Half is half – right?

9 08 2007

Wrong! Not at the local bakery it isn’t.

I popped in to pick up half an upright loaf of bread (you know—the ones the break nicely in the middle and have all that ‘pull away’ bread stuff that you used to gorge on as kids!). The full loaf was labelled as $2.70, so I expected the half (which was already split and on the rack) to be $1.35. Nope. It was $1.70!! I queried the price—twice—only to be told it was $1.70, no ifs or buts or maybes. That’s a 25% premium on the expected $1.35. For doing nothing—not even splitting the loaf as it was already split.

If I go in to a fabric store and the fabric is $10 per metre and I get half a metre, I expect to be charged $5; if I get a 10cm width, then I expect to be charged $1. And the person behind the counter has to use a lot more labour to cut the fabric—and cut it straight and accurately—than the bread shop person needs to use to split a loaf of bread in half.

As that great Aussie advertisement used to say: “Not happy, Jan!” (YouTube video of the ad that started this expression: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2akt3P8ltLM)