If You Don’t Like Your Results, Change Your Responses

We ran out of money so Eleanor had to hitchhike

I’m back from my vacation!

Not only did we go to Las Vegas to get married, we also spent a few days in Orlando. My mother-in-law and my wife’s friend came to visit and they had never been to the United States. If anyone comes to Florida, we always take them to Orlando.

We went to Universal Studios and the Magic Kingdom. Lots of waiting in lines and walking while in Orlando. Hard to tell the economy is struggling judging by the crowds in both places.

I really missed writing, blogging, and keeping in touch with many of you through social media. I did my best to enjoy my vacation but I felt like I’ve been away for so long!

I wanted to share with you a little bit about my Las Vegas trip. Specifically how it began.

If you’ve read my free ebook (if you haven’t yet, what are you waiting for?), you know I talk about taking 100% responsibility for your life. Not does that include the choices you make, but your response to any situation.

Different attitudes and behaviors create completely different experiences.

I have a perfect story to share from Las Vegas that really tested this.

We arrived in Las Vegas on Sunday after a 5 hour flight. There were 8 of us in total. I rented a minivan to make it easier to get around that week. I’ve rented many cars before. A few times in Las Vegas as well. Never ran into a problem before, during or after the rental process.

The car rental terminal is away from the airport so you have to take a shuttle. Eleanor and I decided to go get the car since it would take awhile. The others would take limo that came from the hotel to pick us up.

I rented the minivan from Payless car rental. Never used them before. Never knew about them. I found them through Orbitz.com. I used them this time because they were the cheapest. Not always the best idea.

We were second in line. A lady was furious at the counter about them not having her rental car. It wasn’t just that they didn’t have her car ready.

They were completely out of rental cars. 

That couldn’t be true. A rental car company out of cars? How is that possible? That’s like restaurant running out of food in the middle of the day. Hard to believe!!

I thought this can’t really be happening. Our trip can’t start like this!

Another couple gets into line behinds us. I’d say mid 40’s. They heard about having no more cars and the guy went off. He was angry. Dropping F bombs. Running his mouth. Blah blah blah. Non-stop. I can understand being upset, but he was just crossing the line.

The other lady was still upset too. She wanted her car. We all had reservations, but they couldn’t give us a car. The employees said that people just didn’t return their cars and they have a shortage. They might have well said aliens stole their cars. It still didn’t make sense.

The guy and the lady were both a handful. I started to feel bad for the Payless employees for having to stand there and take this verbal abuse.

They said they had been out since 2pm (it was now 5pm).

It was my turn next. Instead of being like those two, I took a different approach. I walked up, smiled, and asked what were my options. Sometimes being calm goes a long way. Being upset wasn’t going to help the situation at all. I thought I’d be nice and maybe that’d help.

It didn’t, but at least I tried.

I was told I could come back tomorrow morning at 8am and pick up my car. Or there was a car rental place across the street that had a minivan but was more expensive. I didn’t want to do that.

While I was thinking what to do, the lady was still upset. She wanted her car cause she had a meeting tomorrow. The guy was still running his mouth and cursing. His wife was trying to get him to calm down, but he didn’t.

Then I couldn’t believe what happened. A manager (I think) had come out and he was talking with her. After being an ass to her, she finally said they have a car available and will give it to him. What!? What happened to no more cars?

I think the angry lady was too distracted to hear what was going on. I can’t imagine how she would have reacted. It wasn’t fair to her. She was there before him and needed a car. So did all those other people since 2pm.

You know how babies cry and scream for their toy and then calm down after they get what they want? That was him. After that, he calmed down and sort of apologized.

After being shocked that there were no cars available, I was more shocked that Payless miraculously had a car for a guy, who was a first class jerk.

I didn’t say anything to the employee I was talking to. I needed a minivan and not just any car. I just told him I’d be back the next morning to pick up the car. If I wanted, there would be a shuttle that picked me up at the hotel to bring me back to the rental car terminal.

For now, they had a shuttle that would take us to the hotel. I think Eleanor wanted me to be more upset at the situation. I just knew being furious wasn’t going to do anything but upset me all night long. I know what happens when I get upset. It leads to another negative thought and then another.

This was suppose to be a memorable trip. It began that way, but I was thinking more like hitting the jackpot on a slot machine.

The driver said they run out of cars about five times a year. Isn’t that one day too many already? So we just happen to arrive on a day that it happened? What luck.

Eleanor and I had planned to get the minivan and drive straight to get our marriage license before dinner. We didn’t want to do it tomorrow morning, in case of long lines, and rush things. So instead of taking us to the hotel, we asked if he could take us to the courthouse. He said he would take us anywhere we wanted.

That would save us a taxi ride that we would have had to take if we got dropped off at the hotel.

I could have complained to him the whole drive. I didn’t. It wasn’t his fault. He couldn’t do anything about it. I would have just gotten more and more upset. Plus we were about to go get our marriage license, I wanted us to be in a good mood despite what we just had to go through.

Though I didn’t complain at the counter, I still wasn’t happy about it. I used my iPhone to find Payless on Twitter and Facebook later on that night. I told my story to both. I saw on their Facebook page there were lots of complaints. Many saying they’d never use Payless again. Yikes. I found an email address and sent my complaint to customer service as they told others to do.

I went to review sites like Yelp and saw mainly one star reviews for their service. I wish I had saw this before I booked it. That’s totally my fault. I should have done more research since I was using a new company.

I didn’t blame the employees, the rental company, the moon, the stars, or anything else. I took responsibility for the decision I made to go with them. A lesson learned.

The next day

The next day at 1:30pm was our wedding ceremony. As much as I didn’t want to wake up at 7am, I had no choice. I had to get the car and didn’t want to be rushed. It was our big day!

I got up early while everyone still slept. I took a taxi instead of waiting for the shuttle. I wanted to get this done as soon as I could. I called that morning to make sure they had a minivan for me. They assured I did.

I got there before 8am to beat the rush of people that would be coming to get their cars. I was fourth in a slow moving line.

I got my minivan. Talked to a nice employee about yesterday. She said it rarely happens (more on this later).

I told her about the jerk who ended up getting a car. She said she was working in the back yesterday and knew about it. She said whoever was handling him just caved in.

I just hate to see people like that get their way. It’s not how I would act. I’ve been in the customer service business long enough to have sympathy for those who have to deal with people like that.

When I went to the garage to finally pick up the minivan, another customer got upset. He was behind me in line at the counter. He got upset when the line was moving so slow. The employee gave him his car keys and told him to check the car for any damages and bring back the paper with any notes. The guy started yelling and said that wasn’t his job. The last time I checked it was the responsibility of the customer. I shook my head as I stepped up to pick up my key.

What is it with people getting so upset so easily? A couple days later at the Wynn casino buffet, a guy was told he and his wife had to wait for his whole party to arrive before they could be sat. That’s their rule. He got upset and told the hostess that he already paid for him and his wife and that they should play by his rules. Unless he owns the hotel, I hope they didn’t. Is it really worth getting so angry for something so pointless?

If you don’t like your results, change your responses

You only have control over three things in your life, the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions you take. How you use these things determines everything you experience. If you don’t like what’s happening to you, you have to change your responses.

I certainly didn’t like there wasn’t a rental car for me, but I chose how I would respond to it.

You can do this for anything. Change your negative thoughts to positive ones. Change what you daydream about. Change your habits. Change what you read. Change how you talk. Change your friends.

You are in control of every outcome. There is a simple formula.

Event + Response = Outcome

We can blame the event for the outcome. We’re used to doing that. We can blame the economy, the weather, the traffic, the car company, or your lack of luck.

For all of us in line that day, the event was the same. We made reservations and had no car. We all wanted cars. We just had different responses to it. The lady and the guy reacted their own way.

They were stuck in their conditioned responses. They reacted and felt like everything was outside of their control. Something unexpected happened and their first reaction was to get upset.

Did they have to act that way? Not at all.

After I had time to reflect, I realized it wasn’t the end the world.

We were just staying on the strip where taxis are everywhere. A minivan would have been helpful but not mandatory.

Though I would have to wake up early the next morning, at least it gave me enough time to enjoy a breakfast and take a nap (which I did) before leaving for the chapel.

Now if not having a rental car were really the main factor, then everyone should have been angry. But from what I saw, not everyone was. It was their individual responses to not have any cars that gave them their particular outcome.

The same with the guy who lost his patience with the slow moving line. We were all in the same line waiting. Plus, it didn’t look like he was in a hurry when going to his car. He did more yelling than trying to leave as soon as possible. So why get so upset?

In the future, don’t let the situation take control of you. You are in control of your response to the situation.

How did Payless resolve the situation?

First, a manager left me a voicemail later that morning making sure I got my car. She also sent me an email. At night, I realized they were still charging me the same rate, as if I picked up my car yesterday! I sent her an email and left a message that it needed to be changed. I got an email back the next day with the proper charges.

I was also given a free day for the next time I rent a car through Payless. That’s what my email complaint to customer service got me. A free day is okay, but I would have preferred something done this time. A free day next time, ensures they get my business again.

I just read the Payless Facebook fan page again and a week after my incident, someone else posted they were in Las Vegas and they ran out of cars. He said two people came back the second day and they still didn’t have a car!

So a seemingly rare occurrence happened twice in a week. Sounds like a gamble if you rent from them.

There were some positives about Payless. The minivan I was finally given was just a month old, so I liked that. I had no problems returning the car. No hidden chargers afterwards.

Will I rent with them again? Highly unlikely. Based on the overwhelming feedback online and my own experience, I’d go with another company.

The rest of the day rocked!

The trip didn’t start off as planned. A negative way of thinking would be to think that my whole trip would be full of bad luck now. That would have been a horrible attitude.

Instead it turned out great. The rest of the day went smoothly.

On the way to the chapel, we drove by a few. Some looked just average. We passed the famous drive-through chapel, where it said Michael Jordan got married. We came upon Graceland chapel and it looked the best from the outside.

When it was time for our ceremony, I was told to just stand by the front and Elvis would walk Eleanor down the aisle and hand her to me. Eleanor went to the back of the room and waited.

While planning the wedding, Eleanor’s big wish was getting a great looking Elvis impersonator. She didn’t want young Elvis. She wanted the older Elvis. I told her we couldn’t pick the Elvis at this chapel. I wasn’t even sure how many they had. I told her it was highly rated chapel and we’ll just hope we get a good Elvis.

I’ll never forget her face when Elvis walked in. She had the biggest smile on her face. He says hi to her, walks towards me and congratulates me. He was totally awesome. Looked great. Sounded great. He sang “Can’t help falling in love” as he walked her down the aisle. We did our vows. Exchanged rings. Kissed. Then Elvis sang “Viva Las Vegas” to finish it off.

Everyone had a good time. It was fun and quick. We’re both really happy.

We ended up arriving on a bad day (no cars), but that didn’t stop us from having a great week. It made it more memorable for sure.

 

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  • That’s quite a story Benny! It’s so funny because we used Payless as well when we were in Vegas. We didn’t have any issues at all (other than the customer rep trying to upsell us on everything!).

    It’s so frustrating to see people react to negative situations in a manner that will not benefit them.
    Anyway, congrats again and it was awesome meeting you.

    Looking forward to seeing more of your posts now!!

    • That’s funny you did too! Glad you didn’t have the problems I did. I know that’s why the line took so long…all the upselling!

      Great to meet you too!

  • Another congratulations to you Benny! I’m so happy for you and Eleanor!!! So glad the service went off without a hitch. That would not have been good.

    For the life of me I don’t understand how people can act like that either. It’s not going to change the circumstances. Okay, maybe for those who acted like that one guy.

    We happen to have someone just like that living in my complex. I won’t even bore you with how this guys presents himself but he’s a first class ass! No nice way to put it I’m afraid.

    Just glad you had a great time and I’m jealous that you are Steve got to meet. I bet that was a good time.

    Take care my friend, welcome home and have a glorious weekend.

    ~Adrienne

    • The service went well. I read review online about the chapel and though most of them were great, there were some people not happy about it. We were happy with it.

      Yes it was so random that Steve and I just happen to be in Vegas at the same time! Thought it’d be a great opportunity to meet.

      Always great to hear from you!!

  • I can think of a few times where I’ve been in a public place and someone is just going crazy screaming verbally abusive epithets. The last time it happened to me I was in a bank, and a man standing at the teller next to me was having a fit feast. I literally have anxiety attacks when these things happen now, and I have to remove myself from the situation as soon as possible. While the man was yelling, my teller noticed how nervous I was. She didn’t say anything about the man’s outbursts and I didn’t either, but I’m sure she could tell I was freaked out by my body language as I was jittery and rubbing my forehead a lot. I was getting a cashier’s check and although my bank usually charges me for these transactions, my teller told me not to worry about the fee this time.

    However, I have to admit in the past when I was younger, there were a few times when I was guilty of going a little off the deep edge in public when I wasn’t getting my way. I was young and very immature. Now I know the real issue was not about the situation that wasn’t going my way. The real issue was that I was angry about things in my personal life that weren’t going well. So now, besides anxiety, I feel empathy too for people having outbursts.

    My responses to difficult situations changed on September 11, 2001 when I had a revelation. As I watched the Twin Towers tumble and people die, I realized how petty and immature my attitude had been at times. I understood how anger can destroy people. Since that time, I don’t go off the deep edge anymore in public. Now, I go out of my way to send out positive vibes, even for little things. For example, when people want to cut me off in traffic, instead of cussing, I slow down and wave them over with a smile.

    I also learned I can be disappointed when things go wrong, but I’d rather calmly look to the solution than stay wallowing in the problem. Since I’ve changed my attitude, I have fewer issues, and people in general are also a lot nicer to me. Even on the road, I’ve noticed that more drivers yield for me now. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the world is a little friendlier since I’ve changed my attitude.

    Congrats on your marriage. Glad to hear you still had a great time Vegas. I really enjoy going to Vegas. Overall, it’s a fun place to visit.

    • Thanks for sharing Cathy.

      I also just let bad drivers cut me off and speed off. I don’t want to be near those drivers anyway. You’ve definitely have grown and learned that it’s not worth getting so angry. It’s definitely amazing when you change your attitude, things are you seem better. That’s not a coincidence. If you’re giving out positive vibes, you’ll attract them back.

      Thank you again for your comment! I had a great time in Vegas. It’s fun but I can only take it in small doses. 🙂

  • Congrats Benny. You are my new hero.

    Bravo for maintaining your composure – observing your feeling – and choosing not to allow that feeling to define your subsequent actions.

    My most recent post is pretty much about achieving equanimity in the face of ANY emotion. It’s really hard to do, but I think it is really foundational in achieving peace of mind and growing your rate of productivity. If you’re able to put feelings aside (certainly acknowledge them, accept them, observe them…but then let go of them), you are freed to focus on actions. Actions are much more productive than feelings.

    Great post. And great story. I’ve been there…

    • Thank you Ruth. Like you said, it’s really important to put those feelings aside so you can take proper action. It’s hard to do. They can easily take over the situation! Now I just really think if it’s as bad it appears to be. Before I’d just react. Not so good.

      But mastering it make a whole lot of difference! BTW, I love what you did with your blog! Wow wow wow!!

  • Payless, get less! 😉

    That’s a bummer of a trip starter, but you’re absolutely right, attitude makes all the difference – especially with hospitality and travel.

    I had a flight cancelled leaving TX a couple years ago. The folks in the customer service line were unbelievable! Profane, disrespectful, childish – you name it. It was like taking a 2 year olds’ toy away. People were just losing their minds – and the poor reps at the counter (who obviously had no say whatsoever in a flight getting cancelled) just had to stand there and take it.

    By the time it was my turn, I played the same way you did. Courteous, appreciative, friendly. I’ve been in their shoes – my attitude was genuine. Well, the service rep was so relieved she booked us alternative flights in no-time, and even had a luggage handler come by to get our bags to the right gate so we didn’t have to carry them across DFW airport.

    Attitude & respect makes such a big difference. Sorry your trip got off to a rough start, but it sounds like it all worked out in the end. 🙂

    • Hey Dave! You first comment here. Welcome!

      That’s the kind of approach I wanted. Just in this case, they didn’t have a secret hidden stash of minivans to give to me. But I still would have approached it with the same attitude. Being nice goes a long way. If I were in their shoes, I’d be way less likely to help out someone screaming at me. If someone was nice and understanding like you were, I’d see what I could do.

      Thanks for sharing your experience. It shows that a great attitude goes a long way!

  • Congrats again to you and Eleanor!

    I guess if you want to look on the bright side of things (as you usually do) at least you’ve got a great story out of the ordeal. It would have been nice if Payless had stepped it up a bit to make up for your hassle. They could have at least brought you the car the next day.

    I have to admit that I used to get pretty worked up about things like that but I try not to anymore. There’s the old saying that you can’t get blood from a stone and this is one of those cases. Glad everything worked out for you guys!

    On last thing, where are the pictures of the two of you and Elvis? 😉

    – Matt

    • The pictures of us with Elvis are coming. We have to order them. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the chapel. I understand cause they want to make their money from their own photos.

      It would have liked a discount or a free day. That’s what they should have done with everyone for the inconvenience. Just from reading their social media pages, they struggle with customer service. Not good.

      But it does make for a great story. I wish we had a story where we won $1,000,000 on a slot machine though!

      Thanks Matt for the guest post!

  • Soo happy for you Benny! And doh I wish I could have gave you a rental heads up. I worked in a mean car rental place throughout college. But who cares that was small potatoes compared to the great vaca/wedding.

    Talk to you again soon buddy!

    Jonathon

    • Jon!!!! Hope you’ve been doing well and making things happen with your online projects!!

      I’ve learned to do my homework when going with a new company. When I book hotels, I always do my homework and look at reviews. In this instance, I looked at the price. Besides that first day, they were great. At least it didn’t ruin the rest of the trip.

      Great to hear from you!

  • I am so glad your week went so well. Sometimes it only takes a few breaths and and a little empathy to calm down when thing don’t go your way. We have all had bad customer service experiences, but we have all had bad days at work as well; when something out of our control makes us unable to do our job and we have to let a customer down.All we can do is try to make it up to the customer the best we can.

    If I was the manager of the car rental company I would have given you day free on the rental from your trip with a coupon for another free day in the future.

    On a happier note, here is a toast to your future together: May the best day of your past be the worst day of your future.

    Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

    • Thank you Tammy!

      A discount or a free day would have been the way to handle it. It was such an inconvenience for everyone who didn’t have a car and had to come back the next day. But reading the complaints online, it shows Payless has a long way to go to treat their customers better.

      But in the end, it was a small blip on a great week. Just makes for a memorable story when we look back on the wedding. Thanks for your wonderful comment!

  • Benny,

    Its good to hear you had a memorable time and both you and your wife are happy! I am the same way you are, I try not to let myself get angry over things that I have no control over. I think a lot of times people yell and carry on because they don’t get their way, not because they are upset. I’m glad you took the high road and enjoyed your time in Vegas.

    • Thank you Aaron. Now that I have had time to reflect on it, it would have been useless to complain and complain at the time. They would have given me the same answer, while I would have gotten more and more upset. I think you’re right in that people yell when they don’t get their way. Just like that guy in the buffet line. He wanted things done his way and so he yelled at the poor hostess.

      Thank you for your comment!

  • wow that is just about the worst car rental story I’ve ever heard. How is this company still in business? Kudos on handling the situation well and not getting angry like everyone else. And congratulations on finally getting married!

    • I have no idea how they are. Actually I probably know. People like me who check online and see they are the lowest price. Some end up happy and will continue to use them and others vow to never use them again. Some people have complained they booked a cheap car online, get there and the reps say they’re out of those cars but have a more expensive model available. Who knows if that’s intentional or truthful.

      It feels great to be married! Hope things in school are going well! I know it’s starting to get cold there!

  • Gary

    Congratulations to you and Eleanor, many happy years together.

    Sorry your first day was a bad experience, however, I agree with you aggressive behavior will not resolve an issue it will only compound it.

    A note of caution for renting a car in europe, ALWAYS check your rental car for damage carefully BEFORE you leave the rental lot. If there is any damage however slight, bring it immediately to the attention of the rental rep. Even take a photo. Because if you have not done this and obtained a written note of the damage you WILL be charged for the damage.

    Always good to hear from you Benny.

    • Hey Gary. Thanks for the advice in Europe. I will keep that in mind. Sounds like they are more strict about damages.

      Thanks for the congratulations!

  • Paul

    What a rough way to start out. I have never had that kind of a problem. The wife rented a car at Sun Coast car rental and the price was great when we were last in Florida. As for the people getting upset. Any time you deal with the public you are bound to run into some idiots and you have to be the center of calm. I also hate the car rental up-sells and wish my insurance company would just give me a card about where to rent a car and what I really need. The great thing about Vegas is that the cabs were so cheap. When I did rent a car it was always worth it to valet park. I made the mistake to park in the lot and besides the walk I thought the heat was going to kill me. It forced me to take advantage of the free drinks in the casino. In ten years you will laugh about it! Remember it could have been worse. The airline could have lost the luggage

    • Hey Paul!

      You’re right it could have been worse. Losing luggage would have been bad! I’ve never had a rental car problem so I was more shocked at first. It didn’t make any sense. I don’t like the upselling either. I know that’s the job but it gets to be excessive. I read other customers said this company added hidden charges that weren’t mentioned online. At least that didn’t happen to me.

      Oh the Vegas heat can get really bad! It feels like there is a constant hot blow dryer on me! A car then definitely helps!

      Thank you for your comment Paul!

  • Benny,

    Firstly a big congrats to you and Eleanor. Really happy for you both on your special day. May it last and last and last.

    Your article was spot on. I’m guilty of being a grumpy fella too, not near to the extents of the people you mentioned in your article however these times have come and gone.

    I won’t bore you with the details, suffice to say that these times are a very clear indication of our own maturity level and sense of self control. When I realised that (big plug to loving partner for her guidance) it helped teach me how to have a response appropriate for the situation and direct my frustration appropriately.

    Your article reminded me of advice my father gave me once as well; there’s nothing wrong with a feeling, it’s what you do with it or how you handle it that counts.

    Congrats again and thanks for a great post.

    Matt

    • I like your father’s advice. It definitely matters how we handle our feelings. My younger and dumber days I probably would have been more upset. It wasn’t till this year when I learned that I was in control of my feelings. It’s helped a lot. That situation was a good test of it!

      Thanks for the congrats! We’re both really thrilled. 🙂

  • Benny,

    Congratulations and welcome back. Had I been in your situation I would have handled it exactly the same. It was a sucky situation to be in but we live in an imperfect world.

    Your analysis was quite reflective though. You realized that it was absurd for a car rental company to run out of cars. But also acknowledged that you didn’t do your homework and took responsibility for booking with them in the first place.

    That’s pretty much how my brain sees things. You stayed true to yourself and didn’t get nasty. And ultimately decided to quietly vote with your wallet.

    As far as the guy who got ugly and was rewarded with a car. It’s a sad truth but the squeeky wheel gets the grease.

    In fact, a recent study suggests that “mean people make up to 18% more money then nice people”.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/15/mean-people-make-more-money_n_927702.html

    Either way, i’ll continue to be nice. 🙂

    • Hey Mark,

      After much time to reflect on it, I’m glad I decided to handle it that way. Like someone else said, at least I didn’t lose my luggage! That would have been pretty bad. So I’ll be with you and be nice. In the long run, we’ll be better off.

      Hope you’ve been doing well!

  • Congrats on your trip Benny! Sounds like you had a great time. I admire people who can resolve such problems on the go make quality delicious like you did. Especially, being able to keep their cool and appreciating the joy they had!

    • Thanks for your comment Ryan! It was a great time after that. I’m thankful the small bump at the beginning wasn’t an indication of how the week would go!

  • My wife is absolutely AMAZING at handling stuff like that. She doesn’t get angry, she just gets very firm. She basically says, “This situation is unacceptable. How are you going to make it right?” She never takes it out on the person she’s dealing with — she recognizes that they’re actually her best ally in getting the situation solved. As long as you don’t piss them off, odds are that they actually want to help you solve the problem — they just don’t know how, or don’t think they can within their authority.

    Today, we enjoyed a free brunch for THREE because last time we picked up food from this restaurant, we got home only to find the key ingredient of one of the dishes we ordered missing. She called it in, talked to the manager, and it was funny… she SAID she was really upset, but she didn’t actually ACT upset — she just explained how we live 15 minutes away, and now the whole dish was basically inedible because it was missing this ingredient. And the manager did the right thing… in fact, exceeded our expectations.

    Over the years, my wife has saved us thousands of dollars and gotten us all kind of free stuff out of what seemed like bad situations. In fact, she’s so good at it that it’s kind of a running joke in our family… our entire extended family — in-laws, cousins, etc. — all want her help whenever they’re having problems with some company.

    Point is, you can stand up for yourself and insist on the best possible treatment in the situation without being a jerk about it.

    There’s a great scene in You’ve Got Mail (my wife’s favorite movie) which beautifully illustrates this, when Tom Hanks rescues Meg Ryan in the cash-only lane of the grocery store checkout:
    http://youtu.be/jsjZ4ZqlG4w

    Great story, great post, as always, Benny. Most of all, congratulations to you and your lovely bride — may you have a life full of love, joy and adventure!

    • Scott,

      Thanks so much for sharing those stories about your wife! I really like how she handled things. People want to help people who don’t treat them like scum. Your wife knows exactly how to handle it. That’s awesome. I bet she’s a good negotiator as well. If I have a problem that needs some assistance, I’ll be talking to you to talk to your wife!

      Thanks for sharing that scene from You’ve Got Mail. Sadly, I have never seen it so watching the scene put a smile on my face. He’s totally cool when he’s talking the cashier. Great scene!

      Thank you for the wedding wishes. I’m one lucky guy!

  • Awe man Benny – Congrats on getting married man. So happy for you. And you know I need to see pics!

    If you don’t like your results, change your responses

    This is my kind of talk. In fact I did a guest post a year ago with almost the same title. Mine was: If you Don’t Like Your Results, Simply Change Your Actions. It was my standard personal accountability talk that I believe so much in.

    Anyway man, it’s been a while and I wanted to send out my congrats to you and your new beautiful wife.

    Magic Kingdom – great memories (Dole Whip, Mt. Everest, Safari…did I say dole whip?).

    Take care buddy!

    • JK! Thanks so much! Pics of the wedding with Elvis will have to be ordered. It was just what we wanted.

      That’s funny you mentioned Dole Whip. I had no idea about it. It was like 8:45pm and the fireworks were about to begin. We just rode the Jungle Cruise and my brother texted me to try Dole ice cream at a nearby place. But he didn’t remember which restaurant! So we didn’t try it!! I just did a Google search on it and it looks so good!! If you mentioned it twice, it has to be good. Now I want to go back just to try it, but w/ ticket prices being $80+, I’ll have to wait until we have some guests come visit.

  • Benny! Congrats on getting married bro! I too got married in Vegas last year. July 31, 2010 at the Chape of the Flowers, to be exact (hope the wife sees this so I can score some points!)! haha

    I havent read your book (YET!) but I love the mindset behind it, man! I definitely believe that you can wait around for universe to bring you the things you want out of your life or situation or you can go to it, and get them!

    Anyway, glad you were able to tuen your day around and made the best of it!

    • Hector! That’s so cool you got married in Vegas as well! Congrats to you! Hope you score some points with your wife too. Hahaha

      I wish when I graduated college, I knew the power of going out and getting the life you want. Waiting around for the right moment or opportunity is not the way to do it.

      I’m glad to hear someone else got married in Vegas! Thanks for your comment!

  • Congrats to Getting Hitched! I wish you the best.

    Did you push through with the Elvis Wedding? It would have been fun wearing a wig and rocking out to the Jail House Rock after the ceremonies.

    It really sucks to work in customer service. I worked as customer service representative before and when a customer gets made with the service, starts cursing and drop f-bombs after f-bomb you don’t have a choice but to listen and shut up.

    I always thought of fighting back but understood that it wouldn’t make the situation better.

    Great to see you again! Stay Awesome!

    Armand

    • Armand,

      We did have an Elvis wedding but i left the dressing up to the Elvis impersonator. I would have looked really silly if I tried to look like him. Hahaha.

      Working in customer service is tough sometimes. You have to have thick skin to handle all kinds of crazy people. I can’t handle it for too long cause I just lost my patience.

      Hope you’re doing well!

  • Congratulations! Not only for the wedding but for not letting external circumstances take over and rule your day. I think too many people are just angry at life and at themselves and they are just looking for opportunities to let it out. I can understand how the situation was frustrating and very problematic but you were completely aware of the effect it may have on you, and were smart enough to not hurt yourself by getting upset. Unfortunately most people lack that sense of self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

    Enjoy your life together as a couple and family!

    • Thank you Yuval. Many people lack class and intelligence. Just like that one guy who cried like a baby cause he wasn’t happy. I don’t get people sometimes. Thankfully I don’t surround myself with people like that.

      Thanks for the wedding wishes!

  • what a powerful story – and how true. we can’t control the environment and every one else, but we can control ourselves and our reactions!
    congratulations!

    • Thank you Noch! I I love that picture you have in your avatar. Took a quick look at your blog. So impressed you can speak so many languages! That’s truly amazing! Thanks for your first comment. Hope to hear from you in the future.

  • Lovely write up Ben. I was surprised to read the title, but when I read the post it made more sense.

    • Thanks for reading Eddie! Glad it made much more sense after reading it.

  • I like your posts so much, I try to surround myself with people who think and act like you do- with positivity and the realization that for the most part you can only control YOUR actions, so if you’re in a bad mood or being an a–hole that’s your own fault. But it’s funny reading this article because I have a customer service story that’s different yet in ways similar to yours- similar because of the way I approached the situation.

    I was rushing to get to a flight a few weeks ago (got lost in an unfamiliar city) and I dropped my friend who was on the same flight off at the airport entrance and went to return the rental car, I parked it and RAN to the car counter, I was very stressed and worried I was going to miss my flight because we were only 30 minutes before takeoff (it was a small terminal so I knew it wouldn’t be so complicated but still, I don’t like cutting it so close). The car guy could tell I was stressed but I approached him with a smile on my face (a worried smile) and he had me checked out in about a minute and a half. I thanked him profusely and then RAN to the ticket counter, my friend was waiting there for me with his boarding pass and luckily I didn’t have to check any bags, but my flight was at 5:30 and it was now 5:02. The guy at the counter told me it was too late to check in, and he’d see when the next flight was. I was winded from the run, worried about how long I’d have to wait for the next flight, and scared that I wouldn’t make it home in time to make it to work the next morning (it was a cross country flight). My friend politely asked why I couldn’t get on the flight and the worker gave some standard BS about their policies or something. I told my friend it was fine, that it was my fault we were late and that he should go board the flight and I’d get it figured out. After a few minutes of the worker looking for later flights he picked up the phone and called the gate to see if I could still make it- apparently there wasn’t going to be another flight for me until the next morning!! They ok’ed me coming and after almost crying from relief I profusely thanked the worker and asked his name so I could write a great review for him (speaking of which I still need to do that). So I think that’s an example of what you wanted to happen- how approaching a situation with the best attitude can occasionally work. I probably could have gotten the same service if I had cussed and bitched and moaned…but it would have been a lot of negative energy- that’s not how I am as a person and it would have hurt my soul to be such a jerk, it would’ve irritated the worker, and my friend would’ve been stressed and probably disgusted at my behavior. I think you acted very appropriately in your situation, I think sometimes jerks prevail, but in the long run I believe the nice guy finishes first. 🙂

    -K

    • Hey Kayla.

      It’s really important who we surround ourselves with. Personal development guru, Jim Rohn said we are the average of five of the people we spend the most time with. He could tell us our health and wealth by the friends we hang out with. Think about your five. If you don’t like it, find people who you want to be like. If you want to be an eagle, you can’t hang out with the chickens.

      Thanks so much for sharing your customer service experience! You handled it great. The line that I like in your comment was “that it was my fault…” You took responsibility for cutting it so close. You didn’t blame the agent, the airline, the gate or anyone else. Many people would have laid blame on others. I’m happy to hear you made it on your flight! Would have sucked if you got stuck there and couldn’t leave the next day.

      Can I ask what your work is? I see the website you linked in your comment. Do you work there?

      Thanks again for your comment and your story!

  • Wow, Benny! I bet your experience is a story you’ll remember for years to come. What a great attitude despite your situation, especially with a wedding the next day. You’re right, an outburst is not always the correct response to have in a bad situation. Like you, I’ve been in customer service too and it’s never fun to be yelled at. It really isn’t the rep’s fault and they’re usually doing the best they can to resolve the matter.

    On the other hand, I don’t blame you for not using Payless in the future. I wouldn’t either. You just never know with out-of-town services, vacation sites, etc. I’m learning (from past mistakes) to check out what others have said. That was wise of you to get up early the following day to get your minivan! Smart idea. I’m glad you didn’t wait much longer. Who knows what would have happened then.

    I’m so glad it all worked out in the end. Congratulations again!!!

    • Hey Allyson! Great to hear from you!! I’m the type of person that plans the trip. I book the hotel room and reads a lot of reviews. The same goes for places to visit once we are there. I just didn’t do any research on this company beforehand. I never had a problem with renting a car in Vegas, so I thought it would be no problem! Wrong. But I’ve learned and I can understand if I had a bad experience, but many other reviews left glowing comments. Instead many of them are so bad. It’s just a gamble with them. A blogging friend that just happened to be in Vegas the same time as me (we later met for the first time), told me he rented a car from Payless and had no problems. So it’s really a gamble.

      We’ll definitely remember that experience for years to come along w/ the great week we had in Vegas.

      Thanks Allyson!

  • Sorry to hear about that rental car mess, yikes. Glad it didn’t stop you guys from having a great wedding. I tend to try the nice approach when things like that happen too. My dad is the blow up kind of guy and it was always humiliating. I’m so glad Elvis was there for your wedding. 😉 Congrats!!!

    • Thanks Sydney! It turned out well and wasn’t a snowball of bad luck. We had fun! We’re ready to go back and do it all over again.

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