Ladies and gentlemen, please.

There’s something that I need to know, because it has been niggling at the back of my mind for a while but I have not come across an answer.

When, precisely, did it become part of the cool vernacular to hate your job? Why is it that so many people whine, whinge and complain about work so much?

There are always people at work who take active part in making the organization a good place to be, but it seems that there are far more who, loudly, proclaim all the negative, crabby aspects of life and work. They form groups specifically designed for complaining, and can now even visit restaurants where the wait staff verbally assault the patrons. Why are we drawn to this?

As an adult, we spend more time at work than anywhere else (unless you are Tim Ferriss perhaps), and of that time, would you not like to enjoy it? Look forward to getting up, getting in there and getting at whatever it is that you need to do tomorrow? Hanging around negative, unmotivated and lacklustre energy is not healthy, and it certainly is not going to make your workplace any better than what it is today.

The other night I saw a great documentary by Montreal filmmaker John Curtin called “To Hell with Manners” narrated by William Shatner. They discuss the demise of civility, much of it attributed to “busyness” and our tendency to walk and talk on phones and check for mobile messages rather than actually greet the human being standing next to you on the sidewalk. There are Stitch & Bitch groups all over North America (and beyond perhaps) where the point of the meeting is to get together with the girls, work on some kind of handicraft work, and vent. We know the negativity and overall bad attitude has all kinds of actual, measurable effects on us as people; as we become more miserable, we actually become more likely to be ill. Our quality of life decreases as we cope with heart disease, depression and a vase array of illness that actually shortens our lives.

But we do not have to buy into this negative thinking. We can make a conscious, focussed decision to be a part of something much bigger, much happier. We do so by making a choice to actually ignore negativity, and to stop hanging around with people or ideas that, virtually, such the life out of us.

Come on folks; do something really cool today, and start a movement in your corner of the world. Hold open some doors, avoid whining (your own and other people’s). Do something good at work. Something that makes people take note of your outstanding self, and the force of your positive impact. Be someone worth counting on. Be kind to your family, your friends, the people that you work with, and even the people that you do not know. Let it grow from there.


shelagh said...

There should be more people in the world like you, Pam. It would be such a pleasanter place.

I fear that you are trying to turn back the tide. People's attitudes change when and if they are forced to change. Young people like the world the way it is because they never knew it to be any different. They like texting, gaming and living in their own virtual world.

What the world needs to do is offer kids something better -- and that means parents giving them as much of their time as our parents were willing to give us. Can you see that happening?

In the meantime, stressed out mums should buy your book, Wake Up Women.

Pam Robertson said...

Shelagh thanks so much for your comments, and for endorsing the book! You could be right about turning back the tides, but I am up for it. I suppose that means the water could head for Europe, so make sure you've got your boat ready!

George Maciver said...

Brilliant! Loved this so much I've posted it on and linked to it.

Pam Robertson said...

George thank you! Great to have you drop by, and for the compliment of sending it on.

Lynda said...

A friend and I were discussing this very idea the other day over lunch. Her family still has a sit down family meal even it is take out they sit down and eat together and talk.
They know their daughter well because they talk in the car and at the table - no ipod or dvd's in their vehicles!

Pam Robertson said...

You know Lynda, I think they are really on to something. The whole issue of family values, and passing them on to our kids, is something that can easily be lost if we don't place importance where it belongs. Growing up we always ate as a family, and I certainly did that with my girls as well.
I think it would be cool for families to take a stand on some of these issues. If they cannot eat together during the week for some reason, them make a family breakfast or lunch on the weekend. It really does have to happen.