Tonight is my last night in Dallas. I got back to my hotel after a long day of ASTD conference sessions and was going to write about that. But first, I went for a quick bite to eat in the hotel restaurant – and the story there was much more interesting.
After about 10 minutes, a couple was seated at the table next to mine. The husband got there first and was happy to find a plug for his laptop and WIFI connection. He quickly found something on the menu he liked and ordered two waters and a coffee while waiting for his wife to join him (likely in the little girl’s room).
When the wife walked up, she was already scowling. The woman complained and moaned about everything. The menu changed. The prices were higher (they were not high). But most of all, she had it in her mind that she wanted a burger and they did not have burgers on the menu. They had several other sandwiches to choose from, but no beef burgers. When she asked the waiter why they did not have burgers, he was nice, but confirmed that they did not make them. The woman asked whether they could get a burger somewhere else close. He gave them a couple options about 5-6 blocks away.
Moan, moan, moan. I could tell the husband wanted to stay but the woman went on and on about the menu, and that they were awful for changing the menu and raising the prices and SHE WANTED A BURGER.
My first thought was WHAT A B$%#&!
My second thought was – thank you! I feel lucky to have such a wonderful and flexible spouse.
Why did everything have to be about her? I bet she is like this all the time. The look on her face was one of disdain and anger – the lines etched from repeated frowning. Why would anyone put up with this?
Would it have killed her to have the chicken sandwich?
We have these people on our teams too. Do we put up with them? I think many tolerate it for too long. Being uncooperative and a lacking in the skills and actions that build strong and positive relationships IS A JOB RELATED PROBLEM. I don’t hesitate making the case for disciplining and then even firing people who moan and complain a lot. These days, everything revolves around teamwork – your ability to be a positive member of the team is an important expectation and job component.
What do you think? Are you surrounded by a grumpy and demanding person? Do you tolerate it? Are you that person?