The office coffee burns a hole in my tongue and in my soul. It reminds me of hope lost in an abyss of abysmal despair, a place where dreams perish, where smiles and laughter are remnants of a past long ago forgotten, where a dark roast sets fire to intestines and burns any chance of escape. I am unclear as to the cause for such a miserable brew. Is it the choice of beans, or the process in which they are steeped? It is such a bitter blend of bad that not even a concotion of chocolate and dried milk in a pouch can cure it. The office coffee is the scourge of our culture here. It is symbolic of dysfunction and bad taste, delivered as a dark, steamy potion which masquerades as afternoon optimism. It offends me to my core. In exchange for staring at a glowing screen for the better part of a day, clicking and clicking and clicking away, all I ask is for a decent cup of coffee which doesn’t instill in me a desire to climb to the top of a building, scream in outrage and injustice, and fling myself from the roof. All I ask in exchange for sitting in an open office plan replete with noise and distractions is a cup of coffee which returns me, at least in my mind, to a quieter more peaceful place of contemplation, joy, and solitude.
Alas, it cannot be so. The coffee here is liquid purgatory, punishing and purging me of sins which I am unsure I committed. I give the cancerous canteen of coffee a wide berth, shunning it with my senses, despising it with all of my emotions. It will not ensnare me with the greater reputation of its ancestors of comforting aromas. It shall not dominate me. If I must walk great distances in search of a blend which doesn’t offend, then so be it. If I must sacrifice dollars a day to escape this plague, then I will invest.
But I still ask why. Why must the office coffee be as it is? Why cannot those in charge of such things as employee happiness not find a better way to brew the coffee bean? I stare out of the window during the afternoon lulls and I question the powers at be. I wonder if there isn’t a complicated scheme at work. Is there a place upstairs, where the executives sip behind their closed office doors, where the coffee delights them? Such thoughts give me shivers and nightmares.