Tuesday, June 27, 2006
We all know the saying: It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness. I think of that saying when I hear, second-hand from a friend, that "someone at work today was trashing the union..." It's not that rare that I get this hear-say complaining. This time, as the original conversation was relayed to me, it apparently started with: "I don't know if the union knows anything about this...," followed by a torrent of detail about a perceived problem. The original speaker had clearly thought about the issue, and was stewing about the issue, and was spreading the word that there was an issue. But apparently only to coworkers. My friend was suggesting I have Steve track the guy down and sort the situation out. My question to my friend was, "Did anyone ask this guy why he hadn't bothered to call Steve?" The answer was "no," as it usually is in these deals. So now "the union" becomes the bad guy in the piece, even though "the union" doesn't even know what the problem is about. Some people would rather keep stumbling around in the dark, expecting that sooner or later somebody else will light the candle. So here's my pitch. If you've got a gripe that's union related, you might consider bringing it to someone who can do something about it, rather that grousing at the water cooler. And if you, innocently trying to get a cool drink of water, become the passive recipient of the grousing, instead of stroking your chin while you pretend to listen, kindly ask the grouser if they've thought of doing anything proactive about their issue.
Posted by Kevin Koch at 12:03 AM