Bitching, moaning, whining…call it what you will.
We all seem to complain about one thing or another.
Membership to this club is huge and quite vocal. I am a club member too! In fact, almost everyone I know tends to complain about something.
The popularity of complaining is vast and it seems as though there is always something to complain about.
For example, the weather. In the winter time, many of us complain about how cold it is as we long for the hot days of summer. We dread the wind, the snow, the sleet and the extreme temperatures. So, we moan and groan and hibernate with red wine and cozy blankets until the warmth of spring time arrives. Then the heat hits. Sometimes it hits big time and the intensity is brutal…with humidity and sweltering temperatures which make us think about the fall and the winter for a relief from the heat.
Us city dwellers complain about traffic, construction, crazy lunatic drivers, crazy lunatic cyclists, the high costs of living…the list is endless.
Suburbanites long for the excitement of the city, the long commutes and did I mention, the long commutes?
We whine about our technology…our smartphones sometimes freeze and this frustrates us so we whine about it. How many times have I heard my kids bitch and moan about how their smartphones are frozen and “why aren’t they working, Dad…fix it!” We complain about having access to hundreds of channels on television and not being able to find a single thing to watch. We complain about the price of entertainment….have you looked at prices for concert tickets or Leafs games recently? Ever tried to buy a can of beer at a Blue Jays game and discover that it is so overpriced that you could go to the beer store and buy 5 cans for the price of one at the concession stand?
We complain about the service, or lack of service we get from labourers. How is it that two completely and supposedly qualified plumbers can give me two and completely different answers to a problem with my pipes? Why is that?
We complain about our mass transit, the rudeness of TTC staffers, the cleanliness of subway platforms. We complain about the lack of service in the stores we shop at, the rudeness of the staff, the complete and utter lack of interest in us, the customer as we contemplate spending money on goods and services.
We complain that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting bigger because the middle-class is disappearing into oblivion. We complain about taxes, we complain about corruption in government (nothing new!), we complain about service fees from banks, all the rules we have to follow to borrow money, we moan about real estate commissions to agents who really don’t do anything to “earn” their fees.
Don’t stop me…I am on a roll….
We complain about lengthy waiting times at the border or in Border Security at the airport thinking to ourselves, “why would they give me, my wife and our two kids a hard time?”
We complain about our leaders…how politicians never quite seem to act in the best interest of the people that voted them into power. We complain (and rightly so) about politicians engaging in corrupt activities only adding to the already tarnished image most of us have of them.
We complain about long line ups to pay for groceries and how just when its your turn, the cashier puts up the sign saying her lane is closed and to move to the next available cashier. We complain (and rightly so) about soaring food prices and how the big push for “shopping local” should wind up costing us less but doesn’t for some reason.
We seem to have a lot to complain about because there is much to complain about.
The easy solution would be for people…myself included…to take this all in stride.
The easy solution would be to “chill”.
Does complaining really achieve anything?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
It does feel good to get your complaint off your chest. We expect alot of the people, products and services that we pay a lot of money for…so we expect big things in return. I have had some success complaining to large companies (who shall remain nameless) about shoddy service and an disregard for the customer and have been able to benefit because of my actions and extreme patience. But its a pain and takes up a lot of valuable time which could be better used being outside in the sunshine or hanging with my wife and kids.
But by and large, complaining really only puts you into a lousy mood for the rest of the day and ultimately doesn’t really do all that much, other than giving you great dinner conversation with friends or family.
I am slowly beginning to learn that “not sweating the small stuff” is the best way to go in dealing with the day-to-day craziness of life.
I am mellowing with age, I guess.