Thursday, July 15, 2010

Can't Complain

I always ask each customer how they're doing before I read back their order.  One of our regular customers, Don, had just come up to the window to pay for his chicken biscuit and I casually said hi and asked how he was.  He replied happily, "Can't complain -- won't do me any good!"  I nodded in agreement, finding the statement simple but profound.

How much does it benefit us when we complain?  We might get someone's sympathy, but does that make the situation any better?  Not really.  If anything, we've made it worse by dragging someone else into our pity party.  Granted, there are times when sharing our woes can be beneficial, in the case of a doctor visit or counselling session.  Usually, however, every day complaining consists of more than describing headache symptoms.  We start getting extreme with statements like, "The minute I come into work I just wanna go home," or "My life totally stinks.  I hate my life."

Think about how odd it would have been if Don, who is usually happy-go-lucky, instead replied, "How am I?  Sick, that's what.  I can't believe they made me work today."  I would have been at a loss for words!  Don could have been sick, but I would have never known it.  He knows that saying every thought that comes to our minds does not change our circumstances; it merely vocalizes that misery loves company.

Don's simple proverb inspires me to hold back when I feel like letting out a whiny whimper.  Sometimes they still slip out, but I'm working on it!  =)  I've also tried to get in the habit of encouraging whiners instead of joining their "Poor Me Club."  If you work with or hang around a complainer, listen to her (because many times girls just want to talk out their feelings), then smile, nod, and say something that will make her happy.

Consider the following imaginary conversation:
Paula: I just clocked in and I already want to leave.
Eva: Yeah?  It's been one of those days.
Paula: I don't know if I can take much more of this.  I walk in and I'm already stressed out.  I can't do this.
Eva: (makes eye contact with Paula) I know you can do this.  Just hang in there!  I'll help you if you want.
Paula: I think I'll be fine... Thanks though!

See how Eva changed the mood of the whole scenario?  If she had started complaining too, they would have both been miserable!  Instead she gave Paula a mini pep-talk and, for the time being, they were both happy!  Imagine how much better Paula must feel now.  Now she feels like somebody believes in her and will help her in any way she can.  You can help others around you get through their day, and when you're having "one of those days" yourself, they will be an encouragement to you too!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Swidget 1.0

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...