Thursday, January 27, 2011

Coming to a Boil

The first office I worked in after college had what was then a fairly common caste system; managers and senior employees didn’t have to make coffee at lunchtime or for our breaks, but underlings did.  We rotated according to a strict schedule.  Some of the others so resented the task that by the time it was my shift, the pot was practically black with residue.  Since a clean pot makes better coffee I would grimly scrub it out, but by the time my turn rolled around again it would once again be filthy.  After a couple of promotions, I was overjoyed to be removed from the rotation and I never had to make office coffee again - until my current employer moved to our latest location.

Now we have not one, but two coffee machines, and no one assigned to make the coffee.  The first person who wants a cup each morning makes the initial pot; after the carafe is empty again, it stays that way until someone else cracks or my boss goes looking for a likely victim.  Fairly often, the person who cracks is me.

In the bad old days I would have been angry about this, but I’ve mellowed with age.  I now consider brewing office coffee a matter of survival rather than status.  If I make the coffee, it won’t be as pale as dishwater or strong enough to trot a cockroach on.  I also do my best to scrape the accumulated crud out of the inside of the glass carafe so the coffee won’t have a nasty bitter aftertaste.  I’m not quite desperate enough yet to start buying fresh beans out of my own pocket, but I may yet come to that.  The main thing holding me back is the knowledge that the better the coffee is, the faster that damned pot will empty.

“I believe humans get a lot done, not because we're smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee.”  ~Flash Rosenberg


  1. Very funny... very Beth...

    By the by... I read and post comments to you all the time but it appears that I have been unable to post I am inept... my 12 year old had to show me that I had to log on through google to actually post something to you, you've missed some brillant comments. *sigh*

  2. Damn!! If they were Kathleen comments, I'm sure they WERE brilliant!!