Monday, October 31, 2011

Define Cruelty

I remember all the way back to Friday.  I was telling a friend that I was going to get up off my posterior and head out over the weekend.  I was almost excited.

Then it snowed.  It was almost as if it were personal.

But the true definition of cruelty, and I'm sure you'll agree if you think about it, is a non-cooperative coffee machine on Monday morning.

I've been at the present job for ten years.  Over that time, we've spent days, weeks, and months working on a suitable Coffee Strategy.  Coffee doesn't come easy.  Yes, we do have the coffee machines thoughtfully provided by our employer.  These are really convenient little machines and, when loaded, produce something in the general neighborhood of coffee (or hot chocolate) but not close enough for me.  And they're frequently not loaded, producing the sickest shades of coffee and hot chocolate imaginable.  Unfortunately they don't taste much better than they look, loaded or not.

Being a proper coffee fanatic, I decided the only way to go was to bring in beans, a grinder, and a four pot coffee maker.  This became so successful that we evolved to a twelve cup coffee maker.

It was at this point that we hit our Major Stumbling Block<tm>.  I noticed that if I didn't make coffee, it didn't get made.  Somewhat coincidentally, if I didn't clean the pot, it didn't get cleaned.  Suffice it to say that a dirty coffee pot can grow some of the most interesting blue-green `stuff' you've ever seen.  After a while it evolves speech.  This, while interesting, becomes a bit of a pain in the ass, as it just sits there, saying:

"Clean me."
"Clean me."

Then we discovered Keurig.  These are miraculous machines, wherein you fill them with water, put in a cup, put in a little coffee pod, push the button, and coffee appears in your cup.

And you don't have to wash any pots.

This was a miracle for us, provided we could get someone to pick up the coffee pods.  It was almost foolproof.

Until this morning, of course.

Here we are, yet another Monday, coming into work and pressing the BREW button for some of that magical go-juice.

And the machine just stared back at us.

A helpful person observed that sometimes it starts slowly.  I added that perhaps it's having prostate issues: it gets started slowly but eventually disburses liquid.

And it gave me half a cup of brew.

This is simply cruel.  Monday morning, of all mornings, is precisely the wrong morning to mess with my coffee.  I have barely enough oomph to operate the coffee machine, no less hurl it across the room in a petulant frenzy (a petulant frenzy?).

While we're on the topic, this particular machine is not without its drawbacks.  While it's basically effortless in the coffee-making area, one still has to procure things like cups, sugar, and creamer.  I have noticed that at least one of these things is missing when I go to make my singular cup of coffee.

I may go to put in sugar, only to find it empty.  After I procure more sugar, via an act that is probably illegal in at least thirty states, I get back to notice that the creamer is also short.  It took me way too long to remember to check everything before I hit BREW.

Since there were no additional cups, I had to go to the kitchen to dump out my measly half cup of coffee (which was starting to eat through the cup anyway) and get some more cups.  I ran a cup of plain water, which took on an eerie brown and crunchy shade, and had another go at regular old coffee.

VOILA!  An actual cup of coffee.  Success at last.

Of course I feel sorry for anyone who has to deal with me today, but at least I got my coffee.


Today is Halloween.  My department is dressing as MIS people with bad attitudes.

By all accounts, we've nailed it.

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