If you missed the beginning of this, please read the instructions FIRST.
First, let me commend the participants of this experiment! You are truly the reason why I blog. The top four recipes I got went something like this:
Sophia likes them in squares:
If it’s just peanut butter what we like to do at the Tesch house is to toast two pieces of white bread, while the pieces are still hot from the toaster I smear creamy peanut butter on both sides drizzle some honey over the pieces, place the together peanut butter side in, then make two cuts, 1 down the middle horizontally and 1 vertically making a cross pattern and four little squares. I don’t know why it just tastes better that way.
Laura took the traditional approach:
peanut butter sandwich
Bread (variety of your own preference)
jar of peanut butter (variety of own choosing can be crunchy or smooth)
butter or margarine if required
1.take 2 slices of bread
2.spread on butter or margarine (if required)
3.take one slice of bread and take required amount of peanut butter and spread this on the bread evenly
4.place other slice of bread on top and enjoy 😀
Val gave us this scrumptious gem:
Buy unsalted shelled peanuts
Place peanuts with small amount of cream honey in grinder
Grind until degree of smoothness acquired to taste (I like mine crunchy)
Pour off most if not all peanut oil (it is disgusting)
Wonder Bread (it is vacuous and perfect for PB Sandwich)
Cut off Crust what else?
Butter (real and unsalted please) outsides
Spread your fabulous mix thinly coating both slices of bread
Add thinly sliced apples (granny smith are best) or Bananas
On a griddle fry Sandwich quickly on high heat to achieve overall evenly brown color.
And Dianna’s most popular, novel approach:
Really Cool Peanut Butter Sandwich:
1. Get two Reese’s peanut butter cups
2. Peel the chocolate off of it
3. Mix the peanut butter in a bowl
4. Smear it on bread.
(Do note: I copied and pasted the directions precisely as they were given to me.)
Just because I knew where this experiment would lead, I decided to let my daughter do the honors of following the directions. I gave her no hints beyond the reading of the directions (and the definitions of horizontally and vertically). She had to figure out the rest by herself.
Again, I knew where this could lead. I supplied and required the following instructions:
- Wash your hands with soap and water.
- Dry them on a clean towel.
- Place cutting board on counter.
- Get a butter knife and spoon. (I fetched additional ingredients, like honey, butter and apples.)
For safety reasons, we used the sandwich maker, instead of the griddle. After all, she is an autistic seven-year-old.
Sophie’s Sandwich: She chose the heels of the loaf (she loves crust) and a spoon to spread. Other than some honey on the cutting board, we only ran into one snag. She cut the sandwich with a Karate chop.
Laura’s Sandwich: She chose croissant, which meant she had to slice it. She did so across the bread rather than splitting it. She also chose not to put butter on this one.
Val’s Sandwich: For safety purposes, I ground the peanut butter. She cut the crusts (but ate them). She tripped on the “Serve” (which I did not explain to her), but using artist license to add the halves of Laura’s sandwich as a topper to Val’s sandwich on a peppermint plate.
Dianna’s Sandwich: She loved this one because she got to eat the chocolate. She mixed the peanut butter by hand and spread it the same way.
Would you eat that?
In the end, she was willing to eat Val’s sandwich, but absolutely would not eat the rest. She made herself a PB&J when she was done because the cooking had made her hungry.
What did we learn?
- If you are not being specific with what you want, your results will not be what you expected.
- If you assume your receiver knows the way you would do it, you are wrong.
- If you want it done a special way, convey that in the instructions.
- If all you want is the final product without caring about the method, be vague, but do not be surprised at the quality of what is produced.
The first time I tried this exercise, I did it with managerial employees.
- One employee got her bread from the rubbish bin.
- Another spread the peanut butter with the bottom of a flip-flop.
- One opened the bread with her teeth and flipped the slices all over the table and floor before putting them on the cutting board.
- Another opened the peanut butter through the side of the container (leaving the lid attached) and spread it with a well-used box opener.
- One used wet, soapy hands to construct his sandwich. (The instructions said “wash hands with soap”, not “dry”.)
- Another used a passing mechanic’s greasy rag to dry his hands.
- 0% of the sandwiches were eaten.
When you give directions how much do you assume your receiver knows?
How do the results compare to what you expected?
© Red Dwyer 2011
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