Tuesday, May 5, 2009


So, we have a new coffee maker in the office.

Why is this post-worthy? Because in the last two years, we have gone through 3 coffee makers and about 4 carafes. And I've almost killed someone about as many times.

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I left witty, sarcastic notes taped to the cabinet above the machine on how to use it and not break it. I complained about the newly broken carafe in the kitchen, within earshot off those I suspected were to blame.

Our Cuisinart machine was so nice. It was modern and black and had all the bells and whistles. It used cone filters, in lieu of those cheesy basket-type filters. It had a self-cleaning mode I never figured out (because someone tossed the directions in the trash) and an auto shut-off feature, which is designed to prevent idiots from drinking the last of the coffee and putting the empty carafe on the scalding hot burner plate.

Even with the auto shut-off feature, the carafe broke three times, so I'm guessing that there are at least three people in this office who don't know care that you shouldn't put an empty carafe on a hot burner plate, or that we have one repeat offender who can't read.

After the third time, my boss decided that it was too costly to replace these carafes. At $26.00 each, I had to agree.

Because the carafe was now only cracked and not shattered, it remained in use for several days. It would leak small amounts of coffee that would cook on the burner plate. It was a pathetic sight.

Cuisinart DCC-1200 Series Coffee Maker
Brew In Peace

Eventually, I threw the carafe out, as it was a disaster waiting to happen. We started to use the white Black and Decker coffee maker that had been brought in to appease those who prefer decaf in the morning.

I'll let that sink in for a second. Decaf...in the fucking morning.

Maybe it's a psychological thing, but a coffee from a cheap coffee maker just doesn't taste right.

This machine was apparently programmable, but it was determined to be a pointless feature when used in an office.

When the Coffee Breaker Bandit struck again, I chalked it up to this machine's lack of a shut-off.

I searched store after store for a replacement coffee carafe. Apparently, these have gone the way of the dodo bird.

A third coffee maker was brought in. It was a flimsy, white Mr. Coffee model. It used those stupid basket filters and had one button. I wept inside every time I used this machine.

It was like having your 2009 Cadillac replaced by a stripped out 1982 Chevy Cavalier.

I had become used to this machine and was protective of it. I would rinse out the carafe after using it, going to far as to hide the carafe from others.

Then came the morning of the client meeting. I filled the coffee maker, turned it on, and walked out of the kitchen, only to come back to the sound of coffee sizzling on the burner plate. Apparently this pot had cracked at the bottom the night before and now it had developed a slow leak. The crack was so slight that I never noticed it.

I was now fed up. I thought about taking up a collection and I wondered if we would all be forced to drink instant coffee now.

Hannah had previously recommended buying a machine with a stainless steel carafe, so I went online and looked up the prices. Cuisinart had a model that was only $100.00, but how to you justify spending money on a fourth coffee maker?

When I realized that we've already spent the same amount of money to replace broken carafes, I knew I had leverage.

I wrote an email to my boss explaining that this new machine would put an end to broken coffee pots. I clicked SEND and waited, then clicked ADD TO CART (I already had the website up on my computer).

He approved of the idea, since I spun it to emphasize the fact that it will save the company money in the long run. In this economy, that's the best strategy to use.

A few days later, a box arrived with my name on it. I opened it and, after seeing what was inside, shoved it under my desk. I knew that this had to be a secret. People asked why I was smiling. I used the anticipation of the weekend as my cover.

At 5:15, I pulled it out of the box and opened it. I caressed its beautifully smooth finish, admired it's stainless steel accents. I held it in my arms like a baby. I told it I would never let harm come to it, and I promised to read it coffee stories at night, like The Three Baristas and Little Red Espresso Maker.

I'm dying to use this new machine, but unfortunately, I'm afraid to, so I've hidden it in the office. I've made sure not to tell a soul of it's whereabouts.

I see that I have five options:

1) Come in at 6 AM, make a pot of coffee, pour it into the thermos that we use for meetings, and then hide the machine again.

2) Set up a hidden camera in the kitchen to catch the Coffee Breaker Bastard Bandit.

3) Hire an armed guard to watch the coffee pot. Make sure the gun is always loaded.

4) Set up the coffee maker in my boss's office so that people will be too scared to use it.

5) Switch to tea.


Anonymous said...

Chris, you're right, Decaf is a Sin!

I know you have high hopes for the new machine, and I'm glad to see that you're adopting a strategy to protect and serve (the coffee pot, that is).

Best of luck on your lofty goals!

Glory von Hathor said...


The Warden said...

I suggest #5. Being a tea drinker is so much easier. My new favorite is Irish breakfast tea, a tea strong enough to rouse Irishmen out of their morning hangovers, so it's gotta be effective.

Jim said...

1 or 2. But personally, I like #2 as you can then go off on a rant on someone and turn the entire office against that person. I mean, c'mon, that's like a months worth of material!

Hamamama said...

Why dont you set up the coffee maker at your desk and be the front office barista???

nikoeternal.com said...

LOL I learned a new word today- "carafe"!