I was one of the 121 crazies who waited in line for donuts yesterday, and I’ll bet that I was the only one who had an opportunity to purchase them but left empty handed.

I came to the truck so excited about the rare opportunity to enjoy these over-the-top delicious treats. I had fantasies as I anticipated what they would taste like and I had eagerly planned on indulging. But when I got to the front of the line, I learned that they were sold only as a “mixed dozen”. In other words, a grab bag.

I know that I could have spent my $16.50 and found someone to eat the donuts I did not want. Or, more likely, I know one friend and I could have eaten the whole dozen. But at the last second before purchase, I had a moment of clarity where I realized I was playing by the rules of their game and not making the purchase of the type or quantity that I wanted. I passed.

Grab bags were fun when you were a kid – when the element of surprise outweighed any sense of frugality or practicality – but as an adult, they have less appeal. Customers want what they want when they want it, and if they are going to take a risk on an unknown, there should be some compensation through a reduced price or increased quantity.

Think twice before you get carried away over a purchase. Just because there is a long line, it is a special sale, you have a coupon, or it is only available for a limited time doesn’t mean you need to grab it.

The $1 grab bag I did grab!

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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