I used to have a Facebook friend in college who could always be counted on to tell the rest of us what we were doing wrong.
Like clockwork every week, this guy would have a new rant. Everyone on his news feed needed to shut up about their workout routines. Everyone needed to stop sharing pictures of everything they ate, etc.
Oddly, he never seemed to notice that his constant, insulting status updates were also annoying. This, strangely, escaped him.
He, alone, was above it all.
I contemplated commenting on his rude updates, but I never did. This does not have to do with me being kind or superior in any way. This has to do with me being lazy. The thing that people don’t often mention about confrontation is, it’s exhausting. Though I’m not opposed to confrontation in general, it requires a lot of work, a lot of time and a lot of effort I did not want to spend on some guy I “friended” only so I could borrow some notes.
But one day he said something that spurred me into action. One day, Mr. Know-it-all complained about complainers–namely people who complain about their jobs. That day’s status update concluded with a sanctimonious line about how people who had jobs should quit their whining because they should just be grateful to have a job at all.
Now, on the surface, this comment should not have annoyed me as much as it did. But knowing what I did about Mr. Know-it-all, it just rubbed me the wrong way. This guy, who apparently was the expert on what workers were and weren’t allowed to say, hadn’t worked a hard day in his life.
He had never flipped burgers all day and come home smelling strongly of french friends (a scent that is bizarrely unappealing considering how delicious french fries are). He had never come home dirty, sweaty and bone tired after a day spent doing actual hard, physical labor. He had never sat behind the customer service desk at a major discount superstore and been systematically berated all day by irate customers with misplaced anger.
And I’m pretty darn positive, that while standing behind said customer service desk, Mr. Big Shot had never had a mentally-unstable man shove a bag of obviously used and soiled underwear at him and demand a full refund.
That last bit, that dirty underwear gem, that actually happened to me. So yeah, given my past work experiences, I didn’t take kindly to Mr. No-Work-Know-it-all’s decision to give the rest of us a self-righteous lesson about what we were allowed to complain about.
I’d like to say that when he made this comment I was enraged enough to actually say something. That I went on a long-winded tirade of my own about how he had no idea what he was talking about. But I just didn’t have enough energy to do it, probably because I was so tired from, you know, working all day.
So instead my rage had to be pacified by simply clicking the “unfriend” button. Because the exact moment a person stops appreciating a good, “I have a case of the Mondays” status update, that’s the exact moment they stop being my friend.
Call me crazy, but I think it is the innate right of the worker to complain about work. I mean, no matter how much you may love your work, it’s normal not to want to be there. That is kind of why they call it “work” and not “fun times with my buddies making money time.”
Frankly, if I ever met someone who preferred being at work over being at home, I’d feel pretty sorry for them because their home life must be terrible. And since my family and friends are pretty much the best freaking people in the world, I don’t have that problem. I personally, much prefer the weekend.
Loving the weekend as much as I do, I can’t blame people for sharing their hatred of the work week. I can’t blame them for posting things like, “Monday’s suck,” “Three hour staff meetings are SO boring,” or “My coworker is driving me CRAZY with her loud gum chewing.”
I can’t blame them for saying these things because Mondays do suck, three hour staff meetings are SO boring, and people sharing cramped works paces with near strangers should be courteous enough to learn to chew gum with their mouth shut. It’s called manners, sheesh.
The worker’s right to complain should never be revoked. Workers should not stop expressing obvious truths simply because some people don’t have jobs, surely these people, if they had jobs, would understand. I know I do….which leads me into my next point.
I currently find myself jobless.
Last Thursday afternoon (after I had just complained to my friend that I wished it was Friday, a complaint I still stand by) I was called into my boss’s office. I was informed that my position –which I had been hired for only five months before– had been eliminated. They had done some restructuring, reallocated the workloads and decided my position — and by extension, all of us who held that position– were to be eliminated.
Now, you’d think that I’d be angry. But truthfully, I wasn’t. They handled the matter professionally and really, aside from the fact that I’m now unemployed, I can’t complain. Their decision and the rationale behind it made sense to me, no matter how much it sucks for personally. And, as I said at the time (in an odd moment of nonchalance I wouldn’t have thought myself capable of under the circumstances) it just is what it is.
So now that I’ve explained my new perspective on work, let me just say, you definitely have my permission to complain.
Because, the thing is, Mondays still suck. Seriously, they’re the worst.