Friday, January 6, 2012

Mama Got Brave

In my head, I had a very clear vision. I would walk into the office building, intimidating like the white, female version of Johnny Cochran. I'd have high heels on with my Southern charm in my back pocket, ready to pull out a smile as big as Texas itself with a drawl that couldn't be resisted. My legs would be crossed, back straight, with that smile plastered on all the while. Then and there, I'd confidently request a refund. All members that sat in on the meeting would be completely mesmerized, scared, and blinded. Without a second thought, they would write me a check, insisting that I take a 150% refund for the inconvenience they had caused me. I would graciously refuse and settle on 100% and let us both keep our dignity.

This is the vision I had when plotting how in the heck I was going to get my money back. If ONLY I could execute my great plan...they wouldn't be able to resist my wishes. In reality, there were a few problemos with this plan. I don't do high heels and I doubt my Chuck Taylor's were going to intimidate anyone. I'm not from the south and unfortunately charm didn't make the cut in my DNA. And this drawl I have, well it attracted Yosh but I think that's about the most it's ever done for me. Far from sophisticated or charismatic. So this plan was a bust and nothing more than a dream. But I still swear it's a good plan. A screenwriter could make their millions if they brought this scene to the big screen.

So anyway, I needed another idea.There were a couple things on the line here. I got to dreaming all big and crazy {with LOTS of help from my husband souping my head up about how awesome I was gong to be} and decided I was going to open a franchise. We invested some money and I got on my way to work. The long and short of it is, the dream crumbled and I wanted to walk away. But I wanted to walk with dignity. And in my head the only way for that to happen was to walk away with money in my pocket- some sort of a refund. Yosh told me this was absolutely impossible, there was no way they would give me a dime back. Imagine him to be the little devil dressed in red standing on one of my shoulders. Thankfully, AJ was perched on the other shoulder with her stern voice saying, "Gabey, you don't know unless you ask..... AND stick up for yourself, dangit!" And she's right because if I don't stick up for myself, ain't nobody gonna stick up for me.

That's when I started listening to angel AJ and formulating a plan. I sought out those people in my life that make me believe I can do ANYTHING I want {for better or worse!}, and I got their advice. Christy Desai went into strategy mode and that's when the negotiating began. I first agreed to a call with the COO. I smothered him with compliments, regurgitated the same conceptual business plan that was sold to me and got him just as excited as I was when I first heard it. I then outlined the discrepancies of the sell versus reality, once again complimented the concept and his team members, and when he was least expecting it but still had a smile on his face........I told him I wanted out. With a refund. He sat speechless before admitting this was far from the direction he expected the call to take.

Soon I was in touch with a "team", and then the lawyer. While I dreamt of being the white Johnny Cochran, she was the Jewish version and she wasn't just dreaming. Real deal. No, this was no murder case but I have a feeling she could have me feel like I was on trial for just that. So good thing we didn't meet up in person....I would have run away as quick as my Chuck Taylor's could carry me. That is after I apologized for my asinine request, and surrendered my wallet for good measure. But on the phone, I could channel my nervous tendencies into endless games of Minesweeper or chewing my tongue til it almost fell off. Which would have not been a bad scenario as I was needing all the help I could get to NOT say I'm sorry, to NOT give them ammunition against me, essentially to NOT throw my case away. I could have been my own worst enemy so I made sure to ZIP MY LIPS when those temptations came. And I served compliments til I was blue in the face. By the end, I had that lawyer on MY team after I pointed out that she had been victimized by the same salesman. And once that happened, it was a game changer. Negotiations were closed and the check was cut before either one of us could back out. 

Mama got brave. And stood up for myself. And didn't back down when a REAL lawyer made me feel like I should. I was persistent, consistent, and confident. Even if it was faked. A small price to pay for a clear conscience and dignity.


  1. WOW! Nice work Gay! Congratulations and good luck in all your future adventures!

  2. That's a great story. I did the same thing with a teacher at school today who was talking trash about me to all of her students because of what she "thought" I did in the carpool line. Although, I don't do it often, it sure does feel good!!!

  3. Thanks girls! Kellie how come I can't imagine anyone being mean to you?! i feel like everyone would DIE to be your bff, at least that's how i remember feeling when i was a little girl!

  4. You're awesome Gay! I'm so proud of you. Sorry it didn't work out with the biz, I guess you have enough on your plate as it is. It's one less thing to worry about right now. There will be plenty of time for that later. Right?

  5. I wanna hear this whole complete story! I'm so interested in the details and what the sales man said to "sell you". Sneaky sales men! ;-)


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