File your complaints here. Can’t see where I am pointing? Good!

I have become really sensitive to complaining recently. Maybe it is because I have cut down on watching the news so the auditory garbage entering my cranium has been reduced significantly. Or it very might well be because of Facebook. Because there, anyone can have an audience. Any. One. And when you don't have enough personality to update your status with something interesting, you just kvetch about something; the burr under your saddle perhaps? The thorn in your side? Someone harsh your buzz? I know the feeling. Because you are under the mistaken impression that your histrionics pass for a personality. Argh!  I don't want to get pulled down that unappealing rat hole (or is it a rabbit hole? Discuss).

(And to be clear, if *you* aren't one of the complainy people that are doing this, then not to worry, I am not talking about *you*. But I'm just wanting to do a little sassy finger wagging at the people who are. We can chitchat about irony later, but I just need to point out how absurd some people are and then this storm will blow over. If one person gets a reality check, I have done my job).

I started to think that it was because of the snow "storms" here (Come on people! Buck up!) that seemed to be such a shock to the system of northwesterners. The ratio of complainers on Facebook relative to people with interesting posts was disappointing.  And if you happened to catch most people face-to-face, it was about all they could talk about, I mean complain about. But as much as the jolt of whining about snow assaulted my eyeballs and earballs, I see the Complainy Complainersons all over the place, not just the Pacific Northwest. Not just on Face book. They are like tribbles; very troublesome (in kind of a geeky way) but not quite as furry. Get off my starship, ya hear?

I guess that when complainy meets funny, I find some retributive qualities. But straight up complaining is getting on my last nerve (she complains). So I what I am saying is that if you are going to bore us with your complaining, at least be funny. And if you don't have it in you to be funny, consider zipping it. Or loading all your complainy banter onto your spouse who told a whole bunch of people and a preacher that he/she was going to love you anyway. Or at least buy me a drink. Mother of pearl.

The way I see it, there are two types of things to complain about: things you can control and things you can't control. For the things you can't control, complaining is just going to make it worse because you can't do anything about it. You can work yourself up into a lather and the net effect is nada (other than the lather, I guess). So the other thing to complain about are things that you can change. And really, if they are bugging you so much, then you change them already! Is there some benefit that is gotten by sharing the gloom with others? Therapists get paid good money for that. So you should only complain to the people that love you or pay me some money. That is what I meant to say.

This reminded me of when I moved here and about a year after I started I went back to Chicago and saw an old friend. She started complaining immediately and I think she may be still going. And I wondered how I was ever friends with this person. I think we get conditioned to tolerate complaining. And wouldn't right now be a time to have that happen? I am sure that we can see plenty of things to complain about. But could it be worse? And can we see a heck of a lot we can be thankful for? Maybe it's all the work I am doing personally that has me in this place. Last weekend, I looked around and thought "how did I get here?" and then I thought " I like this; where I am!'. Every single one of us has someone that would love to be in our shoes (well all of us except one guy and I am pretty sure he's not reading this). I hate to be all sunshine and rainbows. But if we balanced out all our complainin' with some thankfulness, we would be in much better shape. Is it sunny out or is it cold out? Yes it is. Can't you just appreciate the sun?

I think about how much consumer confidence has to do with our financial outlook. Look, I know we got here because of some sense of entitlement and people living beyond their means and a bunch of other unsavory business. But the economy is not going to start to recover until people feel that things are on an upswing. Yeah, that requires some positivity. And maybe living a better life requires the same thing. We have to heal ourselves.  Attitude is everything, my friends. I absolutely hate that I just said that. But someone had to say it.

Comments (15)

  1. MikeB says:

    So…just to clarify.  A rant is NOT complaining, right?  πŸ™‚

  2. Graham says:

    It is rat hole and rabbit trail πŸ™‚

  3. HeatherLeigh says:

    MikeB – I was hoping I fell into the category of "when complainy meets funny, I find some retributive qualities." How’m I doing? πŸ™‚

    Graham – thanks. That would have bugged me until I figured it out.

  4. Neal says:

    So…..bag the complaining. Funny or not – who cares.  Not for nothing – but this sounds like its been a really bad week so far for you – we’ve learned all too well how much you’re not a fan of the 80’s (or maybe just the attitude from the 80’s or maybe it was reality TV or just arrogant guys – whatEvar.)

    Get back to running. Play Lady Gaga. Take some time off and meetup with your friends in Chicago. Apply for a job at Oracle…hehehehe – ok that one really made me laugh :).

    either way – here on Friday the 13th – I’m wishing that things turn positive for you!!!

  5. Parul says:

    You know, after that, i just had to go looking for you on FB to check your status updates and totally cracked up on the "window shopper with no intent to buy" πŸ˜‰

  6. HeatherLeigh says:

    Neal – you rock. It actually hasn’t been a bad week. I think it was all the complaining about the snowstorm on facebook that started to get to me. And the fact that people just complain out of habit. I had a sinus infection (again!) last week and could have complained like crazy. I decided to laugh about it bc who wants to hear my whining? And i also did something about it (schdeuled an appt with an ENT. Maybe my mond was spinning around the concept of "personal brand" and how something that a person is not really mindful of can negatively impact their brand.

    I also think that people can talk themselves into being upset. Guess I choose to talk myself out of it. Maybe I am simple πŸ™‚ I am most certainly losing my edge so perhaps I need a new schtick.

    Anyway, I am going to do some of those things you said. I’m running a 5K on Sunday. We will see how that goes as I am still a bit of a snot machine (sorry to be gross). It may be more walking than I want. Won’t be aplying for a job at Oracle as long as I have my job here. Not out of loyalty but just because I have a kick ass job.

    Parul – Thanks. Facebook is like the stand up comedy career I always wanted without the stage fright. I have to admit, people telling me I am funny is a self-esteem builder for me. And again, I am thinking that I must be a pretty simple person πŸ™‚

  7. Wine-oh says:

    My 2 favorite expressions when someone whines or complains:

    -"Do you want some cheese and crackers with your ‘Whine’?


    -Do you want some salsa to go along with that chip on your shoulder?

  8. Whenever someone is complaining *especially* about something they have no control over, I like to remind them of that quote in National Lampoon’s Van Wilder:

    "Complaining is like a rocking chair; sure, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere… Write that down."

  9. MattP says:

    I like…

    "Aww, somebody call the waahmbulance!".

  10. HeatherLeigh says:

    Wine-Oh- well your responses are a lot nicer than the ones that go through my head.

    Ian- I am going to use that. I would have never seen that movie (or anything that starts with "National Lampoon’s" but that line is good.

    MattP – Haha!

  11. Wine-oh says:

    You never saw any of the Vacation movies with Chevy Chase? Those are National Lampoon movies.

    PS I like MattP’s suggestion. Will add that to my repertoire.

  12. Neal says:

    ok – ancient news – because I’ve not checked in … but I’m so happy for you! Looks like you ran the St. Patty’s Day Dash (hope you don’t mind me mentioning it – but they do publish race results on the web.) So a hearty congratulations are in order!

  13. HeatherLeigh says:

    Wine-Oh, I don’t think I saw the Vacation movies. Maybe the first one? I don’t remember. I htink I just saw some parts of it. I know…I don’t appreciate things that most people find funny.

    Neal – Thanks! As you can probably tell, I walked it. The weather was miserable and I was still recovering from being sick (again!). I am going to an ENT Monday so hopefully we will figure on what is wrong with my general sinus area and next year, I can actually run that sucker!

  14. HeatherLeigh says:

    Oh, and for the record, just so I don’t look like an incredible loser, the race says it’s 5K (about 3.2 mi) but it’s almost 4 miles. ANd it was hilly this year. And that’s not my real age (cough, cough).

  15. Patricia Marchand says:

    I so wish those comments will be received by msdn

    I am fighting to get support from an msdn subscription I have purchased, open value, volume licensing

    I encountered problems but when I call the support line I am been pushed away.

    I even been told it is because I am just a freelancer.

    I have searched the msdn site for 'complaint procedures' and found none.

    All what I see is a negative attitude towards clients.

    But warning to those who are pushing small clients away, as small as we are we are stilling paying and entitle to what we are paying for.  If needed I will call the states.  Microsoft do care about their clients, and the uncaring employees will need to be told… and trust me I will not hesitate.

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