I believe 90% of the time niceness wins over aggressiveness. I had a new hiccup this week. Apparently my surgery had been approved by insurance but the surgeon had not. I was told yesterday that my insurance company wanted me to go to a plastic surgeon who was in their network that suddenly knew how to perform the very complicated surgery I will be having. He has been practicing in the area for 5 years and this was the first anyone heard of him performing this particular surgery. He also must be around 70 years old because he has had his medical degree for 50 years. Perhaps he is a fine surgeon but he has never worked with Dr. Wonderful and they would be working together. I was not comfortable changing surgeons at this point. So, saving you a lot of the details I ended up calling the person assigned to my case from the insurance company. This was the first time I have needed to do this and here is how the conversation started.
Me - (in my most peppy and nice voice) - "Hi John! This is Kristin and Angela from Dr. So and so's office asked me to give you a call regarding what you spoke to her about yesterday"
John - (In a very monotone voice) "Member ID#"
Me - " Oh I'm sorry, I should have known that you must have a lot on your plate hold on while I get that for you"
John - silence
I continued to speak nicely to him - explaining how much I appreciated his time working on my case. You get the picture. In the end it all worked out - I was approved to have the surgery by the surgeon I wanted. I think most of the time people just want other people to be nice to them - even if they are having a bad day - even if they are having trouble being nice themselves.