It didn’t start out that way, but it’s the end result of the journey I’ve been on as a journalist. As a reporter, you hear complaints, but they are typically about others. In production, I could hide in my office and no one knew who I was. But as Editor-in-Chief, well, everybody knows your extension.
To paraphrase Airplane!’s Rex Kramer, it's his ship now, his command. He's in charge, the boss, the head man, top dog, big cheese, a head honcho, number...
Folks complain about everything. It’s too hard to read. There’s not enough. We didn’t cover this. We didn’t do that. We spelled this wrong. I don’t understand your website. And a million other things. You have to have a thick skin, and be a good representative for the organization.
It’s the territory, and I accept that. But it is an interesting window for observing people.
I’m not immune to complaining. I’m not going to lie, because the people in my house would call me on that. If I see something I don’t think is right, I’m going to say something about it. I’ll vent. I sometimes even howl at the moon. I’m pretty sure we all do that.
But if I’m going to bring it up to somebody, other than in myself and those in and my immediate vicinity, it’s because I have a goal in mind. I can make things better. Someone can help things toward a more satisfactory solution.
Otherwise, vent and move on. What’s the point? As the great Mickey Rivers said, “Ain't no sense worryin' about the things you got control over, 'cause if you got control over 'em, ain't no sense worryin'. And ain't no sense worryin' about the things you don't got control over, 'cause if you don't got control over 'em, ain't no sense worryin'.”
All you’re gonna do is give yourself an aneurism. Or a coronary. It’s just pissing in the wind. You can bounce off the walls all you want, nothing is going to be different when you are done.
But I’m starting to think that puts me in the minority. Seems to me a lot of people complain just for the sake of complaining. Because, more often than not, when you offer the olive branch, and attempt to rectify the situation for the aggrieved, they give you the brush off. The high hat.
Everyone is entitled to behave the way they want, I suppose, but I guess I just don’t see the payoff.
As I say, I’m not immune to anger. But in the end, Mickey is right. If you can change it, do so, if you can’t, drop it. In every situation there are a whole bunch of things going on you probably don’t understand. Live and let live. A majority of the time you’ll never see that person you feel wronged you again.
So I vent it. Open the safety valve, and let it go. Process and be done.
I try to look at all situations in terms of return on investment. The only one I’m hurting by carrying that grudge is myself. Seems to me I’ll live a lot healthier life if I just let it lie.