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Gotta Push Through Even When You’re Mad!

by J. Money on Monday, November 22, 2010

life list
Friday morning I was PISSED. We were literally on our way to the airport to visit my boy Nate and check out Chicago for the first time, when United F’ing Airlines called to say the flight was canceled all of a sudden! No apologies, no reasons for it (not that it really matters at that point), just a simple little robot voice letting you know that you’d be a total jack ass if you showed up at the airport anytime soon… not amusing.

So naturally, I called them right back so I could speak to a real-life human being (I wasn’t joking when I said a robot called us) and got ready for the battle of negotiation. They had automatically re-booked us on another flight but there was no way it was gonna work out. I started thinking of all the reasons why we deserved to get on an earlier flight, and then chose the best one from my mental list:

  1. Because I took a vacation day and it would go to waste.
  2. Because I’m impatient.
  3. Because we’ve got a dinner that starts at 8pm sharp with 20 other people and it’s the MAIN reason we’re flying out there!
  4. Because I’m J. Money ;)

We went with #3 of course (although I REALLY wanted to bust out #4! haha…) and we magically got re-booked on a flight that would *barely* get us in on time – although still wasn’t ideal. By the time we got all this worked out though I was beat.  And really just sad/cranky at that point since I’d been up till 3a.m. the night before preparing.

But here’s the thing — If you think you can do better and you’re not 100% satisfied, you’ve got to KEEP ON GOING! You gotta suck it up and keep pushing forward until you’re honestly at the end of options. And this is where the wife swoops in and saves the day :)

Mrs. BudgetsAreSexy takes the phone, puts on her fakest, most smiley sounding voice, and gets to chatting until she walks away with everything she set out to accomplish.  New flight schedules, new airports (because the only flights left were across town at this point) and even randomly saves us $50 off our weekend car rental!  All in a matter of 45 minutes. As it turned out, leaving just 2 hours later than scheduled took off an entire “day” in car rental time and dropped our cost in half :) Pretty amazing.

So there are two major lessons here today: 1) Always fight for what you believe is owed to you – especially when it comes to money, and 2) Never forget the power of women :) You follow those two things and you’ll do pretty damn well in life, friends.

**Oh, and a piece of advice for all you airlines out there.  When your customers call to re-book the flights you just canceled on them, DON’T TRY AND UPSELL THEM!  Nothing’s worse than spending all those hours getting it worked out, only to be asked at the end if we want to upgrade our seats for an additional $50.00.  Are you freakin’ kidding me??

———

PS: The Chicago trip ended up being a major success.  Met lots and LOTS of cool people, hung out in a totally new part of the country, and even got Love Drop further along the road :) Not too shabby for a little weekend getaway!


{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mike November 22, 2010 at 6:38 am

Better than the plane crashing?

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2 Molly On Money November 22, 2010 at 8:09 am

My husband thinks I should start a business being that person who calls companies to ask them why they are such asses.
It is tiresome and my only added advice is before you call go punch something (a inanimate object will do) and get your ‘piss-offed-ness’ out. I get a lot further when I’m a calm bull-dog. If anything, it throws them for a loop and then I swoop in!

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3 Rachel211 November 22, 2010 at 9:08 am

My hubby is probably a lot like you. When this kind of stuff happens he is MAD and he takes it out on the person on the phone – which NEVER helps the situation.

I’ve learned the secret too of the syrup sweet kindness/pretending like you are REALLY DUMB and need everything explained to me, to the phone in order to get the person to admit the problem they created and to fix it. And if the situation really calls for it – I’ve cried. I’m not ashamed. One time after a week and a half of calling to get some health insurance stuff fixed, I finally broke down and cried on the phone. And guess what – that was the call that fixed the problem. (I didn’t do it on purpose, I actually was that frustrated!)

Point is “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar” isn’t a saying for nothing. And when it comes right down to it, that person is just doing their job. Their “incredibly-crappy-and-I-would-hate-to-have-it” job.

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4 Brad Chaffee November 22, 2010 at 9:40 am

Dude, men suck at this. My wife is always the shot-caller when she gets on the phone and sounds all sweet. Haha! I’m the one pacing in the background mumbling obscenities! LOL

Glad your trip turned out to be awesome! Welcome back!

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5 Doctor S November 22, 2010 at 10:11 am

Hahaha. Ah yes. The determination of J. Money is quite inspiring. But you are right, regardless of money, always fight for what you believe in. Don’t ever give up. Ever. Boy do I have a story for you man.

You and your wife are so much tougher than I because I am horrible at trying to negotiate with people on the phone. I give in at the first “Sorry Sir”. I know Ramit has some scripts for negotiating, but I think your wife should publish one on here?? Happy Monday morning!

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6 WR November 22, 2010 at 12:32 pm

#1 secret to financial success for men: Marry well!

My wife is a frugal, sexy, smart, great mom and takes care of stuff like this all the time for our family.

It inevitably goes down like this
Me: blah blah blah. BLAH BLAH!
wife: Gimme the phone (with hand outstretched)
…10 minutes later…
Wife: (to me) OK, I got a full refund, Sharon the Customer service agent is so nice, you know she’s getting married next month. btw- they are sending us coupons for 100 free widgets. We should send her a card…

Men suck at this

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7 J. Money November 22, 2010 at 1:40 pm

@Mike – Plane crashes are never fun.
@Molly On Money – Haha, amen to that sister. I’m usually REALLY good about this stuff since I’ve been working in customer service for years now, but I just gave up super early on this one… that’s what 3 hours of sleep gets you ;)
@Rachel211 – Yup, for sure :) I never yell or take it out on the service rep (I know very well that gets you squat), but sometimes like in this case I just give up before I get what I want all the way. That’s my main reason for posting this today – to say ya gotta keep on workin’ it no matter how frustrated you are!
@Brad Chaffee – Thank you sir, feels good to be back :) Although I coulda used a few more days to check out the sites.. guess I gotta go back!
@Doctor S – I wanna hear your story!! Are you going to blog about it or email it over to me? I bet you’re hilarious in it :)
@WR – HAH! She needs to start a service and hook us all up :) Tell her J. Money’s impressed!

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8 Blue Spyder November 22, 2010 at 1:42 pm

You was in my town and couldn’t pay a courtesy call? Ok fine Mr. J Money… THIS MEANS WAR LMAO!

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9 Briana @ GBR November 22, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Hurray for the accomplishment and the Mrs. to the rescue! Airports are out to get us, I’m convinced lol jk. But I agree; sometimes you have to put on your smiley voice to get what you want. Unfortunately, some people in the customer service industry THRIVE off negative energy. Glad LoveDrop is still on the road to success!

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10 Olivia November 22, 2010 at 2:23 pm

I’ve definitely been frustrated with airlines before…but somehow I’ve always been able to get them to give me things. :)

I was taking a little puddle-jump plane (45 minute max) at the end of one trip and it got delayed 3 HOURS…obviously, I’m thinking that I could have spent the money to just take a bus down at that point. While I was upset at the time, it ended up working out in that, due to their random delay, I was given a chunk of mileage plus miles–enough to get me 1/4 of the way to premier status. Combine that with my own miles from flights, and I will now be able to get one free flight, no fees on bags, automatic upgrades, and a bunch of other perks for the next year!

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11 SheBudget November 22, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Wow, sorry that happened to you and glad it all worked out. Women really ARE better at this stuff than men! I work in a customer oriented business and I’m much more willing to help someone who is nice and sweet than someone who is yelling and rude. Kill them with kindness. :)

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12 MK November 22, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Glad it all worked out! isn’t Chicago such an awesome city?! I love going to visit family out there!

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13 Adam November 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Firstly I need to get myself my own Mrs J$.
Secondly, that is a very cool pic of the mysterious blogger!
Lastly, glad you had a blast and it worked out OK. Hi 5 Mrs J$!

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14 Philip November 22, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Hrmm… gonna have to try to use the calm down method. Had some vehicle problems and dealing with insurance and mechanic etc, getting very frustrated at times!

Will try to calm down when they call or when they say something stupid!

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15 Jaime November 22, 2010 at 11:05 pm

First of all Customer Reps are disconnected A LOT from the way managers do business, so its not always their fault. What are they going to do? They’re low on the totem pole. I hate jerks who call up and yell at us, we didn’t do anything to them and its not my fault that the company changed things. Its a corporation and its not alive, most corporations don’t have souls, they have rules and red tape.

I don’t want to help the jerk that yells at me on the phone or in person. To all of you whom yell at lowly CSRs give them a break, they don’t live to make your life miserable. We just want to go to a job and collect our paychecks. Its not like I woke up and said “wow I really want to be a minimum wage CSR.”

I’m only at that job because I NEED MONEY FOR COLLEGE. I’m paying my own way through college. Oh and btw I’m majoring in Accounting. I do have ambition. Anyway I appreciate your wife for acting nice even though I’m sure she was far from happy.

At EVERY CSR job that I’ve ever had I was treated lowly by the managers, and they always act like we’re dumb for asking simple questions about how the company works. Please give CSRs a break. At the end of the dead they’re people too.

And is it a wonder that a lot of customer servicey stuff is becoming more computerized and electronic? I don’t think so. People leave these jobs ASAP and companies replaced them with machines. Whenever I call Capital One I get an machine. I’ve changed jobs recently and I go to a nice healthcare company who realizes we’re humans and treats us with respect.

Even people who make minimum wage need that human respect. Luckily most customers we deal with are nice, we get some psychos but not often thankfully. Also these people are trained for maybe 2-5 days, they don’t know everything about a company, most of them are students in h.s. or college. Older people don’t usually have to take these jobs unless they have to.

How do you expect someone who just got trained on 2-5 days work to know the ins and outs of a company? I’d like for you people whom are rude to customers to go to one of these jobs and work at them for at least a year, then see what its like. You would be frustrated too.

Once when I was at JCPenney during the holidays I got yelled by a customer because we got sold out and the JCPenney truck wouldn’t arrive with more until next week. She was mad because if we advertised something on the paper we should have been selling it, but stuff during the holidays tends to get sold out. It was out of my hands. I seriously wanted to quit and walk out.

I really wish people would realize that its not always the CSRs fault.

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16 Jaime November 22, 2010 at 11:07 pm

I meant to write: I’d like for you people whom are to customer reps to go to one of these jobs and work at them for at least a year, then see what its like. You would be frustrated too.

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17 J. Money November 23, 2010 at 12:55 am

Haha –> “most corporations don’t have souls, they have rules and red tape.” i think they just like money :) but yeah i’m totally with you on not bitching out company reps and making it personal when it’s most def. far from it. you always get much farther being nice and calm than just straight up rude.

although I’ll also say that as a representative for your company, you’ve also got to suck it all up and actually TRY to help the situation out — even if it’s your company’s fault or not, cuz that’s what your mission is there (and why they pay you the big bucks! haha…).

at the end of the day we’re all people trying to accomplish one thing or another, and if both sides can be respected and talk in a calm manner life would be a much better place :) so if you catch yourself getting fired up like I did this weekend, be ready to step away and take a breather so you don’t make the situation worse! or better yet, as many of you have mentioned, find yourself your own Mrs. J$ ;)

Word.

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18 J. Money November 23, 2010 at 12:55 am

Oh, and YEAH Chicago!!! Gonna be back to hang out with you again soon, can’t wait :)

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19 Jaime November 23, 2010 at 3:06 am

I’m not mad at you JM but reading some of these comments just irritated me about certain people getting ready to yell at reps, sheesh. I appreciate your wife trying to keep it classy. I’m sorry for getting all emotional on your blog. I don’t work for the airline or anything, just had too many of those types of jobs and its a sore subject for me. Anyway thanks for hearing me out J. ;)

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20 J. Money November 23, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Hey no worries at all, I ain’t mad at ya :) You’re free to say whatever’s on your mind here, that’s the beauty of blogging!

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21 Roger Wohlner November 30, 2010 at 11:57 pm

Glad you enjoyed Chicago, greatest city on the planet from April-October, winters have been a bit cold lately. Your post makes me glad that I don’t fly on a regular basis anymore.

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22 J. Money December 2, 2010 at 2:53 am

Haha yeah, heard it’s snowing or was a bit ago…. will be back in mid-Jan too! NOT looking forward to that weather…bleh. but def. gonna be fun again :)

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