Thursday, December 07, 2006

I'm barely a grownup

My grandmother sent David $10 for his birthday, which was very nice of her, and much appreciated by him.
(Side note: he wrote her a thank you note the same day. I think it's the first time in history I've been able to get this to happen.)

But back to the point:
I took the check to my bank. They said I couldn't cash or deposit it because he doesn't have an account. Now, I know banking regulations are more strict than they were 30 yrs ago, but c'mon. Most of the rules in a bank -- especially those having to do with risk -- are breakable by someone with sufficient authority and a good enough reason. Bottom line: unless it's about a lot of money, when they (ie, a bank officer) says they can't, what they usually mean is they won't.

So I made a little speech. I said "This check is made out to my son. He has the same last name as me, and the maker of the check. The check is for ten dollars. It says "Happy Birthday" in the note field. I think the likelihood of fraud here is low. But even if the check comes back, you have enough money in my account to cover it. I expect my bank to look at this situation and accept this check for deposit." So they did.

But why did I have to be 41 years old before I was able to make such a speech calmly and without feeling stressed and embarrassed? I know people who were able to do that at 15. I wish to believe it's because I'm such a nice guy, but deep down I know it had more to do with insecurity and wanting everyone to like me at all times.

How about you? Do you like me? No, I meant to say: are you able to handle little disagreements with merchants, neighbors, etc and get what you want without getting mad or flustered?


At Thu Dec 07, 06:04:00 PM PST, Blogger si said...

um, sometimes. i'm better than i used to be but i think i'm like you in that it's hard for me to cause a fuss (even tho i know i'm in the right or it's the logical thing to do). my nature is not to be confrontational; even trying to convey my side in a rational, calm manner -- it *feels* confrontational...

i'm proud of you that you handled that so well, but knowing you as i have the last few years (and pretty well in the last 1-1/2 to 2), *I* have not found you to be insecure and afraid to speak up. i think you've overcome that "fear" and are able to stand up for yourself -- and *still* be nice about it. imo.

p.s. i'd like to confront word verification -- not sure how many times i've had to re-enter those stupid letters!

p.p.s. i think i made word verification really mad with the above comment. it wouldn't allow me to SEE the letters for a while. :P i'd better post this comment while i can...

At Thu Dec 07, 06:13:00 PM PST, Blogger Lisa said...

No, I can't. I get all mad and then I feel like crying. I'm hoping for better results when I'm 41, now that I know it's possible.

I make my husband do all such transactions, he's calm as a cucumber.

PS. I've always liked you, even back when you couldn't conduct routine business so calmly (although I didn't know that about you, but still....)

At Thu Dec 07, 06:30:00 PM PST, Blogger blogball said...

I think I was in my late 30s before I was confident to say “I need to speak to a manager or your supervisor please” when I felt something was really unfair? By that time I knew how that stuff worked because I was in the hospitality industry so I realized the importance of making customers happy. I think you area actually doing the establishment a favor by solving the situation instead of never going back to that particular hotel, store or changing banks etc.
I have been in the situation many times where I’m that supervisor or manger guy that people ask for. I could usually tell in about 2 second’s weather their complaint was legit...I found out the best way to solve any dispute was to say these magic words “I’m sorry what can we do to make you happy?”. Most of the time what they wanted was less than what I was prepared to give them. Then there are people who take advantage of the situation. I usually gave these people what they wanted too within reason. Sometimes I did say sorry no like to a guy that wanted a free room night because the hotel was too far away from where his morning appointment was. He told me he mistakenly wrote down the wrong address. I gave him free breakfast and he was happy. .

At Thu Dec 07, 07:21:00 PM PST, Blogger Extrem4 said...

Like Lisa I usually let my spouse handle minor unpleasantries. The few times in which I have been incensed enough to make a stink it did me absolutely no good. Most recently I decided to complain to an insurance company (good luck to all that try to speak reason to those people) and a cell phone company. The gratifying part of the cell phone deal was that a year later I got a letter from some attorneys office about a class action suit and would I accept a free phone card or did I want to sue them. Well by gum I sued them and 6 months later collected my check for $7.63 cents which was for some reason more gratifying them the $20.00 phone card that had been offered.

At Thu Dec 07, 09:30:00 PM PST, Blogger jay are said...

I completely stink at it, and it's all about insecurity. Sometimes it's about not knowing what's reasonable to expect, so then I'm not sure if I'll be making a fool out of myself or what. Anyway, I have a feeling I still won't be any better at it by 41 since that's getting SO DANG CLOSE!!!

At Thu Dec 07, 10:20:00 PM PST, Blogger jay aitch said...

Ah, the older you get, you'll just say, "Who gives a hoot."

At Fri Dec 08, 12:38:00 PM PST, Blogger Left Coast Sister said...

I'm terribly immature when dealing with situations like this... I get livid rather instantly and then get nowhere because I make everyone mad that I talk to. I'm really trying to work on that. I think I learned my lesson recently at Best Buy. We had a car stereo installed and every. single. step. of the transaction was fraught with poor customer service and higher prices than we were originally quoted. I about blew a gasket at someone over this and then found out we have a mutual friend and was mortified. We laughed about it, but I'm still embarassed. Long and short of it for me is APOLOGIZE, CUSTOMER SERVICE PEOPLE. I'm not sure why it's so hard for people to do that. Say you're sorry and I probably will have a little mercy. 'Nuff said. By me, anyway. About this, anyway.

At Sat Dec 09, 06:48:00 PM PST, Blogger Alan said...

"How about you? Do you like me?"

Yes Bryan, we like you.

At Sun Dec 10, 11:04:00 AM PST, Blogger si said...

alan: are you allowed to speak for all of us? :-) i want to make my own declaration; and i need to think about it... ;-)


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