Office Coffee comes in many flavors, colors, and smells, but we can all agree - unless you live in Seattle - that its not too particularly good. Whether 3-day old grinds, Dollar store brew, or the tar-like qualities a pot gets when its reheated for the umpteenth time, we still drink it. It's a commodity and a convenience, a welcome blessing when rushing to work so unprepared your cowlicks bear calves by noon. Sometimes the coffe pot was brought from home, if you are lucky, you have a Bunn. And its all managed under the watchful eye of the "coffee clutch"
The clutch is that group of up-in-age office management bitties, the ones that order supplies and do your timesheets. They don't actually drink the coffee, though some claim fealty, but by god there is always a full jar of sugar packets and a box of creamers, straws, napkins on the table; everything you need to forget that the coffee still tastes like shit. All they ask is that you pay.
Our coffee has the bittiest of crones to oversee the clutch. We have a 2 dollar/week subscription to coffee. There are 4 gallons of water at all times under the table to refill the pots, and if you empty one, yo must immediately go in search of a faucet to replenish it. Another thing, the 50cents refers to "one" serving in an 8oz. cup.
I buck the trend, and incur the ice stares when I walk in with my 20oz Starbucks seasonal mug and gingerly fill to the top. I pay when I feel like it; random coins in my pocket making the jingle in drop box just loud enough to satisfy the ears of the clutch. I'm quick and determined in the morning, as i have just five minutes to walk in my lab, grab my mug and run upstairs where the clutch is sanctioned. I slosh out yesterday's stains with hot water, refill it with black death and trot downstairs, spilling a trail of black tears which are symbolic of my disdain for the morning.
The other day, this email popped up, note the "Angency Wide"
The clutch has been disbanded, the refrigerator moved. No more the quiet trot upstairs, coffee is now at the opposite end of the building, in the noisiest busiest room in the mornings... the cafeteria. Stealing coffee is impossible, too, you must wait in line like a poor orphan waiting for soup, mug in hand. I tried this today and immediately got into a fight with the cashier over the size of my mug and how I take up a whole pot in one shot. The upside, however, to cafeteria coffee is that Karen (the cafeteria manager) understands portions. The amount coffee you need is determined by the size of the mug you bring; $0.50 per mug. Period.
Same grinds, same taste, but now I have to pay. I don't think its fair. The agency buys giant boxes of bulk office grinds from some paper supply company, The 50 cents isn't going to the people managing the clutches either, just back into the agency to "cover" the costs. Bullshit. I don't think its right that I should have to pay for something I need to ensure my happiness in a company designed to make me miserable. Coffee provides insurance against incidents and loss of patience, a very serious thing at my job.
I don't wanna pay anymore, I guess I'll have to sleep with the lunch lady... again.
- UPDATE: A few co-workers and I have decided to get our own fancy coffee pot and have our own special clutch, course I'm still paying for coffee but the principle of the matter makes us rebels.