For the first 40 or so years of my life, I didn’t realize I was a writer. I knew that I liked to write and that I was good at it but I thought that being a writer was some magical thing like being the Loch Ness Monster or a twinkly fairy. Since no one visited me at night and anointed me with any kind of oil, I figured I probably wasn’t a writer.
I had a bunch of different jobs that I didn’t care about one way or the other. I did part of a PhD in Industrial Engineering. I dropped out to have my first kid. I moved to Minneapolis with my husband and had a second kid, and got a job at the American Academy of Neurology because I applied to an ad I saw in the paper. I knew I would get the job because their offices were on Montreal Street (in St. Paul, Minnesota) and I’m from Montreal (in Quebec, Canada), so I thought the coincidence was a sign, which it was.
We moved back to Montreal, I worked at more blah blah jobs, including occasionally helping my chef friend teach cooking at Loblaw’s, which was really fun and I even loved washing all the dishes.
Then my husband started his own company leasing dishwashers to restaurants and I worked in the office even though I had no idea what a purchase order was and would not know a receivable if it bit me in the payable.
(We’re almost at the bliss part, hang on).
One day I told him the job was outgrowing me and I would look around for something else, but given my sporadic track record it would no doubt take me months to find the right fit.
The next day I was putting down newspaper on the dining room table so my kids could paint. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a job as an Ombudsman at a Jewish Nursing Home. They needed someone with a degree in Health Admin (check), who spoke French (check) and had a familiarity with the Jewish Community (check check). It practically had a picture of me. I sent in my CV, got an interview and had the job a few hours later.
I loved it immediately.
I enjoyed listening to people complain because I like listening to people talk, but also because sometimes I was able to help them sort out their issues. And after months of this, I realized that some people are better complainers than others. So, to level the playing field, I need to teach the less-good complainers how to be better complainers.
And, there you have it — that’s my bliss.
Once I started writing about how to complain effectively, I realized that I am a writer, but a writer with a message. I need to write about complaining in the best possible way so that every single one of us can be better at asking for what we want and getting what we need.
Like with so many blissful situations, it took a lot of different hoops to get here, but I am so happy I did. I am proud and humbled at the same time to announce to you the culmination of all these hoops: This fall, my new book will be coming out “I Wanted Fries With That: How to Ask for What You Want and Get What You Need”. Read it and you’ll see — complaining can bring you bliss.