Arguing Over $3 At Arby’s, And Disagreeability…

In Leadership
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I was working at CVS one summer during college. 

A coworker came into the back room of the store during his lunch break and vented to us about how the McDonald’s down the road had messed up his drive-thru order. 

Gus, our manager, offered simple advice to my coworker. 

“Dude, go back up there and bitch — you’ll get a free meal, at least!”

He didn’t do it. It wasn’t because he didn’t have the time. 

It was the discomfort of going to McDonald’s to let them know that he disagreed with the service he’d received. 

Disagreeable is defined by Merriam-Webster as causing discomfort, unpleasant and offensive.  

With such a definition, most people see disagreement as a negative choice. 

We see a disagreeable person as someone holding a negative outlook on life, a person who can’t get along with others, a bad apple in the bunch that must be removed. 

In some ways, these are accurate. 

Often though, these socially-accepted views of disagreement cause many of us agree more than we’d like to —not because we actually agree, but to avoid the social stigma of being labeled a cancerous, disagreeable person. 

Often though, these socially-accepted views of disagreement cause many of us agree more than we’d like to —not because we actually agree, but to avoid the social stigma of being labeled a cancerous, disagreeable person. Click To Tweet

But disagreement can be looked at another way. 

Disagreeableness is necessary for any process to be shaken up. 

Disagreeableness is necessary for any process to be shaken up. Click To Tweet

For McDonald’s to pay in free food for messing up your order. 

Disagreeability is a measure of how much you won’t passively accept the status quo. 

How willing you are to challenge the information that’s been presented to you. 

How comfortable you are telling the group that what they’ve been doing is no longer acceptable. 

Whether you can stand being the ONE person in the room who doesn’t accept what everyone else accepts — and the heat of the subsequent attention that’s sure to follow. 

I stopped at an Arby’s years ago — back when I ate this kind of food. 

There was a big sign out in front of the store advertising a special sandwich for $2. 

I went inside and ordered two of them. 

When I was set to pay, the total seemed high. Whenitmeising register person quoted the price for the sandwich: $5. I protested and challenged the pricing, citing the sign outside. 

A White female manager saw the situation and interjected. She claimed that someone at that Arby’s had made a mistake in placing the signage, and the sandwich in question was ringing up correctly at $5 apiece. 

I informed her that their signage mistake was not my problem, and that they needed to honor the price listed on the sign. 

The manager argued with me. 

We went back and forth for a few minutes when the woman suddenly changed her stance, laughed and apologized. She honored the incorrect price. 

Change occurs ONLY when someone disagrees with the what-is — and is strong enough to stand on it if/when the other party pushes back. 

Change occurs ONLY when someone disagrees with the what-is — and is strong enough to stand on it if/when the other party pushes back. Click To Tweet

Change is happening all the time to everyone, but it is caused by only a small few. 

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