I desperately wanted a few lemon trees, a few orange trees, and maybe some olive trees to give my backyard a touch of biblical class.
However, I don’t know anything about gardening. So, I asked my local coffee shop owner, Dudu, who’s wise in the ways of the world, if he knew any gardeners. Dudu put his network to use and assured me he’d get back to me that night.
Meanwhile, my wife’s cousin recommended a gardener who came by in the afternoon and laid out a plan that called for 4 lemon trees, 2 orange trees, and a relatively old olive tree.
I was thrilled.
But by evening, Dudu had spoken to another gardener who had also came up with a plan for me. Now, all I had to do was take the two plans, compare prices, figure out which one would work best for me, and act accordingly.
What I needed to do was stimulate competition between the two bidders. But stirring up competition isn’t as easy as it sounds.
I started to feel bad since I felt committed to my wife’s cousin’s recommendation and I wasn’t sure if it was appropriate to reveal to each gardener the others position and price. I was also quite incapable of comparing the quality of olive trees. And, lastly, I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
Finally, the bids equaled out and price was no longer a factor in my decision.
So what did I gain from this experience? Some resentment from the gardener I didn’t choose, and a bit of frustration, anxiety, and guilt on my part.
Sometimes life’s a little easier without comparative bids.