Gripe Away, America!!

I just finished a 7 month stint on America’s Unemployment Line. It was a jaunt full of despair, weekends devoid of social activity, and countless ridiculous job fairs and what I discovered, other than the fact that not having money sucks on several levels is that people are extremely hypersensitive about the most harmless things. For example…

I was sitting in a room with a group of friends one Friday night while I was in the midst of unemployment hell having a decent time hanging out and, as is typical, the conversation turned to work. What I’ve found is that when you take “shop talk” and then add a few beers then multiply that by the shattered employment hopes you wished of as a child, you typically get a room full of people talking about how much they hate their jobs and their lives as a byproduct. Oh the wailing and gnashing of teeth about what could have been; how they could have been an architect or a fighter pilot instead of a grunt worker pushing piles of paper to and fro on their desks on a day to day basis (S/N: That last sentence brought to you by…alliteration!). And typically this may go on for 5, 10, maybe even 20 minutes, this discussion of their morbid day to day plantation stories until they look over across the table and see me, the poor jobless sap who just a moment before was laughing to their tales of woe but has now brought the room to an awkward silence because I have no recent story to tell. So what then? The backtracking, that’s what.

“But I’m fortunate; I’m not ungrateful like that.”

“There’s always someone out there that hates their job more, so it’s not that bad.”

“No, I don’t really hate hate my job, that’s just me talking, man. It’s cool.”

All the while they’d look at me for some look of forgiveness like they’ve done wrong by me because they said what 90% of America was thinking at the time. Yes, the economy stinks. Yes, unemployment rates are the highest they’ve been since the Depression. Yes, if you have any job at all you should thank your lucky stars you have one.

But for goodness sakes, allow yourselves to vent without regret regardless of who is in the room. With political correctness what it is we have to walk on enough eggshells; don’t add onto it by suppressing the need to talk about:

  • Your awful cubicle neighbor that talks too loud about nothing you want to hear about.
  • The punk manager that denied your leave request.
  • The fact that you hate the thought of getting up in the morning to go to the office.
  • The “do-gooder” employee that ratted out all the office Facebookers.

And especially…

  • The coworker that thinks it’s socially acceptable to reheat fish in the break room microwave.

As a man fresh off the unemployment line, I’m giving the okay for all work related gripes whenever you feel like it regardless of who is in the room. No one considers you ungrateful but you will be called out for being a liar if you say that everything is hunky-dory and that there’s nothing at all you can gripe about…in the case you ARE that happy, you’re probably the same person that rats out the Facebookers at your job.

What’s your gripe? Let it out! Save yourself the ulcer you’ll likely have later if you swallow your frustration. To spur your thought, the young lady in this video will probably bring someone in your office to mind…

~thanks for reading 🙂


  1. Funny. I am glad that you are back in the working world of gripers.
    I have a few gripes from my Bosnia coworker who truly thinks it’s okay to be on her cell phone every 15 minutes talking loudly in her native language (SerbiCroacian) which is aggressive like Japanese or German (I love her to death though) to my older, bitter teammate who demands others respond to her but snaps at the same people when they requests the same and is very sensitive but just as hateful as they come (I love her to death too) to the coworker who has to say ‘My, you’re having loads of fun’ every time she walks by or anything versus just smiling and passing in silence. I guess I’ll stop there.

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