Monday, July 13, 2009

Working in a complaining environment

My coworkers with whom I share the same office room are all on their summer vacation. I will be all by myself for around two weeks, and since from 14 July to 15 August are the most popular summer vacation period, there won't be much people around in the office.

On one hand it will be quite, on the other hand I really appreciate this break away from the complaining /cursing work environment. I'm not sure if it is the nature of this industry, I'm constantly hearing complains, unsatisfactory comments, curses, long sighs... and a lot of profanity. Since I'm learning French I always try to notice how people express themselves in a certain way but when I hear words like these my ears automatically closed:
He is balls breaking (Il est casse couilles) = He is annoying
I made a conclusion, everything that involves balls (couilles) must be something bad so I shouldn't pick them up.

Besides profanity (which is really not a big deal as long as I don't use them myself), I was not really getting used to complains whenever we start using a new system / project / method. People would say "oh this is never going to work" or "I don't know why they made this stupid decision". Once I told my coworkers that "if you know you can't change it, just accept it and move on", they all looked at me. Eventually, either I complain with them together or I just say nothing.

Once I jokingly told a French friend my observation about this complaining culture, he told me that it is better than the American or the Japanese one. The American, they just say "Gorgeous, perfect, you did a good job" for anything you have done and the Japanese just make a fake smile and will never tell you what they really think. So, at least these French are sincere, and since complaining is just so common, they are actually not complaining or whining, but just making a normal statement / comment on a situation. Basically, according to him, when a French is complaining, he just treat him as saying something.

His comment really impressed me. I hope after a while, I can start accepting that certain complains are just simply a way of expression.

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