I had a some good luck last week. Nothing big, at all. I had an overdue book to return. The library has a two day grace period, but I was on day three. So, I was going to get charged $.25/day for a total of $.75. I wanted to make sure that the book got checked in that day vs. the following day, which would make it even later, so I took it to one of the librarians instead of putting it into the return book slot. I explained that I wanted to make sure it was checked in because I was late. She mentioned the two day grace period and I said that I was past that, but my husband had really wanted to finish the book and it couldn’t be renewed because there was a waiting list – so I was expecting a fine. She very kindly offered to check it in and change the date so that I wouldn’t be charged any fee.
Very nice of her, indeed!
From there I went to King Soopers to get some groceries. I gave the clerk a coupon for $2 off $10 of produce. I thought I had enough produce, but the coupon wouldn’t ring up. I told the clerk not to worry, I would just use it next time and make sure I bought enough produce. She just smiled and said I was close enough and “forced” it through for me.
Both times, I explained how I was in the wrong or mistaken about something. And both times I was immediately forgiven. I’ve noticed this pattern before. I’ve also noticed how much more willing I am to work with patrons who take this approach vs. blaming a situation on my company or me or a coworker. “I accidentally registered my kid for the wrong swim lessons – can you help me out?” goes over much better than “you registered my kid for the wrong lessons and you’d better fix it”.
Always give credit. And always take the blame.