The Parks Department is trying to determine where to eat and Donna suggests sushi. Andy initially declines because he claims that he is allergic, but it turns out he just thinks he’s allergic. Every time he eats 80 pieces of sushi he gets sick. He probably isn’t allergic, but instead is experiencing decreasing returns (negative marginal returns).
Every time Ann starts dating someone new, her preferences shift and she starts buying items that match the preferences of her partner. For Chris, she started buying a lot of workout equipment, for Andy it was a grunge phase, and for Tom it was purchasing a lot of unnecessary items. The demand for various items in a market can shift when consumer preferences change, and for Ann that occurs when she has a new boyfriend.
Ben goes back to the accounting firm that he initially quit, only to decide to quit again as soon as he sees his office. In discussing his motivation, he talks about how he wants to do something meaningful with his life, but then he realizes the benefits of being an accountant including stability and above average pay.
Craig has to keep it together in the face of very strange requests during his interview to be the sommelier for Tom’s Bistro. While professional sommelier’s are known for being able to pair wines and meals, they must maintain their composure when customers ask for something different. While some may have odd preferences, its important to respect others’ utility functions.
Donna and Tom take Ben on a “Treat Yo Self” day to help him relax, but he just buys socks, which he feels like he needs. Donna and Tom challenge him to think about what he would buy for himself if he could get anything he wanted. Ben decides he wants a Batman costume.
Ron isn’t happy with the steak he was served, so instead he asks the waiter to give him all the bacon and eggs they have. While a bit extreme, his preferences and utility function should be respected in society despite the potential for future health issues.
Bobby Newport would rather play Wii bowling because the guy looks like him instead of playing on his actual bowling lane right next to his Wii. While this is an uncommon view, his preferences ought to be respected since he’s trying to maximize his utility function.
While on suspension, Leslie buys her officemates Christmas gifts based on their personalities. Ron mentions how he only gives people $20, but realizes how great Leslie’s gifts are and how the office needs to remedy the gift giving imbalance. While Ron takes the most efficient outcome for gift giving, he’s realizing that there may need to be a bit more thought put into the process.