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Who needs Business against Crime as business is a crime, my boss tells me. Call me a tinfoil hat, but I tend to agree.
We’re talking bargain power and how we fall short once we touch Big Business: you know that full trolley you can’t afford anymore?
Or that weekly bread milk-cheese-egg top-up that went from R300 to R800? Same packets, all measly three, but not same money?
But I take heart that we can barter South African-style. Or at least we are waking up to it.
That column months ago about the “cheap” dentist still pays off. Readers actually ask for her number…and I give it freely.
After all, the dentist quoted me R1,000 but in the end only charged R600.
Let me just say: I hate calling my dentist cheap because she insists she’s being paid a fair price (my silver hair helps,
though – as it should).
And I need to confess daughter’s one-tooth plate with its starting price of R750 is now a two-teeth plate at the royal sum of R1,100.
Forgive me if I throw figures at you but you, my fellow South Africans, tell me you have quotes of R10,000 to R12,000 for exactly the same work done – sans the plate.
I again sigh at medical aids with a saving plan filled up within one visit to the dentist. I again ask you to bargain.
Strange times call for strange strategies. Not that my vet bargains.
Since I became a widow 10 years ago, I always got a “special price” from her. Read: R100 off the bill.
And we all know pets cost more than humans – or teeth. I have a sausage dog pup that needs injections: R400.
I look up animal clinics and find plenty that will do it for free, even if you earn a salary. Bargaining power.
But how do I bargain with death? Because my ginger Tinky, whose first stroke cost me shy of R1,000 for steroid injections, just had another one.
I didn’t mind paying that: her recovery was so remarkable I even asked science to investigate why cats can recover so quickly when for us, as humans, it’s a death sentence.
I’m not taking my cat to the vet this time. She’s dying, I know…I’ll keep her comfortable.
And cry every time I hear her scream. Because she has forgotten how to meow.
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