Opportunity Cost

0 Comment(s) | Posted | by Alex Pomer |

Elizabeth Arden once said, “Nothing that costs only a dollar is not worth having.”

And I agree with her. That’s why I love the dollar menu at Wendy’s.

Up until about two months ago, every time I went to Wendy’s though, I had the following mental debate/experience:

Alright, I obviously need fries and a drink, now the question is How many Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers (Chee’s) do I want? Two or three… two or three… two or… Oh what the hell, it’s only a dollar.

Then I’d sit down and start plowing away at my food, proud that I’d ordered more than any of my friends. After scarfing down the fries and Chee #1, I’d confidently stroll over to the cashier and ask for a refill of my Coke Zero (keeping it healthy).

Note: Before college, I ordered regular Coke. Those were the Diet Coke days, the ones before Coke Zero. But there’s something about Coke Zero that’s just barely masculine enough to justify ordering. (After doing some research, it turns out that Coke Zero is marketed to adult males by using “Calorie Free” instead of “Diet” since guys associate diet drink with girls. Coke – 1, Pomer – 0)

After getting my refill, I’d head back to the table and begin Chee #2. About half-way through, I’d realize that I’d ordered way too much food and start sweating profusely. As my bites got smaller and smaller, I’d begin glancing up to check my friends’ progress on their dinner. After recognizing that each was almost finished with his food, I’d look down despairingly at my still-wrapped Chee #3 and see my meal-finishing dreams slipping through my greasy fingers.

In the next 10 minutes, I’d painstakingly finish Chee #2, unwrap Chee #3, take one barely noticeable nibble, and throw the rest down in frustration. After announcing my resignation to my friends, they’d look down at my near-full Chee, smirk, and we’d make our way to the trash can and then out the door.

But that was two months ago; I’ve evolved since then.

In September, I stumbled onto an amazing opportunity for almost no cost.

I went to Wendy’s and while trying to determine how many dollar-menu items to get, decided against ordering three Jr. Bacon Chee’s…

Instead, I ordered four.

Now I know what you’re thinking: You’re an idiot. You just spent 5 four-sentence-or-less paragraphs explaining how you can’t handle 3 JBCs. How can you even imagine finishing four?

And you’re right. But that’s the point.

By ordering far more than I can possibly fathom finishing, I eliminate any false hope of success and as a result, I don’t feel bad taking my food home.

In fact, I look forward to it.

Do you know how comforting is it knowing that you always have a Chee waiting for you in your refrigerator? I doubt it, but you (sh/c)ould, for just $1.

If you’re sold on my suggestion, you can stop reading. But if you’re the hard-to-persuade type and need some real-world examples of how valuable an extra Chee is, read on.

Real World Examples (True Stories):

1. Setting: The Undergraduate Library at 1am.

Me: “Hey man, do you happen to have any extra notecards? I need to make flashcards for my Sports Marketing exam tomorrow.”
Random Male Student: (dismissively) “I’ve got a few, but I sort of need them.”
Me: (reaching into my backpack) “I’ll trade you for a Jr. Bacon Chee…”
Random Male Student: “Are you serious?”
Me: “Oh yeah.”
Random Male Student: (excitedly handing over a pack of notecards) “Okay!”

Note: One pack of 3×5 notecards costs $1.19. For you non-math people, that’s 19% more than a $1 JBC.

2. Setting: My Marketing Class

Cute Girl Next To Me: (To herself) “Gosh, I’m hungry, I haven’t eaten all day.”
Me: “Do you want a Jr. Bacon Chee?”
Cute Girl Next To Me: “Oh no, I couldn’t take that from you.”
Me: “Oh no, it’s fine, I always order an extra.”
Cute Girl Next To Me: (confused) “Are you serious?”
Me: (confidently) “Yeah, you never know when you’re gonna need one…”
Cute Girl Next To Me: (hesitantly) “Well I’m sort of on a diet…”
Me: “That’s okay, you can have some of my Coke Zero; It’s healthy.” (wink)
Cute Girl Next To Me: “Haha, okay, thanks, that’s really sweet of you.”
Me: “No problem.”

Note: Coke – 1, Pomer – 1.

3. Setting: A Job Interview with New Media Campaigns

One Of The Interviewers: “What do you think you can do for us… (blah, blah, blah)”
Me: “Well I think I can… (blah, blah, blog)”
Other Interviewer: (uninterested) “I’m starving, I think I’m going to grab some food.”
Me: “Do you want a Jr. Bacon Chee?”
Other Interviewer: (interested) “Really?”
Me: “Yeah, I always get an extra one…”
Other Interviewer: (mouth full) “Wow, that’s pretty cool…”

Note: I got the job.

End Real World Examples.

Give it a try. It’s $1. I promise you, it’s worth (more than) it.



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