Complaining is easy, but complaining well is not. Few people understand this better than Hampstead resident Amy Fish, who is a busy working mom of three and an ombudsman at Concordia University. She’s the brains behind the new title I Wanted Fries With That – How To Ask For What You Want And Get What You Need, a book that delves into the art of effective complaining. This is her second book on the subject matter.
“I’ve been working in complaints for years and after dealing with thousands and thousands of complaints, I found that some are heard based on the delivery and how they’re presented and not on their merit,” she said. “I want to even the playing field so everyone’s complaint has a fair chance to be heard.”
The book is full of tips and tricks everybody can use when they have to complain, whether it’s something small like receiving the wrong food order, or something big like asking for fair break-time from an employer. Because she drew on many of her own experiences doing public speaking about complaining, as well as raising a family, Fish called this book a memoire/self-help hybrid. “You meet my family, I talk about my community, and I talk about Montreal. There are a lot of things in it that are related to me,” she explained.
Some of the topics she touches upon in her book include addressing employees who have bad breath, having a partner who won’t put their cell phone down, and what to do if you see someone parking in a handicapped spot.
“Complaining is the only way to achieve change, so it’s important to complain and make sure your voice is heard, otherwise, we won’t be able to change anything,” Fish said. “Speak up and be clear about your needs and wants, because I believe that’s the way to change the world. You’re not only complaining for yourself but for everybody in line behind you.”
I Wanted Fries With That is available at all major and independent bookstores or through Fish’s website www.amyfishwrites.com. A ticketed book launch will take place at the Jewish Public Library on Thursday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. Tickets are available through Eventbrite.ca