Who Are You Dealing With?

Here comes summer! For this work at home freelancer it means a mish mash of work, kids, birthday parties, and grass stains. And then there’s the shelling out of hard earned dollars for a variety of activities to keep the kids out of my hair long enough to earn some more dollars.

The shining light of summer for the past two years has been Camp Invention, an amazing day camp where kids learn science and teamwork all while thinking they’re just having fun. The hours are 9-3, which make for one glorious week in the long stretch of summer vacation. I signed both kids up in March. So what whatever possessed me to point out to my daughter the singing camp that is the same week?

I needed a refund. When I called to inquire, the sleepy customer service guy told me the deadline for refunds was yesterday. Memorial Day.

"But yesterday was a holiday," I countered.

"Yeah, I know, but we were actually open. I was here. It was awful."

Who was I dealing with? I did a little profiling. Young guy, probably just finished finals, or still studying. Maybe someone who’s parents have forced him to get a job – any job. Either way, he’s way too good for this place. But here he is, and there he was on a national holiday no less.

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"So I can’t get any refund at all?"


Who was I dealing with? This guy knew the deadline was ridiculous. He’d had to work the holiday after all.

"I would have called yesterday," I said, "but who would think you’d be open on Memorial Day?"



"It seems like you could give me some sort of refund. Do you think you could? You know, because it was a holiday?"

"Yeah. Well… I don’t think it should be a problem. Let me ask."

Just like that he went from no to maybe and then after a quick minute on hold, I had a confirmation number for a credit to my card (which the signing camp people were eager to gobble up). All that without having to rile the guy up by asking to talk to his supervisor.

Three Takeaways:

  1. Don’t give up too soon
  2. Don’t take no for an answer
  3. Don’t be a jerk

Oh yeah, know who you’re dealing with. Keep it in mind this week as you go about your business.