Saturday, January 14, 2012

Time and Money

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

1 comment:

Terry from Crown Point said...

Not sure if nordstroms still has a presence on Boul Mich, but I've had a shine @ the ones in SoCal & oakbrook for as little as 2.50. Worth checkin'.