Sunday, April 6, 2014

Adventures in coffee-making: More of my unpublished stuff

This is another story I wrote a while back and figured I would throw it on here to give it a home and maybe amuse a few people along the way. 

I make lousy coffee.  I do, just ask my mom. She knows her coffee and she’s been drinking several cups of it a day since she was a little girl. I don’t have the coffee gene because I’m more of a tea drinker and not much of a coffee drinker. I either add too many grounds and not enough water so it’s too strong or I add too much water and not enough grounds, which make my concoction too weak. So you can imagine my horror one morning at work when my boss said, “Make some coffee” for clients who were coming in for a morning meeting.

I must admit, my first thought was, What is this the 1950s where the secretary makes the office coffee? The boss is older and what I call “old school” so he probably expected such tasks to be “woman’s work”. If there had been a barn behind the office building I’m sure he might have asked me to get some fresh milk while I was at it.

I don't think so.

I went into the conference room and stood staring at the coffee machine, which looked nothing like what I was used to. In hindsight I should have high-tailed it over to the nearest Dunkin Donuts and filled the pot with their brew. Instead, I resolved to make a pot of fresh, hot coffee. I found the filters with no problem. But when I went searching for coffee grounds I found beans instead. Oh crap! I have to grind them? At this point I had to refer to the machine’s directions for use. Perhaps I suppose I should have stopped while I was ahead at this point.

It seemed easy enough. First, add the beans and push the button to grind them.  Then, add water and brew. The first part I had no trouble with. The second part is where things got a bit messy, as it was unclear exactly where to pour the water into. After a few moments I noticed a leak coming from under the blasted contraption. I grabbed some paper towels but the leak was growing so I grabbed a nearby saucer.  When the saucer filled up I walked as quickly and nonchalantly past the boss’s office to the kitchen to empty it.

After my third trip back from the kitchen, my boss came to see what was going on. He surveyed the situation and smirked at me while shaking his head, the way a mother looks at a cute but mischievous child. I felt like Lucy Ricardo after Ricky caught her doing something silly and I half expected him to say, “Sandy, you got some ‘splaining to do” in a Cuban accent.

I finished cleaning the mess and the boss did what he probably should have done from the beginning; he made the coffee himself. I made sure our guests had milk – from the refrigerator not a cow out back. Luckily for our future office guests, and me, he never asked me to brew a pot again. Instead, he asked the other girl in the office.


  1. Hi Sandy -- I've just discovered your blog, and I am impressed by your resolve to lead a fearless life. Fear is all a matter of perspective, and generally there are better ways of looking at one's circumstances. This year I'm on a virtual quest to visit and comment on a positive blog every day, keeping a list on my own site, and yours is today's entry.

    May I give you a few words of advice that came to mind while reading this post? Calling a story "my unpublished stuff" diminishes its value to yourself and others, as does the self-deprecating statement that you just wanted to "throw it on here to give it a home and maybe amuse a few people along the way." Just because you were not paid to write a story doesn't mean it lacks value. Don't give away your personal power to mainstream publishers and literary agents, allowing their rejections to make you think less of yourself and your writing.

    Instead, cultivate the belief that your writing has tremendous potential to influence the hearts and minds of your readers, changing the world in ways that you can't yet begin to imagine. Years ago, I sometimes called things I wrote "silly stories," and as you might expect, nobody took them seriously. Then I came to the realization that I could make my writing much more meaningful, both to myself and to the world, and I began to look at it from that perspective. :)

    1. Hello Meg!
      Thank you so much for your kind words, and advice. I truly appreciate it.

    2. Let me add: Thank you for including me and my blog on your Blog Tour. I'm honored and I think what you are doing is so fabulous.