You Just Have to Talk to the Right Person!

By Milli Thornton

I DON’T USE this blog for giving advice on how to get published. There’s tons of good advice out there and Fear of Writing is here to fill an entirely different niche.

I’m also a self-published writer, so I don’t keep up with the trends. But something happened to me today that can be applied to just about any endeavor (including trying to get published) where a decision made by someone else can either advance your cause or stymy it.

You just have to talk to the right person.

This is such a profound truth it can seem almost too obvious to mention. But it can make all the difference in life. And in writing.

Here’s what happened to me today—in an abbreviated form so I don’t bore you with the details. My bank applied a $40 charge to my account for a service I didn’t remember signing up for (and that doesn’t give me anything I really want). I called to ask for a refund but I was told it’s a non-refundable charge.

I was even patched through to someone at my local branch who insisted it’s a non-refundable charge.

I don’t give up easily with these scenarios, so I waited a few days and called the 800 number again. This time the customer service rep was a warm-hearted lady (instead of the impersonal one I got the first time) by the name of Joanne who put me on hold twice while she tried to get her supervisors to give me the refund. They all told her it’s non-refundable. When she came back on the line the second time, she offered to call my branch to see if my branch would do it. I told her that seemed futile; I’d already been told No by my branch.

She asked me to let her try anyway. I was grateful to have someone so firmly in my court.

Joanne got hold of the assistant manager at my branch and told her my story. The assistant manager agreed to waive the fee and (I was told) even personally filled out the paperwork that needed to be done for this kind of refund. I got my $40 back! And Joanne restored my faith in my own bank. But, even more than that, I got a big reminder to seek out the supportive people who won’t insist that your case is impossible. They are out there! Keep trying until you find them.


30 famous authors whose works were rejected (repeatedly, and
sometimes rudely) by publishers

Milli Thornton



Milli Thornton is the author of Fear of Writing: for writers & closet writers. She is owner of the Fear of Writing Online Course, where her mission is to put the fun back into writing. Milli blogs at Screenwriting in the Boonies and Milliver’s Travels and coaches writers individually at Writer’s Muse Coaching.

5 Responses to You Just Have to Talk to the Right Person!
  1. Lisa
    January 13, 2012 | 6:03 AM

    Totally agree – Once you find the right person a solution is usually given. Sometimes it can take a lot of time and hard work to get to that person. Congrats on getting your amount refunded!

  2. Terri
    January 15, 2012 | 10:30 PM

    So true Milli! There are some people out there who are willing to help when we reach them. Great reminder!

  3. Lois
    January 17, 2012 | 1:24 PM

    That’s awesome, Milli! 😀 And I KNOW there are people out there like that. I just don’t come across them often. When I do, it always restores my faith in humanity a little bit more. 🙂

  4. Patrick Ross
    Twitter: patrickrwrites
    January 18, 2012 | 11:26 AM

    What a silly statement: “It’s nonrefundable.” I just filed a story with an editor this morning, who wanted to change the lead. I wonder what would happen if I said “It’s uneditable.” 🙂

    • Fear of Writing
      Twitter: fearofwriting
      January 18, 2012 | 11:32 AM

      Too funny! I’d love to see the movie where that scene ratchets up the conflict. (Except Brian says there are already too many movies about writers. ;))

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?