There is no Spoon

There is trouble brewing here at Cosmodemonic TCNA, don't tell the stockholders.

As with the Creamer Crises of last April, the locus of the discontent is managerial tight fistedness. You may think you can relate to this problem. Like my beloved Aunt Jan who was complaining about a miserly official where she works. Now I'm sure in the outside world where you all live and work my aunt's story (sorry, I don't remember the plot, but I think it had something to do with furniture) would stand as a paragon of penury. So I told my aunt about the double whammy the high security supply closet absorbed last month when a disposable plastic serving spoon and a kitchen sponge went missing.

"Spoon Tricks" by Brian Kershnick

Now, I like my boss and she has treated me well (and I'm not just writing that because I think a double agent is at large in the building, sharing classified Cobra slander with its targets), but every now and then she goes into full blown Captain Queeg mode.

"A sponge and a serving spoon," she hissed, like Jim Garrison speculating about the grassy knoll, "What do you suppose happened to them?"
"Well, I think the sponge was probably used to wipe something gross and got thrown away," I said, "and the spoon was probably broken by somebody who was using it to scoop ice cream."
"Well...that's a good story," she said dubiously, as if I had just implicated magical gnomes. But she did produce a new sponge.

A day or two later, the original sponge reappeared looking gray and unsavory, so I tossed it--yes I did, you read it here first--and I will stand by my action. But please don't tell.


The serving spoon was never recovered. This was but prelude to the table spoon troubles. Here's the story from the top. Cosmodemonic has a limited amount of metal tableware which is occasionally supplemented with plasticware left over from catered events or other social functions. Now, with people being what they are (especially if they are Muffin), the metal utensils tend to end up sitting in peoples' desk drawers, cars, and homes, while the plastic gets thrown away due to the widespread belief that washing and reusing it is stupid and unnecessary. As a result, whenever more than a few people want to use the utensils at a time, the competition for flatware gets intense, and the conversation regarding the shortages gets catty.

Spoons are especially in demand because the employees like to snack on leftovers from the ice cream socials and sometimes bring cold cereal or soup to eat and to splash all over the microwave without any thought whatsoever about wiping away the mess, and always to leave their bowls half filled with stinking tepid water in the sink for the kitchen fairies to transport to the dishwasher especially if they are Muffin. Now...where was I? Oh, yes, catty conversation.

Most of that is the typical, "dumb, cheap-ass company" variety in which I'm sure you have participated at some point in your working lives. Lately, though, a note of activism has crept into the discussions.

"I know what we could do to register our protest," said James the Ectomorph (not those exact words, though he does talk like this) on one occasion. "We could boycott the ice cream social tomorrow!"
"No. Absolutely not. I am not willing to do that," was the answer he got from Bob in Sales, who is not a vive la revolution kind of guy.

Undaunted, James grabbed a fistful of plastic knives (the only plentiful utensil) and thew them in the trash; the one with the open top, not the one with the modest flaps.

"You are just asking for trouble, doing that," I told him.

"I WANT TROUBLE.!" He cried, and pounded his chest like Celine Dion, "Bring it on!"

All right, I made up the Celine Dion part.

The controversy was bumped to a higher level with the arrival of the following e-mail from one of the Cosmo Girls in Sales:

"Harmless" you may think, "if a bit groveling." It may however, come to be seen as a revolutionary document on par with Das Kapital or Uncle Tom's Cabin. It incited a heartfelt reply from a new subscriber to The Nose. Because he is Management, and might be compromised by his association with this publication, I shall refer to him only as "The Man."

This missive was followed by a sympathetic rendering of "Spoon Man," and Cosmo Girl B's thanks.

Will Cosmo Girl B and The Man find themselves the Harriet Beecher Stowe and Karl Marx of Cosmodemonic TCNA? I'll keep you posted.

(Written by Sharon C. McGovern)

From Vol. 11
Get Back to Work!