sister-in-law, Eva, is Chinese. Coming
she possesses many secret and mysterious talents that most Americans lack
entirely. Take your average wonton
noodle, for instance. Eva can stuff a
2″ square wonton full of a low fat savory chicken stuffing (made mostly
from herbs in the back yard that I would typically trim with a lawn mower), and
fold it up into a delicate flower, quicker than you could blink your eye. In fact, she would have two dozen of the
little pot-stickers heated and on a serving dish before you could reproduce a
reasonable facsimile of one of the little gems yourself.
talents go even further. Recently, my
brother and my mom traveled to
to meet Eva’s family. They quickly
learned that negotiation was a very intricate and important part of any deal
made for almost any goods and/or services in
That can frustrate some people.
It can be doubly frustrating for most Americans who are honestly willing
to pay the list price anyway! For
example, they looked at some beautiful silk curtains that could be cut and
tailored to fit every window in my brother’s house back home. The asking price was pennies on the dollar
for what textiles like that would have sold for back in the
mother was willing, nay; EXCITED to pay it.
Eva would have nothing to do with that price. A heated, argumentative, loud, and very
Chinese “negotiation” started between Eva and the shop owner. Eventually, Eva stormed out with the whole
family in tow (minus the curtains). When
my mom asked, “What happened in there?” Eva replied, “He wants too much.” The curtains eventually made it home, but it
wasn’t easy. Both participants in the
deal need to be happy and if happiness involves the contentment of whittling
down your opponent, then so be it.
I feel a
similar sense of triumph when I can bleed an airline out of some extra money or
miles when they offer to deal. Airlines
routinely sell more seats than they have on the plane. I suppose this practice stems from airline
passengers who routinely fail to show up, but that’s beside the point. It is not uncommon for everyone who bought a
ticket for a given flight to actually present themselves, however, and this is
not a good situation for the airline. It
is loads of fun for you and me,
thing starts with an announcement, “Ladies and Gentlemen, we are currently
in an oversold situation and we are looking for volunteers to take a later
flight to our destination today.”
Glorious, let the negotiation begin.
First, I look at just how desperate they are. If it’s early in the day, you’re in NYC and
you’re headed to
the airline’s court. They’ll have
numerous other flights and ways to get you to
they can get you to
layover odyssey through
on Sunday afternoon… you are in complete control! Nobody is going to volunteer for that little
adventure, so let the games begin!