Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Bear-onomics*

Our daycare is doing a fund raising drive for charity. Yesterday, when I went to pick up Goofy Junior, there was a table by the front door filled with St. Patrick's Day-themed, little stuffed bears, each with a little black pot with a paper in it. Being a diligent reader of the daycare newsletter (fun reading, y'all), I knew that in one of those pots was a FREE WEEK OF DAYCARE. Not a small prize for us working parents!

I didn't have my wallet with me, so I inquired, "how long will the bears be on sale?". "All week" was the answer.

So, I traipsed into daycare this afternoon, wallet in hand, ready to claim my bear. I had promised one to Goofy Junior the previous day, when he saw the aforementioned Table o' Bears.

But, when I entered the building....an empty table greeted me. No bears. No signs. Where the #&*% were the bears?! I asked Daycare Worker #1....no idea. I asked Daycare Worker #2...and she had the answer.

Some dad had done the math. He multiplied the price of the bears, times the cost of each bear, and compared that with the cost of one week of daycare. And....

The bastard bought all the bears. All of them. Every last fucking bear.

I think my jaw hit the floor....and I was immediately conflicted by two emotions:

a) Shock. He bought all the bears?! What about MY bear? How would I explain to GJ that some cheap dork bought all the bears?

then...

b) Jealousy. Why didn't *I* think of this? I could have gotten a cheaper week of daycare. Dammit.

Then I thought further...The dude actually helped the daycare achieve their goal...they DID sell all the bears. And they did get the donation for charity.

But...what about us "late parents" who didn't have their wallet on Monday? We have money burning a hole in our pockets for a bear. We want a bear dammit!

If you've read the book, "Freakonomics", this is a lot like the after-hours daycare scenario. A daycare had a problem with parents picking up late, so they decided to start charging for late pickups. They decided to charge $3 for a late pickups. Late pickups promptly went up. Yes, up!

As any parent reading this could tell you, well, DUH!...it's well worth $3 to have someone you trust watch your kid for an extra 15-30 minutes, while you run errands, work a bit more, pick up some milk at the store, etc. They grossly underestimated the value of that extra time!

...or that extra bear, if you take the analogy back to my story above.

So, Innernets, chime in!

Was the Bear-Buying Dad:
a) A savvy businessmen who knew a good opportunity when he saw it
b) A selfish dude who stole other kids' opportunity to bring home a bear
c) A bear-loving freak

*All apologies to the way-more-smarter-than-I authors of Freakonomics.

4 comments:

Cagey said...

I think the guy was a selfish prick.

But a smart one.

lorib said...

I concur with Cagey -- selfish but smart. And poor Goofy Jr. with no bear!!

dorothy said...

Is the point at daycare ever to be cost-effective? Or fair?

Mojavi said...

I don't think the daycare should of let him do that....
He was in the right the daycare wrong.. im my opinion...