You know, I am not really one to make light of terrorism (well, in general, I mean, at least not in a public diary in the days of the hyper-intensive Orange Light/Green Light/Mother May I Assert My Civil Rights? days of Dubya) but you know, sometimes, just sometimes it all kind of comes together is very concrete ways.
Forget ricin and anthrax, forget dirty bombs, if you really want corporate America to go APESHIT: cut off the coffee supply.
Nothing like a boil order to throw western civilization into chaos.
Seriously I heard about it on the news, the area in which I work was put under a strict boil order, which means (if you didn’t hit the link! For crying aloud people, do not let my HTML efforts be in vain!) something’s done gone wrong with the water supply so do not drink it. Don’t brush your teeth with it, don’t brew your coffee in it.
Which was okay for me. I have lived in rural areas in the past; the kind of places most commonly affected with such things, you know natural disasters, flooding, tornadoes and the general what’s that Lassie? Something’s wrong with the town well?! kinds of places.
So, I know how it all goes down. You boil/buy your water from other place until it is all over. Yes, thank god that’s an option and I have never really fallen under any truly hard times (maybe smelly, personal hygiene tends to suffer a bit) but point being, it is something I know about.
And so I knew about it, and thank god I don’t live in area in which I work. Brushing, showering, coffee, no problems for me. I made a couple of cups of coffee to drink before I went to work. I even left a bit early to stop and buy a cup to drink when I got there (never mind I was my normally scheduled 15 minutes late: where does it go, the time?)
Apparently, I was one of the few who actually watched the news over the weekend. Because when I walked in the door: fucking mass chaos.
General reactions within the first twenty minutes in the office:
A. “Did you hear? There’s no coffee!”
B. “Oh god, we can’t like, make coffee. There’s like, something wrong with the water.”
C. The general, “mother fucking mother fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! I NEEEEED COOOOOFFEEEE!” *
Which, I can’t lie, had I not known I would have been all over reaction “C” in the worst way. Only, like I said, I was prepared.
Which, apparently pissed quite a few people off, me quietly sipping my legal brew chipping away at my work.
Cubemate: “You couldn’t have bought me a cup along the way? I totally would have thought of you.”
Department friend: “Man, that smells great.”
Anonymous office person to me: “RUDE!”
I am telling you, the scene was ugly.
Nothing like a water-supply issue to put a legal addiction into check.
Tons of crabby people, all crawling up the walls, not getting much done because all they could do was linger about (right outside my cube, I swear to god, the aroma coming from my single cuppa joe was like Chum to the Sharks) and talk about coffee.
Finally, around 10:00 am it was decided: something must be done.
In general, it’s a little bit tough to get the People of My Department to chip in. Go out as a group and folks tend to count every penny (who had seven margaritas? Why and who the hell ordered the blossoming onion!) and when it comes to chipping in for say, wedding gifts it’s all humm, ho, what are we getting again? Why does it have to come from Crate & Barrel? You can totally get that at Target for less.
Yes, in general, my people are a thrifty bunch.
But you mention “coffee run” in such hard times and people cannot throw money fast enough at the coffee runner.
“I’ve got five bucks in! that guarantees me two cups!”
“I’ve got three!”
And so on and so forth.
Me? I put in like, ten. Because in the frenzy I got a little foggy to the fact that I’d just consumed three cups already and another 55-gallon drum wasn’t really necessary.
Yeah, I know. I know. Jolt of caffeine kicks common senses’ ass any day, okay?
And yes, it was me who ultimately called around to find a Dunkin Donuts fifteen miles away that was not a. infected b. sold out of their yummy bulk “Box of Joe” (the caffeine addicts’ equivalent of the “box of wine”)
Fifteen miles away!
Okay, fine, I am boring the crap out of myself with the over-blown story about caffeine addiction.
What I mean to say is, it was bad.
So bad that when the coffee finally came we swarmed, we drank, we were all so fucking jacked up for the next few hours it was probably the most productive day corporate America had ever seen.
If we actually had anything to, you know, directly do with the Gross National Product, by producing say, automobiles instead of dicking around with video editing equipment all day, we would have been superstars.
That is until we gobbled it all up and eventually the stuttering, shaking, headaches and blurry vision from over-stimulation came into play.
Then we were just crashed-out junkies, and it was all a very ugly, crabby scene again.
So, there’s that.
Tomorrow, it’s every man for himself and I bring one goddamn sensible thermos.
I mean it.
*yes, the office coffee maker is hooked up to the tap by this weird matrix looking set of complicated tubes and valves. Yes, around 2pm someone finally figured out to unhook it all and make coffee using the office filtered water bottles but you know, by then … well you just heard how it went.