems to be a growing change in the perspective regarding purchasing. I am finding more and more people attracted to vendors who simply offer the lowest price. This is fine if you are genuinely comparing apples to apples, but not apples to oranges. Price is one thing, "value" is something else, and something people commonly overlook these days. By "value" I'm including the services above and beyond the cost of the product. For example, warranty and maintenance.

Long ago automotive companies realized cars were not sold by price comparison alone, but by the accompanying services, such as roadside assistance, waiving of finance charges, extended warranty on the power-train and body, etc. Adding such service is a testament to the confidence you have in your product. If you have a good quality product, you have little to worry about.

Not long ago, I selected a new cable provider for home, something it seems I do every three years now. I believe I have tried all of the providers in my area. On the surface, one looks better than another and are priced competitively. I suspect most people make their purchase decisions by price alone, but having used all of them I consider the overall value of each provider which is not just the specifications of the service but its reliability. Living in the lightning capital of America, I realize all providers will take an electrical surge from time to time, but I want a service that rarely goes down and has the fastest response to correcting problems. That's "value." I may have to pay a little more for it, but I will gladly do so to keep my televisions, telephones and computers up and running. I generally gravitate towards the vendor who offers the best value, but this is a trend that seems to be changing in the business world.

Here in the Tampa Bay area, a local distributor of manufacturing related accessories is experiencing a decline in their market share due to this cost vs. value phenomenon. For years, the distributor offered a wide variety of products at competitive prices. More importantly, they offered value to their clients by freely maintaining their inventory, auditing product consumption, and other miscellaneous services, all of which saved their clients considerable money. They also offered generous terms for payment. Unfortunately though, they are losing out to other vendors based on simple price comparisons. It seems the new purchasing people want to make a name for themselves by selecting the low-ball bid thereby seemingly saving money for the company. However, by overlooking value they are ultimately costing their companies more money in the long run. Some companies have the gall to ask the distributor to continue to freely maintain the inventory and do the audit. No, I'm afraid that ship has sailed. Only then do they realize the meaning of "value," but it's too late. A vital business relationship has been shattered.

Not long ago, I visited a local hardware store where I bought some new power tools to maintain my yard. I could have purchased them from the garden mega-stores, but I've been burned by them before where I had to deal with clods who knew nothing of the products they offered. At the local hardware store, even though I paid a little more for the tools, I did so gladly as I dealt with a salesman who knew his products intimately and guided me to the right solution based on my needs. In other words, he offered me "value" as opposed to just "price."

It's okay to take the low-ball approach when you are matching products purely of the same kind, but don't be foolish and overlook the value of products where there may be long-term benefits to be considered. In other words, don't try to match apples with oranges. It doesn't work.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  DO NOT USE TRAVELOCITY! - Of course, if you can live without refunds and don't mind talking to India...

LAST TIME:  HOW MUCH DO WE REALLY USE OUR HEAD? - Not as much as you may think.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 "The Morning Zone" with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington
"The Morning News" with hosts Lance Tormey & Brian Teegarden (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim's postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen's Association, and throughout the Internet.

Friday, August 23, 2013

HOW MUCH DO WE REALLY USE OUR HEAD?

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

- Not as much as you may think.

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

Ever wonder what goes through people's heads? Or maybe you have heard yourself say, "What the hell are you thinking of?" It shouldn't come as a surprise to find a lot of people don't use their head during the day. A couple of years ago I wrote a paper entitled, "Increasing Brain Power." Although the intent of the paper was to suggest ideas for sharpening worker acuity, I made the observation we typically don't use our head as much as we assume we do.

First, we typically rest or sleep for eight hours each day whereby the brain is not truly engaged. We then spend eight hours for work and eight hours for personal time. In the typical work day, office workers are normally 70% effective, meaning they spend about five and a half hours on productive work. During personal time, we perform pet projects and hobbies, pay the bills, run errands, attend a meeting or function, relax, and wake up or go to sleep. During this time we typically spend two hours on concentrated work. All of this means in a typical work day, we only spend about eight hours to really exercise the brain, but from a management perspective, we can expect to get only three hours at peak performance. Actually, this number fluctuates based on how well the worker is able to engage the brain. Some people are able to engage their brains for several hours, some for only an hour, and some not at all.

I guess what I am getting at is that people tend to operate at a primal level most of the day representing nothing more than their basic instincts and reflex actions (I call this the "autopilot" mode). We see this on our commutes to and from work, we see it as we shop in stores, and we see it as we "zone out" watching television. Basically, people prefer to tune out than to tune in to what is going on. As a systems man, I tend to make the analogy that we take in more input than we produce output. Because of this, we are highly susceptible to subliminal messages from the media and are easily influenced.

We commonly make extensive use of technology to assist us at work, but because technology often supersedes our thought processes, it actually causes us to be less sharp intellectually. To illustrate, not long ago a study was performed by Kings College in London for Hewlett Packard, the purpose of which was to study the effect of technology on worker performance. According to Dr. Glenn Wilson, the author of the study: "Results showed clearly that technological distraction diminished IQ test performance." Basically, the study said excessive use of technology can have an adverse effect on a person's brain power. This is somewhat disturbing as technology permeates our society.

So, the next time you have a confrontation with the human animal, just remember they are probably not operating at the same level as you are; they could be a lot smarter or a lot dumber than they may appear.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  PRICE VERSUS VALUE - Are we really comparing apples to apples, or apples to oranges?

LAST TIME:  TAKE ANOTHER LOOK AT COMMON CORE - Next time you hear "Common Core" in a conversation; pay attention!

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 "The Morning Zone" with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington
"The Morning News" with hosts Lance Tormey & Brian Teegarden (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim's postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen's Association, and throughout the Internet.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

TAKE ANOTHER LOOK AT COMMON CORE

BRYCE ON EDUCATION

- Next time you hear "Common Core" in a conversation; pay attention!

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

Coming from the Information Technology industry, I understand the challenges of developing and implementing standards. Those introduced by companies seem to be more successful than those sanctioned by government. Either way, there seems to be a natural aversion to standards in this country. As a small example, consider the attitude of parents who steadfastly resist student uniforms in school, claiming it inhibits the creativity and individuality of their offspring.

Then there is the matter of "Common Core" (CC), a federal effort intended to put state education programs on a national level playing field. Created in 2009 by the National Governors Association (NGA), Common Core initially consisted of testing standards for mathematics and "English language arts" (literacy) to be implemented as a series of tests. Other subjects may be added later, such as science, history, government, morality, etc.

CC was embraced by the Obama administration who encouraged states to adopt the educational standards by offering federal "Race to the Top" grants which, essentially, is a bribe. At its inception, 45 of the 50 states joined the initiative. Texas and Alaska did not join, and interestingly, Nebraska and Virginia are members but have opted not to embrace the standards. There also appears to be a push back in progress as people are beginning to question the necessity of a national education standard. For example, Alabama and Indiana have introduced legislation to repeal the standard in their states. In addition, Georgia and Oklahoma recently decided against adopting standardized tests.(1) Others are beginning to question it as well, including Florida.

Why all of the sudden interest in something presumed to be a good idea? A couple of reasons: first, due to the vast size of the United States with its cultural differences, people question the practicality of a "one-size-fits-all" curriculum. Teaching kids in the inner city is different than teaching those in remote or rural locations. The cultural differences between New England, Mid-Atlantic, the South, the Midwest, Southwest, and Northwest (not to mention Hawaii and Alaska) are substantial. True, math is math and English is English, but how they are taught depends on the nuances of the region. Second, CC emphasizes testing as opposed to teaching, rote learning versus lecturing, and as such, fails to recognize different teaching styles to accommodate cultural differences. Consequently, you will likely see more teachers with Education degrees as opposed to those with degrees in mathematics, languages, science, history, etc. Somehow, I am reminded of the Einstein quote, "Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think." And third, it trumps the authority of local school boards who are supposed to be in tune with local educational needs.

Little has been said about the organization behind CC. For example, will a giant data base be created to track student scores and compare different geographical locations or socioeconomic groups? How will testing be performed and who will do it? Surely, such standards must exist already or are we creating another system doomed to failure? The federal government doesn't exactly have a stellar record in this regard. Despite all of the good intentions of the people developing CC, I smell a costly disaster brewing. Estimates of the costs involved vary, but they are all in the billions of dollars, an enormous price for an untested theory of education. All of this represents a red flag people are suddenly waving as we approach the mid-term elections in 2014. This will undoubtedly become a major political issue particularly among state and county officials.

Frankly, I believe we are testing the wrong people. We should be routinely testing the teachers and school administrators to evaluate their competence, mothers and fathers to check their parental skills, and government officials to see if they truly understand what the heck is going on in our schools. As to testing the students, let's leave it to the people we elect who are supposed to understand what is best for the students in our community, the local School Board.

Like I said, developing and implementing standards can become an arduous task. Devising standards at the local level is far easier than trying to implement them at a federal level. Bottom-line we should simply be asking, "What is best for the youth of our community?"

The public's lack of knowledge regarding "Common Core" is disturbing. This is big, very big. Next time you hear "Common Core" pop-up in a conversation, listen carefully. It is going to affect a lot of people; students, teachers, parents, teacher unions, school administrators, and, of course, taxpayers.

P.S. - I would just be happy to see today's students be able to pass this standard Eighth Grade EXAMINATION from 1912 in Kentucky, which was typical back then.

Keep the Faith!


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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  HOW MUCH DO WE REALLY USE OUR HEAD? - Not as much as you may think.

LAST TIME:  MY SUMMER VACATION - And its effect on me mentally and physically.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 "The Morning Zone" with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington
"The Morning News" with hosts Lance Tormey & Brian Teegarden (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim's postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen's Association, and throughout the Internet.

Friday, August 16, 2013

MY SUMMER VACATION

BRYCE ON LIFE

- And its effect on me mentally and physically.

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

I recently returned from my summer vacation. Normally, I take time off in July as it seems just about everyone in my neck of the woods ducks out of town, thereby turning neighborhoods into ghost towns. This time I was fortunate to slip away to North Carolina with some old high school buddies to do some fly-fishing. When we weren't in the cold streams, we were sitting on the front porch of my friend's cabin swapping lies and tying flies. It was most enjoyable. Following this, I went up to Ohio with my wife to visit my in-laws.

When I returned from my break, family and friends told me I looked different; more relaxed, less tense. Frankly, I was surprised by the observation as I didn't sense any difference in my appearance. Others did though, claiming my face seemed brighter and I generally looked better. Keeping this in mind, a local friend also returned from vacation and indeed, he too appeared to be more relaxed. I couldn't exactly put my finger on what was different about him, but there was something.

I always thought of vacations as a great way to shift gears mentally, change your perspective and refocus. I never thought it would also affect me physically, other than perhaps a little sun, food and exercise, but evidently it does.

When we are working, it is not uncommon to fall into a rut where we find ourselves performing the same tasks over and over again, not just during the work week, but on the weekends and after hours as well. Such routine can wear on the best of us which is why vacations are needed for attitude readjustment. In addition to enhancing the fertility of the mind, I find vacations help to change my disposition. I don't think of myself as intense but evidently I wear such a look on my face which a vacation helps to erase.

I tend to believe when we are on vacation we put our worries and concerns behind us or at least tuck them away temporarily in the recesses of our brains. They're still there but a vacation tends to divert our attention away from them. Friends, food, good conversation, and a change of scenery makes for an excellent tonic to change our demeanor. A good cigar and glass of Scotch doesn't hurt either.

Maybe the trick is to simply plan the next vacation right after you return from the last. At least you will have something to look forward to and maybe you'll look better simply knowing where you are going to next.
Sometimes you've just got to get out of Dodge.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  TAKE ANOTHER LOOK AT COMMON CORE - Next time you hear "Common Core" in a conversation; pay attention!

LAST TIME:  MORE GOBBLEDYGOOK - I hear America talking.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 "The Morning Zone" with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington "The Morning News" with hosts Lance Tormey & Brian Teegarden (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim's postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen's Association, and throughout the Internet.

MORE GOBBLEDYGOOK

BRYCE ON OUR LANGUAGE

- I hear America talking.

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

I have always found the English language rather interesting, particular the words we use as well as the ones we do not in our vernacular; (see "Gobbledygook").

For example, I recently noticed there are several words banned as part of our political correctness, such as the "F" word, the "N" word, the "C" word, the "R" word, and the "Q" word. Such words are considered verboten, particularly by the press, but I don't think they'll be happy until we use the rest of the alphabet. Maybe they should just call them "X" words to denote their rating. Words such as "Homosexual" and "Negro" are still valid words and can be found in the various dictionaries, but people generally refrain from using them. We don't seem to have a problem saying "heterosexual" but balk at the use of "homosexual," fearing it might offend people. Interestingly, according to Wikipedia, the word "Negro" denotes "black" in the Spanish and Portuguese languages and is still occasionally used.

Technical words tend to pop-up in our language, primarily for advertising purposes. A classic example of this is the old Sohio "Iceguard" commercial where the announcer claimed "No fuel line freeze-ups or Sohio pays the tow." Sohio was the Standard Oil affiliate in Ohio years ago. Theoretically, "Iceguard" was an additive which protected the fuel from freezing during harsh winter conditions. It sounded good, but I always wondered about its validity as gasoline freezes around -97F. Interestingly, I never heard of anyone suffering from fuel line freeze-ups in the many years I lived up north. Maybe they all used "Iceguard."

Certs breath mint, which included a drop of "Retsyn," a trademarked name for a mixture of copper gluconate, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, and flavoring. Whether "Retsyn" worked or not is immaterial, consumers flocked to the product simply because "Retsyn" sounded scientific.
There are many other examples of such hyperbole:

* BP touts its "Invigorate" gas additive, a nitrogen enriched gasoline that claims to clean your engine thereby making your car more fuel efficient.

* Chevron likewise offers "Techron," a patented fuel additive consisting of gasoline mixed with polyetheramine for fuel cleanliness.

* Ford is now offering "EcoBoost," representing a family of turbocharged, direct injected engines designed for better fuel efficiency and reduced greenhouse emissions.

* Smith & Nephew offers "Verilast" Technology which is a combination of materials used in the manufacture of artificial knees to make them last longer.

All of these words eventually work their way into our vernacular. The words are designed to leave positive impressions in the minds of consumers. In terms of their validity though, they somehow remind me of the old commercial slogan for PF Flyers which features the "Magic Wedge" in the heel of the shoe allowing you to, "Run your fastest and jump your highest." Of course, I suspect we ran just as fast and jumped just as high in our other shoes.

In another area, it seems former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner has single-handily popularized the word "sexting" which is a merger of the words "sex" and "texting" as used in communicating via smart phones. Basically, it replaced phone sex as used in the 20th century. The "texting" portion of the word is a bit of a misnomer as text, graphics, video, and audio can all be transmitted to turn people on. I guess calling it "SmartSex" would be an oxymoron.

On television we are now being told to send Internet messages using Twitter addresses starting with the "Hash Tag" (#). I'm not sure where this expression comes from but I suspect it has to do with programmers who do not exactly possess a working knowledge of the English language. The correct expression is "Hash Mark" as it has been used for at least 100 years. I suspect the term "Tag" was derived from the Hyper Text Programming Language which involves a series of "tags" to produce a web page.

As a baseball fan, I've noticed some words slipping into the description of the game over the last few years:

"Wheelhouse" - historically, this has referred to the pilothouse of a steam boat. What this has to do with the sweet spot of a baseball player's strike zone is still a mystery to me, yet it is commonly used by announcers today.

A "Walk-Off" home run is now commonly used to describe a hit which wins the game for a team. I guess something like a "game winning" home run is considered passé.

That reminds me, I've noticed a lot of television and radio commercials where someone says something like, "You do this, then you do that and WALLA, there you have it." It's bad enough we murder the English language, now we're doing it to the French. It's not "Walla," it is "VoilĂ ." Don't forget the "V."

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  MY SUMMER VACATION - And its effect on me mentally and physically.

LAST TIME:  PERSONAL PECCADILLOES - Why we behave the way we do under close quarters.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 "The Morning Zone" with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington "The Morning News" with hosts Lance Tormey & Brian Teegarden (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim's postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen's Association, and throughout the Internet.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

PERSONAL PECCADILLOES

BRYCE ON FAMILY & TRAVEL

- Why we behave the way we do under close quarters.

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

Holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas typically bring members of the family together, as does family vacations and anniversaries. Inevitably, family members open their homes and share quarters with loved ones traveling from out of town. Perhaps you'll go home to see your parents and stay in your old room or stay with one of your siblings. Such close quarters are certainly appreciated, but they also have a tendency to drive people crazy, both the host and the guest, regardless how much we love our family.

As creatures of habit, we all have our own unique set of nuances we like to live by, particularly at home. Such habits may seem insignificant, but we begin to feel inhibited when we try to live in close quarters with someone else. In other words, we have to be on our best behavior and cannot truly relax as we normally would. To illustrate:

* Meal time can be awkward as people have different eating customs. For example, some people will eat a hearty breakfast, others something simple, and some not at all. Some like coffee, others want tea or just some juice of some kind. It all makes for some awkward moments for people in the kitchen. Some people like to eat strange snacks and consume beverages during off hours. What is normal to one person appears strange to others. The time at which we eat can also become an issue, as well as the types of food and restaurants we like. Trying to plan an evening dinner to accommodate everyone's tastes and timetables can become as complicated as planning D-Day.

* In terms of bathroom decorum we have to observe different customs of using the shower, the "facilities," towels and trash, and general cleanliness. Some people are slobs, others are neat freaks, neither of which are compatible.

* Even the act of washing clothes can become awkward. Some people like to wash small loads, others large. Then there is the matter of the water temperature and the amount of detergent to use. I realize it sounds rather petty, but such nuances drive some people crazy.

* Then there is the matter of what clothes to wear for certain occasions. Regardless of how old you are, your mother will inevitably comment, "You're not going out dressed like that are you?" Even the comfortable clothes you want to wear around the house comes under scrutiny.

* Maintaining the bedroom can also become a problem. Some people like to live in pigpens, others are more tidy. Believe me, the differences between hosts and guests are considerable. Some hosts insist on sacrificing their own bedrooms to allow their guests maximum comfort. Inevitably, guests cannot relax in fear they may do something wrong in the inner sanctum, and hosts toss and turn uncomfortably on sleep sofas with metal bars sticking in their spines. It's a no-win scenario no matter what you do.

* There are many other idiosyncrasies observed, such as talking too much or too little or at the wrong time, smoking, imbibing a drink, eating too much or too little, what you eat versus what you don't, how you exercise (or not), how the coffee is made, what vitamins and medication you are taking, what you watch on television, what time you rise in the morning and retire at night, even how you drive your own car.

We all have unique peculiarities we like to live by and when we get together with family members we try to bite our tongues for the sake of harmony. However, I've observed some people are more accommodating than others. If you are the guest, you have to respect the wishes of your hosts, and; if you are the hosts, you have to tolerate the nuances of your guests. Compromise is the order of the day in such situations. You do not want to become an intruding pest regardless of the role you are playing.

In the end, we are all greatly relieved when the family disperses and everyone returns home. Guests are delighted to return to the routine of their own domain, and hosts are relieved to see their households return to normal.

We don't really want to become pests to other people, but because of our peculiarities we cannot help it. Perhaps the worst thing though is to overstay your welcome and get under the skin of your family. If you are going to be in close quarters for an extended period of time, let me suggest you do it on neutral ground, such as in a hotel in another city, or on a cruise ship, where someone else will be charged with looking after your foibles. Otherwise, it is not uncommon for family members to start bickering among themselves, gossiping, and animosity inevitably grows into rage. This is why we should avoid "family" restaurants; there's a fight at every table. Such is the price of our personal peccadilloes.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com
For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  MORE GOBBLEDYGOOK - I hear America talking.

LAST TIME:  BOXES OF RULES - Too many leads to a bureaucratic nightmare.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 "The Morning Zone" with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington
"The Morning News" with hosts Lance Tormey & Brian Teegarden (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim's postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen's Association, and throughout the Internet.

Monday, August 12, 2013

BOXES OF RULES

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

- Too many leads to a bureaucratic nightmare.

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

When I first started in the work force, I asked my boss about the scope of my responsibilities. He simply told me to go as far and hard as possible. If I started to wander out of bounds, he would reign me in. This worked remarkably well. I quickly discovered the boundaries of my job and which ones not to cross. Rarely do you find such companies anymore, even small businesses. The work place is now organized into small boxes which defines the duties and responsibilities of just about everything. Whether you are in business or participate in a nonprofit organization, there seems to be more of these "boxes of rules" emerging, and they are inhibiting our ability to get things done. I'm not sure where this mindset came from. I can only suspect unions, who only perform no more than what is inside the box, influence this type of thinking; government likewise.

Laws, rules and regulations are written for those who will violate them, not people who will adhere to them. I learned this lesson when writing corporate policy manuals specifying the "Do's" and "Dont's" of the business. Such manuals are common in big companies, yet are equally beneficial in a small business with just a handful of employees. It takes no more than one employee to misinterpret the rules, either deliberately or accidentally, thereby triggering a lawsuit.

The ISO 9000 family of standards also encourages boxes of rules by documenting the many business processes in an organization, thereby providing sufficient instruction even a novice worker can follow. Such instruction may be useful for training purposes and for establishing the criteria for quality work products, but beyond this, they can become rather bureaucratic. I question the wisdom of doing virtually everything "by the book." It seems to me, this would restrain people, stifle creativity, inhibit innovation, and promote more of a robotic existence in the workplace. It would also inevitably lead to a corporate culture of micromanagement whereby managers spend more time supervising as opposed to managing. In talking with employees faced with such boxes, they claim it has a tendency to discourage productivity and corporate loyalty by creating a tedious bureaucracy. Basically, they feel restrained by trying to operate with one armed tied behind their back.

Our "PRIDE" Methodologies for IRM were packaged as a manual, yet they were never meant to be a paper mill used to drive the process of designing and developing information resources. Unlike other paper-driven methodologies, we touted "PRIDE" as a philosophy of management; a way of looking at a business and its systems. This is why we referred to it as, "Software for the finest computer - the Mind." In the end, it is people that make things happen, not books.

Frankly, I think we need more people with common sense as opposed to inanimate objects doing the thinking for us. Documentation has its place, but the tail need not wag the dog. Frankly, I prefer managers who challenge and embolden their workers to strive higher, as opposed to supervisors who sit over their employees with a whip and a chair. Companies need to learn to manage from the bottom-up, not just top-down, and treat employees as professionals, not robots. Only when we learn to manage more, and supervise less, can we begin to dispense with the boxes of rules.

There is a fine line in terms of the amount of rules and regulations needed to be documented in a company. There is always a need for a little wiggle room. It ultimately depends on the intelligence level and morality of the employees. Dolts need lots of rules, your better employees, who accept responsibility for their actions, do not. Personally, I prefer the sharp manager who tells me to go as far and hard as possible.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  PERSONAL PECCADILLOES - Why we behave the way we do under close quarters.

LAST TIME:  BEING PUT ON "THE LIST" - "Put him in me book!"

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 "The Morning Zone" with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington
"The Morning News" with hosts Lance Tormey & Brian Teegarden (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim's postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen's Association, and throughout the Internet.

Friday, August 9, 2013

BEING PUT ON "THE LIST"

BRYCE ON TOLERANCE

- "Put him in me book!"

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

During the 1952 classic movie, "The Quiet Man" (starring John Wayne), the antagonist is played by Victor McLaglen as Squire "Red" Will Danaher, a boisterous Irishman who tries to intimidate people through his physical presence. If you crossed him, you were placed on his "List," which was maintained in a little black book by his assistant. If someone was placed on "The List" the Squire would not socialize or do business with that person until, through some miraculous stroke of fate, the person redeemed himself. I think we all have some sort of list we maintain. I know I do.

There are unscrupulous people I simply do not want anything to do with, not even to shake their hand. If I know someone has committed some indiscretion or injustice, be it to myself or someone else I respect, I put them on "The List." Translation: I want nothing to do with them. As for me, I have come across such people not only in business but also in the various organizations I belong to. Frankly, I have no time for someone who wishes to undermine people for political gamesmanship, or to line their pockets through treachery.

I know of a person who was unfairly suspended by a fraternal order even after 50 years of service. He was a person I held in high regard. He may have been prone to coarse language now and then, but he was a good person and you could take his word to the bank. Unfortunately, there was a rush to judgment by the powers of the order and he was never allowed to defend himself of the suspicious charges. Other members of the order wouldn't come to his defense as they were in fear of being penalized themselves. Cowards. Consequently, he was suspended indefinitely. There are a lot of people in that order I have put on my list, and will not shake their hand. That was five years ago. Some people have said to me, "Tim, why don't you just let it go? This cannot go on forever." I replied, "What if that had been you? Would you have wanted me to just let it go?" They looked back at me blankly.

Shaking of a person's hand is very symbolic. It means you like them and trust their judgement to do the right thing. Not shaking someone's hand may seem innocuous, but try it sometime. By not shaking the person's hand you are are saying, "I do not trust you as a person; you are on The List."

For some reason, I have several restaurants on my list, a few with prominent national names. A couple of them are highbrow, some are franchises, and others are just simple restaurants. I placed them on my "List" either because the food or service was bad (or both), or there was some other faux pas made, such as an obnoxious hostess, waiter, or manager. I would give you the names of the restaurants in question, but that is immaterial at this time. Suffice it to say, they did something which earned them a prominent spot on my list. Some people suggest I am being too stubborn, that I should give them another chance. I tried this a couple of times and lived to regret it. They were still screw-ups and I regretted revisiting their establishment. Consequently, once they had been rightfully placed on my "List," they stay there until such time as an act of God occurs, which is usually never.

Maybe we're too tolerant and forgiving of an injustice. People seem to "forgive and forget" too easily. I believe this to be a serious flaw in the American character. I'm not sure everyone should maintain a "List," but I would certainly like to see people develop a better memory of indiscretions. Maybe we wouldn't repeat the same mistakes so often if we did.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  BOXES OF RULES - Too many leads to a bureaucratic nightmare.

LAST TIME:  PRINT ON-DEMAND (POD) - VERY COOL - Finally, a "do it yourself" approach for book publishing.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 "The Morning Zone" with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington
"The Morning News" with hosts Lance Tormey & Brian Teegarden (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim's postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen's Association, and throughout the Internet.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

PRINT ON-DEMAND (POD) - VERY COOL

BRYCE ON TECHNOLOGY

- Finally, a "do it yourself" approach for book publishing.

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

I know eBooks have made substantial gains in terms of popularity, but having a hard copy can still be very beneficial. There are many people who like the touch and feel of paper versions. In the past, if you were an author, you had to sign a contract with a suitable printer or publisher who could put it all together for you. This usually meant you or your publisher had to maintain an inventory of books. If you had a best seller, you would simply reorder stock, but if it didn't, the books (and your cash) would sit on the shelf gathering dust.

Recently, I produced a new book entitled, "Stand Up for MORALITY." I discussed the project with my local printer. He advised me to try a new service called, "Create Space," a "Print On-Demand" (POD) service, and a subsidiary of Amazon. Frankly, I knew nothing about it, but after exploring the web site I figured I had nothing to lose and opened an account. The intent of the site was to provide a convenient way to publish books yourself.

Create Space requires you to upload a PDF file representing your manuscript. Fortunately, I have been well versed in desktop publishing for a number of years and know how to create a PDF file, so this didn't present a problem to me. To others though, this can be their biggest problem in using the service. If you know how to use a word processor or desktop publishing tool, and convert your work to a PDF file, you'll do well. Otherwise, I would recommend you hire someone to layout your book for you.

After you have submitted the manuscript, an electronic analysis is performed to check layout problems which you should be able to easily correct. While that is going on, you can design your book cover. This can be done either as a separate PDF upload, as a selected template from a catalog they make available, or you can request professional assistance, which they will gladly perform for a fee. I tried uploading my own cover and also used a template (on another book) and was happy with both approaches.

As part of the initial setup, you must also input an ISBN number, either one you selected yourself, or they will get one for you (for a modest fee), and will automatically create a shopping bar code which is affixed on the back cover.

When you are ready with both the manuscript and cover, the book is assembled and submitted for review by an analyst at Create Space. This process takes approximately 24 hours. As a warning, do not submit your book prematurely; take your time, and make sure you go into the review process with confidence. Otherwise you'll have to go through another 24 hour review cycle, or maybe a third or fourth.

Assuming acceptance, your book is now ready to be published on-demand. This means you can start marketing the book yourself. Better yet, let Amazon and Create Space use their marketing arms to help you. Of course, there will be royalties for their efforts, but it may be worth it. As the author, you are entitled to purchase books at a reduced rate. The best part is, no inventory. Books are printed on-demand, packaged, and shipped directly to customers in a very timely manner. Create Space also provides the means to create and market an eBook if you are so inclined.

Even though I discovered it only recently, the Print On-Demand (POD) technology has been around for ten years and is steadily improving. Although I used Create Space, there are other offerings available. I selected Create Space for two reasons: it's relationship to publishing giant Amazon, and because of the service's ease of use. Frankly, I was impressed by the quality and service.

So, next time you have a book in mind, be it large or small, and you are familiar with desktop publishing, be sure to check out POD Technology, particularly Create Space. I've already turned some of my author buddies on to it and they enjoy it immensely. As they all said, it's "Very Cool!"

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  BEING PUT ON "THE LIST" - "Put him in me book!"

LAST TIME:  WHEN "UP" IS NOT THE ONLY WAY - What direction are we headed, "Up" or "Down"?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 "The Morning Zone" with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington
"The Morning News" with hosts Lance Tormey & Brian Teegarden (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim's postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen's Association, and throughout the Internet.

Monday, August 5, 2013

WHEN "UP" IS NOT THE ONLY WAY

BRYCE ON LIFE

- What direction are we headed, "Up" or "Down"?

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

If you listen to members of the "Greatest Generation," those surviving the Great Depression and beyond, you hear stories of hunger, unemployment, desperation, sacrifice, and austerity. It was a point in our history when the middle class hit rock bottom. If you talk to people from this era though, they will also describe a time when the family pulled together and worked unselfishly to make ends meet. Families maintained vegetable gardens, canned fruit, raised chickens and rabbits, sewed and knitted, put cardboard in shoes to extend their life, walked to school, turned the heat down during the winter, and wasted nothing. Children sold newspapers and ran errands, some quit school prematurely in order to work to support the family, men sold apples, bottles were saved for their deposits, and everyone understood the value of a mere penny. To illustrate, when I was in Junior High School in Chicago, back in the 1960's, I remember an incident whereby my family was going out for dinner. My father was driving, and we had just left our driveway when my brother discovered four pennies in his pocket. Thinking the coins were nothing but junk, he rolled down his window and threw the pennies out into the street. When my father saw this in his rear view mirror, he slammed on the brakes, and barked at my brother to get out of the car and pick up every penny he had thrown out. Yes, my father, who grew up in the 1930's, understood the value of a penny, a lesson he taught not only my brother, but myself.

In later years, the "Greatest Generation" would look back proudly on surviving these difficult times. They recognized they had hit rock bottom but were buoyed by the knowledge they could only go "up" in their station in life, not down. It created a hunger and drive that propelled them to victory in World War II. They weren't afraid to tackle anything.

Following the war, many veterans took advantage of the G.I. Bill and enrollments in college swelled. The ambition and determination of the Greatest Generation led to the "Up" years of the 1950's and 1960's, and the Middle Class grew in leaps and bounds thereby making life more comfortable. Unlike their predecessors, the "Baby Boomers" did not experience the pains and difficulties of the preceding generation. Still, their parents pushed them to excel. What the boomers lacked in drive, they made up for in education. The boomers were spoiled though, a trait that would be inherited by succeeding generations.

There is no question, Generations X and Y had it easier than the Boomers. Today though, the concepts of sacrifice and drive have been supplanted by a sense of "rights." Now, a college education is expected, as are high paying jobs, expensive cars, travel, fine food, and other material possessions. Unlike the Greatest Generation who fought to survive in the greatest economic disaster of our history, today there is a sense of entitlement. Whereas our predecessors had a sense of "Up," young people today are faced with both "up" and "down." Historically, the thinking had been to continuously think "upwards," but we are now faced with the brutal reality of failure and a downward spiral.

It is easy to say life is what we make of it, but economics plays a dramatic role as well. Could we survive another Great Depression? Some say we came perilously close in the last few years. Not true, government safety nets helped prevent disaster. It's still an interesting question. I would like to believe we could if, for no other reason, than out of sheer necessity. However, the struggle would require considerable sacrifice which is now a foreign concept to many of us. It's somewhat unsettling to realize succeeding generations will not have it as good as their predecessors, that they may go "down" as opposed to "up."

When you are at the base of the mountain, you have the comfort of knowing you can only go up, but if you are halfway up the mountain, you come to the realization it is now a two-way proposition; you can either continue to climb or fall into the abyss. Whereas the Greatest Generation had nothing to lose, today the stakes are dramatically different.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  PRINT ON-DEMAND (POD) - VERY COOL - Finally, a "do it yourself" approach for book publishing.

LAST TIME:  WRISTWATCHES - Are they still status symbols?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 "The Morning Zone" with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington
"The Morning News" with hosts Lance Tormey & Brian Teegarden (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim's postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen's Association, and throughout the Internet.

Friday, August 2, 2013

WRISTWATCHES

BRYCE ON LIFE

- Are they still status symbols?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  WHEN "UP" IS NOT THE ONLY WAY - What direction are we headed, "Up" or "Down"?

LAST TIME:  PERFORMING A JOB YOU HATE - Things to consider before tackling that ugly job you despise.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 "The Morning Zone" with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington
"The Morning News" with hosts Lance Tormey & Brian Teegarden (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim's postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen's Association, and throughout the Internet.