Employee perks: complaining in first class

I love sitting in first class on an airplane.  By policy, I travel coach to my speaking engagements.  Occasionally, I will earn enough upgrade certificates in my mileage program to upgrade myself to first class, even though I’m only paying for a coach ticket.  I feel blessed each time I get to sit there and would expect others feel the same way. But today I had a seatmate who complained about everything—the seats, the food, and the lack of choices on the menu.  Excuse me?  A lack of choices?  The people in coach are jealous that you even have food!  And this guy’s complaining about sitting in first class.  Are you that way?  Are you complaining in first class?  I give training seminars at an accounting firm in Denver that has received the Best Place to Work in Denver award—for three years in a row.  After the busy tax season has ended, the partners of the firm regularly hand out goodies: extra days of vacation, a $100 gift card, a video iPod, etc., but unbelievably, one woman in my seminar was complaining.  I couldn’t believe my ears!  I told her she had absolutely no idea how spoiled she was to work there and she should count her blessings.  Every time I’m there to teach, the firm orders food for the class participants, and there are free sodas, coffee, and tea every day.  A classic example of complaining in first class. What would happen if you stopped complaining about what you don’t have and start counting up all the things you do have?  At the University of California at Riverside, psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky used grant money from the National Institutes of Health to study different kinds of happiness boosters. One tool was the gratitude journal, a diary in which subjects write down things for which they are thankful. Lyubomirsky found that conscientiously counting your blessings once a week will significantly increase your overall satisfaction with life over a period of six weeks, whereas a control group that did not keep journals had no such gain.  At the University of California at David, psychologist Robert Emmons found that people who keep gratitude journals improve physical health, raise energy levels and report fewer physical symptoms. "The ones who benefited most tended to elaborate more and have a wider span of things they’re grateful for," he notes. So get out a piece of paper and write down all the wonderful things in your life.  Stop complaining in first class!  And maybe, just maybe, you’ll have more energy to devote to productive pursuits rather than negativity.



  1. Employee perks: complaining in first class

  2. Daily Report, Mar 13

    Team Collaboration Case Study: Project Blog … Bill discusses the use of a project blog for a hospital advisory panel, and the benefits experienced by the group during the 8 months of using the blog. “Panel members could now search

  3. Yes I agree with you. It is important to count your blessings. I know it has changed my life.