Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Commuter's Whine

I had one of those mornings today that only seems funny when it happens to someone else.

First I sat in traffic on 270 and the Beltway for an hour and a half on my commute to work. Anyone familiar with this area will say, "So what?" because it's more noteworthy when you don't sit in traffic for at least an hour.

But, stay with me. I'm just setting the stage - trying to make you understand the headache I had when I finally arrived at work.

I don't eat breakfast at home - I take it with me - mostly because there is free Starbucks at work and I really would much rather have my coffee with my breakfast. Also, I get to work at 10am to beat the traffic (it usually works better than today).

So I arrived at work after 11am, starving, aggravated, and suffering from caffeine withdrawal (oh, right, for any of you who remember my swearing off coffee - Joe's back with a vengeance - as soon as my stomach problems were under control I was back on the java.)

Of course, when I went to get the coffee I only was able to squeeze out a quarter cup before getting that insulting noise of an empty airpot - like a big mechanical raspberry - that I always take personally. I dutifully refilled the pot - after threatening 2 other employees with bodily injury for getting between me and the coffee filters - and walked back to my desk.

Five minutes later I returned to the kitchen to get the fresh coffee and I see one of the network guys on his hands and knees, mopping up the floor - which is covered with coffee!

"It wasn't me!" he announced before asking for more paper towels.

"I think it may have been me. But I swear I only pushed the button on the coffee machine once!"

I racked my brain trying to think what I could possibly have done to cause such a mess, but couldn't come up with anything. I helped him clean up, wondering all the while if it would be bad form to see if any coffee was left in the pot first, or make more, or maybe lick the floor while I was sopping up the coffee. (Yes...yes, it would have been bad form - so I didn't.)

Finally most of the evidence of my mishap was safely hidden in the trash and I could move on to more important things - like pumping my bloodstream full of shade grown, free trade, chemicals.

I moved the pot and was surprised it was almost empty. Since I couldn't figure out what my mistake was I had assumed that the machine malfunctioned and just kept brewing coffee until Network Guy shut it off.

But if it was empty that would mean the pot must be leaking?

So I picked it up over my head to look at the bottom - and was promptly showered with the last dregs of coffee in the pot - right out of the spout. Yes - it was that kind of morning.

Apparently the doohickey that goes into the airpot and is responsible for sucking up the coffee and spitting it out into my cup was a little overzealous. It had taken matters into it's own hands and as the coffee went out into the pot, syphoned it right back out again directly onto the floor.

That must be why most people take this part of the coffee pot out before they brew the coffee. Live and learn.

I paid my hush money to Network Guy and Receptionist Lady, who he had called over to ask about taking a mop to the sticky floor, and headed back to my desk with my cup of coffee... very very carefully.


  1. Oh... can I empathize... If you haven't already, read about my similar experience with the Humming Bird nectar. I have to say, though, no one was witness to my mishap... Tomorrow has GOT to be better for you!

  2. The joys of work mishap. I have been there more than once.

  3. Morning hours are always hectic and everyone has their way of getting by hurdles in the morning. Coffee and a healthy bite help a lot. Moreover, if the morning is smooth then the rest of the day will also pass away easily. Beating the traffic is also a big chase. So, if you let the morning get better of you then the rest of the day isn’t going to be easy either. Nice ideas shared here.



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