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July 9, 2012 / mike54martin

Little Miss Complaints and Mr. Whiner

I once had a colleague who never had a good plane ride, never had a great meal, and never liked any hotel room she stayed in. Ever. I know because I heard about it the next day.  The funny thing is that I was on the same plane, which was fine, ate at the same restaurant and had a very nice meal, and my hotel room was clean and comfortable. Little Miss Complaints and her counterpart and constant companion, Mr. Whiner, never met a good situation that they couldn’t make worse.

Somehow Little Miss Complaints would find the black lining in a silver cloud and if there was nothing to complain about today, there was always yesterday to pick over again. She also latched on to and even sought out other complainers to go through their miseries together. While many of us would spend late nights in hotel bars laughing about the regular misfortunes of constant travel, a small group of whiners and complainers could always be found in a quiet corner being quite content to be miserable.

Little Miss Complaints and Mr. Whiner at the office are busy reciting a whirlwind of not, or never good enough situations. The photocopier, the printer, the telephone system, the benefits, the hours, the pay, oh my God, talking about salaries was good for a complete lunch. None were satisfactory to meet their high standards or requirements. Complaints were constant and everything was up for its share of critique. The weather, diseases or ailments, including those that they were never going to get, were always at the forefront of his mind and her lips.

Worst of all was to have Little Miss Complaints or Mr. Whiner as your supervisor. Not only did you have to endure their stream of complaint consciousness but you also had the pleasure of having your work and performance reviewed by a faux perfectionist. A real perfectionist would set a standard of excellence and help you to achieve the same level. These guys offered constant criticism with no encouragement or possibility of success. The best hope is that they might envelope themselves into a cloud of self-pity and ignore you. Otherwise prepare to meet the supreme nit-picker.

(Excerpted from “Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People” by Mike Martin. Available at,, and

This post first appeared on my blog at

Mike Martin is a freelance writer and the author of The Walker on the Cape



Leave a Comment
  1. lifeandleisure / Jul 10 2012 2:58 pm

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of people like this, Martin. Surprising as it may seem, many of these people purposely go out of their way to be miserable because they get some kind of satisfaction when they get empathy and sympathy from others.

    • mike54martin / Jul 10 2012 3:00 pm

      I agree. This is a choice that they make. That’s what makes them Difficult People.

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