Keep Asking, & You Shall Receive
An interesting lesson occurred last week when I went to my bank’s ATM drive-up. The ATM malfunctioned and not only did it fail to cough up some cash, it swallowed my ATM card. I went inside the branch and told a woman sitting at a desk what had happened. She said they only collect whatever is in the ATM twice a day, at 9AM and 3PM. It was 9:20AM, and since I was busy for the rest of the day, I asked her if it was possible for someone to pull out my ATM card in that moment. Her reply was negative. So I approached the teller’s window to complete the cash withdrawal. Just on a whim, I recounted my tale of loss to the teller, and she asked, “Would you like me to check the ATM and see if I can retrieve your card?” “Hmmm, is the earth round?” I said quietly, tongue-in-cheek. She smiled, and within a minute the card was back in my possession.
Another time I had a speaking engagement that I gave in San Francisco, and my return flight to L.A. was canceled. The next flight out was full, which meant that I would have had to cancel an evening book signing unless I could find another airline to fly ASAP. I walked over to another airline’s check-in counter to see if I could use my ticket. No go. I proceeded to a different gate check-in counter for the same airline that had just refused my request. “No problem!” they replied (now I’m musing over the absurd possibility that every counter has their own rule book). Whatever…I was on my way, only because I kept asking.