The Harbinger Online

The Master of Manipulation

I logged into my Skyward and anxiously waited for my grades to load. I had just taken my AP Economics final, knowing I needed at least an 85 percent to secure an A in the class. My teacher still hadn’t put the grade in. I felt like my entire life was riding on this one grade. I needed an A not only to give me a perfect grade card, but to get the prize money my father had promised me. I clicked refresh again, and my fate appeared on the screen. It turned out to be an 84 percent, leaving me at an 89.4 for the semester.

My insides felt hot and I wanted to scream, but instead, I decided I would try to change my fortune. I composed myself and figured I’d pay a visit to my teacher the next morning to have a talk with her.

In preparation, I sat down at my kitchen table and developed a plan. I knew my teacher was very proud of her kids’ success, so I’d try to use that to my advantage. I also knew she genuinely wanted each of her students to succeed in life. Almost everyday, she would remind us how badly she wanted us to make money in life and have great jobs; I’d use that on her, too. My main goal was to persuade her into moving my grade up to an A, and I would use my sweet talk and persuasion skills to do it.

I walked into her classroom early the next morning, and she immediately shut me down. Without saying a single word she said there would be no grade changes. However, I had planned for this. I started in with all the basic pleas, like ‘I’ve tried so hard this year’ and ‘I really deserve this.’ Her response was “make a time machine and try again.” I thought hard, and delivered a line that I knew would change her mind. I asked her if her kids would be successful had their teachers been so hard on them. She finally saw my reasoning and told me she would see what she could do.

Later that same day a nice 89.5 percent appeared on my Skyward account. The next day I enjoyed playing some FIFA that I bought with my reward money.

That day, I began to realize I could achieve things through persuasion. With the right skill set and practice, my goals would be attainable by using sweet talk to my advantage. School became easier. Things like getting out of chores became easier. And most importantly, getting money became easier.

High schoolers need many things, including money. We go out to lunch with friends, we go to movies and we constantly need gas. I understand getting a job could help with all this, but why not get a decent amount of cash without having to work for more than an hour? For the past few years, whenever I’ve been in need of a quick Benjamin, I would just call my parents’ friend Bob, who is always willing to spare some cash. Sometimes he would say he doesn’t need any help, but I would just simply say ‘Bob, don’t you remember when you were in high school and you needed some money?’ One hour and a few watered plants later, I had a fresh hundred dollar bill in my hand.

For the rest of my life, I can live with the comfort of knowing that no matter what situation I find myself in, I can smooth talk my way out of it. Not only do these skills help with everyday tasks, but it can help me find success in life. Whether I’m trying to get could be a new job, or trying to get a promotion, being able to talk will play a key part.

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