The Chair-throwing Hegemony of Complaining

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[Everyone needs to learn how to complain effectively. Because, it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease, at least until someone becomes proactive and replaces the entire wheel]

First, is your complaint valid? The less valid the complaint, the more energy you must put into the complaining. Your new shirt has a hole in it? You can sell that just by bringing the shirt in and showing it. Your new shirt fell apart six months into wearing it? You’ll probably have to raise your voice a bit. You think two of your shirt buttons are less “sincere” than the other five? You’ll probably have to throw a chair…

What is your goal in complaining? Your money back? That’s doable. Store credit? Even more doable. Revoking Indonesia’s status as sovereign state in the United Nations? You’ll probably have to throw several chairs.

Sometimes, all we want is to get our complaints off of our chests. That is why most corporations have hired low-paid workers to absorb your abuse and to work very hard to avoid changing anything about how they ultimately treat you. You want to talk to their supervisor? Well, so do they. Too bad they’ve never met him. It is cruel and debasing work; but, it does prepare them for raising teenagers.

Remember, when complaining, to fully identify yourself. And, “in your nightmares” is NOT a valid address in that it does not have a zip code. Also, it is best to ignore the irony of telling a representative that “you don’t know who you’re dealing with” and then including your name, address and phone number.

Know what you are talking about. If the target of the complaint has broken any laws, know what they are. If you have to rely on moral law, maritime law, the Hammurabi Code or the law of the jungle, it would probably be best it you just threw a chair.

Document EVERYTHING. Keep receipts, photographs, bowel movement diaries and a list of chairs you have thrown. Keep them in a thick dirty folder secured with a large rubber band. This folder indicates that you are a force to be reckoned with; and, that you will probably take multiple tasings before finally being subdued by building security.

Be polite. Do NOT say things like, “Shut up, you dead-eyed pile of crap” without adding the word “ma’am” at the end. Before throwing a chair, indicate roughly where you are throwing it to allow employees to scatter appropriately.

Keep a list of the fake names the people you’ve been talking to have given you.  The names might come in handy if you want to write a book or name a baby.

Explain the consequences. Will heads roll? Will there be Hell to pay? Will they be sorry? Make sure you speak in measured tones. Be thoughtful. If you threaten to blow up their building, make sure you actually HAVE a bomb that WILL take out at least one exterior wall.

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