It’s Not An Art… It’s A Gamble

Decision making is not an art, it’s a gamble. Even if you think you are making a good decision based on solid information, it still is a gamble when the time comes to decide. I make decisions all the time that are good and bad. I never intend for them to be bad but sometimes it just turns out that way. You can’t make a decision that will steer the direction of your life without there being risk and therefore, decision making is a gamble, not an art.


For me, decisions come in levels. High-end, low-end and somewhere in-between-end. What to have for dinner (low-end), when to book a flight south (high-end) and do I shovel the snow accumulation now or wait for it to finish snowing (in-between-end) are some examples of where I would put decisions that I make. Making any of those decisions comes as a gamble, even eating. There are no sure-fire easy decisions, they can go either way. Good decision… bad decision.


Adding to the stress of decision making is that every decision has many different sub-decisions. Soup for dinner wasn’t the problem with my dinner choice, but making it using the expired milk sure was! So, a decision can go from good to bad in a heart-beat.


I have been looking to buy two more televisions to take south with me to The Playa on my next visit, since I returned last February. I knew what I wanted and I knew the price I wanted to pay. Time was on my side and I could be patient. I watched the different ads looking for specials. There were plenty of great deals to be had but every one seemed to be for televisions that were too large. 36, 40, 45, 52, 60, and 70-inch televisions could be had for dirt-cheap prices but I needed one that was 32-inches. They were never going on sale! I waited through-out the summer for something to appear but nada, absolutely nothing, the price of a 32” flat-screen sat stuck at $278!


That price was $130 more than I had paid the year before but I was certain that eventually that price would change. When I commented at the Big-Box store about this need of mine, the employees seemed to feel that 32” televisions were not in much demand anymore and may not hit the special market this year. The consumer wanted bigger and were spending to get it.


By the end of October, I was starting to sweat. Maybe I wasn’t going to see the price-drop I was expecting. I work in the backrooms of the Big-Box stores and I see the merchandise that arrives to get ready for their big sales and with Black-Friday (The USA’s biggest shopping day, mimicked by Canada to keep Canadians shopping locally) just around the bend, I was seeing nothing but larger model televisions being unloaded. Mentally I was kicking myself for not having bought them last year when I could get them for $150 each!!  In reality, with environmental levy and 15% government taxes it is more like $200 per but still… that’s a great price!!! It was better than the $600 it looked like I was going to have to pay. I could buy 40” cheaper than the 32’s, but I can’t turn them into luggage!!!


On November 1st, there was finally some action. The Big-Box store dropped their price on the 32” television by $100. Halle-freakin’-lujah!! I bought the two they had in stock immediately, even though I knew that Black-Friday was still 3 weeks away. At $178 each, it was a price that I could live with. $30 more than last year per set but still at least a respectable price. With levies and taxes, I paid $100 more for the two television sets than I had the year before and to be fair to the price, the models were better than the two sets that were already in-use at The Playa. I felt I made a good decision.


That’s right campers!!! Not so much!!! Black-Friday arrived and there before my eyes on a pallet on the sales floor were 100- 32” televisions, identical to last year’s $148 model, on sale for $88!!! That’s right, $70 cheaper than last year’s Black-Friday deal!!! I am an idiot!!! When did they smuggle these things in??!! I didn’t see one pallet of 32”’ers, let alone three of them!!! The backrooms at the Big-Box stores aren’t that big, you think I might have noticed!!! But I obviously hadn’t because I was looking at, with taxes and levy, $100 television sets.


I know you are saying just return the ones that you bought and buy these instead. I thought of that, but there is a return policy on electronics that says that the Big-Box store will only refund your money within 14 days of purchase, after that any returns go through the manufacturer. Black-Friday was Nov 23rd!!! You do the math!


I stood staring at the display, that even at 6am was rapidly disappearing before my eyes. Stupid! Stupid!! Stupid!!! I had committed the ultimate shopping blunder! I had pulled the trigger too early, and knowing full well that this day was just on the horizon! I had waited for 8 months without committing, what was 3 more weeks???!!! I am so weak!! It was exactly like choosing to make the soup with the expired milk anyway!!!


Decisions for good or bad, need to be made. We cannot avoid them and very few of us are privy to hindsight before-hand, so we get what we get. Making any kind of decision is always a gamble but the alternative of not making a decision is forfeiture of a life. You can’t live frozen in a box, so suck it up princess, move on, and don’t let the regret of a bad decision get you down.


This is exactly what I choose to do as I turned away from the pallet of $88 televisions. I moved on… with a television tucked under each arm.












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