Although I found no mention of it in the Constitution, most Americans (and I think people elsewhere throughout the world), seem to believe that they have an inalienable right to complain. We exercise that right rather freely.
While I do not dispute that there are times when we have a valid basis for issuing a complaint, there is a part of the equation that I think many of us complainers overlook. With rights come responsibilities. If we wish to exercise our right to complain we have the correlative responsibility to compliment.
When I receive excellent service from someone, I always make a point of letting that person know how much I appreciated her help. I also let her boss know how satisfied I was with this employee’s efforts. (Companies need to know that employee performance matters to their customers and which members of their staff are going above and beyond the call of duty).
Sadly, so many of us take excellent service as our “right” and fail to compliment the individual who provided it.
Think about this for a minute. Here’s a young woman working in a position which is moderately low-paid. But she loves the company she works for, she enjoys dealing with the public and she wants to provide the best customer service in the world.
Day after day she does her best, she goes the extra mile – and not even one of the hundreds of people whom she has assisted has said so much as, “Thank you.” After a short while her enthusiasm and commitment to excellent service begins to wane.
“Why am I busting my hump? No one cares. Not one of my customers has recognized my effort. I might just as well do the average job everyone else here does.” So that starry-eyed employee drifts into the ranks of the mediocre – doing just what’s necessary and no more – if that. And we who failed to acknowledge her efforts are the ones to blame.
The next time you are ready to launch an all-out frontal attack and unleash a complaint, step back a moment and ask yourself – “Have you fulfilled your inalienable responsibility to compliment?”