We lost a colleague, than another one took over, that another one left, soon another one followed. No, we didn’t “lose” him/her due to unnatural causes, or due to some devastating disease. They just left, for good causes, for bad causes, for personal reasons. People move, people tend to have this desire to express their freedom on the labor market, to experience different “challenges”, and in many cases, to experience disappointing, known usually under several expression: ”It wasn’t so bad after all”, or “what was I thinking?!”, or “if only I could find a similar place to work”.
But this is not the topic of this story. The normal consequence of the above is: more work for us, who remained “on duty”. Well, at least for some of us.
For most of us instead, there is an additional consequence: Complaining. It’s like a life style, like a fashion. It’s all about who endures most, who got hurt the worse, who is the most affected by the last changes. But the output is invariable: complaining.
I always wondered why. Is there any fulfillment that I might have missed? Is there any energy boosting power in this behavior? Does anyone care, or believe you. The answer is simple: No.
We often tend to say: “Well, my boss is asking me to do both things at the same time, but I cannot do them perfectly, now that I have so many things to do”. Wait a minute. Nobody asked you to reach perfection, you’re not in martial arts here. Isn’t it normal that first you ask yourself what does your boss want from you, and then to trigger the behavior? Is your perfectionism really contributing to the business, or to your immediate manager expectations?
Let me be more clear. Are those fancy lines, colors, shadows etc really adding value to an excel table in which you show that you’re 10%, 20%, … 50% below the target, or 3 – 10 days late according to the dead-line. Does it really matter if you put some crazy “auto-formatting” pattern on some excel cells, while the message is clear – we do not deliver?! Is it really the last customer, on which you spend half a day to track it, bringing value to the 100.000 customers cashed already?! I don’t think so.
Is it important what you do? I have no doubt. Is it important that you do it now? We can discuss further on it …
So, why do we complain. Is it that because we don’t succeed to perform according to the management requirements, or is it because we don’t have the chance to perform at our best – according to some personal selfish guidance? I know, I’ve been there. I know how it is to see you 2 months work reduced to a generic conclusion like “well, we’re indexing 98%, so we’d better identify the opportunities for the other 2%. Better, make it 4% to cover the “unexpected” factor”. I know how it is not to have time to play a little with the results, with the tables, with the formatting. When you have a “to do list” that could cover the entire office, when you have mails flowing like you’re managing some Mature XXX WebCam business, you just don’t have time to play. It’s as simple as that.
Did you ever get your boss complaining about not having the shadows on whatever line in your excel table? Don’t think so. Did you ever get your boss complaining that you missed one marginal information out of 10 information required. No. It’s all about: did you ever received any complaints about not being perfect? Well no. Still …
Yes, still, something is our minds is outraged by the fact that we don’t get the chance to prove why we’re here, why we were chosen. But guys, usually first things come first. Thant’s the way it was, that’s the way it is, and guess what: that’s the way it will always be.
So, prove first that you can manage basic requirements, do your job the best you can, and above, but do it in real time, do it when it’s asked for, and do it following the other party requirement, and not your internal self-realizing dreams. This will follow.
And thinking about the benefit/harm it can do to an office, I’m positive you have all experienced this kind of behavior coming from your colleagues at one time. How did it feel? Did it bring a lot of positive energy along the way? That’s right, there’s no way in heal this person to bring something good in the environment. Always complaining, always victimizing. And for what? For a little false compassion from the colleagues?
You know what’s even worse? I’ve been there from time to time, I’ve been the bad apple. Now I feel sorry, but what can I do, complain?
Think about it, protect yourself and protect the others from this destructive way of being. You cannot change the environment, but for sure you can change your habits.