Exceeding expectations a dozen donuts at a time


Last weekend, instead of driving down to the Krispy Kreme in sodo (trendy!), I hit the Safeway down the street. Not that the Safeway isn't trying to be trendy -- wood floors in the fruit/vegetable area and the Starbucks area -- but it is closer and they always seem to have a decent selection at 7 in the morning on Sunday.


I've been in the Safeway many times. Too many times. Having a grocery store so close to the house makes it easy to shift inventory storage away from my two refrigerators, pantry, closet, and garage shelves to Safeway's facilities. Sure, I take a risk that prices will rise a bit but in the course of a year it all averages out; what is a few pennies more this week is offset by $0.25/lb bananas.


[Those that live in the great northwest know I am lying here...bananas rarely fall below $0.33/lb and if you want ones untouched by human chemicals, prices are well north of that.]


So after getting my diet pepsi + a little bit of coke on chunklet ice from the AM/PM gas station/soda emporium, I stopped off at the Safeway, grabbed a basket, walked past the cheese and yogurt and arrived at the donut display. At the top of the display was a sign: 



At Safeway, a dozen is 14.


If I had to choose an adjective for this, I'd choose "defiant". Imagine, 12 = 14 at Safeway! My expectations were firmly set at 12 = 13, the proverberial Baker's Dozen (a discount I get even though I am not baker). The Baker's Dozen is standard currency at most grocery stores and smaller bakeries, so I expected no less than 13 donuts for my $6.50. But 14? Who is Safeway to raise bakers everywhere by one donut? One donut! One more hydrogenated fat pellet FOR FREE. It was as if Safeway was shaking the fabric of the universe and defying me to disbelieve.


So I loaded up 14 donuts. I avoided the maple covered bars but took a fine sampling of glazed, cinnamon, a couple bear claw/fritters, and the glaze with chocolate and sprinkles. 14 donuts. When I put the box in my basket and hefted it, I was satisfied. 14 donuts! When I got to the checkout counter, the checkout person said "How many?".


14! 


Imagine that. I felt like I was getting away with something. Like everyone else buying donuts that day were suckers. I paid and left. The kids had donuts. The dogs had donuts. The crows had donuts. No doubt the squirrels enjoyed some of the bounty as well.


If you are looking for a definition of "exceeding expectations", this is it. I thought about how this might apply to software development, but software doesn't have rainbow sprinkles on it. Does it?

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