How To Complain Diplomatically In English? Use These Smart English Phrases

It’s time to up your English level with some advanced English phrases and expressions. Most beginners are stuck at Basic English level and they stop learning better and advanced English phrases for daily English conversation. In this English speaking practice lesson with Michelle, learn some slang English words and phrases that you would come across at a work place or on the street when someone is complaining.

Complete Lesson Transcript : –

Have you been thinking lately about how should you complain at your office? If you’re not satisfied with your work and you want to tell your boss or tell the people around, what problems are you facing at your workplace, then I have some suggestions for you. I think if you are getting to do some extra work, you could tell them that “your co-workers are not pulling their weight around and that’s why you need to pick up the slack.” Well I think it was hard for you to understand this one right? Well the reason is because here I have used some slang words in English that are used to complain and these are some very smart ways to complain in English which you will often hear native speakers and advanced speakers of English use. So if you want to learn some interesting ways to complain, then make sure you watch this entire lesson with me, where today we are learning “smart English for complaining”, so my name is Michelle and keep watching. Okay so as you can see that we have a couple of sentences on the board okay, each one of these is a complaint that you can make at your workplace, so let’s start with the first one and try to understand how you can complain using this and for which situation, so this is, “my co-workers don’t pull their weight” okay… and “I’m always picking up the slack” okay, now I’m sure, that these two were very hard for you to understand because as I told you that these are slang words, okay? So what do we mean by ‘pulling their weight’? Of course they cannot pull their body weight, so what it means here is that they are not pulling up their work weight, which means that they are not doing their own share of work. So when somebody is not doing their own share of work, they are not pulling their weight. So you could say that John I think you need to pull your weight, otherwise I will have to complain about you to the boss. Which means that you need to do your own share of work. So let’s write that here, ‘pull their weight’ means do their share of work. Alright, now let’s look at the next one, ‘I’m always picking up the slack’, what do we mean by picking up the slack? So picking up means that you’re on the ground, picking up something and here, ‘slack’ here means that you’re always doing the extra work. So ‘picking up the slack’ means, to do the extra work, okay? Now think about this, if your co-workers don’t do the work that’s assigned to them, then who will do it? Most probably all that work will fall back on you and you will have to do extra work. So in such a situation if you are doing extra work at your workplace and you want to tell that to your boss or to somebody else you could say that, “I’m having a really tough time, I’ve got no time for myself because I’ve been picking up the slack at work”… which means that I’m doing a lot of extra work which I am not supposed to do. So if this is your situation then you have learned two slang expressions to use if you are not satisfied at your workplace. Okay now with this we move to the second sentence that you can use to complain at your workplace… “I can’t stand the office politics” okay, “It seems like kissing up”… can we do that? Oh! “Kissing up to the people” okay “who called the shots is the only way to move up the ranks” okay, this seems very interesting, we have got ‘politics’, we have got ‘kissing’, we’ve got ‘shots’ and the ‘ranks’… so what do all these expressions mean? Well if you want to complain at your workplace, if you are in such a situation where you need to please some people at work or you need to do some activities to make them happy, then you’re in this situation. So let me decode it for you, ‘I can’t stand the office politics’, so office politics is a situation where you, where there are people who use their position to influence others, as in if you have a supervisor, just because he’s a supervisor he might ask you to pick up the slack, which means the work that he is supposed to do, he might give you some responsibility so that he can be free of it. And such people create the office politics, which means that they use their position to dominate others, okay? Office politics means to use position to dominate others. Okay now with this let’s see what does this complain say further, ‘I can’t stand the office politics’ so possibly this person has other people around them who is you know asking them to do a lot of work and using their position to dominate him or her… ‘It seems like kissing up to the people’, okay so kissing, we all know what kissing is, but how would you kiss to the people in the office? Kissing up to the people in the office means, pleasing people okay which means to do things for them that make them happy. So if your supervisor expects you to get a coffee, you go and get it for them. If they want you to share your lunch, you share your lunch with them. If they call you at night and ask you for some extra favour for the next day, like maybe you know designing a PowerPoint presentation, you do it for them and why would you do it? So that you can be in their good books, okay? So kissing up to the people means to try to be in someone’s good books, okay? Try to be in someone’s good books. So it seems like, ‘kissing up to the people who call the shots’, okay ‘call the shots’ are the people who make the important decisions, okay? Calling the shots means those people who make the important decisions at work. So making important decisions is called, calling the shots. So what the person is trying to say here is that it seems like trying to be in someone’s good books who makes important decisions is the only way to move up the ranks, now moving up the ranks means getting a better rank which means to get a better position at work. To get a better position and you could also say ‘to move up the ladder’ which has the same meaning as moving up the rank. So if you are having a hard time at your workplace because of the office politics as in people dominating you and you have to please people to be in their good books because they take important decisions and you don’t like to do that because that’s the only way to get a better position then maybe you need to quit because you’re not enjoying your workplace and you have to face a lot of office politics. So this is another way to complain at your workplace and now let’s move to the next one, “my boss loves to micromanage and I can’t do my best work when she is constantly breathing down my neck.” okay now this is pretty interesting, do you know the meaning of micro? Micro means very, very tiny, okay? Tiny. And managed means to handle something. Okay so my boss loves to tiny handling? No! What it actually means is that your boss likes to see all the details of what you are doing. Okay so if you are making a file they want to stay updated about the file that you’re making. If you are calling some clients they want to know which clients have you called and how has the deal proceeded. So these are those kind of bosses who don’t like to just sit up there and you know give activities, you do this, you do that but these are those bosses who like to find out what their employees are doing. So if you have a boss like that you can say that my boss loves to micromanage and I can do my best work which means you can’t perform your best when she is or he is constantly breathing down your neck. Okay just imagine this feeling, think of yourself in a public place okay and you have this person standing behind you and you can almost feel their breath on your neck, isn’t that so terrible? Such a strange feeling to have someone breathing at your neck? Well if you work with the person who likes to micromanage then that person is breathing down your neck and if you have a boss like that you can say that, “it’s so unpleasant to have a boss who’s constantly breathing down your neck” which means who is constantly looking at what you are doing, okay? So tiny handling means to you know see all the details and breathing down the neck also has a similar meaning which means to see the details. Alright so if you have a boss like that who likes to see all the details and all the work that you’re doing and makes it very uncomfortable for you to be at your workplace then you can use this to complain about that situation. Okay now the next one we have is “the job itself is rewarding”. Okay rewarding “but the salary and benefits leave a lot to be desired” okay now this is very interesting because we have two expressions the first is ‘rewarding’ so in this case somebody thinks that their job is actually good okay rewarding comes from the word reward which means you know a prize. So if you like your job and if you’re happy if you’re satisfied and you feel good at your job you’ll say that it’s rewarding. For example I think content writing is financially very rewarding, which means it pays you very well, right? So this way you can use rewarding which means for a good job or which pays you well, for a good job which is very satisfactory. But the salary and benefits leave a lot to be desired. So ‘a lot to be desired’ means unsatisfactory, okay? Unsatisfactory. Okay so this person thinks that their job is good, they like to go to work, they enjoy their work but the problem is that the salary is unsatisfactory, that’s why they have used a lot to be desired. So when something is unsatisfactory you use this phrase to describe it. For example if you don’t like someone’s cooking, you could say that “Oh! Maggie’s cooking it leaves a lot to be desired” which means that it’s not good, it’s not satisfactory, I don’t like the food she cooks, okay and the same way at your workplace if your job does not make you happy you know, then you can say that it leaves a lot to be desired because it does not give you a good salary, okay? So this is how you can use this phrase to see if your job is nice you’re enjoying your work but you don’t get enough salary, then you can use this expression to complain about it or to talk about it. Now with this we come to the last expression and the last sentence for the day and that is, “I feel like I am spread too thin” okay spread too thin “but every time I wrap up one project I’m given more to be done yesterday” okay, now this also seems to be very interesting, when are you spread too thin? Okay think of a jam, that you spread on the bread and you spread it so thin like the thinnest layer and you keep pressing it in okay that’s almost your situation when you’re at your workplace and you’re loaded with work. So if you have too much work to do you’ll say that, “I am spread too thin these days so I’m gonna quit” which means that you have too much work to do. So I’m spread too thin means too much work to do. ‘But every time I wrap up…’ so here wrap up means complete, so every time I complete one project, I’m given one more to do because you have so much work to do. So wrap up means complete. Now what’s interesting in this sentence is, “I wrap up one project and I’m given more to be done yesterday”, how can you be given a new project today which you need to have done yesterday? Is it possible that you’re given the project today and you were supposed to do it yesterday? Well this doesn’t make sense because it’s an expression and what it means here is that the project needs to be completed urgently. So if your boss gives you a project which you need to finish within half an hour that’s when the project needs to be done yesterday which means that it needs to be done urgently. So yesterday here means urgently and you could say that I often get projects which I am supposed to complete yesterday. Of course this means that the ones that you are supposed to complete on an urgent basis and submit immediately. Okay so this last expression will be used when you have a lot of work to do at your workplace and it’s getting very hard for you to manage. Okay so these are different situations in which you can use these sentences to complain at your workplace about the problem you’re facing. I hope these slang expressions were useful for you and that you actually use them when you go to work next. So thank you so much for tuning in, come back for more lessons with me, this is Michelle signing off, bye-bye

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