Why must we be specific?

In Become a Better You, Israelmore Ayivor reminded us that we will achieve nothing if we pursue everything. Be specific and stay focused.

Below are benefits of being specific, from our and others’ experience.

Being specific can prevent misunderstanding.

Being specific can help us to live frugally, save money, and prevent us from being cheated.

Joe Lentini asked a waitress at Bobby Flay Steak restaurant (Borgata Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey) if she could recommend something decent because he didn’t have experience with wine. She pointed to a bottle on the menu (Screaming Eagle Oakville 2011), Lentini asked how much and she said ‘thirty-seven fifty’.

Later, when the $4,700.61 bill eventually turned up, Mr Lentini and his fellow diners all had a heart attack.

The restaurant has a 24-page wine menu that offers more than 500 choices. According to Amy Herman in Visual Intelligence, the majority of the wine are less than $100/bottle. A selection of “5o under $50” was highlighted on the first page.

When Lentini saw the $3750 instead of $37.59 he was expecting for the wine, he was shocked. He called the waitress and explained that he would never have ordered such an expensive bottle of wine. The waitress brought over the manager. After some haggling, Instead of removing the wine from the bill, the restaurant’s management offered to discount the price of the bottle of wine to $2200.

I think that the waitress could be explicitly clearer by saying ‘three thousand, seven hundred and fifty dollars’ or ‘thirty-seven hundred fifty dollars’! Without doing so, I feel that the waitress is deceitful to customers.

Similar to my perspective, John Foy, a wine consultant, thinks that the waitress/restaurant should be held responsible. “That’s because $3,750 is a big number for anybody, except for perhaps hedge fund managers.”

Although Lentini has practiced ask-first-before-buy, he forgot to practice reconfirmation (double check, triple check, if necessary). Another lesson is never ask the house to pick a wine, unless you have a long relationship with them.

The story reminded me on my experience visiting dentists. On 20170616, I asked the dentist to inform me the price before we proceeded on any procedure, I had no surprise when I made the payment. On 20170612, I asked the dentist to inform me the 4-digit cost for Little Prince’s dental treatment, she gave me a range. When I signed the consent form, the estimated price became 50% more than the upper range! After that, I felt uncomfortable letting her to treat Little Prince.  I could only pray to Saint Apollonia that everything will go fine for Little Prince.

When Honey Panda and I dine at restaurant, before we ask for a glass of water, we will check for the price first. 30 cents/glass is acceptable, but not over $1, because we can always top up our drinking bottles from the water fountain or buy a big bottle of water from supermarket to be shared.


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