by Niall Doherty

I wrote last week about the everyday hero who saved me from a grand misadventure as I traveled from Munich to Zurich recently.

A week before that incident, I was again faced with some confusion, this time at a train station in Frankfurt. I had a ticket, but no idea which platform my train was leaving from. So I went to ask for help at an info desk.

The elderly guy there just fobbed me off, motioning that I should go look at the big schedule posted across the way. I did as I was told, but quickly realized that the schedule made about as much sense as a bottle of bananas. So, swallowing my pride, I went back to Opa at the info deak, apologized, and asked again for help.

He begrudgingly walked over with me to the schedule and, while pointing out an entry, told me to go to Platform 7. I thanked him in my best German accent and did just that.

At Platform 7, there was nothing to indicate that I was in the right place. So, just to be safe, I asked a couple of employee-looking dudes for a second opinion. They proved more helpful. One took me to his little kiosk office and printed off a schedule with two different options for trains to my destination.

Interestingly enough, none of them left from Platform 7. For whatever reason, the first guy — the elderly chap working at the information desk — had given me the wrong information.

The moral here is that you can’t be afraid to ask for help, and to keep asking. If you get a bad vibe from one answer, don’t just sigh and accept it. Go back and ask again. Failing that, go ask someone else.

Among other things, this also works for job hunting and flirting with attractive women in Amsterdam. Oh, so you’re really not interested? No worries, I’ll try someone else.

Remember: To get what you want, you might have to change how you ask and who you ask, but you must never stop asking.

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