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Ernest Friedman-Hill
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I thought about posting this in MD, and a sheriff may choose to move it there, but I think it's on topic here.
Today I splurged on two 1-kilo lobsters for my wife and I to celebrate the new year. When I got them home, one was healthy, and one was very droopy, and considering what these lobsters cost, I wasn't going to accept a droopy lobster. If you know anything about lobsters, you'll know that droopy ones don't taste good. I took it back to the fish market and complained. They didn't have any more lobsters that size. I left shortly thereafter with a .75 kilo lobster plus a 0.5 kilo lobster -- which is more than I went in with, and it didn't cost me anything. We had a great dinner and leftovers to make lobster rolls tomorrow.
Two weeks ago we had some company. We've got a new baby, so my wife called a restaurant delivery service we frequent and ordered some food. They misunderstood her and sent three extra entrees above and beyond what she ordered, and charged her for them. She didn't realize what had happened. Later, I called the service and told them what had happened, and that I put the extra food in the freezer, and I really wasn't excited about spending $50 for what amounted to three frozen dinners. They sent me a gift certificate for $25, and I kept the food -- it was still good reheated.
Earlier this week, I got a hospital bill from my son's birth. It was for something my health plan said they wouldn't cover, and it was for $800 -- a good-sized chunk of money. It was clear that the health plan should have covered it. I called the health plan, asked a few questions, and before I knew it, was told to ignore the bill -- they'd pay it, it was their mistake.
A couple of months ago, I got a $4,000 water bill. The meter reader had transposed the two most significant digits on our reading. I called the water company and within minutes, they told me to tear up the bill, and took my new reading over the phone.
In contrast, a relative of mine who I shan't name has, in the space of the last six months, had a cardiologist refuse to treat him anymore, and a pharmacy ban him for life, both because of incidents that occurred when something went wrong and this family member needed to complain.
Why does he have such bad luck, and things seem to turn out well for me? I'm not lucky -- I'm nice. In every one of the situations described here, a shopkeeper or employee screwed up. In response, my relative called people names, shouted and swore, threatened and abused. They responded in the only manner you could expect: they fought back.
In constrast, I smiled, spoke politely, asked nicely, said "Please" and "Thank you" and "That's great!" and "You're teriffic!" People responded, again, predictably: they wanted to please me, and they did.
Happy new year, everybody!
 
HS Thomas
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That's a nice personal post :-
There are (apparently) two types of co-operation.
1: Everyone is working as a team to achieve a common goal.
An example : Climbers scaling a mountain are tied together and rely on others' co-operation to reach the summit safely. Another extreme example: the 7 consecutive marathons that Ranulph Fiennes and his medic did, is a fine example of two working as a team.Fiennes had just undergone a major cardiac op and was told whatever he did he should NOT get stressed.At he last goal post his medic just about straggled past the line with Fiennes urging him on. I did say that was an extreme example.

2. Everyone is working separately but everyone sees that helping each other is of benefit to all.
People driving along a road have different destinations and purposes but everyone agrees that driving on the correct side of the road and sticking to the trafic rules is ultimately of benefit to everyone.
In some countries I wouldn't dare drive 1 mile because obviously I don't understand the protocol.
[ January 02, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
Michael Morris
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I vaguely remember some old adage that honey is better bait when trapping flies than vinegar. It's sometimes difficult to control your emotions when dealing with people who screw up and it affects me! When the urge to call them morons strikes, I usually try to take a deep breath, assess what I wish to accomplish and figure the best course of action (and remember that I screw up sometimes too).
Congrats on your new son Ernest.
 
R K Singh
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Yes, you get what you give
 
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Michael Morris:
I vaguely remember some old adage that honey is better bait when trapping flies than vinegar.

"You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar."
Add to that:
You can negotiate anything.
Good manners aren't a matter of following protocol. It's conveying patience and respect, and allowing others to do what they can that tells people it's worth their while to talk to you again.
 
Barry Gaunt
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You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar

Wot's up with vinegar flies then?
 
Michael Morris
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Wot's up with vinegar flies then?
Very popular dish among Southern Frogs. Sort of like pickled pig's feet.
 
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