Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Crumbs on knives

Dear Good Manners Aficionados,

I write you today about a pet peeve of mine that I was horribly reminded of this morning while tending to my morning bagel in our company cafeteria.

While my bagel toasts, I normally occupy my wait time by getting a small, sealed packet of fat-free cream cheese out of the refrigerator case.

Sadly, this morning the refrigerator was empty of fat-free cream cheese packets. It was on order, Joanne, our cashier, told me.

Oh, well. So much for my diet! That meant I was going to have to use the delicious, fully-fat cream cheese. Yay! Those calories can't count when they are my only option, right?

Now, the yummy, fully-fat cream cheese is not sealed in little packets. Instead, it sits in the salad bar in a big crock, with thick handled knives stuck into it.

Dear Good Manners Aficionado, I bet you know where I am going with this.

Imagine my horror when I brought my bagel over and saw that all of the knives had crumbs struck to them. (All kinds of crumbs, too: burnt crumbs, raw crumbs, bagel crumbs, toast crumbs -- even a couple of sesame seeds. And some jelly that had somehow been dropped on it.)

Why is it that people use these knives to spread cream cheese (or butter, or peanut butter -- any spread for that matter) directly onto their food? Don't they realize that they are to use the knife to spread it onto their plate or, better yet, into a little container? That they are then to use a different knife of their very own to spread the cream cheese/butter/peanut butter/jelly onto their bagel/toast/muffin?

(People do this at the dinner table with the butter, too, when there is a lone butter knife passed with the butter.)

Why is it that people think anyone would want to spread the remains of someone else's food onto their food?


So -- my solution? I got a plastic knife and a little container and I carefully looked over the cream cheese mound to find a clean part, and took my portion from there.

Please, please, please let the fat-free cream cheese packets be here tomorrow morning!

Hum, I wonder what my next bad manners post opportunity will be?
The opportunities could be endless, especially when so many bad manners are just a real lack of common sense!

Until then,