Semi-Charmed Life


Bitching as a Form of Bonding

A few weeks ago someone wondered aloud (via fb status) why it seems that everyone in her profession seems to hate their job. At least that's what it seemed to her, via fb newsfeed anyway (how else?). I've experienced the same thing in my office. People griping to each other about work and just generally giving off the impression that this is the last place they want to be.

Last week, a good friend of mine proposed to his girlfriend. I'm very happy for the two of them and I think they will be fantastic Together (with a capital T!). My friend has observed though, that every married man he knows jokingly tells him "Don't do it!" more often than they say "Congratulations." I'm pretty sure this has not changed his feelings on his own situation, but he wondered what about marriage is that bad for other people. I told him I think guys just say it in jest but he thinks there must be some deeper reason for why so many men joke about how shitty the married life is.

In both the work and marriage situations, I told my friends that it really is not a case of people being unhappy. I think complaining about major institutions (e.g. corporate institution, marriage institution) makes for good watercooler conversation because it's something that many people can relate to. Griping about something we have in common is a form of bonding, and what better things to bitch about than work and marriage? I'm not saying there isn't any truth to what people say. Yes, they may genuinely find some things about their work or their marriage that sucks, but when people complain about it I think it's more to shoot the shit and to try and get a few laughs as opposed to genuine disdain.

Of course, you may really know someone who complains about their job or marriage that actually does hate his or her job/marriage. In which case . . . what are you doing talking to such a negative nancy anyway?

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