Saturday, March 10, 2007

No Complaints Here

Last Thursday was awful. My third day back at work and, there I was, in the middle of major computer problems. They're still unresolved as we speak. Hopefully when I get in next Tuesday, all will be well again.

At any rate, when I talked to my mom that evening and she asked me how work was, I didn't tell her the horrors of the day. I just said things were fine. Not much to report on.

The next morning as I dropped Sweetie off at mom's house, I had another opportunity to spill my guts about the horrors that assuredly awaited me at the office. But I didn't.

There have been a few other random things I could have easily complained about as well - my continued fight to get my restaurant money back (now finally resolved), Sweetie's sudden 102.6 fever distroying Hubby and my sushi date opportunity last night, and general moanings about why some people do the things they do or why things don't get done as quickly as they should. You know - stuff.

But, you know what? I've come to the realization that it's just not worth it to complain about such things.

My computer is still going to be down whether I mention it to my mother or not.

Nobody but the restaurant in question - which I had been in near constant contact with - could help me get my money back.

Hubby and I both are were bummed about our date cancellation, but realize what can you do? Taking care of Sweetie is what really matters. Complaining won't get her feeling better any faster.

And, unless you're venting your frustrations to the person acting in a less than agreeable manner, complaining about their behavior to just any old person will in no way get that behavior changed.

Earlier last week, while I was covering the reception desk during our receptionist's lunch, I browsed through an emailed essay she had printed out on her desk. Nosing around in other's business? Maybe. But this essay was in no way work related or could have been construed as personal. At any rate, it was right there in my face and the phones were dead. So I read it.

Basically, the gist of this essay was exactly what I'm saying here (and, of course, I'm able to say it here because of this essay I read - isn't that funny how that works?) That complaining is more or less useless and, in fact, a major depressant for society in general.

The essay pointed out that we all know the saying, The squeaky wheel get's the oil. And, by and large, this is the truth. But, it continued - just think about how sad that is. How pathetic that we often don't get the care and attention we need from doctors, family, friends, work, etc., unless we make a nuisance of ourselves and complain.


In the essay, the writer discusses how his church minister challenged the congregation to not utter one complaint for 21 days (the number of days it takes to break a habit, according to scientists). In doing so, at least according to the author's personal experience, one will begin to feel lighter, happier, and even more spiritually connected.


So - I don't even think I finished reading this essay. And, to be honest, I really didn't even give it a second thought.

But then... I just kind of stopped complaining.

It wasn't a conscious decision at all. It's simply that I didn't feel it would help at all to complain, so why waste my time dragging up the negative vibes again for nothing?

I'm not saying that we all need to become a nation of pansies. That we'd be better off to take all the crap we're dealt without a fight. No - not that at all.

To me, the point is this - know what you want to fight for and who best to fight with to get the results you desire. In terms of the money owed to me from the restaurant, for example, I knew I had to continue my dialogue with the restaurant manager. And I did. And I got my money back.

But complaining to my mom, and my friends, and my co-workers, and the stranger on the street - well, that would have just been silly and pointless. So I didn't do it.

(Okay, I did do it - in the beginning. But, really, as the problem persisted and more monkey wrenches were thrown in the works, I just didn't feel like bringing it all up again to every Tom, Dick and Harry in my life. It wasn't their problem, so why get them involved?)

You see, I believe there's complaining and there's fighting/standing up for yourself. One makes you a whiney baby with no good end result. The other gets things done and gets things right.

You know, put on your big girl panties and deal with it.

It all goes back to keeping that positive attitude that things will be good and well for you and yours if you simply keep on keepin' on. Know what you want, go for it with gusto, and do it all with a smile on your face.

You catch more flies with honey, after all.

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