Really Dani? Complaining about your employer while feeding your 'addiction to food & shelter' is stealing? As in prosecutable and possible time in jail stealing? Unprofessional I buy, grounds for termination - certainly; but stealing?

I respect Manager/Career Tools's commitment to presenting the reality of the workplace and if this is the prevailing attitude, I am glad to be forewarned, but it seems a bit extreme to equate this behavior with criminality. This seems an extension of the mindset (e.g. Dave Ramsey) that being late ten minutes is stealing from the company while working an exempt employee late with no notice is not stealing from them despite the unequal power in the relationship. 

Thanks for hearing me out. I'm obviously bothered enough by this that I've nixed the chance of ever working for anyone that reads this forum because I've branded myself with a Scarlet 'T' for Troublemaker. I'd be interested in the opinion of other forum members.

pucciot's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

It could be considered stealing in the same light as doing any of these things on company time :

Taking personal calls

Checking Facebook

Checking personal email

And there is a difference between Questioning - and - constructive criticism - and complaining. 

Complaining - goes nowhere. It is an attempt to make the object look bad and the subject look good.

* "That is a really dumb and inefficient way they decided to do it ! "

Questioning - could go either way and allows for a legitimate answer - and allows for the subject (the person doing he complaining) to be wrong.

* "I really don't know why the company wants to do it this way - I would think it is more efficient to do it this other way - don't you ?"

Constructive criticism - comes off as more professional and leaves the authority and decision making in tact in the right place. 

* "Well I don't see the efficiency in the new way of doing it.  I think this other way is better. I gave them my idea and OK it is the director's director's decision."


AND - even the Questioning and Constructive criticism become complaints if they are repeated many times for the same issue.  It means that the employee is not letting it go.  That they are not "carrying the water".

It wastes time, it wastes energy, it erodes the relationships between that employee and anyone that supports that final decision.  It calls into question their commitment to produce results on that topic.

Can you see the difference ?


Kevin1's picture

I do see your point.  There can be legitimate complaints also.

The cast seems to have a viewpoint that the company has made the decision and it is the employee's sole responsibility to carry out that decision.  For many situations (perhaps the majority), that is true.  

There are also times when the decisions of the company are questionable and should be challenged.  One obvious example would be a company decision that inadvertantly introduces safety concerns.

There are some very smart cookies (especially High-C's) who work for companies but do not occupy managerial positions.  They are able to see flaws in some decisions and frequently complain because they genuinely want to see better outcomes for the organisation.  

The trick is to turn the complaint around and into more positive behaviour.  I would suggest using feedback something like this:

When you merely complain about the company's decision to do X, folks that hear your complaint are less likely to give this existing process 100% and you therefore undermine its success.  In addition, we aren't able to benefit from your experience and find a better way to do things.  What can you do differently next time?

This encourages more private questioning, plus it encourages coming up with solutions over complaints.  

Does this help?