Celebrate Diversity

The morning ritual starts out the same. Whether you arrive at 6:00 a.m. or 9:00 a.m. nothing gets done until first you partake of the eye opening, wake-up juice for a java jumpstart. Coffee used to be just that, coffee. Sure, you could add some creamer or sugar, but black or otherwise, it was still just the unadorned cup of joe from the office pot. There have always been those with the long commute that got a head start on the way in, with a stop off at the Seven Eleven for a cardboard cup of truck stop caliber swill.
Years ago, we got another choice: decaffeinated. Apparently, wives and doctors nagging about only having one cup got the better of some chemists at Sanka and forever after we associate the color orange with "decaf".

Things have certainly changed. Just look around at all the morning rituals. Talk about workplace diversity. It is certainly evident in the coffee consumption.

You have the boutique crowd that wants a morning coffee drink, not a cup of coffee. These folks, even without a commute, stop off at Starbucks to get their “Venti Iced Non-fat Sugar Free Decaf Vanilla Latte with just a sprinkle of cinnamon”. Not that they want to drink it on the way in, but they want to sip away over the first hour at work. These folks slip out mid morning and mid afternoon to refill.

The more esoteric set competes to bring in the most elaborate paraphernalia to freshly brew an individual cup of gourmet coffee. From coffee grinders, to single cup filter systems, to coffee presses, these interesting contraptions of mechanical rods, springs, and glass demand attention and garner envy among the group. These afficionados would never touch the office coffee; it is way below them.

There are those who are too cheap to buy prepared coffee, or to pony up for the gourmet varieties, but still want to imbibe. These folks tweak the office coffee with half-and-half, 2%, or skim, and choose from blue, pink, yellow, and now brown sweetener packets. Everyone has his or her own special recipe. The more innovative folks attempt to emulate the prepared coffee drinks by adding a little instant hot chocolate mix to produce their own, made-from-scratch “mocha latte’”.

Finally, there is the Jeff Foxworthy bunch. These folks arrive early to get the first cup. Hopefully, it is left over from last night and the janitorial staff did not turn off the burner. This burnt delicacy is a kind of redneck espresso. These folks typically fill up their large 64-ounce coffee stained plastic mugs from the Circle-K. The trick for these folks is the “seasoned” (read: “not washed for months”) plastic taste. The more layers of dried coffee the better. Hardcore brothers of this bunch prefer instant coffee..."just a pinch between the cheek and gum."

There you have it, diversity in the workplace.

Me? I drink tea.