Why I Complain

When I am unsatisfied with something, I complain.  Put another way, I "report my dissatisfaction."  I try to make that report to someone who can do something about it.  I have been told that it’s pointless.  I am asked why I bother.  "Horton Hears A Who" is why I bother.  Let me explain.

In Dr. Seuss’ "Horton Hears A Who" the elephant Horton has befriended a population of Whos which lives on a dandelion.  They can’t be seen, but can be heard by Horton because of his massive ears.  Horton is persecuted because of his assertion that the Whos exist.  As a means of punishing him, his persecutors threaten to destroy the dandelion.  Horton informs the Whos of this and they frantically organize themselves and start chanting in unison, "We are here! We are here!" in the hopes that the rest of the outside world will hear them.  It’s not working, and the town is scoured to make sure that every last person is shouting.  A child is found who is not participating, and he is encouraged to do so.  He doesn’t know what to say, and when he is told that it doesn’t matter he settles on yelling a single word.  That word is "YOP!"  His "YOP!" combined with the rest of the Who populace’s exhortations finally breaches the sound "barrier" between the Whos and the outside world.  Horton’s persecutors can hear them and realize he’s not crazy and spare the Whos’ existence.

When I contact a company and tell them I think their product or service is deficient in some manner, I don’t expect them to change it just because *I* feel that way.  Unless I commissioned a unique product and paid for it to be a certain way, I have no right to that expectation.  Unless the problem I’m reporting is especially egregious, e.g., "The manhole cover at the bottom of the stairs exiting the Student Union at the School for the Blind is missing," I don’t necessarily expect anything to come of it. 

I make my report in the hopes that not only am I member of a group of people that share similar dissatisfaction, I also hope that A) the company/provider is keeping track of customer reports and B) I’m not just a Who…I’m the child (from the story) that makes the difference; that the company/provider has a threshold under which they won’t react and that my report is the "plus 1" that pushes them over that threshold.  It is often said that "one person can make a difference."  It doesn’t necessarily mean that that person is alone, however.  The better message is that there is strength in numbers.  I may be only one person, but I report in the hopes that I’m but one of MANY.

So THAT is why I complain.  YOP!!!