Friday, February 15, 2013

Is it Really Worth Complaining? Stop before you do.

I’m not real sure how this blog will go over. Not that it will anger people, it just seems that when I don’t  write about celebrities, writing or Walking Dead, my blog stats don’t spike. But if one person who reads this, thinks before they act … well, I have done my job.
Admittedly, the original thought for this blog was motivated by self incident. It led me to research and think about complaining. This blog, for example can be a complaint. We all do it. Some more than others,. But at least once during the day you complain. The coffee isn’t hot enough, traffic is bad, prices are high. But it is what we do with the complaint that makes the difference.
Complaining relives stress. It stops it from being bottled up inside. Sometimes we do it for attention or even to make ourselves look superior.  But when we go from just being vocal to our coworkers, to taking action, then we not only affect our world, we start affecting the lives of others.
Sounds kind of grand scale? I’m not talking a faulty product that needs returned or a meal not meeting standards, I’m talking complaints grounded on human faults. That’s where we need to step back and think before we act.
We are human and as such we are controlled by emotions. Sometimes outrage gets the best of us. And it is in those times that we do the most damage. We want just reward for a bad thing, but do we think of the chain of events that follow.
Negative without positive doesn’t breed results. People are programmed to remember the negative and experts say it can take up to five positives to negate one negative comment.
So when we go from complaining to a friend to writing a complaint, we need to ask why we are doing it. Are we doing it for replacement and reward? Are we doing it to get that one person in the store in trouble? Maybe, we just hope that they’ll change and take a look at how things are done. We don’t mean really any harm, nor want anyone to lose their jobs, but realistically, that’s the outcome.

What we do as people ultimately affects others. I’m not saying if you aren’t happy with something, don’t speak. I’m merely saying, when you do speak up, write or call a company, cool down and watch your phrasing. Again, to reiterate, I am addressing complaints about people.
Very easily I could have called McDonald’s and complained about the girl dropping my chocolate milk out the drive thru and then telling me to pull up, get out of the car and get it. It was so ridiculous I found it hysterical. But say I didn’t. Say I was angry and called. What was my gain? Did I really want to get the girl in trouble? Most of us aren’t complaining to get someone in trouble but rather be compensated for a bad experience.
Then again, some people may want to get someone in trouble. If that’s the case, we really need to examine what kind of person we are.
What if McDonald’s girl is an exceptional employee who had a bad day and the milk experience was a first. What if I called, she was reprimanded and it upset her. Who is to say it didn’t stay on her mind so much that she fails somewhere else in her day. Yells at her child, make a wrong turn, gets in an accident … anything can happen.  All because I couldn’t let it go.
I know, I know, sounds kind of hypocritical coming from a woman who wrote a blog to fire a judge on the show Chopped. But it was that blog, that got me thinking.
Yes, we want people to atone for bad performance that affects us, but do we want to be the one that pushes the envelope? Bad employees will eventually see their day. They don’t need our written complaints to push them along.
So before you write a letter of complaint about a specific person, stop and think. Did the incident affect you so much that you are willing to affect others? Think of the extreme consequences of your actions against what you are truly hoping to gain. Write the letter, tell of the bad experience, but think twice before naming a name of giving employee specifics.

And honestly, if the employee wronged you so badly, treated you so poorly, then speak up during the injustice. Don’t wait until you stew about it and call later. Deal with it on the spot. Trust me, one on one, it works. I had a grocery store employee give me attitude and call me stupid. I called her out right there.. I didn’t tell her manger she called me stupid. I said, “Hey, I’m a customer, and old enough to be your mother, your attitude is unacceptable and out of line.” She didn’t know what to say and though she didn’t apologize I bet she remembers it the next time she wants to flip out on a customer for questioning a price.
We all have been complained about and reprimanded. We all know how it feels and how we take it with us, especially if we feel it is unfair. It takes a lot to get rid of that bad feeling. So let’s think twice before we deliver it back at someone. That’s all I’m saying.

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