Communication: The Pea Story

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When I was growing up we ate a lot of tuna noodle casserole. It was hearty and easy to fix and relatively inexpensive, so it was a favorite around our house.

I know that other people, other parts of this great land, eat potato chips on their tuna noodle casserole. Some fancy folks, I’m told, put things like mushrooms in their casseroles. We had peas in ours most of the time.

One, night, though, there were no peas in the casserole. I don’t remember why. I do remember my father grousing about it, going on and on about no peas in the casserole. My mother got that tight-lipped look she got when she was getting ready to fire the death rays.

As my father droned on, my mother got up from the table. She went out to the kitchen, opened the freezer, and took out one of those Jolly Green bricks of peas. Then she went to the sink where she used a knife to chip off a single pea.

Mother returned to dining room, holding the pea aloft. Then she sat down at her place, smiled mischievously and rolled the pea down the table to my father.

Two things happened. My father stopped complaining and then started to laugh. But, to his dying day he never complained again about the lack of peas in or near anything.

Boss’s Bottom Line

Sometimes the most memorable communications use no words at all.

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