Wednesday, July 1, 2009

All you have to do is ask

It is no secret that I am not a people person. I don't like crowds of people. I don't like groups of people. I don't even like small groups of people. One on one conversations, I can do. You add just one more person to the equation and you would probably check to see if I had a pulse.

It isn't that I don't like people. I do. I love people. People that I know, that is. I even love people watching. But, mostly, I lose all brain function around people where conversation is expected. And isn't that, like, everywhere?!

I am, also, what one might consider a people-pleaser. People-pleasing is a very common characteristic amongst co-dependents (something I've written about before, but have since deleted). My instinct is to keep the peace, to not make waves, to make sure that everything is kosher and everyone is happy. I make sure of this, often, at the expense of my own happiness and well-being.

When I initially looked at my apartment in May, there was a special running. The website said, “Move in by May 31st and receive one of the following: $500 off move in costs, $500 pre-paid Visa or a golf package at Extravagant Local* Golf Course”. When I signed my lease on June 15, however, my lease paperwork said nothing about the special. I inquired with the Leasing Agent and was told that, since I was signing in June, I would not be able to take advantage of the offer. I was extremely bummed by this, but, as is my non-wave making way, I went about business as usual and signed the papers.

In doing more research, I found that the same special was being run for move-in by June 30th. What the…??? I was upset as I had planned to stretch the $500 out over the length of the lease as a reduction to my rent. That results in a savings of just over $41 per month. And if you know me at all, you know that I am, we’ll say, frugal. (Don’t you see all the links on the left to fellow frugallers out there in the world?) Now, I knew that I needed to go in and talk to either the Community Manager or the Leasing Agent. This, however, in my book, is considered making waves. This is way out of my comfort zone. This causes me a great deal of anxiety. Typically, I would have just paid the money and gone about my business. We are talking a year’s worth of payments though.

With my rent due date just around the corner, I had to somehow muster some guts and talk to someone. I know in my head that I cannot expect people to do things for me my whole life just because confrontational circumstances (or perceived confrontation) scare me. At some point, I have to pull on my big girl pants and step up to the plate. That is exactly what I did today. And guess what? I hit a stinking home run people!

It wasn’t nearly as bad as I had anticipated! I had to prepare what I was going to say in advance. That is just how it works for me. If I go in unprepared, I draw a blank. I get defensive. I get emotional. I become standoffish and resistant. I don’t really hear the conversation. I get sweaty and hot. I tremble. I get nowhere.

When I walked in, I did not recognize the lady working. I have met just about all of the lovely ladies there except this one. When she asked how she could help me, I politely said, “I was wondering if you could help me understand something.” I went on to explain how the same special was running in June when I signed the lease as was in May when I first looked at my apartment. She said she would pull the file and take a look. Then, as she grabbed for the file from the drawer, she said, “Oh, I’ll just credit your account.” I was taken aback a bit. How easy was that?! “Really?!” I exclaimed. Little did I know, I was talking with the Community Manager who is the authority on such matters. It required a reprinting of my move in agreement and my lease, but she graciously made the changes and spread out the $500 over the next 12 months and sent me on my way.

Later, I received a phone call from the Leasing Agent who had gone over my lease with me and gave me the keys the day I moved in. She squealed and said, “Jessica, good for you! I’m so happy for you! I thought they should have let you have the special too, but they had said no. Anyway, I had to sneak in a call and congratulate you. Good for you girl!” She made me laugh. That is part of what attracted me to this place, though. Everyone is so friendly, pleasant and truly caring. And, the thing is, all I had to do was ask.

(I've been patting myself on the back ever since. Little feats mean big progress.)

*The name has been changed to protect…me.

1 comment:

  1. For real, good for you girl! I sometime struggle with that kind of stuff too. I'd rather keep quiet than cause a stir. But I'm so proud of you!