No Joe

Yesterday, I thought I’d make a pot of coffee for the office. What I ended up making was a pot of hot water.

CenturyCo has one of those big industrial coffee pots. It looks a lot like this one. In fact, I think it is this one:

We also have really good coffee. No Folger’s shit for us…we’re talking Dark Canyon, a local roaster of which I’m a big fan. In the past I’ve always brought coffee from home, but now I’m actually drinking it at work. Not every day, but a few times a week. Usually, somebody else has started the brewing process, so I’ve never had to make the coffee before.

On Wednesday, I went to pour myself a cup, but nothing was coming out. “Looks like somebody just forgot to hit BREW,” my supervisor, who happened to be in the break room at the time, said. So I pressed BREW and was rewarded with a dark stream of delicious Sumatran coffee dripping into my mug. Score!

Thursday, I went to pour myself a cup, but nothing was coming out. This time I was alone in the break room, but no biggie: I knew what to do. I’m nothing if not a quick learner, yo. So I pressed BREW and was rewarded with…a clear stream of hot water dripping into my mug.


Apparently, whereas the previous day somebody had already put coffee in the filter basket, this time nobody had. I was so embarrassed that I did what anybody would have in that situation: I raced out of there, glancing over my shoulder to make sure nobody had spotted me.

That’s right: I’m the guy who slinks away from the copier whenever there’s a paper jam.

Actually, not really. I have no problem taking ownership! Making a hasty exit from the break room was an act of pure instinct, a fight-or-flight reflex in which, sadly, I chose flight. What can I say? I’ve never been good under pressure. Whatevs. I’d simply sneak back in there, remove the giant canister, dump out the water, and start from scratch. Only when I circled back, there was another fella in there, already fixing my mistake.


So I pretended I was only passing through the break room on the way to the supply cabinet, and for good measure, began rifling through it as if in search of a pen or something.

Thursday was not my finest moment, guys.

I could have apologized, taken full responsibility, and blamed my “newbie” status. We probably would have had a good chuckle over the whole affair. Maybe I’d even earn a cool office nickname. “No Joe” or something. But instead I panicked, all in an effort to save face. Which I have promptly undone by coming here to blog about the whole thing. Consider this a purge of my consciousness, if you will.

Today, I stopped by Dunn Brothers for a latte on my way to work. I just don’t need this kind of stress in my life.

25 thoughts on “No Joe

  1. I never learned how to make the coffee in the same-kind-of-machine when I switched to the Delaware office. Don’t know where the supplies are stored for it, don’t know how it works.

    I solved it by bringing my coffee from home. Yeti was a lifesaver.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, well. We had a nice run, didn’t we? 🙂

      Nobody from there reads my blog, at least not that I’m aware of. I’m intentionally not promoting it like I did at my last job. Otherwise, I couldn’t write visual posts like this one, could I?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hahahaha too funny!!! And you’re definitely not alone. My very first job in L.A. the NON PROFIT I worked for had so much money we had a guy who was hired to only do stuff like make sure the Executive Office had hot coffee waiting for them when they arrived. I was the “Secretary” in the Executive Office. It was a lovely perk. Then membership dropped and we had to start making our own coffee. Secretary being the low man, errr woman, on the totem pole (where the heck did that phrase come from and are we ok to still use it???) the job fell on me. I didn’t know the coffee machine was connected to a water line and that all I had to do was put coffee grounds in and hit brew. I filled the carafe with water and poured it in through the top for a long time until someone saw me doing it one day and showed me the easier way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good question. Here’s what I learned:

      Last in line, lowest-ranking, least important. The humorist H. Allen Smith used this phrase as the title of a book (1941) after the radio comedian Fred Allen had used the term to describe him in an introduction to an earlier book. The position on an actual totem pole, by the way, has no such significance. Nevertheless the term caught on quickly enough to become a cliché.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ok, I take umbrage with your Folger’s comment. Their decaf vanilla is the bomb! When I serve it to company, people always ask what is!

    But those professional coffee makers are a real nightmare!! My spouse and I are on the Sat night hospitality team at church, meaning we go in early once a month to make the coffee, tea, and serve pizza afterwards. I can’t even tell you how many problems we’ve had since they upgraded to the ones like your picture. I swear, just the sun shining through the windows on the machine causes issues. The best part of pandemic is not doing that job anymore, because we haven’t attended church since March.

    Liked by 2 people

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