"I'm going to ask you for a favor, but just so you know I'm not expecting you to say yes."
These are my favorite moments as a librarian, when I get to snatch a Yes out of the jaws of No. I love being the person who can make things happen, though I wonder what it says about a workplace when people expect to be disappointed by their colleagues.
Are we too busy? Too siloed? Too worried about setting the bar of expectations too high?
I don't know, but I've never been comfortable with letting people down- especially when I've been given explicit permission to do so.