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Coffee Making Protocol

Hello everyone – I’m back with another topic that really churns my butter.

Let’s talk about the office coffee pot, shall we?  I work in an office of about 160 people spread across two floors.  I’m on the original, non-expansion floor with the most people in it.  To accommodate the, say, 120 people we have up here we have one coffee machine.  The machine can make one pot at a time but has three burners so that at any given time you can have three full, hot pots of coffee.  Of course, we only have two actual pots.  Not that having three would help, of course, as you are about to find out.

Let me set the stage for you.  It’s 7:00 AM and I have just arrived at work.  I clock in, grab my oversized smiley face mug and head for the break room.  On most mornings I find that there are two pots being used, both of which sit on heated burners with almost enough coffee in them to keep you from seeing the bottom of the pot.  There’s a disconnect in most of my co-worker’s brains.  The levels and varieties of these disconnects are varied but the one we’ll talk about today is the one that makes them think that an eyedropper’s worth of coffee in the bottom of the pot is enough to warrant not making a new pot.  Really?  There’s not enough coffee in there to drown an ant and you think it’s fine to not only walk away, satisfied that you’ve taken care of your office brethren , but to leave the burners on so the smelt of burnt coffee wafts through the break room?  Shame on you.  Keep in mind, folks, that this sign hangs right next to the coffee pot:

Simple enough, isn’t it?  Nope – not around here it isn’t.  This morning really took the cake.  I arrived and found a pot of water sitting on the burner (which was on, of course) and a fresh filter full of coffee grounds sitting inside the hopper.  Whoever it was had gone to the trouble of prepping everything but had neglected to actually pour the water into the coffee maker, which is kind of an important step in the “how to make the damned coffee” manual.  They also, when they make it, make it far too weak.  If I wanted hot, brown water I’d move to Mexico.  If I am forced to make a pot (actually, WHEN I’m forced to make a pot) I make it full strength – high octane stuff here.  The only problem is that I’m a busy man.  I don’t have time to babysit and watch the pot brew.  I used to make it, walk away for five minutes and return expecting to find a fresh pot of coffee.  What I found was an empty pot that had somehow been scavenged by the people who don’t know how to make a pot.  My hard work and patience had been rewarded with the same empty pot sitting on a hot burner I had encountered in the first place.  Now I guard my coffee.  I stand there like it’s Buckingham Palace – no smile, no greetings.  It’s just a cold, dead stare into the slow drip of the coffee.  As soon as it’s filled enough to fill my mug I pull the Indiana Jones, sliding my mug underneath the drip while filling it from the pot.  I’ve become very deft at this, by the way.  I haven’t spilled a drop in months, which tells you how often I’m forced to do this.

Here’s the big lesson for today, kids.  Make some damn coffee. It doesn’t take long and it goes a long way to show that you care about your workplace and the people in it.  Think about how much time you spend with these people during any given week.  Don’t you think a little comraderie is worth the minute it takes to make coffee?  I do.

-Big Skeezy