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10 Things People in California Love to Whine About

by Paige Smith Nov 10, 2016

People calling California “Cali.”

There’s one thing us Californians can all agree on: we hate when people refer to our state as “Cali.” We know everyone intends it to be a cute, endearing nickname, but to us it just sounds like nails on a chalkboard. Californians actually have a physical reaction to hearing the word — it’s something between a cringe, a shudder, and a sad shake of the head.

Warm weather during fall.

Most Californians, especially those of us from SoCal, know nothing about extreme weather. We probably couldn’t last 24 hours if you dropped us off in Minnesota on a random day in November.

But you always want what you can’t have, right? Which is why we love to whine about balmy, temperate fall weather when we all we want is to wear a thick scarf and drink our pumpkin spice lattes without sweating. Fall may actually be the one time of year Californians are jealous of other states — you know, they’ve got colorful leaves and rain and brisk breezes and all that.

Unfriendly servers.

Restaurant service in California is fantastic 90% of the time, with most servers being consistently upbeat, approachable, and highly accommodating. That’s why we love to act shocked and critical if the service is even slightly off its game. The server didn’t introduce herself? That’s weird. Maybe I’m imagining it, but our guy looked pissed when I cracked that joke about the ketchup. Was it me or did she seem kind of annoyed that I asked for extra lemon wedges?

Ultra-conservative people.

California is largely a liberal, democratic state. Of course, you’ll still find plenty of conservatives, Republicans, and moderates (especially in places like Orange County), but the majority of people tend to lean to the left, making it quite the shock when you see the occasional “Bush” bumper sticker or — God forbid — “Make America Great Again” sign in your neighbor’s front yard.

The high cost of living.

Year-round sunshine isn’t cheap, people. We suck it up and pay absurdly high rents because we love to live here, but that doesn’t mean we don’t also love to complain about the money we have to shell out for basic food and shelter, especially in places like San Diego and the Silicon Valley.

The absurd amount of traffic.

Californians are obsessed with traffic — we love to analyze it, predict it, find sneaky ways to avoid it, and of course, bitch about it as much as we possibly can. Which, thankfully, is quite a lot since there always seems to be terrible traffic at any given time in any part of the state.


Along the coast, June gloom is real. And it doesn’t just last through June, either — it happens in May, July, August, and even September, our prime beach-going months. Areas like Sacramento and the Central Valley also get thick ground fog during the “rainy” season from November to March. And San Francisco deals with fog on a regular basis. It’s definitely not the worst type of weather, but sometimes it’s all we have to whine about.

Having to dress up for work.

With a few exceptions, casual office wear is the standard here. Style-conscious companies will wear outfits with dark denim, boots, and leather jackets, while the most casual of offices stick to classic jeans, sneakers, and T-shirts or hoodies. Enforce a “slacks and cardigans only” dress code and we’ll be shaking our heads in confusion and fear.

The other side of the state.

If you’re from SoCal, it’s fun to rag on people from NorCal for silly things like saying “hella” way too much. And if you’re from NorCal, it’s even more fun to complain about people from SoCal for their materialism and incessant use of surf lingo.

And if you’re from somewhere else in California? You probably love to complain about how self-centered people from Northern and Southern California are. Those aren’t the only two parts of the state!

Lack of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options on the menu.

To be fair, it’s rare to encounter a restaurant that doesn’t mark up their menu with little GF, V, VG, and even DF symbols, but when it does happen, we’re not happy. A lot of Californians have food allergies, eat restricted diets, or just like to say they’re gluten-free so they have an excuse not to eat carbs. At this point, we expect most food establishments to cater to every individual’s alternative diet. I mean, it’s 2016, right?

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