The stands were packed for the Trinidad vs. West Indies “Great Balls of Fire” charity 20/20 cricket match … well, at least the TriniPosse stand (that’s the all-inclusive party section).

My female trio scoped around for a few open seats together on the bottom level.  I spotted three empty plastic chairs scattered in a group of men.  I was volunteered, as usual, to try to secure the seats.

“Excuse me, are these seats open?”

“They’re taken, but you can sit with us.”

“Awww … that is so sweet but I’m actually looking for three seats for me and my friends.  I see three here and was hoping you would let us use them.”

I tilted my blonde head and fluttered my eyelashes. (I was pulling out some of the arsenal  … I really wanted to sit down.)

“Our friends are coming back so they’re taken but you use this one if you want.”

“Well … that’s wouldn’t be very nice of me to rest my feet while my friends are standing. How about we just borrow them until they come back?”

After five minutes of their flirts here and my flatteries there, I gave up my attempt to secure more than the one seat. I thanked them kindly and returned to my friends who were squeezed in the crowd at the top of the stairs.

Two days later I walked into the office to pitch a project idea to a potential business partner – someone I had only briefly spoken to on the phone. Before my eyes adjusted from the bright Trinidad sun outside to the fluorescent lighting inside, I heard, “So did you find any seats?”

I squinted my eyes. Yep … my potential business partner was one of the men I had tried to sweet talk into giving up his seats.

I laughed out loud and silently said a prayer of thanks that I was raised always to be well behaved and polite.

You really never know when your past behavior is going to come back into play. If I had been a brat and hogged the seats (which I don’t think ever saw the backpockets of the man’s “they’re coming back” friends) or been inappropriately flirty, the reception I received at business meeting would likely have been different and difficult.  Instead, my reception was easy and friendly.

And this time, my pitch was successful. I may not have won the seats, but I got the contract.