it doesn't hurt to ask

when i was a little kid i think i had this attitude instilled in me by my Dad = this attitude of "it doesn't hurt to ask."
i can remember being really young and maybe afraid to ask about something and my Dad encouraging me by saying - "What's the worst that could happen? they might say 'NO' ?"

with as much logic as my brain could muster, i would way that risk/reward scenario.
worst case = they say no.
best case = well, i get whatever i was asking for - usually something awesome.

so since those early days i've just never really been afraid to ask for anything. maybe a thousand other people walk by and don't bother to ask because they assume the answer is "NO." i just figure it doesn't hurt to ask because many times the answer is "yes."

like - "can you give me 20% off of that?" = "Sure"
or - "instead of buying 1, why don't you buy 20?" = "ok"
in high school & college my friends thought i was some sort of wizard because i was able to "get" all this stuff somehow... but there was no magic, i was just asking.

it's more that everyone else seems to think there are certain things you can't ask about - as if the way it is currently is the way it must be. as if the people on the other end of the ask set what is and is not socially acceptable.
it will always be socially acceptable to ask though.

i realize i'm not the only one like this. lots of people are.

if you only drink water like me you are appalled at the size of cups for water restaurants give these day. about 2 sips worth. so i always ask for a bigger cup & they give me the cup they normally charge $3 for. i'm sure everyone else could do it too if they felt like asking.
every once in a while a restaurant will say "no." (remember, that's the "worst" thing that could happen.) which is crazy to me, because i just paid them $9 for that sandwich that's worth about $1.25 and they don't want to give me a human-sized cup of water. but it's all good. i just don't go back there. i'm thinking that didn't work out so good for them.

there's a book on my "preliminary 2013 read list" but it retails for about $20. the book just came out 6 months ago so they're not really floating around used yet or at the library. recently, i was listening to an OLD Catalyst podcast and they were giving away the book free to the 1st 20 people who emailed asking for it. that was back in JULY... and i was listening in JANUARY!
in my mind, i thought - "there is NO WAY that 20 people haven't already received their free books. i'm sure 20 people emailed within the 1st few hours and this is 6 months later!
BUT, what's the worst thing that could happen if i ask? it doesn't hurt to ask."
besides, what if everyone else figured 20 people had already emailed and they had only given away 19 copies? :)

i emailed & asked. the lady emailed me back promptly saying i was way late, but they would send me one anyway just for asking.
they overnight-ed it & it was on my doorstep the next day.

it doesn't hurt to ask.