I had to ‘adult’ today and it was really bloody difficult.
It was related to paying for some professional services. I had decided to use a service provider – let’s call them Jo Blog’s Services – who I knew about through my work.
I’ve actually referred them business myself on plenty of occasions because they are the best of the best. When I signed up to use them, they assured me of mates rates without being specific about what kind of discount I would get. However, when I got the estimate of costs this morning, it was far from ‘mates rates’.
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In fact, it was much higher than mates rates. Where the standard industry cost is around $500, and I was hoping for a discount to $400, my fee was listed at almost $1000.
It was a dilemma… Do I say something? How do I say something? Do I risk professional awkwardness by overtly asking for a discount, or just let it be then pay the bill, before never using their services again?!
These were the thoughts racing through my mind.
And to be honest, I deeply pondered the merits of my final suggestion.
Do nothing, feel crappy, pay the bill feeling resentful, and beat myself up afterwards for saying nothing. The outcome would have sucked, but that course of action would have been the least difficult course of action.
I didn’t do that – because I thought of my kids.
You see, I recently read a fascinating article that suggested millennials are so lacking in resilience and grit because they have “been robbed of the confidence to solve problems by themselves”.
A generation of helicopter parents has resulted in a mass of entitled, over-protected, non-confrontational adults who have real trouble adulating.
“If this were your child in this situation,” I thought, “what advice would you give them?”
I’d tell them to suck it up and have a difficult conversation. I’d tell them to approach it politely and pleasantly, but with a firmness that suggests you’d like a different outcome.
And I’d tell them to do it sooner rather than later, so they don’t chicken out.
That’s exactly what I did. I called Jo Blog’s Services, and my contact confirmed that the price on my estimate would be discounted by 35%.
It’s not quite the ‘deal of the century’ I was looking for, but at least I put on my big girl pants and asked the question. That’s a win in and of itself, right?!