May 22nd, 2011

travel

On the importance of saying nice things

Just jotting this down between toddler wrangling and chopping wood. It's going to be messy and a bit long, because I don't have time to edit it.

Was looking on the Boxcutters Podcast website and saw a comment by someone who said, "And if all I seem to do is complain, it’s probably because I don’t really feel the need to say anything about the bits I enjoy, I just enjoy them."

Now who it was, what they complained about, and the subject of the conversation is unimportant. It's this line that really stuck out to me, because it seems to be such a common attitude.

I love what you do, and I figure you know that. I only complain when there's an issue.

This is a remarkably common mindset, and it's also a completely fucked one. I've been a part of various volunteer groups over the years, been friends with literally hundreds of people who have been a part of other volunteer groups, and let me tell you something - it's never easy. Those people who volunteer time for anything, be it a convention, a panel, a podcast, support phone lines, local fire brigades, animal rescue, local radio, volunteer tourist staff, helpers at festivals, emergency relief...

So let me say this very, very clearly -

Every complaint hurts, and no thank you is ever, ever taken for granted.

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