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If you consistently moan at work, you may be the problem. If you think your boss is the ‘he’ devil incarnate, your HR manager is a buffoon and your colleagues are morons, then there’s a better than average chance it’s not really them; it’s  you. So, the question is, how long is your whine list at work? Find out…

By Catherine Adenle

I’ll be the first to tell you that every workplace is not heaven where angels with harps play your favourite tunes, every boss is not a saint, every HR staff is not on the ball and each and every colleague of yours is not the salt grain of the earth. However, if you consistently moan and say and think that your company is hell, your boss is the he or she devil incarnate, your HR manager is a buffoon and your colleagues are morons who would brown-nose and sell their souls to the devil for a promotion, well, I’ve got news for you – there’s a better than average chance it’s not really them; it is you! So, how long is your whine list at work?


Why do I think you may be the problem and not everyone else?

Well, the answer is simple; you are the only one always complaining about everything. Nobody ever wants to believe that they are the problem. If you are not the problem, then, you are part of the problem.

It’s healthy to moan once in a while

While it is healthy to moan once in a while, be sure not to make it a habit at work. If you are reading this and thinking, I don’t have a ‘whine’ list then check the list of ‘whines’ below and see how long your ‘whine’ list is at work.

The next question to ask yourself is how long have you been working in the organisation?

If you’ve worked in an organisation for more than six years and you have a long ‘whine’ list, then you are doing yourself a dis-service. Perhaps, it’s time for you to move on, look for a job in another organisation and leave your current employer.

How long is your ‘whine’ list at work?

Check these ‘whiners’ out! See if any of these ‘whines’ are familiar to you and check how often you become one of the ‘whiners’?

        Grass is always Greener Greg: My girlfriend works for a better company. In the company where she works, they all fly on magic carpets and get robots to do their work. The benefits they get are far better. They give their staff hefty bonuses every year, their staff are given free manicure and pedicure while they watch the robots doing their work for them. This company is rubbish anyway, nothing is good about this company, they suck big time as they never give me anything.

My tuppence: Your girlfriend and your friend’s work for a better company or a better group. Everything is better over there. Everything about the company where you work and have worked for the past twenty years now suck. Well, think about it this way, it would suck a lot less for you if you quit. If you have been singing the same old song for many years now, what’s stopping you from quitting once and for all so that you can fly on a magic carpet too?

        Moaner Lisa: How come I get sidetracked whenever there is a chance of promotion? I don’t get any praise for doing a great job either. I have never been given a bonus or handed a promotion. All good things happen to everyone but me. Everyone has better projects, better HR managers, great bosses, better office cubicles, better pay, blah, blah, blah…

My tuppence: You are always the victim. You can’t speak up about how you feel to your manager especially as you have no legs to stand on. However, you’d rather sit at your desk or stand by the water cooler and moan until the cows come home.

        Can’t Carl:  This and that can’t be achieved or done. I know because I have been in this company for years, and nothing can work. I can’t get the work done, just can’t get it done. Why can’t we just carry on with things as usual? I can’t see the change working. If it’s not broken, why change it? Can’t work in the new way it can’t be good for me or anybody.

My tuppence: Your major vocabulary is ‘can’t’. You will always see the bad in any good ideas; you are the self-designated rebel officer, the perpetual fly in the ointment of your team, group and organisation. You are always pointing out why it can’t be done, never how it can be done.

        Clueless Clare:  I am clueless about what is going on, I don’t have a clue about what to do. I am in the dark. I have not done such a project before; I need help to start it. I need someone to show me what to do. Oh, I am not sure and I don’t know.

My tuppence: You are never proactive; you never have a clue about what to do, how to do it, or even how to start. You always run around like a headless chicken asking everybody about what to do, how to do it and what you should look out for.

        Veronica the Victim: My boss is not encouraging me to be the best I can be. My boss is a pain. IT is rubbish; the organisation is not improving my skills. My colleagues are evil. I am too busy to develop myself in any way. It’s a pain working for the company. I can’t find time to attend courses. The Learning and Development courses are not up to scratch. The IT department can never solve computer related issues for me.

My tuppence: You boss is a pain. The head of HR or IT hates you. Your colleagues make life miserable for you. They’re all driving you nuts. Have you ever thought that you may be holding the steering wheel? Maybe you’re the one behind the wheel.

        Aaron the Artful Dodger: If I don’t hide, they will allocate the work to me. I cannot volunteer as I can’t be bothered. I am not getting paid enough to do any extra work.

My tuppence: When there’s work to be done, finding you is like rummaging though hay to find a needle. And when you do get tagged with a task, the only thing everyone can count on is that it won’t be done right or on time.

        Stressed Simon:  I am stressed, the work is killing me. My boss is not doing a great job; so he is stressing me out. My boss’s boss is not checking on my boss, so I am stressed. The coffee machine is broken, I am stressed. The car park is too far of a walking distance to the office so, I am stressed. I can’t do my work because I am stressed. I have to stay for thirty minutes after work to complete a project, now I am stressed. This job is stressing me out.

My tuppence: Your boss stresses you out. Her boss stresses you out too. Your colleagues stress you out. Your job stresses you out. You are stressed at the drop of a hat but not too stressed to turn up for work everyday to watch the clock, be in other people’s business, shop on the internet, go on Facebook when you should be working or running your mouth when it comes to other people’s businesses. When someone is on your case, then, you quickly get stressed.  You couldn’t be creating your own workplace stress, could you?

        Billy the Blamer:  It is usually the fault of the company. My boss is at fault, my supervisor did not do this or that so the task failed. My team did not handle this or that correctly. It’s not my fault because I did not lead the project although I am a member of the project team. Don’t mention my name, I did not do it. So and so did it. I am not responsible. Why am I always the one blamed round here? I am never at fault.

My tuppence: Something goes wrong, it’s everyone’s fault but yours, and you’re sure to be the one covering your back side, pointing the finger, heading the witch hunt.

Well, how long is your whine list at work?

How many boxes have you ticked? If you haven’t ticked any of the boxes? Congratulations you are not a whiner. You will go far if you are equally productive and effective at work.

If you have ticked 4 of the boxes, you are a part time ‘whiner’. If you are part time whiner, think of how you can minimise your whines, quit whining and get on with it.  Imagine how far you can go if you are totally focused on how to make a difference at work.

If you have ticked all the boxes, and you have worked in the same company for more than six years, you need an intervention! You are an undiluted  Grade A ‘whiner’! First, you might need to see a therapist. Then, look for another job and may God  help them in your new company if you still cannot change how you see things.

Well, perhaps we should look at it this way, where would we all be without these wonderfully colourful and dysfunctional people and their attitudes in organisations? I don’t know, but I am certain that I wouldn’t have had a subject to write about.

What makes you whine at work? Let’s hear from you.

Catherine Adenle
Founder, Catherine's Career Corner. The career site empowering and inspiring ambitious candidates of all ages and professions to thrive and work smarter on their careers. Gladly helping all career-minded people worldwide to explore their career, manage change and understand how new technologies are changing and enhancing the future of work.
Catherine Adenle
Catherine Adenle

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One thought on “How Long is Your Whine List at Work?

  1. Cracks me up. Can’t stop laughing as I am a part time whiner. I will make an effort to stop moaning at work especially as I have worked there for 7 years.

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