I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- I. LOVE. MY. JOB.
I love what I do. I get to help people achieve their goals by picking the right school for them. I love the people I work with. Part of it might be the type of person I am, because I like to have fun when I work- but how many of you can actually say that YOU have fun where you work? How many of you can actually say that you don’t dread Mondays? I can.
Now don’t get me wrong- would I rather be with my friends or family? Of course! Well, most of the time… there are times when my kids are driving me crazy and I actually look forward to Monday. Don’t JUDGE ME!
Before you finish reading this, I also want you to know that we work hard at UMW. My work is always done and done well… a trait passed down to me from my mother, no doubt.
However, when there is opportunity for a little fun to be thrown into a busy week- leave it up to me to find it.
Charles, my co-worker, during one of our many conversations mentioned that he was a loyal Heinz customer and would never buy anything other than Heinz. I thought that was ridiculous since all ketchup tastes the same to me and I have no problem buying generic brands. He said that he could honestly taste the difference. Obviously, I immediately decided we would need to have a blind taste test to challenge his palate.
Danielle, another co-worker, vowed that she could easily pick out Heinz from the competitors.
KETCHUPALOOZA is BORN.
On a Friday (during everyone’s lunch hour), Priscilla and I set up the conference room for our event. I sent out an eVite to the entire Stafford Campus so that anyone who wanted to witness the challenge could participate- afterall, this could result in saving them a whopping $2 a YEAR in ketchup if they decide generic is just as good as HEINZ.
Each contestant’s place setting:
As you can see, we prepared for this event. The coffee grounds were intended so Charles and Danielle could smell it after each taste to cleanse their palate’s. They could also take a sip of ice water to get the previous ketchup taste out of their mouths. Rather than blindfolds, they wore blurry glasses with tomatoes covering the lenses to ensure they could not see the color/consistency of their ketchups. We had rubber gloves to cover the hands of the “feeders,” one of which consisted of the Associate Provost for the division. We left no base uncovered.
We decided there would be 3 rounds. The first round all 4 ketchups would be HEINZ (obviously, Charles and Danielle did not know this fact). This would accomplish several different things: 1)It would allow Charles and Danielle to taste their favorite ketchup FOUR times before tasting any of the competitors and 2) It would boost their confidence because they would obvious pick HEINZ no matter which ramekin they chose.
Round 2, on the otherhand, did not include Heinz as a choice (again, Charles and Danielle did not know this). Some people might think this was cheating. Pris and I figured since we just let them taste HEINZ 4 times in the first round, and that they vowed they could taste the difference between HEINZ and other brands, they should easily be able to call our bluff.
Round 3 was the final round. It included 4 ketchups: HEINZ, Hunt’s, McDonald’s (which is not HEINZ- it is a ketchup made specifically for McDonald’s use only… in case you were wondering), and Wegman’s. This round was the true test- it was their opportunity to SHINE.
Obviously, they both got Round 1 correct… because they couldn’t get it wrong. What was interesting was that even though all of the cups were HEINZ, they actually would taste one cup and shake their head thinking, “There’s no way THAT’S HEINZ,” even though it was the EXACT same ketchup as the one they tasted before.
Even though HEINZ wasn’t an option in Round 2… Charles and Danielle could not tell that one of them was not HEINZ, infact- Charles picked Hunt’s and Danielle picked McDonald’s brand. So they are batting .500.
Round 3… the REAL test. Do they honestly know their ketchup? Of course NOT. Charles picked Hunt’s AGAIN. Danielle picked Wegman’s.
Now that I proved my point, do you think they will buy Hunt’s or a generic brand ketchup the next time they are at the grocery store? They both EMPHATICALLY said, “NO WAY!”
I guess that is why HEINZ controls 60% of the market.