Geek Think: The Airing Of Grievances


Thought I’d spice up this Geek Think with a picture, you’re welcome.

My thought today in on the airing of grievances. I had to look this one up to make sure I really had the the phrase definition right in my mind and it turns out yes, yes I do.
air one’s grievances
Fig. to complain; to make a public complaint.

I’m not here to bother you with any of my personal grievances. I do that in every other post I write. I just wanted to point out the infuriating manner in which grievances are addressed these days.

It used to be that if you had a problem with a person, or a company (your boss, or your phone provider for example) you would take it up directly with them. You would work out your problem until there was a resolution. Whether or not the resolution was agreeable to both parties is beside the point. Then you could complain about the outcome privately to your group of friends to your heart’s content.

Now the airing of grievances takes a different path. First you probably take the problems directly to the concerned party. We’ve still got that part. But then when they won’t/can’t/refuse to help you we turn to social media for support. Here’s an example of Peter Mayhew when the TSA took his cane from him granted there is just no working with those people because they follow a different logic. Mayhew’s plea for support on Twitter played a role in getting is cane back.

Another example is that of a friend of mine. His problem started out with a simple misunderstanding, or maybe a small bug in the accounting system of his ISP. Because of that small problem there was confusion with a bill and his account was suspended. People make mistakes and software has bugs, everyone should understand that. The real problem is it wasn’t until he made a public outcry, using his clout in social media, then the company contacted him and began offering solutions to the problem.

I’m not for or against this new form that the airing of grievances has taken. I just think it’s interesting to point out. I’m not of the opinion that the customer is always right or that a company should bend over backwards to fix every little thing that causes any sort of trouble. I do find it outrageous that a person has to go to the extent of telling the world about a problem before the group is willing to address it. There should be a more private setting in which problems can be solved.

I hope some of this rant made sense. If not, meet me out back. I’ll fix your problem.