Original Post Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Unfortunately this is a true story.

I decided to have a couple of gold fish in a nice glass bowl, having done my sums I estimated the cost should be:

  • Bowl £20.00
  • Gravel £5.00
  • Two gold fish £8.00
  • Food £4.00

Making a total of £37.00, ok I can afford this, off I go to the pet shop.

The pet shop advised “fish don’t like bowls”, plus “it’s cruel to keep them in one”, but as a child I often won fish at the fun fair and they lasted years, so undeterred off I went and purchased a bowl and 2 lovely gold fish from somewhere else. All is good.

After two weeks I watched one gold fish do a fantastic somersault and then die, off to the pet shop and buy another fish, £4.00, not too bad.

Two weeks later while cleaning the much-cherished bowl it shattered and cut my finger so badly I end up lying on the kitchen floor, finger in the air to try and stop the flow of blood, the fish at this point are swimming in an old sandwich box.  Obviously needing help I phone my son to buy me another bowl, he arrives with an all singing all dancing tank, daylight, moon light, filters the lot. Cost £50.00 with the added insult of “You shouldn’t be trusted with glass or sharp objects”.

Next day my finger has swollen so badly I attend the A&E department to have my gold ring cut off, cost to have ring repaired £40.00.

All in all what should have cost £39.00 has now cost £131.00 but hey my gold fish now live in a palace! And yes, I do talk to them.

I do wonder what parametric cost estimating could have taken into account the cost drivers, risk and benefits of this venture.


By K.T. Price