Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Do You Complain?

Are you a complainer? We tend to think of complainers in negative terms, as people who are constantly focused on the negative and who feel the need to make a stink about it so everyone can join them for a swim in their giant pool of crappiness. People that complain too often are generally ignored, in much the same fashion as the fabled wolf-crying boy. Too often have no worthwhile solution to offer that could mitigate their grievance. I'm starting to realize though, that a little judicious crabbing can actually be a good thing.

Case in point. Last week I went for my six month dental cleaning during which I had to sit through 45 minutes of aggressive stabbing an poking at my gums. At one point the hygienist proudly showed me a piece of gauze that she had applied to my lower gums whilst conducting this torture, noting that they were "bleeding a lot". This was a massive understatement as I could literally feel the blood gathering at my gum line after she pulled the gory fabric away. I understand that a little bleeding is sometimes a necessary part of having your teeth cleaned, particularly if you are someone who doesn't floss frequently, but I floss daily and my last cleaning was nothing like this. I asked her why so much blood and she explained in a sincere voice that they were "releasing toxins". OK, if by "toxins" you mean "massive quantities of blood". Fast forward to today, when I went back to the dentist to have a small repair made to a tooth. Noting that the offending hygienist wasn't working, I decided to speak up about my bad experience. Turns out my dentist was very appreciative. Apparently this woman was hired as a temp to cover for the regular hygienists vacation, and after my feedback, will most likely not be coming back.

Second case in point. People that won't park their car, walk a few hundred feet, and wait for their child outside their classroom really irk me. Even when Garrett was a tiny baby, I could be found, rain or shine standing outside Weston's classroom. For the last two to three weeks as walked into Garrett's school to pick him up, I have passed a woman parked on the corner of an intersection across from the school. I don't know about your state, but in California, you can't park on a corner. The corner in question is also painted in red for The Stupid and those who don't take the time to learn the more obscure rules of parking. Later, I noticed second car occupying the opposite corner, and a third double parked next to the first offender. Imagine how much I enjoyed maneuvering around these three lazy, inconsiderate boobs on narrow streets, with children and their parents crossing the road, and traffic going in three directions. So, I complained. I called the school office and requested some additional traffic enforcement at that intersection. Yesterday both corners were clear and no double parkers were in evidence. Corner parker was just getting out of her car, which was parked a mere half block further down the street, to walk in to meet her child. Complaining is a public service!

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