Anyone who owns a business or, for that matter, lives on planet earth has had to face rejection. It might be from a potential business partner or a potential romantic partner. You think you are offering a great deal. You get your pitch together and it all goes thud right in your face. It's horrifying. For some, it's traumatizing. In the case of 31-year-old Jin Jiang, he decided to do something about it.
I first heard of Jiang's tale on the popular basketball/everything Web site ClutchFans.net, where Jiang is a regular posting under the moniker DeAleck. But word spread pretty quickly about his unique undertaking and it has now been covered by Gawker, the Daily Mail and Huffington Post, among others. And with good reason.
Jiang decided to beat his anxiety over rejection by doing things that would ensure almost certain refusal (well, ALMOST, but that in a moment), thus desensitizing himself to being turned down in general. To make it more interesting, he used his cell phone camera to video the experiences, one rejection per day for 100 days. He's up to day 13 as of this writing.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
Watching the results is like watching a hidden-camera show with no canned laugh track. Most of the unwitting accomplices are as befuddled as you might imagine and pretty funny. Jiang perpetrates most of his capers at restaurants, I assume because they are fairly easy targets. Asking a hurried hostess to gather the wait staff to sing you happy birthday when you aren't eating there and it's not even your birthday seems a pretty fast way to get turned down, if not thrown out.
But the one exception, Jackie Braun of Krispy Kreme, is what has caused the online media to take notice. When Jiang asked her to create the Olympic rings logo from donuts, she paused and thought about it, eventually following through. She even Googled the colors of the rings to get the icing right. We are friendly folk here in Texas, but that's going above and beyond. That simple act of customer service has been praised across the Web thanks to the video on YouTube, including a special thanks from the donut chain's Twitter feed -- we hope she got a bonus or something, too.
But what may have been one small step for donut lovers was one big step backward for Jiang, who considers any acceptance of his offers to be rejections. Still, it's only one out of 13 with another 87 to go. Best of luck!