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Whatís wrong with some people

Date Posted: 2001-09-07

It has been observed by some of my friends and myself an ever-growing trend on Okinawa military installations. Iím sure many people have either done it or witnessed it or heard about it. This unfortunate trend is complaining. Now before people put pen to paper and start calling me a hypocrite, Iím not complaining, Iím only pointing out this trend in what may be a futile attempt to change some peopleís attitude on this tiny island.

Complaining is at times necessary and should be done if a true wrongdoing has been committed or if a certain situation warrants it. However, the type of complaining Iím talking about is usually extremely trivial in nature. Normally performed by people who have been beaten down all day at work to go home and be downtrodden by spouses/children. When these people go to a base facility, they have some assumed power and proceed to act like spoiled brats by forgetting simple manners and expect employees to jump through hoops for them because they have $10 in their pocket. If something isnít absolutely perfect they get quite miffed and start complaining. Whatís even worse, quite often, these whiners donít have the backbone to complain directly to the target of their misguided anger, but have to resort to the written complaint forms. These complaint forms should be thrown away. In my opinion (but I may be the only one who thinks this) if someone has a genuine complaint they will take the time to write a letter and find out to whom and where the complaint should go. These pre-defined forms and drop boxes enable these power hungry addicts to bring unnecessary heartache upon innocent employees of various facilities. I ask the question to all base organizations, what ever happened to the US Bill of Rights? I do believe it is the right of the accused to confront his/her accuser. These drop boxes never allow that, in fact they promote the complete abandonment of the bill of rights. But maybe Iím getting too deep here, just food for thought for the ďmanagersĒ who administer these Quality of Life programs.

As we all know, many people that work in the facilities around the bases are not native English speakers. From the Commissary to the NCO and Officersí Clubs there are Japanese, Philippine, Spanish, and Thai workers to name a few. I applaud these people for learning enough English to get a job in an English-speaking environment and to provide me with services and goods! Thank you very much. It has sickened me to my core when I heard of a native English speaker making a ďcomplaintĒ because one of the foreign nationals working on base didnít phrase something (an explanation for running out of an item!) in a manner that pleased them. I ask of this person, what is wrong with your life that you are so trivial and arrogant?

This frivolous complaint has marred the employeeís impeccable record and caused them much pain. This employee works hard and has to deal with many compulsive complainers every day. This employee prides him or herself on their customer service skills; honestly cares about the customers, even the ones who donít deserve such treatment or reciprocate the good manners portrayed upon them. To add to this atrocity, the organization that the employee works for automatically sided with the complainer, never asked the employee their side of the story or even paused for a moment to see how trivial the matter is.

To all base facility managers, I think you need to re-examine your complaint procedures and how they are handled. We all know the customer is not always right! Donít worry, you have a captive audience for the most part and profits wonít decline. Donít loose good hard working employees because you refuse to side with them against some prejudiced, manic customer.

And once again, to all employees of AAFES, MCCS, 18th Services and Commissary, native English speakers or not. If you donít smile for eight hours a day, donít greet me when I walk to the counter everytime, or speak like a Harvard graduate, I wonít complain either verbally or written. We are all human and some people on this Island need understand this and cease abusing the tiny bit of power they get when someone says, ďWhat can I do for you todayĒ.

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