The Whiner's Room

Seth Godin writes:

When my friend Elly taught in a middle school, he never hung out in the teacher's room. He told me he couldn't bear the badmouthing of students, the whining and the blaming.

Of course, not all teachers are like this. In fact, most of them aren't.

Most of you, dear readers, can identify. Hopefully with hearing the carping. Possibly with doing the carping.

One year, while dialing principals to check up on how our MTR alums were doing, we got some scary feedback: one of our alums had become an extremely whiny teacher. It was an outlier, but we felt terrible about it.

Is kvetching a teacher thing? Of course not, Godin writes.

And of course, trolling isn't reserved to the teacher's room.

Just about every organization, every online service, every product and every element of our culture now has chat rooms and forums devoted to a few people looking for something to complain about. Some of them even do it on television.

The fascinating truth is this: the people in these forums aren't doing their best work. They rarely identify useful feedback or pinpoint elements that can be changed productively either.

In fact, if you solved whatever problem they're whining about, they wouldn't suddenly become enthusiastic contributors. No, they're just wallowing in the negative ions, enjoying the support of a few others as they dish about what's holding them back.

It pays no dividends to go looking for useful insight from these folks. Go make something great instead.

Good advice. Godin is an intriguing (and popular) thinker on all sorts of matters. Bookmark him.