I love Salt Lick BBQ. Their pork ribs, along with warm weather and no income tax, are the three things I enjoy the most about Texas. On the other hand, my wife cooks a mean steak. I often wondered what would happen if I take my own meat with my wife's sauce and grill it on Salt Lick's famous open pit. Since I'm doing rejection therapy, I am more than willing to give it a try.
I encountered an unexpected change when Hector invited me to view the pit without me asking. He was welcoming and a great representative of my favorite BBQ restaurant. However, when I asked my crazy request, he had to ask someone else (JT) for permission. When he did that, I knew it wasn't going to happen. The layer between my direct contact (Hector) and the decision-maker (JT) was too much fiction, especially for a request that unusual and uneven.
Learning: It doesn't matter how charming, friendly and comfortable the front-line contact is, you should always always try to negotiate with the decision-maker directly. When the front-line contact has no incentive to be your advocate, it makes especially no sense. People don't like to give out rejections directly, but it is much easier to do so through another associate.