I Wanna Speak to the Manager of the Complaint Department

Why do we spend so much time complaining about things that we cannot change? Worse yet, we complain about things that have already happened. We cannot change those either because they have already happened (duh!). I wanna speak to the manager of the complaint department, assuming I could actually identify the individual responsible for my current misery.

A great example of this is the weather. “Dammit – it’s cold today, so I can’t do any nude sunbathing or skinny dip in the pool.” In such cases, we shoot the messenger. “Dumb ass weather dude is only right fifty percent of the time. I’m better off flipping a coin. At least that, I can control a little by embellishing the coin flip with a bit of english.”

Stranger yet is the field of politics. We piss and moan about the inaction of our politicians and their seemingly random behavior. The two knobs we do have to control our politicians, voting and letter writing, we often do not even  exercise. Instead we leave the control of their behavior to those that have the least interest in our well being, i.e. lobbyists.

Comedians are the biggest culprits. Some of them have built their entire career around the complaint. Every skit I have ever heard by Jerry Seinfeld starts with a “Did you ever notice ….”, which is always a complaint about some behavior that he finds offensive.

Perhaps the whole complaining thing is the result of impatience. We cannot conceive of a set of actions that will allow us to affect the change of something, so out of frustration, we complain.

Personally, I am more of the school of the stoic. Stoicism is just something that makes complete and logical sense to me. After all, I can only affect things that I have some modicum of control over. Those events, places, people, and things that I have no control over I cannot change, so why worry? Better yet, why should I complain about it? In the case of the weather, my complaint will not affect the weather and will certainly fall upon the deaf ears of the gods of weather. Same for politics, religion, the economy, and the list goes on. Bottom line is, complaining serves no purpose other than allowing us to vent, except maybe in the case of Amazon. In which case we may get a refund on our purchase.

This may all sound like I am complaining about the fact that people are complaining. That is where you would be gravely mistaken. I am just trying to be helpful in pointing out the mote in your eye.

All content copyright of Chris Hammond