Let me start with the story about how I paid for my first road bike.
I had just come home from a tough game of soccer – I was goalie in a woman’s league and I had spent two hours outside in the rain and mud, running and diving for that ball. It was late and I was tired and hungry. I reached for a chocolate bar and sat down to watch a TV show before showering and heading to bed.
As I was chewing, I bit down onto something that felt like a big stone. I had no idea what it was but I knew it wasn’t supposed to be there. So, I went to the bathroom and spit this object out into the sink. It was a tooth! I thought to myself, “Oh no, I’ve broken a tooth and now it’s going to cost a fortune to fix it. ” I immediately brushed my teeth so I could see if there was any further damage. After a thorough examination of my mouth and finding no tooth hole, I suddenly had this sick feeling in my gut because I realized…
…this is not my tooth! I just found someone else’s tooth in my chocolate bar!
The next morning, after doing some research, I came up with the name of the CEO of this particular chocolate company and left a message with the secretary, explaining the situation and requesting that the CEO call me back.
It wasn’t even five minutes before I got the return call. I explained what had happened and he immediately responded, ” that couldn’t happen. Our chocolate bars are all made by automated systems and there are no people working in the factory.” I told him, “Well, I don’t know how it got there or whose tooth it is but I’m telling you, it’s not mine.” The CEO proceeded to explain that he would arrange for a courier to pick up the tooth that afternoon and have it tested. I had no idea what kind of testing was needed, since it was quite obviously a tooth, however I agreed.
A week later, I got a phone call from the CEO. “Well, the object was thoroughly tested and it is a tooth.” I didn’t want to be sarcastic so I refrained from commenting. He continued on, ” We are so sorry that you had this unfortunate experience. What can we do to rectify this situation?”
I had to think fast. I had just purchased my new road bike. I was also teaching high school at the time and we were planning a big student rally. What better snack for the students than chocolate bars?
I boldly requested 1000 chocolate bars and the exact amount of money that I had paid for my new bike and all the cycling gear that I had recently purchased.
The next day, while I was teaching, I got a message that there was a parcel waiting for me in the high school office. Inside the box was a cheque for the exact amount of money that I had asked for, 1000 $1.00/coupons for chocolate bars, and a release waiver that I had to sign on the spot.
Woo-Hoo! A free bike! Free gear! Fantastic!
Of course, after the fact, many people told me that I was crazy and I should have demanded a million dollars. I suppose I could have taken advantage of this situation and asked for far more but you know, I don’t regret my decision. I believe I did the right thing.
I was ecstatic with my new bike and my students devoured the free chocolate bars for months!
Now I was ready to ‘rock and roll’ on my new bike! But first, I had to learn how to ride it!