There is never anything on anyway

Published: Jun 05 , 2015
Author: Alan Smith

A relatively small and parochial point this week, but it illustrates that opportunities to negotiate abound. A deal may just improve your position in any walk of life.

 I have been working in the US this week and flew into JFK on Monday with the intention of staying in Manhattan on Monday prior to starting work on Tuesday. I booked into a small hotel just off Broadway.

 Now, New York is 5 hours behind UK time so at around 9 pm (2 am on my body clock) I decided to turn in.

I switched on the TV for a little R & R. Nothing doing. Intermittent picture and no sound. A call down to reception. A knock on the door.

The technical guy managed to fix the TV. Problem solved.

After a couple of hours of fitful sleep I come round at 4 am local time, groggy and grumpy.

I switch on the TV. Nothing. Problem back.

It crossed my mind to get the technical guy back. But at 4 am? Not very happy. One of my priorities when staying in a hotel with the possibility of Jet Lag is having a decent entertainment system.

At reception that morning I informed the desk about the problem.

They wisely apologized and asked me what they could do to fix the problem that they had created. A great question.

Now tempting as it is to have a good old rant and complain, not much sleep makes anyone grumpy, I resisted. I also recognized a deal opportunity. I made a proposal: Upgrade me to a better room and give me a free movie - and that would make the problem go away. Deal done.

Look, the reality of life is that things go wrong. Mistakes get made. Stuff breaks. Changes create hassle. Having a good old moan is an option, but it gets you very little apart from the pleasure in making someone else unhappy and an increase in blood pressure.

If you have a complaint make a proposal to improve your position. It just might work.

Alan Smith


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Alan Smith
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Muck Shift

Just when is a deal not a deal…? I heard this story from a friend of mine the other week; there are some lessons to be learned! So, my pal is a developer and is building some houses on what is essentially a square site. Two sides of the square can be accessed from the road in a neighboring housing estate and the other two are beside a field owned by another developer. There is a huge pile of muck to shift before the actual building project; this phase is known in the trade – and not unreasonably - as a "muck-shift"! As there will be 80 -100 lorries coming in and out each day for 6 weeks, it was considered more convenient to access the site over the field, so an approach was made to the developer to discuss the terms under which he would allow access. This is a standard arrangement and the deal typically is that the field would be returned to the owner in its original condition. Developer makes a bit of money, where otherwise he wouldn’t; homeowners in the adjoining estate are less inconvenienced; builder does not need to spend money cleaning the streets and getting them back to a usable state at the end of the project. Win-win.

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