Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Candy Dish Experiment

When I first started this job, I'd get asked pretty regular by visitors "where's your candy dish?" Apparently, at one time, someone saw fit to stock a candy dish and did so for a while. No one in my department can remember exactly who did it or for how long.

We relocated our department and in my desk was a pretty crystal candy dish. Eventually, when buying Halloween candy, I figured I'd get a bag of candy for the dish at work and make the visitors happy.

Thus began the candy dish experiment.

An occupational hazard of analyzing things all the time for work, for school and for future research is that even when you don't intend to dissect a topic, you do. I bought a bag of Tootsie rolls midgies and they were gone in just under two days. I had occasion to go to the dollar store for something else and grabbed a bag of Smarties, and the next morning, I refilled the candy bowl.

Those lasted a week and took us to the day after Halloween. I visited Target to pick up some items for Ed's convalescence at home and found some sale DumDum lollipops. Hey, for 65 cents, I'd put a bag of those to the test. (I also bought a bag of variety Tootsie Roll products and the very large bag barely lasted a week)

They lasted three weeks.

In this time, I was posting Facebook updates and my coworkers were having great fun with my feedback that people LOVE tootsie rolls and tolerate lollipops. We talked about the merits of various candies, what might go quickly and what people just abjectly hate. At some point, it was mentioned that people probably don't like Jolly Ranchers very much. I like them, but I dislike the fact that in sucking one for a half hour, my teeth feel like they've got a coating of slime on them afterwards.

Tuesday night, I stopped at WalMart, searching for Warheads or Atomic Fireballs, certain that these would be taken from the candy dish in desperation. A visitor and I discussed various candies one day and he advanced the opinion that when offered free candy, very few people will turn it down.

So, WalMart didn't have the Fireballs or Warheads, but they did have the Jolly Ranchers. They went into the bowl Wednesday morning. At the rate of consumption I'm observing, the bowl will be empty tomorrow afternoon. Curiously, this is the first bowl of candy on my desk that has merited the question "May I have one?" from roughly every other person who takes a candy.

The unofficial report is that Tootsie Rolls are currently number one, Jolly Ranchers are liked a little less, Smarties are okay and lollipops are the current last resort. However, I'm now getting offers of candy purchases from friends to continue this unscientific experiment.

The questions are fun, like

Have you tried Hershey's Kisses yet? No, but I'll buy a sale bag of them after Christmas to explore. I think they'll go extremely fast.

What about Reese's Peanut Butter cup miniatures? I suspect those won't last an hour, even with me keeping my paws out of the candy dish to keep things honest.

Do you think you could expand it to see which flavor is most popular? Yes, and we're even searching for a compartmentalized candy dish with cover to see if my theory on black jelly beans is accurate. (However, when I said I was thinking of being evil and using Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, the friend did not know what I was talking about.)

I mentioned to the friend that we need to tip off a psychology student enrolled in research methods to try this one at work. Every semester, that class requires students to conduct some basic research and this one would fit the bill.

And if you come visit me at work, you know you'll find something in the candy dish. Consider yourself warned that it just might not be something you like-and it's all in the name of Suzanne's unscientific research on Candy Dish contents!




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