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  1. #1

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    Cold Case – Missing Spoons

    Do you often experience disappearing cutlery in your workplace? Have you ever wondered what happened to them? Have reminders such as “Please wash and return the cutlery to their rightful place” effective? What do you think?

    Megan Lim from the Margaret Hellard and Campbell Aitken of the MacFarlane Burnet Institute For Medical Research in Melbourne carried out a study to “determine the overall rate of loss of workplace teaspoons and whether attrition and displacement are correlated with the relative value of the teaspoons or type of tearoom”:

    The team secretly marked seventy teaspoons, placed each of them in one of eight communal kitchens at their Institute, and tracked the movement of the spoons over a five-month period. Eighty percent of the spoons went missing during this time, with half of them disappearing within the first eight-one days. Additional questionnaire data revealed that 36 percent of people said they had stolen a teaspoon at some point in their lives, with 18 percent admitting to such a theft in the last twelve months.
    James Ward believed that not all teaspoon loss is due to theft (malicious behavior) as indicated in Megan Lim’s study. He thinks absent-mindedness is partly the cause.

    ….. there seems to be an implication that people are acting maliciously. “An amnesty” for people “hoarding” teaspoons, implies that people are deliberately keeping a number of spoons in their desks (a pre-emptive strike, ensuring a private supply of spoons while at the same time making the problem worse for everyone else. It’s this kind of “every man for himself” mindset which usually gets you killed first during a zombie attack, so be warned, you selfish bastards). Similarly, the “return them to the kitchen” comment at the end of the second suggestion, implies that people are simply throwing the spoons in the bin because they can’t be bothered to go to the kitchen.

    My belief is that the spoons are going missing through simple absent-mindedness. Who here has never accidentally thrown a spoon into the bin whilst dropping an empty yoghurt pot into the sink? We should show patience and understanding during these troubled times, not condemnation. Let he who is without sin, cast the first spoon.
    Last edited by spikydurian; 09-20-2013 at 01:25 AM. Reason: spelling
    Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus

  2. #2
    recovering Oly-holic
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    Coincidentally we were talking about this at work yesterday. Our conclusion is we either throw them out or swallow them along with our food without noticing. Needless to say, we just buy more.

  3. #3
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    I have never taken cutlery from my workplace. However in my old work, I would often amass a huge collection before I'd shamefully take them back the dining center (about a mile walk). In my new work, there are none to steal- they provide nothing to us but a water fountain.

  4. #4

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    Forget work. They go missing in my house! I know exactly which roommate is likely to have them in his room...
    One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by *Jen* View Post
    Forget work. They go missing in my house! I know exactly which roommate is likely to have them in his room...
    They sometimes go missing in my house, too ... and I live alone. And I can't blame my for their (usually temporary) disappearance.
    Lady 2: there isn't anything about me on goooogle, I mean, I must take it off if there is.....
    Lady 3: The google is a terrible thing, I mean I don't want anything on there! (Overheard by millyskate on a London train.)

  6. #6

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    Forget spoons............all the salad forks went totally missing at my daughter's house. She was 8 months pregnant (so she was crazy) on bed rest (so she had nothing to do), and she talked about the missing forks over and over. Where could they be? Who would have taken just the salad forks? Why would they want just the salad forks? How could it be it was ONLY the salad forks.

    One day, I was cleaning out the silverware drawer....and took out the divider. Sitting way in the back, in the correct compartment were 8 salad forks! Sneaky forks!

    And, I don't know where the silverware goes. I think it is with the sock that never makes it out of the dryer. That is my question for St. Peter when I get to the curly gates: Where do those other socks end up?
    DH - and that's just my opinion

  7. #7

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    ^I've had a fork or two go missing over the years. Now about those curly gates. Is St. Peter in charge of perms or manicures?
    Lady 2: there isn't anything about me on goooogle, I mean, I must take it off if there is.....
    Lady 3: The google is a terrible thing, I mean I don't want anything on there! (Overheard by millyskate on a London train.)

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by AxelAnnie View Post
    And, I don't know where the silverware goes. I think it is with the sock that never makes it out of the dryer. That is my question for St. Peter when I get to the curly gates: Where do those other socks end up?
    Ah... socks! I have a basketful of single socks hoping their missing partners will turn up some day.
    Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus

  9. #9

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    My socks used to go missing all the time. The year after my sister left home I was shocked to discover that I had 38 pairs of socks. Yes, 38. Why? Because ALL the missing socks somehow ended up with my sister and when she left, so did my problem. I haven't lost a single sock in the last 10 years.

    Unless you live alone, there is someone responsible for your missing socks. And if you live alone and don't have a pet...sorry. You must be haunted!
    One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.

  10. #10

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    I live alone now but still have missing sock syndrome. The weird thing is I put my socks into a lingerie bag with a zipper, and a safety pin to keep the zipper closed in the dryer. I always wind up one sock short, just the same.

    Years ago when there were 5 of us at home, the biggest problem was the missing forks. Not just salad forks, ANY forks. At one point we were down to 6 forks total (of the everyday set) and when my children started using the good flatware, I went out and bought a whole new everyday set, just to get resupply the forks and preserve the good flatware.

    Then one day I saw my son scraping the food off his plate and then absentmindedly throwing the fork into the garbage. That's where all the missing forks had gone!

    But the socks are still a mystery.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by euterpe View Post
    I live alone now but still have missing sock syndrome.
    Me too.

    The weird thing is I put my socks into a lingerie bag with a zipper, and a safety pin to keep the zipper closed in the dryer. I always wind up one sock short, just the same.
    That is weird.

    I have occasionally caught the washing machine trying to swallow one or two and managed to rescue them. I imagine that other times they get completely engulfed during the cycle.

    Has anyone ever opened a washing machine frame and seen what's ended up inside?

    I live in a condo with a communal laundry room, so I can't investigate myself.

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