January 15, 2004:

 

The Perception of Value and the Pathological Need to Get a Bargain, Part 1

The beloved mother of a successful businessman was chronically ill. Despite visiting all the best doctors in the land, the source of her malady remained a mystery and her condition persisted.

A good friend heard about this situation, and referred the businessman and his mother to Dr. Smith. After 3 visits, the mother's condition improved, and shortly thereafter, all symptoms disappeared.

The filial son was overjoyed. He asked the doctor what the cost of services amounted to, happy that finally, his mother was well.

The doctor replied, "$4."

The son was overjoyed that his mother was cured, and thought that $40 was a very reasonable price to pay for his mother's return to health, but he still could not resist the businessman's urge to bargain.  "Would you take $36?" replied the son.

"$4" repeated the doctor.

"Oh, come on, don't be so firm on your prices, how about $38?" asked the businessman.

"No, you don't understand. The bill comes to FOUR Dollars," explained the doctor.

"Oh, in that case, would you take $3.50?"

I leave the moral of the story to you, gentle reader.

TM


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