WaMu No Longer Provides Plastic Cutlery, Hot Chocolate, Keeps Tea

Our inbox contains an update of the state of WaMu’s break rooms.

We had an email go out to employees here at WaMu. They’re going to stop providing us plastic cutlery, hot chocolate, creamer, and anything but regular tea.

It’s not just BofA! This cutback must be something that saves banks big bucks! So that’s where the money is, invest in paper sugar packets and napkins everyone!


Thought I’d let you know, as this was quite amusing to find.

Anonymous WaMu Customer Service Employee.

There you have it, folks. The next time you get great customer service from WaMu, be sure to reward the employee with a care package of plastic sporks.



Edit Your Comment

  1. choinski says:

    By “tea” they mean bring your own cup, water, and kindle to boil it.

  2. amoeba says:

    Happy New Year’s Everyone!!!

    Anyway, This means that I will receive a bad customer service from WaMu? Gosh! People concerned about silly stuff and send this kind of news to the consumerist. Way to start the year. At least, I am my own boss and I treat myself with the best organic and local coffee :-)

  3. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    Ha. They did the same to us at Fannie Mae about 6 months ago. No more Blueberry Fusion or Raspberry Spark tea. But unlike WaMu and BofA, we still have Hot Chocolate!

    I didn’t know this was THAT newsworthy…

  4. Charybdis says:

    I mourn for these people’s losses. We get coffee, sugar, creamer, and small stirring straws – that’s it. No soup, no hand soap, no hot chocolate, no tea – just coffee. I hate coffee.

  5. jamesdenver says:

    Actually re: plastic cutlery I say good on’ya. Plasticware and paper cups should only be around for guests and parties.

    Office folks should have their own plates, bowls, knives, forks, and mugs on hand. I do – it’s something you use every day and it’s far less wasteful.

    I agree not providing coffee and hot coco is just cheap.

  6. y2julio says:

    @Charybdis: We get nothing in my office. Except the required stuff in the bathrooms.

  7. cabooglio says:

    This is not news. Since when is it a right to receive a variety of beverages for free from your employer? I work for an extremely large, very employee-friendly corporation and there haven’t been free drinks here for decades. Buy your own goddamn tea… and post some real news or post nothing at all.

  8. y2julio says:

    @cabooglio: I work for the City of New York and I get nothing. Where is my free stuff? This is an outrage..lol

  9. samurailynn says:

    I don’t feel sorry for people who don’t get disposable silverware offered to them on a daily basis. Maybe they will start bringing regular silverware from home and *gasp* washing and reusing it!

    I also don’t feel sorry for the hot chocolate being taken away. Most companies only offer coffee to their employees, and I can’t even stand the smell of plain coffee. So yeah, that means that I’ve never been among the beverage receiving elite. (Well, except for water. I do drink that filtered water like it might be taken away.)

  10. MameDennis says:

    In my office, we all bring in coffee for the communal pot. No trauma.

    We do still get soap in the bathroom, though.

  11. Snarkysnake says:

    From an investment perspective…

    When you see the corporate dimwits doing stuff like this,it usually means two things :
    1) They have run out of legitimate ideas to turn things around. Sugar. Hot chocolate. SPORKS, FOR GOD’S SAKE.There’s no real money to be saved here.This is being done to create the illusion that management is “doing something”,”cutting deep” or other such bullshit.You could take all of the break room supplies in the whole company and they wouldn’t amount to half a dozen shitty subprime loans that they are stuck with.

    2) Things are worse than they are letting on.I ask you- When do you look under the couch cushions for spare change ? When you are flush or when it looks like a train wreck ?

    WAMU employees- Hate it for ya.This is just the beginning…

  12. DeeJayQueue says:

    Ya know though, it doesn’t matter what the “IT” is so much as it matters that “IT” got taken away. When I started working here, we had the Flavia machine fully loaded with all the different stripes of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, etc. You name it, even the fru-fru drinks that take 2 packets to make. AND we had a separate machine that ground and brewed a fresh cuppa starbucks for you. They took it away and we’re left just the Flavia machine with regular coffee, english breakfast tea and choco packets. Am I gonna start a petition to bring that stuff back? No, it was cool while it lasted and I’m not angry that it’s gone, but it does suck and it makes people feel less valuable and thereby not as productive.

  13. Charybdis says:


    Everyone else was so excited when they started providing coffee a few years ago. Up until then we had nothing, and I never expected anything. Bank One was nothing if not a cheap-ass company, at least for anyone outside of corporate. After Bank One won the buyout… sorry, merger, Chase became exactly the same.

  14. DrGirlfriend says:

    I get nothing at my office. Nothing. Not even bad coffee.

    At least we still have hand soap.

  15. ElizabethD says:

    This is kind of ridiculous. Many, many workplaces, mine included, do not provide tea OR coffee OR cups etc. for their employees’ breaks. (Hell, who even takes a coffee break anymore? I drink mine in a thermos in my car, or at my desk.) Suck it up, peeps. Complain about the wages and the benefits and the crappy bosses if you want, but not about “no more free cutlery.”

  16. apotheosis says:

    Obviously, the pack of evil old white men in their commercials are conspiring to keep the young, hip WaMu representative down.

  17. ElizabethD says:

    PS Random thought: The model in the above pic reminds me of that poor Latina woman on “Heroes” whose eyes weep deadly black tarry tears. (shiver)

  18. Randal Milholland says:

    I guess I was just one of the unlucky ones who never had a job that provided me with any little perks (even when I worked for a dot-com, but that was because I was the lowly webmaster and not one of the important sales people) so I can’t see why any of this is that big of a deal.

  19. cde says:

    I work In $City library, and we get catered food every once in a while, like every other week, plus cookies plus cake… Oh god the cake. More cake then in Portals. And soda. And we have four kitchens. Each with soap.


    But look at it this way. Wamu isn’t gyping you out of that stuff, no they are trying to make sure you get less fat and more healthy. No utensils = less eating = weight loss. Chocolate + Milk are fattening too. Only Tea with water, because Tea + Milk = less healthy…. Yea, healthy, thats the ticket…

  20. Anonymous says:

    I completely understand how this is news.

    These institutions are cutting back benefits. This implies they are feeling a financial squeeze. Now keep an eye for how big the bonuses are for the big guys.

  21. Buran says:

    @Charybdis: Yeah no kidding. What’s with the hot chocolate hate?

  22. Buran says:

    @ElizabethD: You mean they’re still airing Heroes in your universe? In mine, their answer to “appease angry fans who didn’t like how the season was going” was to … um … end the season. *headdesk*

  23. Buran says:

    @cabooglio: Or start your own blog and quit whining. You must like the stories, else why are you here?

    I can’t stand the “I hate this stuff you post on YOUR website” crowd. If you hate it so much, why did you click it?

  24. DallasDMD says:

    Providing break room supplies is such a tiny expense compared to the executive salaries and benefits packages, yet it goes such a long way to give your employees the impression that they value their employees, boosting morale.

    The only reason to cut off the supplies is not to save money, because the amount of money saved is a drop in the bucket (compared to all the losses banks are enduring), but to just pad a list of things cut off to give the illusion of saving money.

  25. Robobot says:

    Big deal. Just be glad you have a break room and are allowed breaks in your day to enjoy it. That’s not an indulgence everyone gets in their workday. Bring your own cutlery from home or take turns buying communal creamer/sporks/etc.

    Yeah, it probably sucks in their shoes, but it isn’t anything to get the media involved about.I say all this as a customer service employee.

  26. mac-phisto says:

    this may not be company-wide. many banks have discretionary funds for stuff like breakroom supplies & whatever money is not spent, the branch manager receives as a bonus. the real tight-wad managers start to think that all of these funds are theirs, so buying supplies like toilet paper is taking money out of their pocket.

    now, maybe they’re cutting the discretionary funds & the manager only drinks tea (hence the axe on hot chocolate), but it could also be that she didn’t get the 5% she asked for this year, so she’s planning on making up for it somewhere else.

  27. Alexander says:

    The call center department at my work had a holiday lunch for the costumer service reps…but they had to pay $12 each. Classy!

  28. Frank Grimes says:

    Wow…should I be complaining that they just cut back on the hours of our on-site, free to use, company paid for gym with (2) full time personal trainers at your disposale (open 2 less hours per day)? Uhhhh, maybe not (and we still get free coffee, tea, and hot chocolate). Work for a European based company some time. Try it, you’ll like it.

  29. ARP says:

    DallasMD- I’m with you. This is a BS move to placate shareholders that they’re cutting deep to get themselves out of the sub-prime situation they partially created. Now, the people who got paid millions and caused this mess? I doubt they got anything cut. Hell, I bet they’re getting “retention bonuses” to keep them during their turnaround. God this situation irks me to no end and it happens all the time. The problem is that shareholder activism just can’t work because of the diluted nature. One of the few tertiary steps I see is to tax the wealthy at a higher rate and pay for things like health care, education, etc. so at least the middle/lower classes have less to worry about and spend. Alas, I digress into politics. Apologies.

  30. cabooglio says:

    I don’t believe in unconditional love for websites (or indeed, any institution). My criticism is absolutely valid. What has this story to do with consumerism? How does it help me? How does it serve me? What does it tell me? The answers are: zilch, not at all, it doesn’t and nothing of any import. Never be afraid to critique. Standards are important… to some of us, anyway.

  31. @DallasDMD:
    Amen. They could fire one of their 10,000 “VPs” and save way more than they’ll save on stuff like this. If anything, they should be providing this stuff for employees to ease their minds. No, it’s not a “right,” but sweet Jesus – when we get rid of the office coffee, soap, and tea bags, are things like health insurance and paid days off far behind?

  32. MsClear says:

    While this isn’t a big issue in real terms, it’s an indicator of the general trends in the banking business (way down) and of the way that ordinary workers pay for the malfeasance of those with the power, who continue to rake in gigantic salaries while workers can’t get a plastic spoon.

    The real tragedy will be a decline in salary (inflation adjusted or otherwise) and probably more insurance payments and general hassles.

    But the ordinary person doesn’t matter. That comes through, loud and clear.

  33. dugn says:

    I don’t see why this is news.

    I also didn’t see it as newsworthy when our company re-started their benefit of providing free towel service to those who used the showers/changing rooms, but it made front-page news then too…

  34. Buran says:

    @cabooglio: As long as the owner of the site thinks it’s related, it’s related. You don’t get to pick. Your criticism is of the “I don’t own this, but I think I get to whine about what the people who DO own it decide to do with it”. That’s the only standard that really matters here.

    It serves plenty of people judging from how many comments there are in here. You’re the only one who is sitting here whining about it. I repeat: start your own blog with any standard you want, or just scroll on by instead of wasting your time and ours.

  35. Buran says:

    @dugn: See my comments to cabooglio.

  36. cabooglio says:

    Whoops. I misunderstood the point of the comments section. My bad. I meant to say, “HOORAY! Good post, buddy! You rock the Casbah!”

  37. iamme99 says:

    Ha, I get all that stuff. Of course I work out of my home office and have to pay for it myself :)

    Many companies instituted these snacks in the late ’90’s to try to compete with the dotcom’s where this is common. The last small company office I worked at had tea, coffee and snacks + bagels/cakes every Friday. Even though they had made a profit only 1 year out of the prior 10!

    But Google isn’t taking anything away. See, for example:

  38. shrtcrt says:

    I am all for no more plastic, one use items. Really bring a fork from home and keep it at the office and wash it! As far as free beverages, to me that is perk. If they do it, great, if not, oh well. Coffee and tea is pretty cheap and if you get a group of people to chip in, it is even cheaper. Personally I would rather have a job and no free drinks.

  39. coren says:

    Perhaps this is news because it might predict a downturn in WaMu’s fortunes (serves them right, buying out our Dairy Queen). Maybe this is an indicator of the level of customer service you’ll receive There are all kinds of ways for this to be a valid news article.

  40. Kounji says:

    Yeah I always wonder why people don’t see the wisdom in providing little things like that. It gives the sense that places care about their employees. Maybe providing a newspaper every once and while, and some coffee can help on a stressful day. I know that any day my work gives us catering, I’m seriously the most happy employee ever for the rest of the day.

    My job instituted potlucks implying that employee appreciation must be instituted by employees.

  41. gordond says:

    I’m definitely bringing in some hot chocolate next time I go in to make a deposit. My wamu always gives superb service and they’re so friendly – even when it comes to reversing overdraft fees that are definitely my own fault :)

  42. TexasScout says:

    And we should care because….

  43. Buran says:

    @cabooglio: *rolls eyes* Um… OK.

  44. scarequotes says:

    Anonymous comment on Seattlest’s post about your article:

    I had to laugh because it was just a couple of days ago that the President of Home Loans sent all home loans employees an email telling us that instead of sending the top 100 sales people to Atlantis in Paradise Island for a week long pat on the back, the bank has decided to send the top 200.

    What is that costing the share holders? They’re paying for it aren’t they?

  45. overbysara says:

    my office has about 20 kinds of tea, 5 kinds of hot chocolate, and a starbucks coffee machine that makes individual cups of coffee at the touch of a button. 8)

  46. overbysara says:

    oh but we don’t have plastic cutlery because we’re an environmental org.

  47. UpsetPanda says:

    @Kounji: I work at a newspaper. I demand a magazine.

  48. ckaught78 says:

    I am going to have to call bravo sierra on this one. I work for WaMu and haven’t heard or seen anything on this subject. We still have tea, coffee, plastic wear, cheap paper towels, hot chocolate, and hand soap.

  49. trollkiller says:

    @overbysara: do you know the enviromental damage you are causing by drinking those fancy teas and coffees?

  50. hexychick says:

    I don’t blame them for cutting costs and cutting out coffee and sugar and things like that. I know what it costs to keep a staff of 35 stocked because I do all the budgetting/ordering for them. I can’t imagine what it costs for such a huge company. The handsoap thing is absolutely ridiculous. Isn’t that some sort of health code violation?

  51. dugn says:

    @Buran: Using that logic, let’s disable all comments. All agreeable ones are accepted.