The Best Rivers of Complaint Flow North

In the most perfect atmosphere, the rivers of complaint flow laterally and/or “up” stream. Let me explain. Group dynamics are complex and ripe for dysfunction. When complaints arise, for example, there’s a gravitational force that can tend to drive the “flow” of these complaints downward organizationally. 

This is cancer and has fatal effects. 

Part of the fabric that holds groups together in the first place is their reason for being. I’m not certain, but from a distance it appears that the employees at Rivian, a local automotive start-up, have a reason for being that is some version of making remarkable electric vehicles. In their case, a mid-level manager who has a specific complaint about a part of the work there can choose to share that complaint in one or more of the following directions:

  1. Downward to subordinates with less authority to effect change and a resolution. 
  2. Laterally to colleagues with similar (in this case mid-level managerial) authority to effect change and a resolution. 
  3. Upward to those with more authority to effect change and a resolution. 

I find that most complaints have a requisite level of passion. If on a scale of 1-100, you had zero passion about the complaint you wouldn’t share it to begin with. Given that there is some attachment to the complaint to share it, I see that there are only two ways to effectively share this complaint: lateral or up in the chain. 

If the highest desire is change for the better, the choice is obvious. This, of course, begs the question:

Why do so many complaints get shared downstream?

The answer, as I see it, is two fold. One answer is unfortunate, but understandable. The other answer is dangerous and intolerable. Here’s my hypothesis:

  1. Lack of courage. It’s simply easier to participate in downward spiral conversations that a) don’t require skin in the game and/or b) won’t actually do anything but help complainers feel better about themselves. 
  2. A lust for destruction. A small minority of folks have so little self-image that they need external evidence of them in a positive light. What accomplishes this much more easily than improving one’s self is to destroy the image of others. 

If the spirit of complaint is genuine, then the complainer will see clearly that the best course of action to honor the complaint is to share it with those that can do something about it. This requires some courage. On the flip side of the same coin, people and organizations (like Rivian, for example) should be thirsty for complaints. These are insights that should be evaluated for believability and acted on swiftly. Not creating an atmosphere that is curious about complaints can only be saved (maybe) with whistleblower protection laws. 

No matter where you are and with whom you are relating, heed this advice. If you have a complaint, you can demonstrate your commitment to it by sharing it laterally and/or up stream for best results. No one needs another misery-loves-company party at the water cooler.

5/24/23 WOD

DEUCE Athletics GPP

Complete 4 rounds of the following:
4 Chained Push Press

Complete 3 rounds for quality:
8/8/8 Inverted Row Series
15 DB Overhead Tricep Extension
40-Yard KB Front Rack Carry

Every :90 for 4 rounds,
Complete the Following For Max Reps
40 Double Unders
Max KB Swings (71/53)
— Rest 2:00 —



Spend 10 minutes accumulating Cross Overs/Double/Triple Unders..

Complete 3 rounds for quality:
4-6 Weighted Chin Ups
12 1 1/4 DB Bench
15 Straight Arm Banded Lat Pull Downs

Complete 2 rounds for time of:
1 Mile Run
20 Burpee Pull Ups