Professional Complainer



Tonight in a rare, but very enjoyable night time Mah Jongg game the talk at my table turned to an eating establishment that all the players frequented and some bad choices and worse excuses for the choices they had made. Now I am fond of this place, so don’t ask me to name it, because I am sure they will turn this current situation around.


As I described in detail the mistakes and my conversations with management my friend Carolyn commented that I was thorough in my complaint. ‘Carolyn,” I responded, “don’t you know I am a professional complainer.” She acted as if in the 18 years I have known her she had never heard me complain.


Perhaps she had never heard me complain because she has never done anything wrong, at least to me, but I find it shocking that she was unaware of my professional status. I am a tough customer, but I am also an ardent supporter. So if I find something lacking in the customer service arena I try and constructively point out why it makes me unhappy.


I know that not all people who I complain to are thrilled I am doing it, but consider the alternative. First, if I have encountered something wrong I am probably not the first person who has felt that way. Second, most people don’t bother to complain to the person who is actually in charge, but just leave unhappy to never return again and worse tell ten people how unhappy they were. Third, I always offer evidence-based complaints with positive suggestions on how to grow the business.


My professional designation was earned when I was a sales and marketing consultant, but had been honed for many years before that as an armature tough cookie. My father has mentioned on more than one occasion that he is surprised some businesses had stayed open after I received very poor customer service from them more than once. See, if my direct confrontations of poor service don’t improve after a reasonable amount of time then I go right for the juggler. But at least I returned to the business to see if they even tried.


The difference between a professional complainer and a whiny unhappy person is that the professional will praise and frequent great establishments all day long. A whinny person is never satisfied. I may be demanding, but I will never whine about anything.

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