Chicago winters are hell on your shoes. Aside from protecting them with those rubber shoe protectors, you can either 1) shine them yourself 2) go to a shoe shine stand. Since my poor shine technique leaves them not much better off than being dirty, I usually try to rely on a shoe shine stand.
The problem is that it takes about 20 minutes or so of standing in line and then getting your shoes done to do this right. And I usually don't have 20 minutes when I am thinking about my shoes and I happen to be somewhere where a shine is available. As a result, I am stuck with a few pairs of forlorn and nasty shoes in the closet.
Thus I had a brainstorm recently and decided to just take my shoes to my dry cleaner, since they can also send them off for a shoe shine. "Just a shine?" my dry cleaner asked in her Korean accent... she seemed a bit confused. Yes indeed, just a shine.
Since then I've taken in all my shoes and given them a new lease on life. I am certain that this seems like a big waste of money (it is $7) but that is not far from the price of a shine plus tip and this takes no extra time at all.
But what is time really worth? I talked about this to a friend of mine in the investment world who refinanced his house and spoke of the endless rounds of re-submitting the same or slightly different documents over and over again and answering (virtually the same) questions until it hurt. Did he even "break even" on the re-financing after this was all taken into account? If your job is by the clock / corporate your off hours aren't worth much; but if your job involves planning and marketing yourself or thinking of new ideas / research in fact those hours can be quite valuable.
I think that a shoe shine at $7 with a time commitment of zero is a good deal, for me at least. What's your time worth?
Cross posted at Chicago Boyz