Take it out back

We are a complaining society.

We are a whining, sniveling bunch of crybabies.

There isn’t a day go by that I don’t see #FML (eff my life, for the uninitiated) in my Twitter feed or on Facebook.

I’ve unfollowed or unfriended people for their incessant complaining.

But lately, it seems to be everywhere … even in my most holy of activities, shopping.

I hit Shoppers Drug Mart on Centre Street North a couple of weeks ago, picking up those necessities that make my world go round. While awaiting a prescription, I hovered around the magazine area.

Flipping through the latest edition of whatever I happened to pick up, I started to hear the clarion call of a whiny employee.

“But the schedule is all screwed up. I shouldn’t be working that day.”

‘Up’ was awarded two syllables.

I turned and saw a circle of Shoppers employees, all standing around, bitching and whining about the schedule and how much their jobs suck.

I walked away. I returned to the area five minutes later, hoping they had scattered to their respective corners, stocking shelves or ringing in purchases or — God forbid — helping a customer.

Nope. They were all still there. Nattering on about how terrible the schedule is done and, boy, are they ever going to give the manager a what-for.

I meant to call the store the next day but got caught up in other of life’s great challenges, like finding my own job to one day complain about.

Then the other night, My American and I stopped by our favourite DVD rental and used-book store (I scored three awesome books for 30 bucks!) in Veradale, WA. When we got to the till, two Hastings employees were discussing break times.

“But it’s law! I’m supposed to get a 15-minute break!”

This went on the entire time we waited in line, had our purchases scanned and paid for the items.

Yes, honey, it is law.

Yes, your employer is mandated by the state to provide you with a 15-minute break for every four hours you work.

But no, you shouldn’t be complaining about this in front of customers.

I’ve had jobs at which I was unhappy. I worked at McDonald’s for $3.10 an hour. I hated it. You should hate your job if you work at McDonald’s. It sucks. The pay sucks. And you should want to leave there and do better things with your life.

I complained about it. We all did.

In the break room. Outside while you’re sucking on a cancer stick. At the bar long after your shift is over.

Out of earshot of your customers.

I had unhappy times at other jobs. We all have bad days. We all encounter a tough spot. We all complain.

But we all need to stop doing it in front of the people who make sure our paycheques (erg … I’m currently stateside, so it should be paychecks, right?) get paid.

Because you just don’t know when one of those customers is going to look at your nametag, make a mental note and give your manager a ring the next day.

And then you might not have anything to complain about. Well, at least you won’t have a job to complain about.

Or, in the big picture, maybe I’m worse.

Because I’m whining about whining.

What's on your mind?