brewing-coffee-politics…

I have a hypothesis that there are some kind of fumes floating around the chemistry lab, over in Hunter Hall, that causes the chemistry grad students (and professors) to crave coffee more than any other department. Or maybe they’re more tired than the rest, but shhhh… you’ll spoil my dissertation on the subject, if you bring that idea up.

More specifically, some of them can’t survive without flavored coffee. And when I say flavored, I’m talking about actual flavors, like Chocolate Almond or French Vanilla, not Guatemalan Oriflama. I don’t care what that descriptive label says, you can’t taste anything “citrus-y” about it, any more than you can taste the “oak tones” in a glass of wine. And by the way, no one has ever been able to tell me what oak tastes like.DSC_0047

French Vanilla seems to be the most popular “FLAVOR flavor” (I had to differentiate between those and the Guatemalan to my co-worker), with some people actually avoiding the coffee altogether, if there isn’t any of their fave. Because I’m the cashier that generally knows exactly who drinks what, I get ragged unmercifully if their favorite isn’t there, with “threats” of never coming over to the cafe again. Hmmm… then they’d have to walk all the way to the library. Yeah, sure.

Of course, I know they aren’t being too serious about it. They like to throw me off my game, by coming in at unusual times and demanding their favorite coffee. I’ve resisted the urge to tell them to be careful, or they’ll turn into their least favorite professor, who has serious issues if there isn’t either chocolate or vanilla. To the point where we go running to check the coffee, if we see him coming. Of course, if he can’t grump about the coffee, he’ll grump about the soup, his classes, or just about anything that occurs to him. So, keeping him from grumping is pretty much a lost cause.

But you know what? I’m a nice cashier. You can startle me by arriving too early and your favorite coffee not being there. But I’ll go all out to make sure it’s there for you next time. Sounds like a good deal, right?DSC_0048

Who knew that your day could start off by almost getting into an argument over coffee? And I don’t mean about what coffee is better or the best way to brew it. I mean, which flavor to brew? You see, there are these things called expiration dates on the boxes of coffee, and some of them are coming up soon. We also have a week of Spring Break approaching. So, we’re trying to use up the rest of the Guatemalan Oriflama, the Holiday Blend (which isn’t a FLAVOR flavor, even though it sounds like it should be), and the rest of a box of Chocolate Almond.

I arrived at work, expecting French Vanilla to be in the pot, because I knew it was going to be wanted. By professors and grad students. Right? Instead, there wasn’t even a FLAVOR flavor in the pot. Which means I didn’t even want any coffee for myself, because I don’t like our plain coffee blends. My co-workers insisted we needed to use both pots to use up the nearly-expired coffees. Me? Well, suddenly, I started picturing the hissy fit a certain chemistry professor would have, when he arrived. And other sundry images of the upcoming day.

After memorizing the expiration dates, I knew we had plenty of time to use them all up, even with a week of Spring Break. You just need to brew them in the right order, and you can always keep Chocolate or Vanilla in the other pot. The almost-argument petered out, and I was left in control of what coffees to brew. We cashiers get along so well, generally, who really wants to argue about something so silly? Trying to make the customers AND each other happy can be a bit tricky, though.

So, anyway, I brewed French Vanilla. Because I’m a nice cashier, remember? Looking after those annoying professors (ok, there’s only ONE annoying professor, the rest of them are awesome) and the friendly, tease-me-right-and-left grad students. Right?DSC_0049

You already know where this is going, right? Those Vanilla-drinkers didn’t drink any coffee today. I almost got annoyed over it. Almost. I’m easygoing, though. After all the trouble I went to, to get that coffee brewed, I told them I’d never brew them any French Vanilla again. So there. That’ll also save me from any more almost-arguments with my co-workers, too.

However, if the students can’t get my patience to run out (though they sure can frazzle me, sometimes), a certain co-worker can. After a soda spill and the accompanying complaints about how overworked he was, he proceeded to pick up the rag that had soaked up some of the soda… and carry it OVER the stools to the trash can. You know, dripping all the soda over the seats. Where is common sense, these days? I think the next student in line thought it was pretty funny, watching me squawk at the aforementioned co-worker. And I do mean SQUAWK.

At least I got to go to Fike and work off some steam, afterwards. I’m getting some of my energy back after my long weekend, but maybe my lack of patience at work was the tail end of still being slightly tired. But I’m still not brewing any French Vanilla, tomorrow. Nope, not even if it means that I don’t get any coffee for myself. So there.DSC_0054

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