Working on it or Whining about it?
Identifying a problem within a system or process can be a valuable observation. It can lead to increased productivity, increased company profits, and happier more loyal customers.
Notice that I said it can lead to those positive outcomes — there is no guarantee that it will.
Once a problem has been identified, there is a huge difference between whining about a problem and working to resolve it.
If your office hours are 8am to 5pm and you notice customers are calling at 5:01pm and all the customer service people are ignoring the ringing phone in order to rush to the door and head home, you’ve identified a valuable problem to solve.
BUT… if you’re just complaining to your boss or lamenting to your spouse at home about “all those slackers” you work with and “can you believe what they did today??” then you’re just whining about the problem and doing nothing to resolve it.
However… if you hear the office phone ring at 5:01pm while everyone is racing to the parking lot and you answer. the. damn. phone. Well, now you’re working on the problem!
It doesn’t matter if answering the phone is part of your official job description or not — you’re cashing your paycheck, aren’t you? Your boss’ signature might be on the check, but that money doesn’t come directly from your boss.
The money you deposit in your checking account (the money you use to pay your mortgage and buy your groceries and put gas in your car) comes from your customers.
Especially the ones who call the office at 5:01pm.
You might want to answer the phone and say “Thanks for calling — I appreciate you buying me dinner last night!”