We have hot chocolate at work. It’s perfect to enhance coffee with some chocolatey goodness on a cold winter day or to enjoy on its own.

Here is what the envelopes look like:

Tear-enjoy1

It’s nice enough packaging. Not too fancy. It does the job.

Being the curious sort, I took a closer look and read the package. I thought I knew how to operate a package of cocoa, but I have apparently been doing it wrong.

Here’s a close-up of the relevant parts:

Tear-enjoy2

First notice the “TEAR HERE & ENJOY” in the corner, with a nice little arrow. That’s it? I’ve been putting it in a mug with water, but apparently that has all been wasted effort because the simple act of tearing this envelope is enough to cause enjoyment. Have my additional actions been reducing my enjoyment somehow?

There’s another issue, though. See that little line on the left? That’s the cut that helps you rip the envelope open. But it’s on the wrong side. There isn’t one on the right side, where the tearing and the enjoying is supposed to be happening.

I’m torn here (no pun intended). I’m doing too many things and what I’m supposed to be doing, I’m doing on the wrong side. Nestle, what are you telling me here? How can I have failed so miserably in the simple act of making a hot beverage?

I hate that I’ve discovered this. Hot chocolate used to be a treat. Now it’s an anxiety-ridden worry fest. I don’t want the correct side tearing police to arrest me. I don’t want Nestle corporate to send me cease and desist letters if I’m enjoying their product incorrectly.

I tried it their way. I stood the kitchen, tore the envelope from the left side and … no enjoyment. There was a little burst of chocolatey dust from the envelope when I tore it open, but aside from a slight sweetness to the air, there was no real enjoyment. I stood there a moment or two, waiting for the enjoyment to happen. It didn’t. Nothing. Not even more chocolate dust.

I then guiltily dumped the contents of the envelope into a mug and added hot water. I didn’t enjoy the process (although it wasn’t exactly miserable) but I did enjoy the results: hot chocolatey yum!

I think I see the breakdown here. In an effort to add a little marketing to the package, and perhaps even a little levity, Nestle failed. They complicated things that didn’t need complication. An explanation was made when no question was asked.

I found some Swiss Miss. I guess Helvetican efficiency is in full force. That envelope simply says “TEAR HERE”. They assume (quite correctly) that you know what else to do.

All this confusion over what to tear, how to enjoy things, etc. had put me off hot cocoa anyway. I don’t need the calories, the angst, or the wrong-sided tearing.  I’m going back to plain coffee.

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