I don’t like to take no for an answer without understanding why. This got me into a lot of trouble as a kid. “Because I said so” wasn’t enough for me. Every time someone says no, they say it for a reason. If there were different circumstances, they would have said yes.

What are those circumstances? Can I create them?

I was at a restaurant last night and I asked for the wifi password. First, I asked the bartender. He said he didn’t know the password.

Then, I approached the hostess. She told me she was not allowed to give out the password.

“Why not?”

She didn’t know why, she was just following what her manager had told her.

So I tracked down a waiter and asked him. He said the same thing.

Finally, I made my way to the manager. I asked him for the wifi password and I got the same answer: “We don’t give it out anymore.”

“Why not?”

It turns out someone last week used their wifi network to hack into their bank information and steal several thousand dollars.

I assured him I wouldn’t do that, but he wasn’t convinced enough to break the policy.

But this “policy” was created by people under certain circumstances. It’s not that they can’t give out the password, it’s just that they’ve decided not to for a particular set of reasons. If I can identify those reasons and prove that they don’t apply to this current situation, I’ll get my wifi password.

So my problem-solving brain turned on and I started suggesting solutions.

“Can you enter the password on my computer while I look away?”

“No, because you’ll still be connected to the wifi and that’s the issue, not the password itself.”

I assured him once more that all I wanted to do was send out some emails and write a post on my blog. He told me he trusted me and didn’t think I was going to do anything nefarious, but he couldn’t break the policy.

I kept pushing, and I promised that I would sign off and delete the network from my computer while he was watching before I left.


“Since you trust me, can you make one exception?”

He wouldn’t budge. 

That was enough for me. The reasons he gave make sense, and I can understand why he would stick to them from the perspective of the business.

I could easily use a wifi hotspot on my phone, it was just slightly less convenient.

Never accept a no without questioning it.