I sat in the teacher’s lounge at lunch today, staring at my thick hunk of a meatish substance coated in gravy, and at my tool for eating same which was a spork, that combination of fork and spoon that doesn’t do a particularly good job as either. The choices for consuming said meatish substance were (a) sticking one’s fingers into the rather tough meaty gravy mess and tearing it up into bite sized pieces, (b) hacking at it rather forlornly with two sporks, hoping to eventually worry a piece loose, or (c) just dispense with utensils and fingers completely and set it on the table and rip it apart with one’s fangs.
In the back of my mind was playing the speech that we got from administration before school began: “You are professionals, and must always dress like professionals.” How many professionals do you know that aren’t trusted to use a freakin’ plastic knife to cut their imitation food without being able to resist the urge to assassinate each other via inflicting paper cuts? We can use scissors, fer cryin’ out loud. We’re trusted with freakin’ staplers. Hell, we even use paper cutters. But a plastic knife is too much like a weapon for us professionally-dressed professionals to be entrusted with.
No doubt my paper cutter operating credentials will be yanked tomorrow. I may be tempted to use it to cut my food and we can’t have that now, can we?
Another person came in, sat down, attempted to eat his food, and declared “I have had enough! It is absolutely ridiculous that we can’t have cutlery.” A pulse was throbbing on his forehead. He glared balefully at his plate. I didn’t say anything because anything I had to say would have been quite incendiary.
Oddly enough, or perhaps not, the people that were seemingly most incensed over the lack of eating utensils were the older people that were used to making their own decisions. The younger people that were used to somebody else making all their decisions didn’t seem to mind or, if they did, hid it much better.