The Power of No

Why can't Americans just say no.  Not, I'll call you back when they have no intention of doing so.  For some inexplicable reason, they seem to think that it is "nicer" to say they'll call you back, thereby leading you on and ultimately, wasting your time than to just say no, I'm not interested.  This happens to me all the time in business.  I am a massage therapist and I provide massage therapy at the workplace to employees of companies.  I am constantly trolling for new business, so whenever possible I speak to the executive director or CEO of companies.

In fact, it happened just last week.  I was referred to the executive director of a company by a friend who thought that my services would greatly benefit their clientele.  I actually spoke to the director who asked me to send her my resume, which I did.  She asked me to call her on a specific day, which I did.  I talked to her a second time;  she told me she was very busy that day but she would call me back, which she did not.  Three days later, I called her again.  I left her a voicemail message, requesting that she have the decency to tell me whether or not she was interested in my services.  I felt she owed me that.  I have not heard from her.  Wasting my time is one thing, but I can't imagine why she would want to waste her own time.   It would have been so much easier if she just would have said no during our first telephone conversation.  It beats me!

I have lived and worked in several other countries throughout my life.  This Pollyanna attitude that so many Americans adopt, including my father, that we always have to be upbeat and positive drives me absolutely insane.  I have been married to a native Brit for over 30 years and I lived in Britain for many years.  When you asked a Brit how he is, the most positive answer you will get is "not so bad".  I like that.  It's honest.  Whenever anyone asked my Dad how he was, he would always say he was great, despite the fact that he had MS, was paralyzed and in a wheelchair and had one of his lower legs amputated.  That sounds pretty "ungreat" to me.

So, please.  If I ever call you about hiring me to provide massages at your company and you aren't interested, just say no!

Filed under: Humor, Life's Lessons

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