The Fine Art Of Not Complaining

When was the last time you made a complaint? Moaned? Yes. Swore a lot? Yes. Actually got off your arse and wrote a letter? Hell no. Why? Because we’re a generation of non complainers.
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Ever wondered what’s the best way not to make a complaint, well, look no further, I’ve been not complaining for years now. I’m pretty much an expert. It’s one of my favourite pastimes. I go somewhere, someone inevitably does their job badly, I have a tantrum about it and then I do nothing. That’s right. Nothing. It’s not just me either I come from a generation of people who like to moan a lot. Hell. I have whole friendships based about the art of not complaining. We will sit and have hours upon hours worth of conversations about what we would do if we actually did complain. We will draft letters out loud and imagine the amazing day when we don't complain to a crisp company or the such like and they don't send us vouchers for loads of free crisps.

If you would like to be skilled in the art of not complaining you can follow these simple steps:

Step 1. Scowl. A lot.

This is a pre-cursor to the complaint you are not about to make. You should spend approximately 15 minutes glaring, slitty eyed at the restaurant manager/shop assistant/bus driver who has in some way offended you with their poor work manship. This should be interjected with some under the breath swearing “Call that a fucking side salad”, “No you twat I don’t want your cunting iPod insurance”, sometimes throwing in some personal insults “Has this twat even washed this year” - it doesn't matter if he/she smells or not you say it anyway, “They’re clearly only here to fill the shops equal opportunities quota” Pride? Who cares, they already know you're a cunt and it’s not like they’re ever going to hear from you again.

Step 2.Threats of complaint

“I’m going to complain I am, that’s right YOU HEARD MEEEEE, I’m going to make a massive complaint, it’s going to be the biggest complaint you have ever had, you will regret the day you ever sold me that substandard penny sweet”. You will then ask for their name, their managers name, the name of the company (you’ve been too busy threatening to remember anything, your brain is awash with the thrill of ‘getting your own back’). You take addresses, phone numbers, business cards, they will probably have to lend you a bit of paper because the note pad you carry around just for this kind of occasion is full of the names and addresses of other companies you haven’t yet got around to complaining about.

Step 3. Rant on Twitter/Facebook/Send out a few texts

That will show them. At least one of your friends will take heed in your “DON’T EVER EAT AT [INSERT NAME OF SHIT RESTAURANT] AGAIN" status. Or not. This will probably just make people want to complain about you. You may notice your followers going down or worse, your actual friends. You will become that person who always moans about stuff but never actually does something about it. You won’t care though you will be too busy jotting notes into your blackberry about the complaint you're not making. You will bullet point to save time: Dirty uniform. Overcharged. Called me Oliver instead of Olivia.

Step 4. Talk about how much of a better job you could have done.

You may want to combine this with step 3 by, for example, writing a Facebook status that says: “DON’T EVER EAT AT [INSERT NAME OF SHIT RESTAURANT] AGAIN, EVEN I COULD COOK A BETTER [INSERT NAME OF OFFENDING FOOD]”. You will recall the time that you were a shop assistant/waitress/telesales person and spend at least 2 hours recounting just why it was you did an amazing job of it. People will, of course, have heard these stories before the last time you didn’t complain about something but you won’t let that stop you. All sentences will start with the phrase “I just don’t understand how some people can be so incompetent, I would never...”. You may even go so far as to suggest you should get a raise because you are clearly a more skilled employee than 80% of the population, in fact you’ll definitely say this, but hopefully not to your boss.

Step 5. Do sweet FA

Sure you will think about doing something. You will think about it possibly more than you have ever thought about anything in your whole life but actually doing it? No. This is NOT how not complaining works. I mean where else are you going your stuffy sense of indignation from. That bitter air of a person couldn’t quite be bothered to pick themselves up and do something about the thing that pissed you off so much. You will almost enjoy the not complaining. You will of course blame the offending party "Well if I complained they would probably just ignore it because they are so shit why would I want their shitty free crisps anyway, I don't even like them, I'm not wasting a postage stamp on that bollocks". You will then sit unashamedly sulking until the next person pisses you off when you will start the entire process again.

The Top 5 Complaints I Never Made

The Aberdeen Angus Steak House

The only restaurant I have ever walked out of, if you can call it that. They served me frozen garlic butter and a medium steak that was supposed to be rare. I called them cunts after they insisted I pay for my Diet Coke. I still have their head office details somewhere...


It was 2008 and I'd just walked out on a two year relationship when they send me a phone bill for £300. It wasn't correct, or so I keep telling myself. I told them they were the most incompetetant bunch of wanktards I have ever experienced and three months later my Mum paid it off.

Ludlow Thompson

They took a £700 deposit from me for a property they were still advertising. I printed off information, I found they had broken the law, I shouted at "Tommy" the over hair gelled scouser who had the misfortune of dealing with me, then I sat back and did nothing.


This isn't really a complaint to anyone inparticular or about anyone inparticular but every time I'm stuck on the tube for 2 minutes longer than I should be, or find the station I need to go to inexplicably closed, I vow to write to Boris Johnson direct. IT'S JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

Remedies Nightclub, Falmouth

Yes I was 17, yes I shouldn't have been drinking, no I shouldn't have fallen all the way down the stairs, yes I should have found a better place to be sick that the steps at the entrance but regardless, that bouncer still shouldn't have manhandled me out of the club like that. He could lose his license you know. Or something.

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