The Art of Complaining

View from the top of Haytor, Dartmoor with a brown cocker spaniel playing

As an eternal optimist and a perpetual people pleaser, I find it incredibly hard to complain. I live in hope that a situation will improve of its own volition and I do not want to be on the receiving end of The Look if I dare to voice disappointment. At least outside of the home.

This is the reason that I’ve forced down more than one inedible something or other and why I simply nodded and smiled when a heinous git called Dove (yes, really) hacked my fresh-at-uni hair into a mullet. A real, live mullet. I just got the hell out of there, phoned my mum for a cry and spent three years avoiding photos. High five to being old enough to have universitied without Facebook.  

Other than a faux jokey tweet to Sainsburys when they ran out of dog food and so delivered cat food to my door – LOL – I just don’t do complaining.

As ineffectual as I might be at it, I am a human being and so know that there’s a right and a wrong way to go about it. And the stakes are high, we’re talking free round of drinks versus snot in your burger. 

I am always jealous of the good complainers, the ones who can end the situation with a laugh and a joke and a five star holiday to Mexico for their troubles. 

But I’m equally enthralled by those who are just so awful at it, those whose default setting is to throw their toys out of the pram and be downright rude, no matter how legit their complaint might have been at the beginning. Because you know those people are getting nowhere and it’s just good old fashioned entertainment isn’t it? 

Like the complainer I encountered last week who loudly likened the restaurant I was in akin to Fawlty Towers presumably because she’d been shown to a table she inexplicably didn’t like the look of by someone without a Home Counties accent. I rubbed my little hands together, continued scoffing my faultless dinner and settled in for the show. 

The initial whinge about the allocated table might have been valid (it wasn’t but let’s pretend it could have been). The way it was addressed and every subsequent gripe, moan and laughably offensive comment directed towards the food and staff was really not.  Adopting the national attitude, my response was to tut and loudly declare everything and everyone around me ‘wonderful’ and ‘delicious’ with every second breath. Yes, I’m afraid I am that person. 

In these heady times of the TripAdvisor militia, it’s getting harder and harder to find a genuine review but you can spot one written by one of life’s bad complainers a mile off. Handle with care.