Tuesday, July 27, 2010

In a teen-age mind

Have you ever went shopping with your teen-aged daughter? Well, Pelican Joe had the pleasure of taking his daughter to buy a back-pack this past weekend. Let me share some of the conversation:

Pelican Joe - So, what style of backpack are you looking for?

Daughter - Something that can hold all my books.

Pelican Joe - You wanted to get the LL Bean backpack. What size is that backpack?

Daughter - I don't know.

Pelican Joe - How do you know that all your books would fit into that one?

Daughter - It's an LL Bean backpack!

Pelican Joe - Okay, let's look at the sizes of backpack we have here.

Daughter - These are all too small!

Pelican Joe - Let's look at the sizes and get the biggest one. We can always return it if your LL Bean backpack is bigger.

Daughter - These are all ugly.

Pelican Joe - We have another criteria? It has to be big and good looking?

Daughter - Well, Duh!

Pelican Joe - Okay, are there any backpacks that you find nice looking?

Daughter - No.

Pelican Joe - There are more in the back of the store.

Daughter - None of these look good.

So, I looked at sizes 19.5 inch by 17 inch seemed to be the biggest (but did not fit the appearance factor). Most of the bags were between 19 x 17 inches and 15 x 13 inches.

Pelican Joe - (Noticing that she is looking at a backpack) So, what size is that?

Daughter - I don't know.

Pelican Joe - Will all of your books fit into that? (looking at the tag I noticed that was 19 x17 inches. One of the bigger backpacks at this store.)

Daughter - I don't know.

Pelican Joe - Why don't we buy this one and we can always return it if the LL Bean one is bigger.

Daughter - Okay.

So, we ended up purchasing the backpack. Later I asked her the size of the LL Bean backpack. She told me it was smaller.

I guess what I learned from the experience was that if you can discern the criteria and establish metrics that allow you to objectively limit the selection, then the subjective part (Look and Feel) gets easier.

I know! Now that I have this written down, the above formula will never work again! After all, as she reminds me, she is a teen-ager! Which is hard for a person who graduated with a degree in Decision Theory to handle!

Till next time ranters!

1 comment:

  1. I'll admit, that's pretty close to what happened, but I never said they were all ugly! I agreed with you that a couple were, but not all of them.