28yo, 144lbs, ~14% BF, wife 31yo (married 4yrs), son 3yo, daughter 1yo
OHP 5x100lbs, Squat 3x190lbs, Deadlift 3x240lbs, Bench 6x140lbs
I dropped a 35lb plate on my phone at the gym. It was a really dumb move, I know. I watched in slow motion as the weight fell all the way to the ground and took my phone with it. By some miracle, it only shattered the back glass - an aesthetic wound but still a big deal to me.
My gameplan for the repair was simple. Best Buy shows they can make this repair for ~$75 on Samsung Galaxy phones. I can redeem some rewards points at work to get a $100 gift card. I downloaded that gift card, made an appointment at Best Buy, and set out to set the world right again. Little did I know that I would need to use my skills from When I Say No I Feel Guilty to navigate several different interactions.
I arrived at my Geek Squad appointment early and met with a rep. He looked at my phone, saw that on the whole, it's an easy fix, but shared some bad news:
"Unfortunately, Samsung hasn't given us any parts for the S10 series, so we can't repair your phone."
Assertive Right #9: You have the right to say, "I don't understand."
"Your website listed the Samsung Galaxy series. I don't understand."
"Yeah, we can repair any of the other models. I don't know why, but we don't have anything for the S10 models. You'll need to take it to this independent repair shop 20 miles away to get the fix."
Self-Disclosure & Workable Compromise "Earlier today, I redeemed some rewards points at work for a $100 Best Buy gift card specifically to cover the cost of this repair. I'm disappointed that I won't be able to redeem this since you can't repair it. Is there anything you can do for me?"
"Well, not really ..."
Broken Record & Workable Compromise "Are you sure? I would really like to spend this money on fixing my phone."
"Let me talk to my manager." My rep disappears into the back.
A few minutes later, the Geek Squad rep brings his manager out, who says, "Sir, I'm sorry about all this, let me have a look at that gift card. The best we can do is refund this $100 to a credit card, will that suffice?"
"Yes, that would be fantastic."
A few minutes later, I have a receipt in hand showing $100 transferred to my credit card.
Before driving off, I pull up Google Maps to check out this store they mentioned. Yes, there's a location 20 miles across town, but there's also one just a quarter-mile away! I give them a call, and they confirm they can do the repair. Awesome! I head that direction.
I walk in and work with a tech. We get the process started, taking my details, and looking over my phone. Just as we approach the end of this transaction the tech tells me, "Just so you're aware, we're not licensed by Samsung the way the other store is, so if we fix it your manufacturer warranty will be voided. If the other store does this repair, your warranty will be fine."
"Oh, that's good to know. How much time is left on that warranty and what does it cover?"
"Looks like you have about 6 months left, and it would cover any internal hardware or software failure that's not the result of physical damage."
"Yeah, I want to keep that warranty. I'll take it to the other store."
Now, because this drive is 20 miles and rush hour is just getting started, I called the other store to double-check all the facts. One of their techs picked up the phone.
"Hey there! I was just at your other store, and they said if they fix my back glass on my phone, it will void my warranty, but if you fix it we'll be all good. Is that right?"
"No. I don't know why they keep telling people that. The license we have doesn't apply to this circumstance. They can fix it just like we can and you'd still keep your warranty."
Assertive Right #9 "I don't understand. Why does the team here think that it would void the warranty? Who would they need to talk to for final confirmation?"
"They would need to call Samsung directly to get a final, 100% answer on that. If you want to come to our store, feel free, but you really don't have to."
I'm glad I called! I walked back into the store. I spoke with a different tech this time.
"I just called the other store. They said you can repair the phone here, and it won't void the warranty. Apparently you can call Samsung directly to get all the details."
"I'm seeing here on my system that it would void the warranty. You'll need to take it to the other location."
Broken Record "The other store was sure that you guys could do it and that Samsung can fill you in on how the process works."
The tech disappeared into the back. They had a spirited discussion with differing opinions on the matter. The lady in charge, from what I could tell, assented that calling Samsung was the only way to find out, but she informed her team, "Ain't no way I'm sitting on hold for an hour just to find out!"
The tech came back out. I smiled, "Yeah, I heard all that."
"So, what would you like to do."
Self-Disclosure & Broken Record "I'd really rather spend my money with you guys instead of driving across town. I'd like you to call Samsung and let me know what they say. I can wait."
The tech wasn't happy, but he gave a nod of assent and disappeared into the back. I waited for about 20 minutes. Other customers came and went. Lots of interesting stories of how everyone else also smashed up their own phones.
The tech comes back, "Okay, we can do it."
Assertive Right #9 "Excellent! I don't understand, though, how does it work?"
"Because you smashed your phone, the warranty is voided right now. However, once we do the repair, if the device passes all our tests, we can reinstate the warranty."
"Oh, that makes sense! When can I pick it up and what's the damage?"
"If during the repair we don't discover any other problems, the total will be $60, and we'll have it ready for you in two hours."
I fixed my phone and got to keep $40 which would have otherwise had to have been spent at Best Buy via that gift card.
So many men in the world are pushovers. A key part of the mature masculinity is clarifying your immediate and long-term goals and navigating the world to achieve them.
When I Say No I Feel Guilty provides a wealth of practical tools to assertively navigate that world, especially when you feel your request or goal will inconvenience others or cause conflict. For the first few months, these types of conversations felt scripted. Each piece of the exchange was awkward trial-and-error in which I was anxiously asking, "Will that line work for me like it worked in the book?"
Now, though, these strategies naturally pop up as a regular course of my communication. Issues that would have been major hurdles are now easily handled. It took time to get to this point, but if I can do it, you can do it.