I went to a restaurant last night.
That’s really not so unusual.
But for some reason it made me nostalgic about my old food service jobs and the kinds of shenanigans you can’t get into when you work at an office.
Like the time I conducted a psychology experiment at my coffee shop. People would sometimes buy coffee, go sit down, and then realize they (dum dum DUMMMM) lacked a spoon. Perhaps they needed the spoon to scoop foam out of their cappuccino. Perhaps they had packed a cup of soup or a yogurt and forgotten a utensil. Perhaps they were simply lonely, having coffee all by themselves, and thought a spoon would provide a sort of companionship.
Whatever the reason, said spoonless individual would then come up to the counter and ask for a spoon.
Spoonless Individual: “Hi, uh, do you have, uh, like just a spoon?”
Me: “Sure, that’s 25 cents.”
S.I.: [bleary not-yet-caffeinated glare; reaches into pocket]
Me: “Seriously? I’m kidding! It’s just a plastic spoon!” [chuckle]
S.I.: [baleful look; takes spoon; mopes away]
So I started to wonder–just how much would a grumpy, hungry person be willing to pay for a plastic spoon, without putting up a fuss? So the next time, I said 50 cents. Then 75. Finally, a dollar.
Not once did I get a complaint. People would just frown and reach into their pockets. (I never took the money, of course.) But seriously, what kind of a world is this where a person would accept the fact that they have to pay A WHOLE DOLLAR for a plastic spoon?!? Stand up for your rights, my friends!
Here is what I was hoping would happen:
Me: “Sure, that’s a dollar fifty.”
Spoonless (but not Spineless!) Individual: “You are crazy! Do you even have a soul?! No way am I paying a dollar fifty for that plastic spoon! I could buy a sterling silver spoon for a single cent on amazon dot com! I demand to speak to your manager! [turning to other customers] Brothers and sisters, coffeedrinkers of the world, UNITE! Join me in a REVOLUTION!!!” [seizes plastic spoon and thrusts it into the air defiantly]
…Yeah, I guess I used to get pretty bored at work. What can I say.