Pssst! What’s wrong with this picture? Give up? Well? What? It’s the fraction. I didn’t pay much attention when I was younger, nor have any idea when it began. If you know, tell me, because I am clueless. Now that I’m old and cranky, it just pisses me off!
Why do the gas companies use 9/10 as a measurement? I’ve never purposely pumped 9/10 of a gallon in my car. I usually try to round it off at the .00 mark, occasionally going a penny over (man, it ticks me off when that happens) and then try to go all the way to the next .00. Sometimes I get caught at .77 and can’t fill the tank any more without spilling it on my shoes. My preference is to pay for the fuel in round numbers, not tenths. I rarely have a pocket full of tenthathents.
The consensus is sellers of petrol use the fraction as a marketing tool. That’s not particularly profound information, is it? I’ll bet more than a few of you reading this see 3.23 9/10, and think you’re getting a deal at 3.23, not 3.24. Many will drive a couple of more miles to buy the gasoline at 3.22 9/10, because it seems like it’s only 3.22. The strategy seems to work. I too, fall prey to their ploy. And to be even sneakier, they don’t use dollar signs (like they’re some fancy restaurant), as if we lemmings won’t know it’s money. Lately, I seem to have stopped chasing down the few-cents-cheaper-gallon-several-blocks-away. It just doesn’t seem worth the fight. I’ll probably burn any savings during the chase down. When gasoline is necessary, I just get it.
Using the fraction is really no different than going into a store and buying something for $9.99. You’re only paying nine dollars, right? And you are probably not even calculating the tax in your head. Who’s the better marketer; the petroleum companies or the retailers? The 9/10 is so annoying. Can’t they just round it out? Or switch to .99? That’s almost as irritating, but for some reason not quite as much as 9/10. Decimals are more appealing than fractions. Fractions seem a bit unwieldy. Decimals are quick and clean. Fractions are like a little fence you have to jump. Decimals are to the point. Hell, they are the point.
The price of gasoline is high, but how many of us buy bottled water? If a 16-ounce bottle cost $1.25, a gallon is $10.00. It appears the day has arrived where people are paying more for water than gasoline. Of course, no one can drink 10 gallons of water a day, but we can easily use 10 gallons of gas.
We’ll complain, debate, moan and groan about the price of gasoline, and how the Middle East is the cause of all our problems. Regardless, we won’t walk, carpool or drive more efficient vehicles. Why should we? When it comes to sacrifice, it is better to tough it out and pay the bill. Let’s save on groceries or other things in our lives. Eating at cheaper restaurants is helpful. I wonder how many Oil Executives frequent McDonald’s?
Well, I’m going to go now. I need to drive my SUV to pick up dinner. They don’t deliver. Probably a result of the fuel prices.
Bake My Fish