Office Demons


I was gonna write about that Web Standards thing here, but, eh, I’m tired of it, frankly. I mean, the bottom line is that most people don’t really care about it and those that do all seem to be arguing with each other about “what it meeeeans” when one says they want to support Web Standards but one also incorporates non-standard mark-up in their pages and blah, blah, blah I’m pretty sure you, average reader, couldn’t care less so why whine about it here? At least, that was my thinking.

Instead, I’m going to just ramble on like I used to do. Remember that? Remember when all I did was whine out loud about crap? Lately I’ve been whining in another manner, rather more vocally, and ignoring the whole writing thing. Also, lately, I’ve been lacking any sort of inspiration or, what’s the word, oomph? The desire to do much of anything. This happens infrequently and for no apparent reason. I just sort of want to not want to do anything and it’s a very easy “want” to fulfill. Especially with so many channels showing so much crap on the telly.

But this morning I came into the office and this thing happened again and I thought about being an asshole and printing up this sign to post in the break room but, you know, people who do that sort of thing really annoy me more than the people whose habits they are trying to break. I mean, I know that when you see those signs they’re usually right and the reason they’re there is because you don’t know who, in the office, is doing that annoying thing the sign rails against and/or you know who’s doing it but you don’t want to confront them about it so you make up this sign that’s either dryly professional in tone or humorously friendly to deflect retaliation in one form or another. Office politics are so fun.

Not The Coffee Again?

A while back I posted a rant about the non-coffee-making coffee drinkers who finish the last coffee and don’t make any more. Those people, in my estimation, should be shot. I firmly believe that such behavior stretches outside the break room and those people are also the ones who can’t park their cars in a parking space and take up too much space and throw all subsequent parkers off. They are also the same people who make a mess in the public restrooms, laugh much too loudly at their own jokes, comb over their hair to hide their baldness (both male and female) and buy all those damn little yappy drop-kickable dogs. I now have a new, more devious class of coffee drinker to add to the list; The coffee drinkers who don’t actually like to drink coffee.

Lately, and with growing frequency, some dork has only been using half to three-quarters of the coffee in the pre-packaged and pre-measured coffee packets when they make a pot of coffee. Then they leave the half-empty packet in with the full packets as if some day all the partial packets will add up to another full packet at which time they, presumably, will empty a potion of that stale, tasteless coffee into a filter and make yet another carafe of brown water. So then I, a coffee-loving coffee drinker who likes to taste the coffee in my cup, pour myself my first coffee of the morning which is, as any decent coffee-loving coffee drinker will tell you, the most important meal of the day and discover as I sip it that someone has created another wretched and useless pot of hot brown water with absolutely no coffee in it at all.

I will then grind my teeth and look at that pot of useless brown water and see the opened, half-used packet of coffee and want to hunt you down and kill you because, see, here’s the thing. It’s very easy to take a strong cup of coffee and weaken it for those wimps who don’t actually like coffee and are apparently drinking it to get in good with the In Crowd of us who know how important coffee really is. All you do is half-fill your fake-coffee mug with real coffee and fill the rest with hot water. In my office, we even have a water cooler that has a hot water spigot that produces boiling hot water instantly so all you need do is move approximately two feet to your left and make your fake coffee.

But — and this is a big BUT — I can’t take wimpy, sickly, weak-willed half-hearted brown water and make it into real, honest-to-goodness, heart-pumping, bowel-moving, hand-shaking coffee, now can I? I can’t take the poor, defenseless grounds you set aside, you heartless son of a bitch, and sprinkle them inside that horrid crap you made to please your own weak palate and make a decent Cup O’ Joe that I need, damn you, need in the morning and not as some gesture to fit in but because I love coffee.

Heartless Bitch!

The thing is that I know who used to do this because she stood right there beside me as I was making coffee one time and explained that “the coffee will be better if you don’t use the whole package.” And there, suddenly, I had her! Here was the demon who had been making my mornings bleak and calm! Here was the creature plaguing my life with some foul concoction masquerading as 100% caffeine-infused bliss in the form of hot brown water! There, before me, she stood, talking at me like that and telling me how to make coffee by leaving some of it out! This is like telling a chef that Eggs Benedict would be better if you don’t pour all that creamy Hollandaise over the top.

And did I chastise her for her practice? Did I gouge out her eyes and pour a sampling of that witch’s brew she considered coffee into her empty sockets? Did I scream at the top of my lungs, “You! You’re the one! You’re who’s been poisoning me each morning and I’ve been choking down this sickening, tasteless shit because of you! You! You!”

No, I did not. I actually — and this pains me greatly to stand here and admit this — I actually did as she asked! I betrayed the public good and only added three-quarters of the available coffee and made a pot of shit. My soul still aches at the betrayal. But she’s gone, now. She quit a few weeks back and with her, I thought she took that brown hot water crap.

Until this morning.

You & Me Against The World

I know you understand.

I know you make full-bodied, rich hot coffee filled with the bitter strength one needs to get going every morning in a world like this. Life is becoming more and more surreal and one needs something to hold on to. If we’re on the verge of universal meltdown and it’s true that the world’s going to be ending in less than two year’s time (For the record, it won’t, but let’s all pretend it will. Life’s so much more interesting that way.) then why subject yourself to less than everything? I mean, what’s the good of treating yourself right if you’re not enjoying it? And although I can understand that the person or persons making that weak-ass shit believe that it really is better than literally “having it all,” I can’t understand why they think the rest of us believe that, too.

That’s a lot deeper than I wanted to dig, but one can’t always plan one’s thought processes, can one? I suppose making weak-ass coffee has almost nothing to do with leading a life of quiet desperation, but it’s one of those small things we can still control in life so I think it’s better to fault in favor of more better instead of less bad.

So the next time you’re paused over the filter of life and contemplating whether to use all the grounds or only half, I urge you to shake that vacuum-sealed packet for all its worth and squeeze every last miniscule coffee ground from it. Make the deepest, darkest, richest pot of coffee you possibly can, kiddo. Pour yourself a cup and if you still feel it needs watering down, do it in your own damned mug but leave mine alone. I need all the simple pleasures I can get and you’re stepping on my happiness, whether you knew it or not.

August 21, 1998

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