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The Daily Asker

They say "Women Don't Ask?" Well, to prove them -- and myself -- wrong, I decided to spend 365 days asking. I asked for discounts, upgrades, access, permission, forgiveness, jobs, raises, wants, needs, answers. I asked for myself and I asked for others. A

Updated: 2018-03-05T17:35:00.414-08:00


Gentle Reader, Remember Me?


Gentle Reader, remember me? I've been busy with life, or maybe I should say life has been busy with me. In the past months I've ...lost two beloved family members. My grandma Tzoosh, who was 90 and mercifully held my hand as I got to tell her how much I love her in her final hours, and my aunt Gabriela, who was run over by a reckless driver as she was crossing the street two blocks from her

Replying to Your Comments Here


. Hi! I tried to reply to comments on the initial car post but they are disabled after 30 days to prevent spam. I tried to go in through Disqus, my comment management system, to reply there but it didn't work. So I'll reply here, instead. source: Just Something Made I value your comments and always read them. Apologies if it sometimes takes me a bit to reply -- but I've been looking

THE CAR QUEST. Part 2. Have an Identity Crisis


. I read the behind-the-scenes Edmunds series. I studied specs and reviews of dozens of cars. I talked to friends who drive my top candidates. I knew my budget. I knew what general features I most wanted (leather), what was optional (moonroof -- sigh.) and what I'd skip (spoilers, GPS). I was ready. Except for one thing. Which car did I most want?? Which really translated into

THE CAR QUEST. Part 1. Watch A Witty Video


. It's been a month since I almost bought Toyota Camry, and I was hoping to kick off this series with good news about a new dark red sedan I bargained down to the price I was shooting for. Instead, my wizened white Nissan is still chugging along and I haven't yet found the right car for the right price.  But I'm a lot closer!! Here is my approach, so far. Part 1. Research source: Consumerist

Annual performance review time? Read this before you meet with your boss


Source: Lisa Gates has a powerful new post up at Forbes.  She tells the story of a woman who obtains a few choice concessions at work by asking for them -- telecommuting and bigger, better responsibilities. But then, as soon as you can say "annual performance review," her boss decides things aren't working out and takes back those perks. He also tables the discussion of her raise.

How I almost spent too much on a car I didn't want


I write to you as the proud owner of a... 1995 Nissan Maxima. That's right. After a day of test drives and dealer chats, and several weeks of research and calculations, I drove away last Saturday from a Toyota dealership with my old car... and a big load off my shoulders. I started the day sure I'd buy a car, or at least come very close. What went wrong? It was a combination of 3 things: 1. I

To blog or not to blog?


I've been composing Daily Asker posts in my head for the past six months, and the whole time I've wondered if I should start writing them out and hitting "publish" again. I keep mulling it over, remembering what I loved about writing here and considering the reasons I stopped. Here's a pro and con list. CON Busy. Working as a freelance reporter, getting a copywriting business up and running. I

Attention, Telemarketers! Want to call me during dinner? That'll be $50, please


I have a new post up -- over at Forbes! It's about an insolent car dealership and the best solution I had for dealing with their rudeness: a creative sort of asking.... check it out here! When I last wrote here, many moons ago, I had so much work I needed to cut drastically back on everything else. I didn't decide to take a break. I just stopped, thinking I'd catch up again in a few days. The

Day 14 of 30: How can I make things right?


On Tuesday I crossed something off my moral and mental to-do list that had been gnawing at me for months. A while back, I did some writing for a client and he explained that I didn't get it right. I sent him a revision and never heard back. Background: beyond being a client, "Rupert" has been a friend and counselor/mentor for years. Even without the personal connection, I felt very

Day 13 of 30: Let others tell you no, don’t do it for them


Last weekend, an editor at one of the papers I write for wrote to me with the words every freelancer dreams of hearing: “I truly am eager for additional stories.” On Monday (yes, last Monday -- I've been asking but not writing, apologies!!!), I sent her five ideas. The first two were the ones I thought she’d be most likely to go for: fast turnaround, right in line with the publication’s and

Day 12 of 30: Wedding ask-o-rama


I spent Sunday in my pjs. After a week of 13 hour days, I took the weekend completely off. It was amazing. Coffee...               leftover pizza...                                and flipping through wedding magazines! I also spent quite a few hours online, looking for all the stuff I've been thinking about but too busy to investigate. And made a bunch of calls. Here's the status of those

Day 11 of 30: Preserve this coupon?


I went out to dinner Saturday with my aunt. We ended up at a pizzeria in her neighborhood. At the end of the night, we wanted to use a coupon, but there was one problem: on the back, there was a coupon for a different restaurant she liked. "Don't worry, I'm sure she will figure something out," I reassured her about the waitress. When our bill came, I explained our dilemma and wondered if there

Day 10 of 30: Asking for a better future


Friday morning I had a phone conference with Vickie Pynchon and Lisa Gates, the life forces behind She Negotiates. We've been talking about ways we can collaborate, and one idea we came up with was A National Day of Asking. Imagine if every year, for one day, women decided to ask for something important to them. Imagine that they not only ask, but have the tools, information and strategies

Day 9 of 30: Discount on a group of hotel rooms?


Ah, behind! Apologies, gentle reader. I took the weekend off and threw myself into wedding planning. And I was in more of a digging/researching/calling mode, and less of a storytelling mode. In light of this, I'm putting of the asking challenge deadline by one more day. So if you haven't asked yet -- to give or get money, in any amount -- go for it on Monday! And share your stories at this

An Invitation


There's this saying about good vodka: The first drink with water, the second drink without water, the third drink like water. I think this definitely applies to asking. Do it once out of curiosity, do it again for practice, and by the third time, you'll find you're hooked. Gentle Reader, I am writing to you with an invitation to join me in this month of asking. I've created three requests we

Day 8 of 30: Yet another miraculous save for the car that refuses to die (AKA: Cash discount?)


I heart this icon. Exactly halfway to my meeting yesterday evening, 7 miles into a 15 mile trip, my car stated wobbling and the check engine light started flashing. I was in the car with a colleague, so we turned around, headed back to the office and took his car instead. Made it to the destination only 10 minutes late. I was thrilled. Miles, my trusty Nissan, just hit 150,000 miles, and

Day 7 of 30: Can we say the daily (on average) asker?


I worked 13  hours yesterday, which was Day 7 of this month long askathon: late meeting, some extra work that landed on my lap unexpectedly and the usual workflow. In the olden days, if meetings started after business hours, I'd take that time off earlier in the day. Long lunch. Come in at noon. That's what my bosses instructed me to do. Now my boss is this deadline driven beeeyatch called La

Day 6 of 30: Challenges of hiring, or what HR and surgery have in common


When human resources meets surgery... Today I placed a help wanted ad. What I got was a reality check. My dad called this morning. He was taking a walk during his lunch break and wanted to talk to me about something. "So.... how's business?" "Business? Fine. Why?" "Are you getting enough work? Or are there any troubles you want to talk about? With finding clients, or maybe getting new projects

Day 5 of 30: Super duper discount on gorgeous antique wedding rings?


  A few months back, I outlined the terms of The Wedding Asking Challenge: Try to negotiate every essential component of the grand fete. Exceptions will be made for exceptional values. Money saved will be invested, not turned into sangria the weekend after the wedding. (Actually, that does sound tempting...) Bottom line: I refuse to pay the bridal premium -- to the best of my ability. For, like

Day 4 of 30: Rule #281 of negotiation: Persevere!!! (And if that fails, grovel.)


My new umbilical cord. Saturday morning, Mr. A and I had an hour to kill before I was heading to a cupcake tasting and he was going to do some errands.  "Let's get you a new phone!" he said with the glee of an engineer about to spend the next six hours fondling tiny, shiny smartphones. "Ok," I answered, with the resolve of a woman determined to make the trip last shorter than an hour. (My old

Day 3 of 30: Pushing my luck with credit card policies


Here's something I'm not exactly proud of, but in the name of transparency I'll spill the beans. (Just one request first, Dad: No lectures please! ;) ) I have a Visa card with a due date on a random/weird day of the month, aka nowhere near the first. This month I completely forgot to pay. The next day, Mr. A noticed an online alert that I had a late fee. Curses!!!  (Usually this isn't a problem,

Day 3 of 30: Cast your vote


Last time around, I lived my life and asked as things came up. This time around, I'm going to get interactive. And that means I need your input, gentle reader!! So here's my question: It's 5:15 p.m. in California and I haven't asked anything yet. I'm wondering  what to go for: A) discount on dinner and/or a movie? I'm ordering takeout and watching a movie with my mom. B) remove yet another fee?

Day 2 of 30: Make an exception for the exceptional Mr. A?


After work today, Mr. A met me at home and we took off to the gym. This is a rare occurrence, since I'm not one to work out in general (make that one heck of a pricey gym membership come to think of it) and he prefers to play tennis or do athletic things for fun. "So you're asking daily again," he murmured on the drive down. "Yes!" "Why... daily?" "It's time to get back to the basics. I just feel

Day 1 of 30: Made small talk with credit card rep. Result? Fee removed.


Before the call with Amex (goal: remove a mysterious service fee that has creeped onto the last few statements), I wrote down these six words on a blank page. Not sure that I needed a reminder, but it felt good to see them as I spoke: what i want: remove all fees I called and explained the situation. The agent asked if I had previously asked for it to be removed, and I said, "Something like that,

Day 1 of 30: Here we go. Credit card company, cancel this random fee?


The problem with deciding to ask daily around 11:30 p.m. is that it limits your options. Then I spent an hour and a half waiting before I hit publish, just to make sure I was going to do it.  Now it's 1 a.m. and I feel I should ask before I go to sleep, or it will all be very anticlimactic. Fortunately, that's where my previous procrastination pays off. I signed up for a credit card a few months