by Jan Meyer
"It's too cold.", "It's too hot.", "It's too windy.", "It's not windy enough.", "It's too cloudy.", "The sleet and hail stung my face.", "I don't want to be in the base.", "I don't want to float.", "I don't think that guy's good enough for this jump.", "He slid under me and took MY air.", "The other floater bumped me on exit and pushed me low.", "It's all political.", "He(She) got on because he's(she's) sleeping with her(him)."
What would skydiving be like without the Whiners? The Whiners complain about anything and everything. They point out exactly what is wrong in every accomplishment, who did what wrong, what grips were wrong, who stole air from who, why there isn't success, what should have been done, who shouldn't be allowed to swoop and on and on.
The Whiners have the ability to enhance skydives. Their eagle eyes spot imperfections in a dive. They point out to the jumper next to him, exactly the whys and wherefores about how terrible this dive will be. They know a better plan and can tell it to another jumper. These jumpers remain part of The Whiners because they never take actions to implement their know-how.
To avoid joining The Whiners, ask yourself:
What can I do to enhance the dive?
Can I give input during the dirt dive?
Was a jumper's problem caused by someone else?
What needs to be changed to make the dive better?
Does the whole group need a lecture or just a few jumpers?
Nothing is gained by complaining after the fact. Rights for complaining belong to those who contribute to the dive. Make a suggestion for an alternative method based on some problem.
Originally published in Sport Parachutist's Safety Journal V2,
#3 Jan/Feb. 1990.
Dedicated to enhancing sport parachuting safety by disseminating information about equipment, environments and human factors.