While there are certainly compelling complaints that a person can make at work, there are also a lot of petty ones that are just time-wasters for everyone. No matter what the topic, the negative Nancy always finds something wrong. Whether it's how much work she has, the desk she sits at or her parking space at work, nothing is right. It's important to understand the difference between valid complaints and petty ones so that you can avoid being trapped by the constant complainer at work.
While a comfortable work environment is important to ensure productivity, someone is always going to complain about the thermostat setting, no matter where you work. The evidence of this is that little clear plastic box that keeps your coworkers from changing the settings. Heating and cooling temperatures are subjective – everyone experiences temperatures differently – so one setting has to be picked that is somewhere in the middle for everyone. Unfortunately, not everyone at work agrees.
When your employer provides coffee, instead of complaining about the brand or coffee taste, consider being thankful that you don't have to stop on the way to work and buy a cup of coffee for $4. People who complain about the coffee at work probably never worked at a place where there was no break room, much less any coffee. Your employer isn't legally required to supply the office with coffee. If you don't like it, buy your own before you come to work.
Someone always complains about the microwave in the break room. Because so many people use the microwave to heat their lunches, the settings are constantly being changed. Unless you plan to stand guard and catch the offender who doesn't reset the microwave, you're fighting a losing battle with complaints about the microwave. Besides, it's not your kitchen.
Not everyone is going to get the best parking spaces at work. Some companies have employee recognition programs that allow one person a special parking space close to the door as a reward. Some employees complain that someone else took "their" parking spot before they could get it. Unless you've been assigned a parking space with your name, the only way to get a good parking space is to show up to work early.
Even if every workstation at work is nearly the same, someone is going to complain that a coworker’s workspace is bigger or better. Unless your workstation creates a physical problem that could lead to an injury, find a way to decorate your workspace to make it your own.
Some people get offices or workstations with windows. Others don't. Instead of focusing your jealously on that coworker who has the window, turn your focus to your work. Companies or managers often use little perks such as window offices for employees who work hard. If you don't have a window seat, maybe it's because you spend more time worrying about what your coworkers do or have than on focusing on getting your work done.
Complaining about the colors used to paint the office is another losing battle. Color preferences are subjective and the responsibility of the office manager. Regardless of how good the colors do or don't look, someone's bound to complain.
As a native Californian, artist, journalist and published author, Laurie Brenner began writing professionally in 1975. She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites. Brenner graduated from San Diego's Coleman College.