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I generally can’t say ‘no’ to anything. I’ve been really trying to work on it, but I still suck badly. So when someone knocked on our door a few weeks ago and asked if we could please buy a weekend newspaper subscription for eight weeks at an incredibly low price of only $10, which would help him attend college and ultimately lead to a better life, there was no possible way I could refuse.
Fast forward to last week. I receive a letter from the newspaper, including an invoice for the renewal of our subscription. Huh??? I didn’t renew it. I don’t even want the bloody newspaper! After reading the letter carefully, I find fine print that informs me of their convenient automatic renewal service. If we don’t want the paper anymore, all we have to do is call their special cancellation hotline.
Beads of sweat start forming as I panic at the thought of speaking to the cancellation professionals. I immediately start remembering one of my favorite episodes of Friends- The One with the Ballroom Dancing- in which Chandler is trying to quit the gym. I wanna quit the newspaper!!!
I call the number and start speaking to a very friendly woman. When she hears of my wish to cancel the subscription, she sounds terribly upset, as if I have hurt her feelings, and says: “I’m so sorry to hear that! Is there anything we could do to change your mind?” All I can think is I wanna quit the newspaper; I wanna quit the newspaper. “No, thank you, we really don’t read the paper.”
Of course, this woman is a pro. She’s a lioness going straight for my sucker-esque throat: “You know, you could change your subscription to only receive the Sunday paper. That way, you still receive all the wonderful coupons that can save you hundreds of dollars every week.” I wanna quit the newspaper; I wanna quit the newspaper. “No, thank you. Really, we aren’t able to use any of the coupons, so it’s just not worth it.” She gives it her best shot yet: “You know, this is the lowest offer we’ve ever had for our customers and I doubt we’ll have such a great price again. You wouldn’t want to miss such an opportunity.” I’m thinking: She’s right. What an awesome price! And really, I should be reading the paper. I picture myself at an imaginarily quiet house without interruptions in which I leasurely read the whole Sunday paper after having had a nice sleep in. No, wait- that’s not how my life is. Children jump on me and animals want to be fed and the house is a disaster and anyway, the local paper is really not a good publication. I WANNA QUIT THE NEWSPAPER!!! Out loud, I say: “I know it’s a wonderful offer, but it would really be a waste at this time.”
That’s it. She gives up! I’ve done it. I have managed to quit the newspaper. I am so proud of myself for staying strong and following through. That will really come in handy the next time I have to cancel my subscription after not being able to say ‘no’…