I will NOT eat that.

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If you missed the beginning of this, please read the instructions FIRST.

The Recipes

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:

Peanut butter on toast.

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:

Margarine in a tub
peanut butter sandwich
ingredients
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 (Canadian packaging)

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.

Serve

And Dianna’s most popular, novel approach:

reeses peanut butter cupsReally 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.)

My Receiver

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.

Minor Intervention

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.

The Results

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.

Author’s Note

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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34 Comments

  1. ok your nerves are better than mine, my autistic angel turns 5 next month and still isn’t allowed a fork, she makes me nervous. and as for the managerial employees that’s kind of scary………I thought not putting food on the floor, getting it out of the trash, drying your hands and not using a grease rag around food were all implied……..then again I’m a bit knit picky about my food to the point I prefer not to eat it after someone else touches it at all…..yes, I know it’s weird

    Reply
    • ROFL!!! The point of the exercise is to show what you really assume when training new (employees, children, mates, friends). We tend to assume a lot based on age, yet you cannot count on life experience’s influence on a person. And it is high time she has the disposable plastic kinda forks! Man Cub is so far behind where your angel is, and he uses a dinner fork, no less. Give her a chance, Mom! Red.

      Reply
      • ok, I’ll give it a try…..but if she stabs me or someone else I’m saying “but Momma said it was ok”

        Reply
        • Deal! I used the disposable ones with the animal handles. They are GREAT in the dishwasher. I let her use them when she had tea parties, too. Let her learn some basic serving skills with angel food cake or donuts. Teach her scoop first, not stab 😉

          Reply
  2. You didn’t tell us we were giving instructions to adults only asked how to make the dang sandwich.

    You will hate me for this one; most of us assumed YOU, a woman of superior intelligence and reasoning power wanted this information.

    Ah well, should have known better.

    Reply
  3. OMG OMG OMG!! where did you work? I’m thinking these employees did not care for their bosses or coworkers very much 🙂 lol. great exercise!

    Reply
  4. oohhh nooo – well.. at least it wasn’t at the corporate office of a popular food chain. I hadn’t gone through all of the pages of your blog before – this is pretty neat! I like what you have here!

    Reply
    • Make sure to leave your link in the Green Room. I know I have linked you out before, but you will find other really great people there as well…and I have some lurkers who do not blog, but read, who frequent there as well!

      Eww. The thought of a restaurant. *Shudder*

      Reply
      • if it makes you feel better, several years of working in a restaurants allow me to say that whether or not they actually practice it, most of the restaurants include basic hygiene, avoiding contamination and things you would think are common sense in training…….some even test you on it, on paper and in the actual work environment….I always passed both with flying colors

        Reply
        • Good thing, too. Still, four out of five of my last food poisonings came from a restaurant. Guess that just makes me lucky…or stupid.

          Reply
  5. Dianna Mifflin

     /  November 30, 2011

    I love that you used my recipe in your article! What’s hilarious is, I’ve never done this before, although I do know how to make peanut butter that tastes JUST LIKE the kind you find in a peanut butter cup! I was actually thinking about this “blonde” joke that I had heard about this woman who could not make chocolate chip cookies because she had such a hard time peeling the M&M’s. Bah-ha-ha!

    But I too have trained employees. I once had a trainee that I thought would drive me INSANE!!! I finally got her trained though, and once she figured out stuff, she never had to learn it again. I had another one though who could not (or WOULD not) remember how to make a pitcher of coffee for the life of her. It’s true, you really can’t tell what people know and assume. I like to say “never assume. It makes an ASS out of U and ME!”

    Reply
    • Thanks for stopping by, Di! One of my fave blonde jokes, too!

      This week’s foray has been communication and the terror of assuming anything. Pull up a rocking chair and read to your heart’s delight. I am CERTAIN you will find something up your alley. Just click “humor” in the tag cloud. <3 Glad you came! Red.

      Reply
  6. James Parsons

     /  November 30, 2011

    This is so true in the things we do today, always assuming the next person will know what we want or how we want it. I’m stunned and amazed with the knowledge you always drop on us thank you again Red.

    Reply
  7. Sounds like you had some passive-aggressive employees there :o) That is a cool experiment.

    Reply
    • OMG! They were so funny. We kept the receivers out of the room so they could not see the others make the sandwiches before them. It was hysterical. One chick was sooooooooooooo out of the box. She made a huge mess and spread the PB on one slice with her foot. The other one she dipped in the PB jar. Hysterical!

      AND you are my 1,000th comment!!! Thank you, Soph!

      Reply
  8. Angela Young

     /  November 30, 2011

    I HATE peanut butter. I got a chuckle reading this though. I be the reeses pieces lady meant “eat off the chocolate” lol.

    Reply
    • If left to her own devices, I am certain V would have! She was pretty content to pick it off, but OCD enough to get it ALL off. LOL!

      Reply
  9. Everyone who knows me ,knows that I expect them to do anything to the best of their ability. However, I should also say that this is where the OCD kicks in. Nobody ever does it good enough. Always have to add my 2 cents worth. Love you, Grant

    Reply
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