Friday, July 11, 2008

Multi-Purpose Spoons

I noticed this morning that some things are starting to bother me. There are giant dispensers for plastic flatware in the cafeteria.
The one on the left is labeled "Forks" and when you press the lever, as you might expect, a fork comes out. But the next one is not labeled "Spoons", even though pressing the lever produces a spoon. The sign on that one reads "multi-purpose spoons".
How many purposes are there for a plastic spoon?
You can scoop stuff . . . I suppose stirring is an option but there are dedicated stirring devices provided also.
Forks, though. Forks are multi-purpose.
You can stab and cut food with them. They work as a self-defense tool. The intimidation factor in just brandishing a plastic fork at someone in a meeting should not be downplayed. You can clean out the air intakes on the front of a Dell Optiplex 755 when it gets that weird greasy not-dust in it. The tines can be used in place of thumbtacks in situations where you don't care too much about the cork board. If an item becomes wedged in the area between the desk and cubicle wall, it is much more likely one would find a plastic fork handy to lever that thing out of there rather than some gently rounded spoon.
But "multi-purpose", when it relates to plastic spoons, is almost bearable when compared with some of the crap I hear every day in meetings, cubicles and hallways.
"Let's take this offline" is dumb given that in a meeting most people are not "online" since they are away from their computers and in a meeting.
Discussions of "Pre-planning" anything makes me twitch, since any other way of planning is pretty much impossible.
"Challenges" are no different than "Problems". Both require the same level of activity.
"Thinking outside the box" is not the kind of behavior you'd expect from people who work in cubicles.
Any "High Altitude" view of a problem implies that management doesn't want to know what is really going on.
"Let's touch base later"? No. We are here now. Listen now.
I actually had to Google one today, having heard it a few times.
"We need to have a come to Jesus meeting". Apparently, if it is a one-on-one meeting, you are screwed. A group "come to Jesus meeting" is a blame assignment session. I have no idea where the phrase comes from.
I have noticed that when it is referenced, the "come to Jesus meeting" makes both Christians and non-Christians (and when you combine the two groups you have the total population of the planet) feel uncomfortable and get squirmy.
I suppose I'm happy to have found a phrase which has such universal power to derail people around me, but I still find it profoundly weird.


Joe said...

There is no problem, large or small, that cannot be solved through the judicious use of a Venn diagram.

Also, "come to Jesus" meetings are a result of one of two things:

1. The idea that a meeting will be so demoralizing or punitive that you'll "get religion" as a salve for your psychological wounds.

2. Popularized in Latin America, the concept of having to go see Jesús Malverde, the "narco-saint" of Mexican folklore ... kind of like Tony Montana meets Robin Hood. If you have a "Come to Jesús Meeting", you might end up leaving in a body bag.

Garrick said...

I think I'm just confused by my own opinions on this. Admittedly, I'm no Jesus expert. However I would expect a meeting with the guy to be kind of pleasant. He'd say something wise, I'd get out of line, he'd say "Religion: U R doin' it rong", and then he'd use mad carpentry skills to make a set of kick-ass bookshelves or something. Again, my understanding of the New Testament is probably lacking.

Joe said...

At least there'd be wine at the meeting ... and probably some loaves of bread and some fish, too.

If my second theory is correct, there'd be an entirely different type of party favor at the meeting. Because the first meeting is free ...