Look, lets be honest. Everyone gripes about their work. I've done it, many more before and after me will gripe about their work. But the manner in which you do so is important. One misstep and a contractor may no longer call you, or a colleague may no longer recommend you for work. So here are my rules to complaining about work:
Number One - Never. Ever. Complain on social media. Anything negative you've written on any social media platform will eventually come back to haunt you. Just don't do it. My mother told me if I have nothing nice to say don't say anything at all. Follow this to the letter. I'm going to go triple check my Twitter now, pretty sure I still have some skeletons hiding in there.
Number Two - In regards to writing, do not put anything in writing you don't intend to back up 100%. Be it in emails, text, various messenger applications, or carrier pigeons. That can be turned against you. I've seen some nasty private text conversations outed on social media.
Number Three - If you're new somewhere, keep your mouth shut unless asked a question. Last thing you want to do is put your foot in your mouth. You don't want to be playing a gig, diss Kenny G only to find out the drummer on your gig was his drummer. Everyone knows everyone in your scene. Better to get the job done, make a little small talk and not rock the boat. If you get cornered and someone really wants your opinion, tell them you don't know that person, haven't encountered that situation, or you were busy making stone soup that night. Find a polite way to change the subject without challenging the other individuals.
Number Four - Do have someone you are comfortable letting your guard down and talk out all the complaints? Be it your partner, parent, or your golden retriever, you need somewhere safe to vent. At this time, I would like to thank my mother for being a saint.
Look, eventually you'll know who you can and can't talk to about life as a musician. Those will be life long relationships, folks who will understand not only you as a musician but as a human being too. You will have slip ups, but hopefully you will have forgiving people around you that realize we're all human, and we all make mistakes once in a blue moon. Remember, I'm pulling for you. We're all in this together.