Important office plasticware update: controversy in the breakroom.

So, I encountered this setup recently:

plastic who

Now, I want to make it clear that the spoons shown here are spoons in the size and shape of every other regular plastic spoon you’ve ever run across. They’re not soup spoons or sporks—strictly normal, everyday plastic spoons; just like the silhouette on the dispenser there.

This is objectively perplexing, because the question that immediately springs to the mind of any rational person is: “What, plastic spoons are ‘multi-purpose’ Swiss army knives, somehow, but plastic forks and knives are just… what; jerks? In what desperate world is this possibly true?”

But beyond the immediate, knee-jerk bafflement it inspires, this nomenclature also implicitly undermines the iron-clad validity of the hierarchy I laid out in this breakroom breakdown, vis-a-vis the logical order of plastic-ware usefulness.

I’ve given all this some further thought, and I would contend that even if forks are not “multi-purpose” (and I’m certainly not conceding that they are), knives—as I went to great pains to point out in the above-mentioned post—are just as good at cutting solids as they are at stirring liquids. (In fact, they’re more likely to be better at stirring than at cutting, if you think about it.)

What do you think? Where do you stand on the relative usefulness of office breakroom plastic utensils? Please do not tell me.*

In closing, I guess the clear conclusion here is that the jury is still out, and opinion is divided. The conversation continues. I’m keeping an ear to the ground and will probably not be updating this blog with any further developments unless they’re genuinely hilarious.

*Seriously; if you even start to reply, think about what you were about to say and imagine yourself hearing someone else say it. That ought to do it.

Office pace.

The Hierarchy of Plasticware

If you’re fortunate enough to work in an office that provides it, the official rank of plastic eating utensils is as follows:

1. Forks.
Everybody uses these. Most food you bring from home or order in will require one, unless it’s a sandwich, in which case you can skip ahead to some other post, Dagwood. The higher the plastic quality, the better the fork, but even the floppiest trash-polymer budget option can generally cover the basics.

Forks are office lunch currency; the lingua franca of the mid-day meal. If you’re out of forks, you’re going to be making do with a spoon and, more than likely, swearing. Because spoons just aren’t built for fork work.

2. Spoons.
This is the catch-all utensil. Necessary for soup and able to stand in for the fork, in a pinch. It’s not as regularly called into service as the fork, since office desserts lean toward cake (as opposed to ice cream) and soup is a fairly sporadic lunch item, especially in the summer months.

The spoon does have the advantage of being able to do double duty more readily, though. Soup or ice cream with a fork? Not on my watch, punk. General Tso’s chicken or secretary’s birthday cake with a spoon? Not ideal, sure—but not really a big deal, either. Spoon’s just hanging out, cool with whatever. Thanks for the assist, guy. Hey, mind if I turn you sideways and kinda saw through this steamed carrot? Great.

3. Knives.
Sorry, who? Oh, right. I remember you from the time I tried that new coffee shop and they didn’t put the cream cheese on my bagel, but threw a little plastic tub of it in my bag, instead. I think that was the last time we ran into one another. Uh, how’ve you been? Listen, I’m running late. You take care, pal.

Nobody cares about knives at work. Except for that one dink who actually cuts up his pizza like he’s the Prince of Douchylvania or whatever, you use them once in a blue moon. If there are no knives, you’ll still be able to eat your lunch just fine. Knives are the lifeguards of the break room beach; you sort of want them around just in case, but as long as you’re doing it right, you’ll never need them.

4. The point of all this.
Why do people stir their coffee with spoons? How asinine is that? Ever notice that spoons run out way faster than they should? And everybody knows that Cheri the office manager doesn’t like to put in orders until all the plasticware is running low, which means—well, you know what it means. Eating your ice cream with a goddamn fork and drinking your soup like you’re some kind of mental deficient. What is this, the Downton Abbey blooper reel?

Stir your coffee with a knife, breakroom brainiacs. This ain’t rocket scientry.