Sunday, March 15

#11 - at your service

A new game show called Maid, Tailor, Chef? has taken the UK by storm. It is a combination trivia/relay race contest between four contestants, each episode culminating in the winning contestant choosing between the services of a maid, tailor, or chef. Due to its success, one of the US networks is planning on launching an American version this upcoming fall.

This is where you come in. You have been selected to participate in a focus group for the US creation of the game show, the prize packages in particular. The network is curious to see whether or not there are any cultural differences in the perceived worth of the three prize categories. Your participation in this marketing exercise was predicated by your never having seen the original British show and having no awareness of the specifics of the existing prizes.

Here is how the winning contestant's choice will be defined:

The maid, if chosen, would clean your living space twice a month for a year, leaving it spotless, and would also provide guidance on how to better organize your rooms. The maid would give this advice and help with its implementation, but only if asked.

The tailor would design and create clothing especially for you. In the course of the year, you would be able to request up to "X" tops (shirts, sweaters, jackets, etc) and "Y" bottoms (pants, skirts, etc) for the tailor to make. You would only be responsible for paying for the material. The tailor would also dispense advice and would work with you on the garment design, but would not do anything without your approval.

The chef would cook and prepare your meals, "Z" meals a week for the next year. Dinner parties would be fair game, though under the "chef" option you would be responsible for the cost of any ingredients. As with the other choices, the chef could function autonomously, but would follow your suggestions (if provided) and would confer with you before finalizing any menus. You would also be allowed to participate in as little or as much meal preparation as you desired, with the chef noting helpful cooking tips.

It should be noted that the tailors and chefs that will represent the network are very skilled and would be able to work within a wide range of budgets. These individuals will not live at one's residence, but their contact information will be provided for the purposes of scheduling.

You task is to define the variables X, Y, and Z such that you would be equally likely to choose any one of the three options. So for example, if you are predisposed towards choosing to have a chef, your value for Z would be low because the chef would only have to prepare a small amount of meals for that selection to viably compete (in your eyes) with the maid's bimonthly cleanings.

The network's feedback sheet includes blanks for you to fill in X, Y, and Z, and ample space for comments. How do you answer?


Amy said...

X: 25
Y: 25
Z: 1

I would be curious how dresses would count in the tops/bottoms numbers.

As for the food, I figure I can't afford the ingredients for full meals more than once a day, so 1 is my limit. I might even go as low as 1/2 per day if fractions are allowed. Also, do you have to provide recipes for the chef...or just parameters (re: what you will eat). If I have to do the work of finding recipes, I would definitely cut the chef down to a meal every-other-day.

Derek Timothy said...

With the maid variable locked in at 24 (per year)...

I guess X&Y would be something like 5 (also per year), and I'd have to set Z at about 4 (or about 200 per year), I guess.

I'm thinking of it in terms of what's most useful to me. I can do cleaning/organizing easily myself, and cooking to a certain extent. What I can't do, at all, is tailor/create clothing. Thus I find that to be the most compelling prize, and have to put its variable pretty low while the others are pretty high, to approach some sort of equilibrium of temptation.

Were I evaluating it strictly monetarily, my numbers might be a little different.

Matt said...

Hmm... dresses. Good question. Let's count them as a single article of clothing that can be put in either category.

And remember, "Z" refers to the number of meals per week.

HeatherR64 said...

I'm still not sure how to really answer this, but I'd definitely skew the numbers of tops v. bottoms in favor of tops rather than equally as Amy did.

I guess my problem is that the only one of these I could afford to make use of is the maid, and I've never really desired one.

In other words, it'd be awesome to have a tailor make clothes for me, but can I pay for all the materials? Not really.

Same with the chef.

I may think about it some more and try to come up with numbers anyway, however.

Ry said...

I would immediately be fired from the focus group because I'm an outlying data point. I'm happy with the level of mess in my apartment, I like cooking my food, and I don't dress well enough to warrant a tailor. The tailor is probably the only option I'd be even likely to choose, because I can't find outside-oriented pants (think Columbia, TNF, etc.) that are long enough for my legs and have pockets deep enough to fit my entire hand. It's my two biggest complaints about that clothing, and I would really be happy witht he option to give those suggestions directly to the manufacturers, so they can make ALL outside people happier by doing something they should have done at the very start.

Holly said...

If dresses are a single article of clothing, this is a difficult choice. Having a custom-made dress is almost priceless. That said, purchasing quality fabrics would get expensive, so...

X=10 (2 of these would be dresses)
I think I would opt for higher-end products here, which would cost a lot for materials, so I'd go with the quality vs. quantity approach.

I'd love to learn how to cook exquisite cuisine for myself, so I think this would be a reasonable number of meals of which I would have the time to observe the preparation.

I have to admit, though, my numbers would be a lot higher if the maid was not the constant in the scenario. Although having someone clean my space would be wonderful, it might also be a bit embarassing and make me lazy in the process. If I didn't have to clean, I probably wouldn't, or I'd think to myself, "Well, I can just leave it another week, the maid will get it later."

Matt said...

I really feel happier about life when my environment is clean, but having a maid would offer the least benefit beyond the year in question.

Custom clothing would be great, but the garments would maybe not see a lot of use.

I see the third option as the best one long term, assuming I put in the effort to learn from the chef.