Yesterday I walked into a major department store and made a return. Not just any return, but one that had exceeded the strict 30-day return policy by nearly three months.

I waited in line for about 10 minutes and when it was my turn, I said simply this to the cashier:

“I am here to beg (smile on my face). This jacket is well past the 30-day return period but I am asking you to make an exception. It’s in season, so it will likely sell. I bought it with good intent, but when I went to wear it recently it just didn’t look right.”

I handed her the jacket and the receipt. She said nothing. The next thing I knew, she was asking if I’d like it credited to my American Express. I said, “Yes, I cannot thank you enough.” She handed me the new receipt and off I went.

No “dog ate my homework” or “I’ve been sick” story. No hard-charging nasty scene. Simple human contact.

Works wonders.