I Wanted Fries with That: How to Ask for What You Want and Get What You Need

I Wanted Fries with That: How to Ask for What You Want and Get What You Need

by Amy Fish
I Wanted Fries with That: How to Ask for What You Want and Get What You Need

I Wanted Fries with That: How to Ask for What You Want and Get What You Need

by Amy Fish


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At some point in our lives, we’ve all experienced an injustice, large or small — a restaurant botching our lunch order or a boss who isn’t following the guidelines for workplace etiquette — and suffered in silence for fear of offending anyone. When we fail to speak up, however, we shortchange ourselves. Amy Fish encourages standing up for yourself (and others) by complaining effectively. Her suggestions will appeal to anyone who wants to speak up and isn’t sure where to start, including managers navigating workplace disputes, couples who argue about the same things over and over, and even someone with a friend with bad breath. Illustrating her points with funny real-life stories, Fish reveals pragmatic methods to redress grievances with civility, honesty, and fairness for everyone involved — whether you’re trying to right the wrongs of the world or just claim the french fries you ordered.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608686193
Publisher: New World Library
Publication date: 10/01/2019
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,088,062
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

As ombudsman at Concordia Universityin Montreal, Amy Fish resolves complaints from students, faculty, and staff. She has written for the Huffington Post Canada, Reader’s Digest, and the Globe and Mail and appeared on CBC Marketplace and CTV News. She lives in Montreal.

Table of Contents

Preface: I Wanted Fries with That xv

About the Book: The Hole in the Story xix

Part I I Want My Problem Solved

1 How to Get Greener Lettuce: Involve the Artist 5

2 How to Register for a Sold-Out Event: Admit When You're Wrong 13

3 How to Get the Insurance Adjuster to Show Up: Put Yourself in Their Shoes 20

4 How to Get the Person in Front of You to Move Their Seat Up: Go Step-by-Step 26

5 How to Get Your Appliance Repaired: Be Clear and Concise 33

6 How to Get Clingy Children to Back Off: Use the Resolution Continuum 39

7 How to Exchange a Onesie (When You'd Rather Get Your Money Back): Be Prepared to Compromise 44

8 How to Report a Rhyming Physician or Other Health-Care Professional: Consider Your Timing 52

9 How to Get a Ski Jacket Repaired without a Receipt, and Also Return a Coffeemaker: Two Stories with the Same Ending 57

10 How to Find a Unicorn Frappuccino: Listen for Clues 70

11 How to Get Your Log-In ID and Password to Function Correctly: Stay on It 79

12 How to Get Your Money Back When Your Favorite Dress Is Ruined: Some Questions Remain Unanswered 86

13 How to Get Your Teacher to Raise Your Grade: Show the Evidence 93

14 How to Stay Alive While Your Complaint Is Being Investigated: Remain Calm 99

Part II I Want You to Change

15 How to Get Your Guests to Arrive on Time for Dinner: Learn the Serenity Prayer 113

16 How to Ask Your Husband to Put Down His Cellphone During Dinner: Set the Bar Low 119

17 How to Get Your Boss to Stop Changing Her Mind: Report Her to the Fashion Police 125

18 How to Ask Someone to Freshen Their Breath: Be Direct 132

19 How to Get Someone to Shower More Frequently Because They Stink: Be Compassionate 141

20 How to Get Your Volunteers to Dress More Appropriately: Reframe the Situation 146

Part III I Want Justice to Be Served

21 How to Get Bacon Out of the Synagogue Refrigerator: Collect Data 161

22 How to Prevent Grandma from Falling on a Pile of Broken Pipes: File an Official Complaint 170

23 How to Get on the Kiddie Coaster with Your Three-Year-Old If You Are Wet and Black: Ask for the Manager 181

24 How to Get Your Coworkers to Clean the Kitchen: Be More Threatening 188

25 How to Call Out Another Mom for Suboptimal Cupcake Behavior: Speak Up Even If It Hurts 194

26 How to Accidentally Get Your Waiter Fired: Rise Above the Fear 201

27 How to Get the Break You Deserve at Work: Know Your Rights 209

Conclusion 215

Acknowledgments 221

Endnotes 225

About the Author 227

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Amy provides a smile on every page.”
— Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court justice, about The Art of Complaining Effectively by Amy Fish

“Fish’s how-to guide for effective complaining is effervescent with a breezy sense of humor . . . a blueprint to getting what you need with the right words and a delicate touch.”

“Readers looking for advice on raising concerns effectively will find this guide to be a valuable tool.”
— Publishers Weekly

“Sharing a host of entertaining stories, Fish describes in depth how to ask someone to freshen their breath, call out another mom for suboptimal behavior, and how to get the break one deserves at work. She stresses that communication needs to be ongoing and clear, and that by complaining effectively we will make the world a better place for the next person. This page-turner of a self-help book highlights great ideas on almost every page.”
Library Journal

“Great advice about how and why you should and can negotiate your desires and advocate for others as well as yourself.”
San Francisco Book Review

“Amy Fish is laugh-out-loud funny, and her words carry an important message: we need to stand up not only for ourselves but for everyone in line behind us. I found myself nodding feverishly in agreement. I wish I had read this twenty years earlier so I could have imparted more of this information to my children. It is so sensible.”
— Nancy Spielberg, producer, Playmount Productions

“Self-improvement has never been easier or more enjoyable, engaging, amusing, and effective. Amy Fish delivers clear-cut instructions with passion and wit, teaching even the most reluctant complainers how to speak up for themselves. You’ll laugh your way to a stronger, better you.”
— Lara Lillibridge, bestselling author of Mama, Mama, Only Mama: An Irreverent Guide for the Newly Single Parent

“With warmth, humor, wisdom, and deep respect for others, Amy Fish gives you the strategies and courage to speak in your own voice to ask for what you want or need. This is storytelling and complaint handling at their very best.”
— Lydia Cummings, university ombudsman

“Laugh-out-loud funny and packed with wise and practical advice on making your voice heard, this book should be on everyone’s reading list.”
— Susan E. Opler, ombudsman, City of Toronto

“Fresh, crisp, and terrifically useful advice. Especially good for those of us who’ve never had the nerve to send back a dish at a restaurant, these easy scripts and practical examples will help us all learn a kinder, gentler way of making things better.”
— Sam Bennett, author of Get It Done

“Take it from someone who avoids complaining at all costs: Amy Fish’s I Wanted Fries with That made me want to speak up and speak out! She offers practical advice laced with enough humor to make even the most skittish of us stand up and get exactly what we want.”
— Athena Dixon, author of No God in This Room

“Amy Fish’s book gave me great tips I can use at work, where I spend a lot of time negotiating with opposing counsel, and at home, where I spend a lot of time negotiating with my teenage kids. It also made me laugh along the way.”
— Susan Gradman, Chicago attorney

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