"When would you ever learn? You don't ask, you don't get!" Said Mel, a young friend of mine to her boyfriend.
This is so true and it applies to work, eating and shopping etc.
I went to a soft opening of a restaurant in town. The place was cozy and very busy. Most of us were too polite to ask for food but in the end, we were there for almost an hour but had nothing to eat because the waitresses were so busy.
Then, Mel stopped a waitress and asked politely with a huge smile, "Excuse me, I know you are very busy but my friends and I have been here for almost an hour and haven't eaten anything. When you get a chance, may I trouble you to bring something over?"
Less than 10 minutes later, the waitress brought us a full plate of food and everyone around us looked like they were going to jump on us!!!
If it wasn't for Mel, we could have been standing there for another hour before we were able to eat anything.
Mel wasn't rude or bitchy. She was polite and she smiled. Most importantly, she asked.
A few days later, I went shopping with my best-friend, B. We were trying on piles of clothes and I wanted a T-shirt but they didn't have my size. B works in the fashion industry and he hates it when I embarrass him.
B: The sizes are all here, if you can't find your size, then there is none.
Me: Do you work here?
B: I work in this industry and I know what they are going to say.
Me: Well, there is one on display! Maybe that's my size but it's too high I can't see it.
B: Seriously, don't even bother, they won't help. It's just a T-shirt, let it go, why the drama?
Me: It doesn't hurt to ask.
B rolled his eyes when I called a sales assistant (SA) over. I asked the SA if they have a medium and he gave me the standard answer.
SA: All the sizes are here, if you can't find your size, then there aren't any
Me: Well, maybe there is one or two lying around in the changing rooms, can you please check there and your computer?
(10 minutes later)
SA: Sorry Miss, we really don't have it
(I pointed at the display)
Me: What about that one up there. What size is it?
SA: It's really high I am not sure
I turned to the SA and gave him the sweetest smile. He sighed, went and grabbed a ladder, climbed up to the display on the top of the shelf, checked the size of the T-shirt, looked down at me and grinned.
It was my size.
Was I annoying? Yes and no. I call that persistence. Plus, I asked, he didn't have to check it from the display, according to B's so called industry knowledge. But he did. And I wouldn't have known if I didn't ask.
Last week, my hubby, R, and I went to shop for a ceiling light. It's been a few months and we finally found the perfect one. It turned out the display one was the last one and they don't know when they would restock it.
We took the display anyway and R whispered, "Since it's on display, do you think they will offer a discount?" I said I don't know but I suggested he asked. Then R looked petrified and he said it's embarrassing to ask!
I could've asked but given my recent experiences with the power of asking, I wanted him to learn it too. So I made him ask.
He asked and got a 10% discount straight away, which saved us about USD 400 just by asking!
This is the power of asking!