Complaints By Tina

Complaints By Tina

My new business card.

I’ve always been a nonconfrontational person. It’s just my nature. I’d rather sit through three red lights in a row than beep my horn at the driver in front of me who’s too busy texting to notice the light is green. However, it’s also my nature to be passive-aggressive. So while I may not beep, I will take down the driver’s license-plate number and call it into the police.

Being that I’m passive-aggressive, but also filled with a healthy sense of entitlement, I’m great at complaining. I just won’t do it in person. For two reasons: 1) I’m a coward, and 2) I’m much better on paper.

Witticisms, insults, persuasive arguments—I can’t produce these on the fly. I need time to formulate these things in my head before letting them loose in the world. When face-to-face with another human being with whom I have a dispute, I either lose my ability to speak or cry. Usually both. So over the years, I’ve become skilled in the art of complaint writing. Some may call it a gift. I do.

My husband used to hate my gift. But his attitude changed pretty quickly when we started getting free shit. Turns out, he likes receiving complimentary drinks and gift cards for subpar service at restaurants. He also enjoys getting free nights at hotels, which is surprisingly easy to do when you find discarded toenails on your suite’s bathroom floor — and complain to the right person. (Typically a manager or someone higher up the food chain.) We once got an entire weekend comped at an upscale resort after I complained about a rude front desk clerk and slow service at the resort’s restaurant.

During a flight to Connecticut last fall, I noticed a page in the book I was reading was wet. I looked up and found the ceiling directly above my head was leaking. The plane wasn’t full, so I was able to switch my seat, but not before I took a photo of the leak. Of course, I emailed the airline as soon as I got home. An hour later, I had myself 60,000 sky miles and $200.

The reason I complain isn’t so much because I want free stuff—although it’s a nice perk—or because I’m a jerk, although that can’t be ruled out. I complain because I work hard for my money (or I did before I lost my job) and expect to get what I pay for, quality-wise.

Some may say that people who complain have nothing better to do with their time. I think it’s just the opposite. I complain because my time is valuable. It’s a big inconvenience when I have to change rooms at a hotel, switch seats on a plane, or drive to the mall to return a brand-new toaster because it doesn’t work. In these cases, complaining is not superfluous, it’s necessary. For what defense does the consumer have against big corporations but to use her voice to complain? We don’t want to be sheep, do we? We want to be mighty oxen! Or wolves! Or some other animal that intimidates.

Feeling Entitled? Call Tina!

Being a professional complainer isn’t easy. You have to be tenacious. You have to be articulate. You have to be willing to make empty threats. In short, you have to be a bigger asshole than the assholes you’re dealing with. And most of all, you have to be willing to wait—on-hold, on-line, sometimes for hours. Complaining at this level isn’t for everyone. That’s where my new business idea comes in …

Complaints by Tina (Feeling entitled? Call Tina!) offers the services of a professional complainer, including, but not limited to, strongly worded emails, social media trolling and photography services (In case you need visual documentation to serve as evidence.)

I write the emails, wait on hold, and make it rain gift cards, vouchers and coupons, so you don’t have to!

I’ll let you all know when I’m up and running.



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