So, I work in an industry with a lot of physical challenges (think: construction). Unbearable hot summers, cold winters, unstable job opportunities and not-fair pay. I am fortunate to be senior enough not to suffer physically from the demands of the industry.However, all my friends, siblings, etc. complain CONSTANTLY about going back to work. They all work in fancy offices with free hot drinks, perfect ambient temperature and options for lunch.
My point is, you do have a good point about counting one’s blessings — but it will land badly if you make it a suffering contest with you as sole arbiter of what constitutes being blessed. You’re also in social peril when you speak from a place of anger that you yourself don’t fully understand — because then all kinds of verbal surprises come out. I can’t tell you why white-collar complaints make you “SO mad,” for obvious reasons, but I’m confident you know enough to figure it out.
Enjoying Carolyn Hax’s advice? There’s more where that came from. Sign up for her newsletter so you don’t miss a column. Is entitlement, for example, your pet peeve? Were people dismissive of your experience as you climbed the ranks to relative comfort? Are you angry at yourself for wasting your precious and finite social minutes on soft, self-pitying bores? Is this proxy anger for something else? You’re the one who’s upset, so it’s on you, not the complainers, to fix it. headtopics.com
I suspect tracing your anger flares to their origin will help you frame some healthier responses — humor, shared experiences, empathy, sincere invitations to a larger discussion or just some civil distance from the more persistent whiners. Whatever you settle on, it’ll be reasoned and authentic — which always beats reflexive and high-horsey, no matter how tempting that is.