Years ago I worked for a company whose production method required a certain type of glue. I could find only one source. When I called to order four drums, the salesman said, “Sorry, the minimum order is five drums.” Fine, I said, I would take five. “Sorry,” he said, “we only have three drums in stock.” I said I’d take the three. “Sorry,” he said, “Minimum purchase is five.”
The story had two positive outcomes. One was that I had fun writing a letter of complaint, more humorous than angry, to the company’s national sales manager. The other was that the national sales manager immediately apologized and fixed the problem in a way that left me with a more positive impression of the company than the one I’d started out with.