Every once in a while I’d run off 60 copies of something for Roundtable and would worry that since documents were tied to a particular user and any admin can pull up the print record that I’d someday be called to task for consuming company resources and be unceremoniously shitcanned and be denied the Elysian Fields of New Jersey unemployment benefits.  Then I started thinking: I don’t drink coffee at work.  Each of the packets costs at least 33 cents even when purchasing literally thousands of them and assuming two cups a day for six years that’s quite an implicit employee resource pool.

If I stick around for another 3 years I’ll feel fully entitled to just take the photocopier.

My flavored coffee servings arrived and I was bathed in boxes of Caramel French Vanilla, Winter Mountain Blueberry, and Fairtrade Dark Roasted Hazelnut and took my fare share of jokes for it.  Most people thought I didn’t drink coffee, I don’t as I’m hesitant to put “Dutch Mochachino” in the coffee category.  The calibration guys where in and they’re usually somewhat rough around the edges guy.  One walked by my desk and picked up a “Dutch Chocolate” cup when I interrupted him:

Me: Yes, I actually drink it.
Him: Hm… I always considered you a Swiss Raspberry person.
Me: Dirka?
Him: Yeah, Gloria Jeans makes some wonderful small batch flavored coffees this time of year.

I came back to my desk after lunch and he wrote the sites of two discount coffee vendors that’ll give you a discount if you’re a “business”.  These coffee people are everywhere, I wonder if I can shave another 10% off the price if I learn their secret handshake.

One of my coworkers also has the same type of coffee machine as myself and informed me that he’s a member of a group that retrofits single-use cups to be… not as single use.  Apparently by buying a certain size brass mesh and doing some creative home welding one can reuse the cups from three to the near mythic level of one gifted modder who claims to have hit 10,000 uses.  This despite the fact that 10k uses would be seven cups a day for four years.  This method also ignores the fact that grounds can be used only so many times and re-filling the grounds would be functionally identical to simply buying an air or French press.

But, as my firing approaches, this economy is appealing.  I’ve filled my own ink cartridges, performed my own dentistry, purchased near over-ripe fruit, and made my own dextrose from corn starch.  I also take pride that in each generation there are those that throw off the shackles of oppressive consumerism for a slightly different form of DIY oppressive consumerism.  I consider both the American way.

While staying with Chris in Columbus, I tried his single-serving coffee machine.  The “Winter Blueberry Cascade” was wonderful and ranked among my favorite coffee-like drinks and I’m looking for a new warm beverage so I tried to find a machine and k-cup supplier.  Craigslist yielded  a 60% discount through a used machine and I dove into the world of single serving coffee while waiting for my “Kiss of Frost Blend” verity pack to arrive.  The seller included a pile of coffee types and I discovered a few things when I brought the device to work:

  • Those of my coworkers who consume much coffee can smell it even when still sealed in the serving packets.
  • I have no place at my desk for another coffee machine.
  • Everyone seemed compelled to state “what, you don’t like our coffee?”
  • I still don’t like coffee.
  • Coffee gives me a headache when I drink three or more cups in a row to overcome my dislike of coffee.
  • More than four cups of coffee in a short period of time increases my frequency of bathroom visits.

I walked to my boss’s cube to say something when I found several folk having a heated discussion on something.  The boss was mid-rant  about how they’d have to work without interruption day or night after it was done he asked
Boss: Terry, what did you need?
Me: Nothing really, I just found out the guys across the hall have more variety at their coffee machine than us.
Boss: Why didn’t you tell me sooner!

Note to self: superior coffee and notes on office politicking goes above things marked important enough that he’ll have to work day and night.

I did my monthly soda run yesterday and no longer needed to use my morning coffee voucher to get diet cola, so I got the French Vanilla girly coffee which I’m delighted to have found punishes neither my colon nor rectum.   Dashing for the train, the coffee was left ignore.

Hours later I returned remembering the coffee and eyeing up its semi-warmness but waited.  I dumped the coffee into a cup and started adding cherry cola and took a swig.

Flavor: Remember those little cherry stickers you got in 3rd grade that had little smiling cherries on them?  Imagine there was also a smiling coffee bean sticker that practiced sticker cannibalism and bit the cherry, and then you drunk his urine.  Same flavor, same temperature, although the effect dropped as the soda fraction jumped.  I doubt anthropomorphic fruit-stickers have carbonated urine, but they may, they’re anthropomorphic fruit-stickers.

Dun dun dun….  4:00 AM while lacquering my atlatls, inspiration.

I walked confidently to coffee island, grabbed the 20 oz cup and walk to the gaiye coffee dispenser.  I hit the Surpresso Espresso or what ever it’s called button for 4 seconds and release.  I walk another 6 feet to the right, and place my cup under the diet Coke dispenser and press the button for 7 seconds.  COKE KONA!  I saunter to the register and proudly purchase my combo.  I didn’t shit for another 7 hours (which is normal for me), I WIN!

Today I tried not drinking the coffee.  I have a train-friend that regularly purchases coffee on the way to the station and I spoke with this friend about providing their cup of coffee.  So, I got the AA Kenya with 2 sugars and 2 creams and proudly brought it onto the train.  Train stopped at Somerton station, no friend.  So I figured I’d just hold the coffee and dump it when I got to Temple.

People start piling in and my arm’s getting tired as I have no real place to put it down.  I’m pretty sure the guy next to me starts looking at me funny as I hold this cup of coffee without drinking it and my arm starts shaking as holding out the cup starts getting to me.  I think about trying to give it away until realizing that no one would accept a fat stranger’s coffee.

In frustration I start drinking it, remembering why I hate regular coffee, so I’m sitting there downing piping hot coffee contorting my face in pain.  I’m the kind of guy guys like me hate sitting next to on the train thinking they’re crazy.  I’ve become a monster.