The last week of November my friend and I went furniture shopping for her and her boyfriend’s new apartment. We drove out to the middle of nowhere (seriously, this place is in between two cornfields and there isn’t much of anything else around) to a furniture store that we’d had good luck at before and we found the perfect light gray couch for her, there wasn’t a matching chair so we hunted around for one she liked and when we found one we asked the sales lady if it came in gray. The sales lady said it did and showed us a picture on her computer of it in a nice dark gray. My friend loved it and bought it. There was a snafu and it took longer to get the chair then the sales lady originally said it would. But it finally got delivered today. I was at the apartment with FBF (friend’s boyfriend) and after it was delivered he came into the kitchen where I’d been sitting to stay out of the way and he asked me why we’d got a brown chair to go with a gray couch. I thought there must of been a mistake, they’d simply delivered the wrong color. So FBF called them…. ten minutes later he was still getting the run around because apparently that was the color we ordered. FBF tried to explain that it wasn’t what we were supposed to get though and that the sales lady had told his girlfriend that the chair would be gray.
Now, I’m not an assertive person with most people (and certainly not strangers), I hide from conflict and/or play peacekeeper (except with my brother, you’d think we like to argue as much as we do it) and I’m also very anxious talking on the phone, I have to psych myself up even just to call a friend or a family member. But at this point I was steaming, they were just repeating the same thing over and over and acting like they couldn’t do anything about it despite it being their mistake. I took the phone from FBF and told them in no uncertain terms that the chair was supposed to be gray. That’s what we were told, that’s what we saw on their computer. It wasn’t gray. So what were they going to do about it. In less then five minutes we’d worked out that they’d come Monday to pick it up and give my friend a full refund. To be clear, I let my anger bleed through in my tone, but I was perfectly polite the entire time.
I’m glad it worked out for my friends, but I’m also proud of myself for taking that phone in the first place. I’ve been working on the whole “talking on the phone” thing for almost two years but this is the first time I felt confident enough to actually want speak to a complete stranger.
As for being more assertive? I may have to do that more often when it’s called for, it’s much better than letting someone walk all over me.