Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Work coffee etiquette

I realize Emily Post never wrote about how to approach the conventions of coffee at work. But I work with a person (known henceforward as Ms. Aardvark) who really doesn't know the first thing about the social rules of the shared coffee pot.

Exhibit A:

As you can clearly read, you must wait until the coffee is finished brewing before you remove the carafe. Perhaps Wonder Woman or some superhero equipped with superfast speed and agility would be able to remove the carafe, pour a cup of coffee, and replace it before any coffee dripped out and got cauterized on the two-dollar burner. Unfortunately, you, Ms. Aardvark, do not possess those powers. You do, however, have the ability to read. And the signage is clear and concise. You wouldn't choose to ignore it day after day, would you, Ms. Aardvark?

I'd also like to draw your attention to a common container for coffee:

You may also be familiar with this variety, used often when traveling from one place to another:

Some people even choose to use this type of container for coffee, when they want to have a large amount:

You could realistically bring any one of these containers into my room to retrieve some coffee for yourself.

(Although I would accuse you of bogarting if you used the thermos.
And I'd be right.)

What you wouldn't use, Ms. Aardvark, would be a plastic shaker like this:

These containers are typically used for mixing salad dressing, or... well, they're mostly used for salad dressing.

Furthermore, you wouldn't pour the coffee into the salad dressing shaker through the pour spout, causing everyone to wonder if the pour spout were clean, or if you'd in fact, just used it as a sippy cup and thus, spread your germs to everyone in the office.

You wouldn't commit these hideous offenses, would you, Ms. Aardvark?

Oh yes. Yes, you would.
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