| The Coffee Break
Ed's job, filing papers and mailing monthly statements at the insurance office, was not only boring but they didn't even have any coffee breaks. A good cup of brew always gave Ed a start in the morning. The company had a longer lunch break, but to Ed, it wasn't the same. He had a thing about coffee. It wasn't just the caffeine, it gave him great satisfaction to taste the strong flavor of the coffee,
Thirsty for something to drink he went down the hall to the water cooler when the aroma of coffee met his nose. At first he wasn't sure where it came from but the fragrance was of a South American blend. Then, he saw his manager sipping a cup of brew in his office and the aroma was one of Ed's favorites. This was too much. He needed his cup of coffee in the morning or he couldn't work. Even if it meant changing jobs, he would do it. Ed was aware he had a fetish about drinking coffee and he saw nothing unusual in relieving himself twenty or thirty times a day. He loved the fragrance of the coffee bean and the high it gave him.
Then, the manager came out of his office saying, "Ed. Don't hang around the water cooler."
Ed remarked, "That smells like a Colombian brew."
Aware that Ed had a taste for fine coffees, the manager said, "It's the best Colombian you can buy."
With a smirk on his face, the manager waved the cup almost under his nose tantalizingly. That''s it, Ed thought to himself. I'm leaving this job. He had built up a few weeks of vacation time which he could cash in and besides, he really didn't like the manager.
The next morning, after quitting his job, he drove to a company that advertised they were hiring. A large coffee distributor, they paid well and with good benefits it seemed to be a position he dreamed of with all that coffee they sold. Even better, the ad said all employees got a twenty percent discount on their coffee. This was a chance of a lifetime, he thought.
The receptionist served him a cup of coffee, saying, "You look like you need some coffee. The manager will be with you in a moment."
It impressed Ed that she served the coffee in a heavy mug, not a styrofoam cup. After awhile, she said, "You can go in now, but first, let me give you a refill."
The manager looking at his resume said, "You have a good work history Mr. Daily. When can you start?"
Surprised how fast he was hired he said, "Can you tell me more about the benefits. A coffee break is nice sometimes."
"Of course, we like to keep our employees happy so we offer two breaks a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. How does that sound?"
"Great. I'm available tomorrow if that's okay."
"Fine, I'll have your desk ready first thing."
On the way home, happy to land such a good job, he wondered why the coffee breaks were so long. One hour was a long time. Could it be the work was too stressful?
The following day, after filling out the usual forms, he went to his desk and was delighted to see a big mug of coffee waiting for him. Next to the mug was a schedule. It said he was to act as a designated waiter and serve coffee to the workers. He was assigned two shifts; one in the morning and one in the afternoon. It seemed strange they needed so many waiters for coffee. At the bottom of the schedule it noted: "During your duty as a waiter, you are not allowed to go to the men's room." Now why would they say that?
His workload was a stack of forms to be filled out, but a worker nearby told him, "Don't worry about that. It's our coffee break."
Ed was puzzled why they had a coffee break at eight in the morning. In spite of what his co-worker said, he began to sort out the papers. At the same time, drinking his coffee, a blend from Costa Rica, it tasted so good he could hardly concentrate on his work. The assignment was quite easy. All he had to do was fill out some forms, mostly concerning coffee and their distribution around the country. Humming to himself and enjoying the fine brew, he was concerned as to why they would have a coffee break when they had so many duties.. As time passed, drinking his mug of caffeine, he noticed a long line in front of the men's room, thinking; they must have small bladders. He asked his co-worker, next to him, "Does everyone have to drink so much coffee?"
He answered, "Well, you don't have to, but your chance of promotion is much greater. The management frowns on you if you don't.
By the way, Isn't this great coffee? My favorite is the blend from Nigeria. If you ask, they will serve you any kind you like. They have almost 30 different blends. You should try the Jamaican blend, it's one of the best."
Now noticing everyone had a bloated stomach he began to have some doubts of drinking so much. Though he was used to drinking many cups, he was on his sixth already. Nearby he saw one of the designated waiters filling up the worker's cups and it appeared he was in misery. Obviously he had to go the men's room, but as it said, he wasn't allowed to. Ed felt sympathy for the poor guy seeing him dancing around.
Almost ten in the morning, up to his ears in coffee, he heard the designated waiter say, "Can I fill that up for you sir?"
Already full he said, "I'll pass for now but it's great cup of mud."
Insistent, the waiter filled the cup up to the brim saying, "Drink up, we have lots of more sir."
About to burst, he said, "I don't mean to complain but when is our coffee break?"
The waiter filled his cup to overflowing as he said, "I guess you're new here, aren't you?"
Ed, wondering what he meant, said, "Why do you say that?"
Glaring at him, his voice sounding menacing, he said, "Sir, THIS is your coffee break, you'll get a one hour work break soon."