I’m a rule follower. Like a bad one. Just ask my husband. One example that comes to mind was when we were on a plane to Phoenix, AZ for our baby-moon and I was 32+ weeks pregnant. We get on the plane and ready for take-off and I feel the urge. Yep – I had to go. But seat-belt signs were already on so I try to hold it in. We get to full elevation (or whatever it is called) and the captain comes on the speaker to inform us there is some turbulence and the seat-belt sign will remain on. At this point, Steven knows I’m hurting and a few other passengers around me hear my dilemma. They start urging me to go, but as much as I am hurting and realizing this probably is a good reason to break the rules, I stand my ground and refuse, after all the light is still ON! Fast forward maybe 10 more minutes, everyone is about to rip me out of my seat and take me themselves but then flight attendant even gives me a nod that she won’t stop me. Approval. That is all I need, from the person who enforces said rule that I would be breaking. I went, plane didn’t crash, I didn’t fall out, and all was restored to normal (and I probably went to visit another 10 times on the 3 hour flight!)
I’m a rule follower. That being said I am a bargain hunter. Seriously, I will hunt online or through all my magazines/coupon books, just to save $1 on whatever item it is. I can get comfortable if I know I’ve never seen a coupon for whatever it is or wherever we are, but if I have that nagging in the back of my head that “I know I saw something somewhere”, I will hunt for it. Steven reminds me often that my time is money and at some point I usually do give up, but not easily.
That all being said, these days when my compensation is kisses, hugs, drawings, and “thank yous” (side note: this is better than any salary I have ever had and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!), I feel even more compelled to be a good steward of our finances. 2 degrees in Accounting and Taxation and a CPA don’t really help that urge either. But today I was reminded of a simple saying that rings so true – you never know unless you ask.
Without giving specifics, in the past few weeks I have been able to receive a credit on my cell phone bill for a new charge just by calling and asking. I was able to receive a credit from our Natural Gas provider simply by calling and pointing out a competitor’s lower rate. I have gone to the extreme of threatening to leave a provider if they couldn’t lower their rates BUT only if I really had another option to go to and could handle them saying “NO!” It’s not fool-proof, and a little small talk (how are YOU?) and flattery don’t hurt (again full disclosure – I’m a terrible liar – so there is no lying to do this – I really did like their shirt/necklace/whatever!) I believe customer service representatives have one of the toughest jobs out there, so someone just understanding that and being nice to them, just may get you a little special treatment. I throw waiters and waitresses into this as well. Yes – some just are terrible, but some just had a bad customer! I try to remind myself in any situation, traffic and customer service especially, I have no idea what kind of day they are having or what their situation is, so a little kindness and grace isn’t too hard to show.
Any other examples in your life? It never hurts to ask and the worst someone can say is no, but at least you tried!
I’ll end with a little humor for you – this made me laugh: