wake up and don’t smell no coffee, so no crying over spilt milk

coffee in australia

I may be on someone’s stick list.

There was this coffee machine, and this coffee machine was looking for a new home, and some IT geek had the great idea that he wanted the coffee machine to live in the library’s work area where there is a very small kitchenette. This workroom is in the centre of the library and is ringed with louvered windows so that we can supervise students in a 360 view.

I was not officially informed but heard of this via the grape vine. I was not happy.

Now I have nothing against coffee, good coffee. I even have a barista’s diploma from a previous career! I just don’t want a coffee machine in my work area. It is a small work area with very limited bench space. We are are school of over 1000 students, a lot of textbooks pass through that room.  Also the noise of grinders and steamers would disturb classes in the library. Not a place for a coffee machine.

Also, none of the ladies in-house drink coffee to the extent that we want a coffee machine. Said male offered to set up the machine each morning – no doubt to enable him to make his coffee, but there were no offers of cleaning at the end of each day, and there was no way Minerva or I were going to do it.

Minerva was more concerned that she would be “house mother” washing coffee cups, and machine bits, and wiping surfaces. Mother doesn’t work here!  I was concerned about loss of work space and book damage.

So, I sent a request to She Who Must Be Obeyed in Admin and asked for it to be a no go. She snapped back with a little reply that stated that it was a communal area, to which I replied that her reply showed a total lack of knowledge of what we do and I was a little tired of the lack of recognition and respect for what we did.

I went home and drank a large scotch and then meditated for about 10 minutes. Minerva went home and steamed anew. This morning a conciliatory email from She Who Must Be Obeyed. We emailed a make up kiss kiss hug hug.

He however, bounced into my office upon being denied and asked “Who has been planting seeds of discord?” Yep, he could a straight answer, but as I said he didn’t offer to clean and supervise, not a complete solution as I was more worried about space and books, but might have been a more professional approach. No doubt, he is home sharpening his stick, but sometimes we just have to stick to the instant…or walk 10 metres to the main staffroom where there is a giant coffee machine – and where he actually spends his breaks.

One library without a coffee aroma.


P.S. If it had been a tea maker, we might have worked something out…


13 thoughts on “wake up and don’t smell no coffee, so no crying over spilt milk

  1. As I read this I was wondering, “Isn’t there a regular break room (staffroom – as you say) that would make a lot more sense for this new machine?” Or put it in HIS “office” area.

    Don’t blame you a bit.

    (On a side note – I think I deserve credit for not adding a “woof” comment to the posting a few days ago about your granddaughter hiding from you when you put a hat on … and you straining your leg whilst shaving it. I was sorely tempted, but resisted.)


  2. You were very smart to take that stand. Coffee making is a messy, noisy business. Mr Coffee Drinker should set the machine up on his desk, and then appreciate the ensuing disruption of his workday.


  3. At one office where I worked, no one bothered to clean the communal coffee pot or even shut it off at the end of the day. Too often I would come in on Monday mornings and discover the charred remains of the one-quarter of a cup of coffee that had been left on the bottom of the glass pot. Since the table the coffee maker was set on was right next to my desk, it somehow became my task to wash the pot and dump out the used grounds: which was not funny, considering I was the only woman alongside six able-bodied men in the office. When the glass pot was found broken one day (I swear I had nothing to do with it), the coffee maker sat, alone and usused while my coworkers fussed about who was going to replace the coffee pot or maker. I left the job before they made up their minds, and for all I know, they’re still arguing about who’s going to buy a new coffeemaker. Or pot. Not surprisingly, it was the most unproductive workplace I’d ever been in.


    • Oh, hell no. If I don’t drink ALL the coffee, I also don’t clean the pot – especially not if it’s in a communal area. I clean MY coffee pot… no one else’s!

      I remember having a job where, like you, I was the lone woman and expected to clean pots & cups for them… I finally put up a hostile sign reminding them to do it themselves. At my last job, I simply threw away everyone’s cups & plates & abandoned food containers at the end of the night (communal kitchen but they’d leave them out, expecting cleaning crew to wash)… OR… I’d sometimes “booby trap” them by filling everything with water then carefully putting it on a high shelf – so the dirty dish water would fall on them when they took it down.


      • I shouldn’t be surprised, but at a lot of the schools where I’ve worked, there’s usually a sign in the staff lounge asking people to clean up after themselves as matter of courtesy to others. Whoda thought teachers would be messy? I saw however at one school a baking pan, apparently used for brownies, sitting in the sink, filled with smelly, slimy water. It must have been soaking for weeks, and its owner never bothered to take it home or wash it. Not surprisingly, it was also the most unfriendly school I’ve ever worked at. I wonder if the person who left the baking pan in the sink was trying to make a statement.


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