I decided I don’t have enough charm.
Relax, I’m not fishing for compliments. I’m aware that people like me.
But you know those types who can talk people into things they’re not supposed to do?
Like, convince store people to let them in after hours, or airline security to let them through without a passport, or zookeepers to open the polar bear cage? “Please, we just want to ride them. We’re from out of town. It would mean so much.”
I’m not one of those types. I’ve been told I have a nice smile. (I know I do, even though one front tooth is all crooked.) But it’s not a hypnotic smile. I can’t flash it and make people bend to my wishes. At least, not when it’s against the rules.
Why, why can’t I control minds?
I got to thinking, and fretting, about this at the Giants game. I bought a Diet Pepsi from one of the vendors. He took my money, and then before handing over the soda, unscrewed and tossed the cap.
“Excuse me,” I said, “I’d actually like the cap on.”
“Sorry, we have to take the caps.”
Maybe that’s when I should have tried the smile, but instead I gave him the you-must-be-joking look.
Steven, standing behind me, sighed loudly. He knows the answer “Company policy” does the opposite of make me shut up and go away. “Come on. Please?” he begged. “It’s the guy’s job.”
I ignored him. I wanted a closed Diet Pepsi. Not an open Diet Pepsi.
“What’s the reason for this policy?” I demanded.
The vendor shrugged.
I guess “moral outrage” doesn’t really make people putty in your hands.
“Is it so people won’t throw them?” I asked. “Because there’s plenty of other small, hard things for people to throw.”
“Is it a recycling thing? I promise to discard it separately from the bottle.”
“Sorry, I can’t give it to you. Too risky.”
I’m now wondering if that was an invitation to slip him a bribe. Like, 20 dollars for my plastic bottle cap. I didn’t offer one, but I tried the smile.
Let the wooing begin.
“I’d really appreciate it if you’d make an exception. I don’t want all the bubbles to escape. I like to keep it fizzy for a long time. And I wanted to carry the soda in my bag.”
I gave a wistful look that said, “Is that so much to ask for in this difficult world?”
He was unmoved.
“You still want the soda?”
What was I going to do, “make a stand”? I wanted soda.
I know it’s not worth risking a good job to give some brat like me her stupid bottle cap, but I’m saying some people could get him to say yes. They could glam him, like a vampire.
Maybe I need that book, “How to Make Friends and Influence People.” Can I get it half off if I already know how to make friends?