Criticism goes only so far

Print Article

The Complaint Department is now open.

Heck, the Complaint Department is always open.

But what if you’re looking for the Compliment Department? Where’s that, and what are its hours?

Over time, people in the line of public service fire typically get used to the darts and rotten tomatoes hurled their way by impatient, indignant customers. Even when the complainants might be justified, their messages are too often delivered with unnecessary venom or disrespect. But that’s the world we live in, and until everyone wins the lottery and a cure for pain and sorrow is discovered, it probably will remain that way.

Compliments, on the other hand, are far more rare, although we would argue that passing along sincere compliments is even more satisfying to the complimenter than complaining is to the complainer.

So why is this today’s hot topic? Because of an experience shared by a Coeur d’Alene citizen this week.

The person witnessed a difficult situation that he felt was handled extremely well by two Coeur d’Alene Police officers. The citizen later went to the police station on Schreiber Way. His story goes like this:

“I wanted to fill out a comment form to say thank you and compliment the officers’ professionalism, but they have no mechanism for that. The officer at the window told me no one has ever come in for that so she did not know how to handle it.”

After a little more communication and effort, the compliment was taken down and put into the daily duty report, the citizen said. He was satisfied. We’re not.

Understanding that grease gravitates to squeaky wheels, we call upon the public to be more appreciative and expressive toward the wheels that spin silently. Behind such wheels is a person or people performing their jobs superbly. When you catch a public servant in the act of rendering excellent public service, why not say something to her or him? Better still, make sure his or her supervisors know.

What have we to lose? Low morale and inefficiency, perhaps. On the other side of the ledger, genuinely felt and expressed compliments can be contagious. Excellence can become the norm.

So if you don’t have a Compliment Department in your organization, please, consider this a complaint wrapped in velvet.

• • •

“If we had no faults we should not take so much pleasure in noting those of others.”

— François de La Rochefoucauld

Print Article

Read More Editorial

After the party, then what?

February 18, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Junior is graduating preschool. Party! Missy is graduating kindergarten. Party! Ralphy is graduating fifth grade. Party! Cody is graduating middle school. Party! Caprice is graduating high sc...


Read More

It’s elementary: Cd’A schools solve problem

February 16, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press A., break a campaign promise or B., fail to uphold your fiduciary responsibilities. For Coeur d’Alene School District officials, it was going to be one or the other in deciding where to build a new ...


Read More

Awakened by the ‘e’ word’s warning

February 14, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Innocent until proven guilty. Let’s say that again: Innocent until proven guilty. For the record, the executive director of a local nonprofit that uses taxpayer funds, North Idaho Housing Coalition...


Read More

Here’s your state payroll, suckers

February 11, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press So you thought Gov. Clement Leroy Otter cashed fat paychecks, did you? Well, most Idahoans would gladly trade places in the bank line with Butch. The state’s chief exec earns $126,302 annually. How...


Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2018 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy