Working up the nerve to ask is a tough obstacle for many people used to being told what to do, but who never took the initiative on their own behalf. It sort of relates to Twitter chats. Before you try one, you wonder how you can possibly talk back and forth with others more expert and smarter than you. Then when you get into conversations, the worry and anxiety fade away. Likewise, after you ask the first time and get into the habit of asking, the act becomes second nature. You ask for your benefit but, as, Poornima said, you frame the question in a way that benefits the company. You win, the company wins, and in the case of someone trying to make ends meet, your bank account wins.