Hospital Lessons – Time, Cost & Quality
It has been over a month since my last post. March was the first month I have missed since I bought the domain. However, I have learnt a lot in the month of March. Sorry for not posting, however hospital trumps blogging in my priority list. I will get to the learnings, but first, a little background.
I have always been the sort of person who likes to find the best. I like to know that I am getting the best possible results for the lowest possible price. Those of you who have seen the Time, Cost, Quality triangle (or some variation of that) could easily guess which one I did not hold in such high regard. (PS: the answer is Time.)
The justification for that has always been easy. Firstly, I like to pay the least for whatever I am getting. Why pay $25 for an iPad case when I can find it for $14 on eBay? I don’t need the case right now, and I know it is exactly the same case. Someone else has imported it and is selling it at a profit.
Secondly, I like the best. By the best I am not talking top-of-the-line necessarily. I am talking good quality for the price-point I am shopping in. Which of the low-end iPad cases is made of a better material? which design has thought about silly little charging doors that will rip off?
The third element is time. This one often doesn’t have a direct cost. If I take longer to decide on that iPad case, it won’t cost me more. If I take longer to decide then the case won’t suddenly be worse quality. In fact, time often helps those others. If you are willing to wait longer to can get it without a middleman (or with fewer middle men). If you are willing to wait longer you can find out more of the potential flaws that could cause quality problems.
This mind-set means I have always been happy to let time take one for the team.
Back to the Hospital … er Story
In March I had the unfortunate opportunity to experience our local hospital facilities first hand. In this instance, I say unfortunate now because of the quality of the hospital, they did a fine job, but rather because of the unpleasant reasons that often go along with a trip into hospital.
All up I was in there for just under I week I believe. I won’t bore you (or feed your macabre curiosity) with details, as I wanted to talk about the change in thinking. I will find out tomorrow (5th April 2017) whether everything is ok or if further action is required.
There is nothing like a hospital visit to put thing into perspective. When you have trouble walking, a short walk to a cheaper place suddenly seems like insanity. Getting things 80% done, especially when they are not permanent, now seems like a great place to be.
Finally, I will list some examples of thing where I used to spend too much time fussing about quality or cost, and why my perspective has changed:
The cost of parking
- I used to drive all over the city and walk for block after block to find free parking. If I can combine exercise with this I would do it again, but when you have 7 different appointments spread out all over the city, an extra half hour walk each way for each of them results in two days of running around rather than one.
- Result: I now will do a quick google to find a couple of parking locations around where I am heading and pick the cheapest (unless I am not in a rush and want some exercise)
Getting the lowest price for items that will provide immediate benefit
- I used to spend hours searching eBay and other deal websites to try to find the cheapest product that did not compromise quality. This resulted in reading review after review after review to save something like $10.
- Result: I have attempted to split the cost savings into buckets. If I am going to save over $1000, then I can spend a good amount of time researching (e.g. new/second-hand car). Saving around $100 means I can spend some time searching over and above what I need to find a product that will fill my needs. If I am only going to save $10, then I now just try to perform a quick google to see if the same item is being sold for less or whether comparison sites rate a different product as better.
Making do with what I have already
- I used to be quite willing to put up with a lot of tedium and/or annoyance to use something that I had already that sort of did the job. A prime example of this is my set of drill bits. I have owned a set of drill bits for years. It was a very cheap set that I think came with something else I bought. Every time I needed to drill something, out they came. Eventually they were so blunt and/or bent that I only had a few sizes that would work. So, I found myself spending far too long trying to drill out larger holes. It wasn’t until I got a new set that I realised how much pain I was causing myself.
- Result: Things you are going to use for a long time, or over and over are worth buying sooner rather than later, even if you can sort of get by now.
Well, that is me for today. Fingers crossed for the final set of results tomorrow!