Why its OK to complain about a race

Hey, self-appointed Complaint Police. Here’s an idea. Why don’t you just stop complaining about complaints?

After every race, it seems, there are a few (or more than a few) people who take to Facebook, Twitter etc to voice their complaints about some aspect of the race.

It doesn’t really matter what they’re complaining about. It could be the marshals, the aid-stations, the organization or even the weather. –

There’s one thing you can rely on…

Some bleeding-heart is going to pipe up about how privileged we are to be running, how nobody has the right to complain when people volunteer their time, and that really, we should be focusing on the positive and not dwelling on the negatives.

I’d like to, respectfully, tell those virtue-signalling (look how appreciate, considerate and positive I am) show-offs just where to stick it.

Of course, people have a right to complain about a race. They have a right to complain about anything they like. It’s called freedom of speech.

And just as an aside, by complaining about one aspect of a race, you are not automatically condemning the entire event, nor are you ignoring the effort put into staging it.

Things don’t just magically get better. If nobody complains, then nothing changes, the event organizers pat each other on the back and move forward thinking their event was a rollicking great success when, actually, it had major issues.

Also, the idea that one cannot complain about volunteers is patent nonsense. Their volunteer status does not make them immune from making mistakes, having bad attitudes or generally f**ing things up. Once again, how are they expected to do better if people simply ignore it when they get things wrong?

Yes, its good to be appreciative of the work that goes into staging a race. But a lot of the time you are also paying a fair bit of money, and as such, the race is a service, a paid service.

And if I’m paying for a service I darn well have a right to expect it to meet certain standards.

Just to make it clear, for the complain-about-complainers that just don’t get it…

Two things can be true at the same time. One can have real issues and problems with an event, issues that make one annoyed and angry AND at the same time have enjoyed the event and appreciated the hard work put in.

Telling people not to complain is also patronizing in the extreme. It’s saying that in your judgement, this person’s complaint does not warrant expression and they obviously do not have the sense of perspective needed to keep it to themselves.
Unlike you, they do not see the greater picture, and how petty their little concerns are.

<irony>So next time a complaint makes you feel the urge to jump on your high horse and tell other people how they should be behaving, just suck it up and let them have their say.</irony>


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