The Power of the Nice
I'm a nice guy. Often to a fault but basically I've been pretty nice my whole life. (That being said I have the potential to be a friggin jerk at times. (Ask any of my friends!) And I obsess on revenge if warranted!) But the base level personality is all around nice guy. They say that nice guys finish last-- and that's true sometimes for sure-- but the truth is there's alot of benefits to being nice. In fact, there are actual real perks in the real world.
I'll give you an example.
I rented a car the other day to drive around in LA. I
don't really care about what car I drive but the one thing I need out there is
GPS. (My natural navigational state is the same as a homing pigeon with a magnet
strapped to his head and LA is all over the place). Although I made a
reservation the woman told me that they were really low on cars with GPS. My
reseved Ford Whatever had no GPS! Right away, I was glad that I approached the
counter in a nice friendly hello way. I established myself as a nice guy
upfront-- which always helps if a favor is needed. I told her I needed GPS or
I'll be driving circles in her parking lot all afternoon. She laughed. She told
me there were only two cars available with GPS a mini-van and a Mercedes. I
asked her the change in cost. The mini-van would be $20 more for the day-- and
the Mercedes would be $50 more.
I told her I couldn't afford the $50 more and asked if she could do anything better. I told her I had a date that night (not true)-- and I needed all the help I could get. She laughed again. The price came down $20. Still too much money. I told her how honestly cool it would be for me to drive around a Mercedes and how I don't even have a car at home. She 'went in the back' and came down another $10. It was a done deal. For an extra $20 I took the Mercedes. I think she was happy to help out a nice guy. And the nice guy was happy. Win win. (Important!) It started out by me being motive-free nice in the first place. Some unfriendly jerk would have totally gotten the mini-van.
You might think this is taking advantage of my
niceness. Maybe I'm being nice just for the perks. But it's not true. I like
being nice and for the most part there aren't too many cases where nice leads to
something extra other than feeling good about being nice. Worst case scenario--
I'm nice to someone who didn't appreciate it.
Here's another example.
I missed my plane home cause I'm an idiot. I got to the terminal at 8:15
for an 8:40 flight. Yadda I totally underestimated how long it took to get to
the airport and I took a wrong turn along the way even though I had GPS. (I
swerved last minute to go off an exit that was the exit prior to my exit
and I ended up on a whole other highway. Disasterama. To try and recover I sped
the rest of the way back-- and did appreciate the Mercedes then. That thing fliiiies smooth.)
Before returning the car I realized that I had to fill it with gas-- but time was ticking! But half empty! I decided to go for it. I pulled into a gas station. Five minutes later I pulled away all angry with no gas because I couldn't friggin figure out how to pop open the gas tank cover on the stupid Mercedes. I even pathetically panicked and broke down and busted out the manual in the glove compartment. But it was all too rushed! I decided to take the ripoff hit on the refill for $7 a gallon or whatever. (btw I told the rental car people nicely that I couldn't figure out the gas cap and they cut me a break...)
I drop off the car and run up to the JetBlue counter which had a big sign on it that said 'Check-in Closes 30 Minutes Prior to Departure Time' I was like, 'Oh no! They have a sign up! And that sign that applies to me! In the bad way!' I was inside the 30 minutes. I give a nice hello and the woman right away told me she couldn't check me in. So I went into nice guy mode overdrive. I needed to let her know immediately that I was 'nice'. I wasn't going to freak out angry style. I told her about my pathetic gas cap situation. I told her I have a dog at home waiting (I played the dog card in the hope that she had a dog.). I sincerely asked her to do everything she can-- but I didn't frame it in desperation. Desperation is usually ineffective. She said, 'Let me check'. She picked up the phone and called the gate. She spoke for 15 seconds and then said if I hurry and run I can make the plane. Then she walked to the other end of the counter to tell to the 'manager guy' to get clearance for me. Told me to come along.
And I see that the 'manager guy' is mid-argument with someone trying to get onto the same flight I am! And the guy is being nasty to the manager! He's whining obnoxiously! He's saying how 'important' it is for him to be on the flight! I and was like, 'No no no! No no... Dude! You're f-ckin up our shit! I already got the green light from the gate! Shut up, stupid!' But manager guy was already ticked off by this guy's attitude. He picked up on the fact that the dude was being self-important and a-holey. When time is ticking you don't go all jerky! You go nice! You throw yourself on the mercy of their court! Let them work their power to give you a break! They hold all the cards and they sure as hell don't work for you... especially if you're being a dick!
My girl tried to chime in but this guy had already pissed on the fire and burned two precious necessary minutes. The manager wasn't budging. It was over. He slammed up his fukoff dick wall. There was no niceness from me that was gonna fix the situation. I thanked my girl and walked back toward the line to start over.
minute later the dicky dude joined me on line and mumbled to me... 'Assholes,
right?' I said back, 'No dude. Only one asshole here. And that's you. And
if there were no assholes here-- I'da been on my f'in flight!!' Uhh... I mean...
I would have said that-- if I wasn't so friggin nice...
Warning: Some comments below may annoy you or make you roll your eyes...