Knockers, whiners & whingers

I used to get told “shut up you negative bastard” – because I can play the devils advocate pretty well. Not everybody can see the consequences of decisions or actions – and when I can, and tell the bad news, there are many who don’t want to hear it.

HOWEVER – this approach has a few benefits. A thought experiment or two can lead to the conclusion that something is simply not worth doing because the purported benefits won’t be seen. At the same time though, such analysis needs to be tempered with some understanding of risk-taking – and a willingness to let people make the odd mistake or two – this being one of the best ways of learning.

So at my work in technology development, I try to be as accommodating as I can of odd ideas and wierd foibles. After all, that’s how so many innovative things come about, and besides, I do it myself often enough. :)

But what I get tired of is the people who are the never-ending knockers, whiners, and whingers. Those who never have a good thing to say about any idea, method or approach.

It gets hard to handle those with the attitudes of don’t-bother-somebody-else-will-do-it-better, or oh-its-too-hard-and-we-are-not-smart-enough, or we-can’t-do-that-there-is-too-much-risk, and on and on.

You know the type. Oxygen Thieves

I can think of many examples, but the one that really stands out is the central corporate technology group, who told me that some of our newly developed technology is inadequate because it misses a current trendy new feature. (Mind you, they don’t SELL anything, the part of the company I’m with does.) When I said we could add this if we thought there was a need, they poo-poo’d this with “I don’t think so, it would be very very difficult and far too hard to do.” Well guess what suckers…. A couple of us got together and we’ve done it. And we’ve got 2 patent applications out of it as well. Go suck on that, whiners.

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t”, but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he tried.
So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing,
That couldn’t be done and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it”;
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you, one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin
Just take off your coat and go to it.
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

- Edgar A. Guest

One Comment

Great poem – thanks for posting it!

Comment by Daniel | October 3rd, 2006 9:22 am | Permalink

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