Playing the Grandma card

the Grandma card

I don’t abuse it. But when I want to get out of something or inflict a little guilt, I’m not above playing my ace in the hole, a.k.a. Grandma.

When my phone service went out, it was back up tout suite.

I’ve crawdadded out of events early or been a no-show.

I may get that gift card from my cable provider after all.

And it’s all because I played the Grandma card.

In life you play the hand you’re dealt. Attractive people use their looks to get out of tickets. Wealthy people use their money to stay out of jail. I doubt Grandma will get me out of either, but she does get me out of a pickle now and then.

Of course there are legitimate reasons to bring up Grandma living with me. Like when she dialed 911 in the middle of the night because she was cold. The police frown on non-emergency emergency calls, but they let it slide when I mentioned she also thinks someone calls places impersonating her.

Grandma is also the reason I asked my boss if I could work from home. I can focus much better and work many more hours knowing she hasn’t taken the stair lift to freedom and made her getaway. I don’t live in a bad neighborhood, but someone might see her in her crocheted hat with the Kleenex ear flap and assume she escaped from somewhere other than my house.

Is it wrong to wrangle better service from a company by instilling guilt? I say no. I never told the phone company Grandma had fallen and couldn’t get up,  I just said if she had an emergency, nobody would’ve known.

As for skipping out early or being a no-show, people duck out of things they don’t want to do all the time. But bringing up Grandma in my apology text usually makes the difference between a “that’s OK” or “you always blow me off” reply. I don’t have to go, and my friend’s not mad. Everybody wins.

I don’t know if I’ll hit gift card pay dirt with my cable company by mentioning Grandma in my letter to them. But I’m not asking for anything they didn’t promise me when I signed up. I’ve already tried their website and automated phone system, which got me nowhere. I look at it this way: corporate America has no problem screwing customers every chance they get. So if emotionally manipulating a real person puts some mad money in my pocket, I say it’s worth a shot.


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