Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Just ask!

Sometimes I am afraid to ask for things.

Randy Pausch's, The Last Lecture, made it onto my 'all time favorite books' list last year. For those of you who haven't read it, I strongly recommend picking up a copy. Chapter 55 is titled, "All you have to do is ask." On a family trip to Disney World, Randy's father asks him if he knows how people get to sit in the front of the monorail. Randy strides up to the monorail attendant and asks, "Excuse me, could the three of us please sit in the front car?" The attendant replies, "Certainly, Sir." And Randy, his son, and his dumbfounded father take their seats next to the driver.

I took this nugget of inspiration and rolled with it. I called my cell phone provider and asked for a lower monthly rate. The last time I called I was told that I had the lowest rate and there was nothing more they could do. This time I asked for their customer relations department, and again asked for a lower plan. She not only gave me two lower priced options, and then she gave me an additional 1,000 rollover minutes. I also asked about a texting plan I had taken off but wanted to put back on when I realized how many texts I recieved in a month. "Certainly Ms. Broadhead. And I will remove all the extra charges you accrued from that removal this month." Fantastic!

Even better was my email to Northwest Airlines. On a trip for work, I was bumped from my connecting flight, which was overbooked by five people. The next flight was not for another 7 hours, so I was stuck in the Detroit airport and my whole trip was screwed up. I emailed the airline. I asked if I could recieve a travel voucher. I justified it by saying that people who volunteer to give up their seats on an overbooked flight recieve travel vouchers, and the airline volunteered me themselves. Five days later I recieved a travel voucher for $200 and an apology.

If you ask for something and the answer is no, that just means nothing changes. The worst thing you could do is not even try at all. Pull a Randy Pausch this week, and claim your seat at the front of the monorail.

1 comment:

  1. Amanda,

    It seems so simple, yet it's quite profound: "If you ask for something and the answer is no, that just means nothing changes." I have 15 years of sales experience, and I wish I'd heard this years ago. How many times have I not followed up because I was afraid to hear "no?" If I can retrain my brain to hear that definition of no, my life will be so much easier!

    Nancy Rae Evans