I worked in retail hell for 11 years. When I first started working there, if I ever had a problem, I’d talk about it with one of my supervisors, whether it was a department or store manager. Eventually, I realized the futility of doing that. So, I just started dealing with things myself. Every once in a while, a manager would say something to me about what I had done, but, for the most part, they were content to just let me do things my way.
Also, during those 11 years, I spent a lot of time listening to my coworkers bitch about the conditions in the store (which is something they did almost non-stop). Now, I’m not going to lie and say that I never bitched about anything, but I rarely bitched for two reasons. The first is because I didn’t want to sound like the whiny people I worked with.
The other reason I rarely bitched is that it never accomplished anything. No matter what you said, or how often you complained, management wasn’t going to change anything. They were going to do whatever the hell they wanted whether you liked it or not.
All in all, it was best to just keep your mouth shut and do your own thing.
Let’s fast forward to a couple of months ago, when I had my second annual review at my new job. My bosses said that they were pleased with just about everything I did. When it came down to the part to tell me what they wanted me to improve on, they only had one thing….I don’t complain enough.
Apparently, they were unhappy that I didn’t run in and bitch to them every time I had a problem. It took me a couple of seconds to try and process this, as it made no sense to me. Maybe it’s just me, but I would think that not being a bitch, and whining about everything, would be a good thing…not a bad one.
Finally, I told them that, since they were busy trying to run the company, when I had a problem, I went to my Team Lead first. Then, if he couldn’t help me, that’s when I’d go to them. Not only did it placate them, it was also the truth. I also promised to try and do better in the future (although I felt a little weird about promising to bitch more).
Then, a few days ago, my Team Lead was talking about me to a temp that was brought in to help us clean up the warehouse. I didn’t hear exactly what led to their discussion, but it had to do with trying to fix a problem. He told the temp that if she had a problem, she shouldn’t come to me because I don’t care about problems. In his words, “If Revis’ computer was on fire, he’d just ignore it and keep working.”
What the hell?
When did bitching about things become a good thing? Am I missing something here? I get the problem taken care of without whining about it. Shouldn’t that be the goal?