I did the unthinkable the other day, I watched a commercial on live TV. My kids and I were sitting down to watch a basketball game and a commercial for that copper pan came on. You know, the one that tells you that you can get rid of all the other pans you own, because this one will do everything for you. No stick, no stain AND I can cook marshmallows in it the same way I cook chicken-no oil needed. My daughter looked at me and said, “dad, we can get rid of all of our pans and have just two pans to replace them.” Based on the commercial and everything that we had been told in the past 60 seconds, yes, we could get rid of every pan in our cupboard. And I bet, it would be fun to get them in the mail-2 for 1 no less!

Maybe it’s true, maybe the copper pan is the silver copper bullet I’ve been looking for, I mean who couldn’t use more space? So, I got up from the couch with my daughter and walked over to the laptop that was sitting on the counter. We navigated to Amazon.com and searched for the item that we were looking for and we couldn’t believe our eyes, the first 8 reviews were negative. How is that possible, the person on the TV told US that that the product was amazing and we wouldn’t need any other pans. In fact, I already had visions of grandeur, I pictured myself making s’mores for all the neighborhood kids and then making a big dinner for the adults in the same pan, right after. No need to rinse or wipe, simply add food.

I read the reviews out loud. Doreen wrote, “Promises more than it delivers.” Rob mentioned that his food sticks worse in this pan than in his other ones. My daughter looked at me with a disappointed look on her face and said, “I guess we won’t be buying that item, huh? Good things we checked.”

She was right, it was a good thing that we checked.

The lesson?

I’ve learned that in a world that information is abundant and we can check on the color shirt your boss wore on her first day of fifth grade, people tend to tell themselves that they’re getting the best price/service/product whenever they buy something. It’s kind of like shutting the shades when there’s a lightning storm and pretending that nothing is happening outside. The shades may be shut, but the thunder and lightning are happening outside, and you know, sometimes it can be amazing to watch and hear.

I guess the “teachable moment” to my daughter was, ask questions, be curious and just because someone speaks with authority, doesn’t mean they have authority.

The next time I hear someone tell me that I shouldn’t question their pricing or service, I’ll remember my lost s’more opportunity and take a look outside the shades.