I once worked on a team with a woman who complained constantly. Every day was a new complaint.

She thought her organization ideas were superior to those we were using. That she'd be a better manager than our boss. That we were spending our budget on the wrong things. That our supervisors should solicit feedback from the team before making decisions.

It was incredibly annoying and damaged team morale. Actually, it caused the team to fragment into "her staff" and "the boss' staff." This was not a good thing, as it meant team feedback followed two different (biased) channels to the top and, often, group projects immediately devolved into an us-vs-them situation.

One day, our boss tried to change things. She swallowed her pride and, rather than making a call on her own, brought it to the team for a vote in the hopes that democratic participation would solve much of the disagreement.

Everyone voted - except for the complainer. Our vote was unanimous, and we continued to move on with our work week. Line staff kept holding the lines with their positions, our boss kept pulling the rope with her administrative tasks, and our complainer kept complaining.

I asked her one day why she complained so much. Why she disagreed, often it seemed just for the sake of disagreement. Why she disagreed but still abstained from a vote where her direct feedback had been explicitly solicited.

"No one asked me."

"Actually, they did. By show of hands, we asked what you thought and you said voting was childless and a waste of time."

"Well, asking my opinion through a vote isn't really asking my opinion."

"Yes it is. We're asking you to act rather than just complain about the way everyone else is acting. Words are cheap."

"I don't like you very much either."

Last night was the 2014 midterm election. There were a lot of issues on the ballot - issues everyone spent a fair amount of time arguing over and complaining about before the election. Now, we've asked the community to act rather than just talk, and the majority has selected the way they want the laws and the candidate pools to go.

If you voted and won, you have the right to change your mind later, apologize, and try to make the world a better place.

If you voted and lost, you have the right to continue telling us why we were wrong to vote the way we did and try to convince us otherwise.

If you intentionally abstained from voting you ignored your peers explicitly asking for your opinion. This means we don't want to keep hearing complaints from you in the future, because you obviously don't care enough to make a change.