The Coffee Incident

Some of you may recall that a couple of years ago I called for a Coffee Jihaad in response to this guy in the office who would drink coffee without paying for it in addition to drinking the last cup without making a new pot of coffee. It’s not that he paid and made coffee seldom, he did these thing NEVER. Due to recent developments I think it’s finally safe to tell the tale of The Coffee Incident:

History and Background

Back in 1996 the reigns of Coffee Czar were handed over to me (or I took over in a quick and bloody coup, I forget the details). Anyhoo, it was then up to me to decide how our office coffee fund would work. Some of my advisors (and one jester) suggested that, since I switched us from Maxwell House to Starbucks, I should raise the price of the coffee to 50 cents a cup. I declined, however, because it was my experience that, if every body paid for every cup they drank, 25 cents a cup would be more than enough to keep the coffee fund financially sound. The coffee drinkers in my office were forthright and honest and this system worked out for five years or so. Then they made the mistake of hiring the Coffee Shirker.

Teh Incident

The Coffee Shirker was this new employee who I introduced to our system (since he was a coffee drinker). I explained how the process worked and invited him to partake in our coffee group. He immediately accepted the offer and thereafter became one of our most prolific coffee drinkers. The problem is I never saw him drop any $ in the coffee fund cup and while our coffee consumption increased, the amount in our coffers did not. I didn’t want to rush to judgment (I thought maybe he was paying but that I never happened to see him) so I asked someone who worked in that area to keep an eye out for me. After about a week the report came back: he drank coffee multiple times a day and never paid at all.

Very discreetly I pulled this guy to the side and explained that I noticed that he wasn’t paying. I again explained the system to him and advised him that he was more than welcome to drink the office coffee but that it was imperative that he pay every time (when I said “imperative” I kind of raised my eyebrows for emphasis and I drew my index finger across my throat to effect the “murder” sign) . He was apologetic and vowed that he would henceforth pay for each cup of coffee.

Another week goes by and not only am I monitoring the coffee fund cup but my informant is watching as well. Again this guy drinks coffee every day and again he does not pay a single time. Finally I sent this guy an email (in my experience face-to-face confrontations always end in battles with mace and short swords). I’m retyping this from memory but the email went something like this:

To you,

I explained the coffee fund to you again and you have continued to drink coffee without paying for it. On top of that while you have been drinking coffee every day you have not made a new pot a single time, not even when you have drank the last cup. Since you are either too (edited) to follow our rules, from here on out DO NOT DRINK OUR COFFEE. You don’t PAY for it and you don’t MAKE it. This is not coffee socialism and we don’t pay the way for others here. I have put this all in writing so as to be as clear as possible.

About five minutes later this guy shows up at my cubicle with the above email printed out and in hand. “DID YOU WRITE THIS??” he hissies at me, shaking the offending email in the air. “You know I did” I respond, pushing back my chair. Again he shouts asking if I wrote it. Again I reply in the affirmative. At this point he steps in towards me and begins an angry effeminate diatribe crowding my space and wagging his index finger in the air. Immediately my internal alarm goes off and I firmly state “Get back, you’re too close to me.” (it’s the same alarm that went off when that guy crowded me at Leroy’s and immediately after will be followed by either a retreat or a pre-emptory strike by me). He continues his hissy tirade and again I command “GET BACK! YOU’RE TOO CLOSE TO ME!” Fortunately he steps back and then goes away. I return to my work.

About a half hour later my boss calls me from Detroit. She says the email in question has been forwarded to her and she says that I must apologize to the Coffee Shirker at once. I tell my boss that I appreciate her position but I respectfully refuse to apologize because any such apology would be insincere as I am not sorry and that furthermore I send the email with premeditation and that I stood by everything that I said. At that point I expected to be fired for insubordination (my boss was no-nonsense tough lady). Instead she told me she respected my position, go back to work. Things return to normal and from then on out the Coffee Shirker procures his own coffee from down the street.

A few months afterwards we have this big office picnic at the home of the office manager. It’s a sumptous affair with a variety of foodstuffs brought in by the many employees from the office. The Coffee Shirker shows up carrying a baby racoon in his arms. He lets it climb on his shoulder and all over him. He tells us he found it in the woods by his house and he thinks it’s the greatest pet ever. A few of us mumble to each other that it’s a stupid idea. I add that a racoon is not a domesticated animal and that’s for a reason: throughout human history, we’ve pretty much already figured out which animals are the good ones and which ones are dangerous. While the Coffee Shirker is having the time of his life, many of us quietly concur that his idea is dumb.

A few weeks after that one of my co-workers can barely contain her glee. She says “Did you hear what happened to (coffee shirker)?” She looks like she’s holding back the laughter of three midgets. “No, what happened” I ask. “That stupid pet racoon he had attacked him, he’s face is all tore up!” I laugh, we laugh, everybody thinks it’s the best thing. The next day coffee shirker is in the office. He approaches me (face cut up to hell). “Did you hear what happened to me?” he asks dejectedly. I bite my lip and squinch my face up. How I managed to not burst into laughter is a feat of Herculean proportions.

Furthermore, it has now come to pass that the Coffee Shirker has had his work contract abruptly cancelled (shall we say, against his consent). It was a quick and tidy affair afterwhich he could be heard yelling on his cell phone in front of the building. I couldn’t concoct a happier ending.

7 Responses to “The Coffee Incident”

  1. Phelps says:

    I’m actually in court right now in Memphis with the guy I had picked to be our blind cleric. Unfortunately, his hearing has deteriorated, and I don’t have the heart to gouge a deaf man’s eyes out. We will have to make due with a half-deaf cleric.

  2. Phelps says:

    We should form PM Consulting and charge that guy $60000 to figure out why his raccoon attacked him.

  3. Mayor Laura Miller says:

    I second that!

  4. Yollie says:

    I love it!! and this very coffee shirker, not only got “fired” but also says he plans to make a lot of “noise” to the higher ups about this……let’s see what happens….I will keep you posted…

  5. guy in the UNLV Jacket says:

    Fuck the Boston Tea party and the communal coffee pot, I drink Tea