You don’t have to stand too long in line at the COMPLAINT DEPARTMENT before you start wondering if you’ve somehow achieved invisibility. But instead of feeling slighted, you should be thinking–
Think about it. If you had the power of invisibility, you could walk behind the counter at a bakery and take small bites out of every cookie. You’d never have to buy clothes, because, you know, why bother? You wouldn’t have to pay for a seat at the movie theater again, and who would be the wiser? (um, if you do sneak naked into a movie theater, please bring something to sit on, okay?) You could even mess with your coworkers by moving all of their stuff around the desk to drive them nuts!
Yes, invisibility would be very cool. And if you had that magic power of invisibility, you’d share it…that is, if you’re a decent person.
Back to the COMPLAINT DEPARTMENT.
You Know That Companies Don’t Have COMPLAINT DEPARTMENTS, Right?
Today, organizations employ PROBLEM SOLVERS like customer service representatives, mediators, human resource professionals, and arbitrators. All of these roles provide solutions. But COMPLAINT DEPARTMENTS offer only a place to complain, vent, whine, point the finger, gripe, grumble, moan-n-groan, protest, belly-ache, and play the victim.
The Amazing, Disappearing Co-Worker…
Unless your actual job entails spending the day listening to coworkers gripe, here’s what I’m suggesting:
The next time someone confuses you with the COMPLAINT DEPARTMENT, treat that person as if he were invisible.
Complainers don’t want solutions, they want attention. Complainers don’t want help, they want pity. Complainers don’t want enlightenment, they want permission. It you feed a complainer with your attention, pity, and permission, the complainer will keep returning. And you’ll end up with a full-time, unsatisfying job. But if you starve a complainer by treating that person as invisible, the complainer will go somewhere else.
You’re a good person, right? So don’t consider this approach rude. Rather, think of it as helping someone to bite into limitless cookies, walk around naked, sneak into movies, and become an expert practical joker without you ever raising an eyebrow or saying a word…
Or You Can Always Try This Other Approach.
Print this blog, and plop on the chair of your complainer. Don’t sign it. The only sign that person needs is a simple suggestion that the COMPLAINT DEPARTMENT is closed for business.