A Day in the Life of the Office Coffee Machine

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A day in the life of a coffee machine

Plug in.
Switch on.

I’m awake. I’m ready. Let’s do this.


Ah Bob. Of course; always first. Not entirely sure which department Bob works in. He comes in once at 7am (on the dot, not a minute before, not a minute after) and again at 3.30pm. Same routine; both times. He takes his mug out of his bag (Bob doesn’t trust communal cupboards) rinses it with cold water, adds two sweeteners, a one-second splash of milk and then presses my button with assertiveness. Bob knows what he wants. Double shot. Two stirs with a teaspoon. Mug down. Teaspoon rinsed. Then he’s off. No idle chit-chat for Bob.


IT arrive. There’s big tall John, all tall and big, in his cycling gear. Then Alan and Tim. This is usually my chance to hear about sporting events from the previous evening. Or at least, Alan, Tim and big tall John’s versions of the sporting events from the previous evening. They’re all tea men, so I tend to observe. John needs bigger cycling shorts.


The morning highlight as the marketing girls begin to pour in. They really know how to press my buttons; how to get me hot. This is when things really start to warm up. There’s milk frothing, steam happening and wait, oh my, what have we here? Syrup. That is the sweet, sweet, unmistakable smell of syrup. It doesn’t get much more exciting than that. The usual conversations occur; television; an update on Louise’s pregnancy; the latest celebrity cosmetic surgery (in which I am VERY well versed) and the daily update on hot Ben. Hot Ben doesn’t drink coffee. I’m yet to have the pleasure of meeting hot Ben. But I do know that TODAY, today hot Ben is wearing a pale blue shirt. And FYI, it totally brings out his eyes.


Over the next hour or so the rest of the office filter in and out. I get a little wash and re-fill and we’re good to go. Next three hours it’s mostly Patricia filling cafetières and teapots for meetings, cursing in a strong Irish accent, tapping her foot and giving me an impatient smack across the nozzle from time to time. Thanks Patricia. Thanks.


Marketing return for pre-cigarette break morning coffees. Another tea for Alan. The CEO steals a chocolate biscuit from the tin beside me. Then another one. Its ok, his secret’s safe with me. As is the fact that Jenna is a crier. When she thinks no-one’s looking, Jenna likes to hunch over the fridge and have a little sob. I’m not sure why Jenna’s so sad. She doesn’t seem to talk too much. Just the one time someone shouted “Jenna!” and she mumbled “One second!” But that’s it. Just that one time. She usually turns to chamomile. Which seems to help.


Lunchtime rush. Plenty spilling and filling, a little flirting, sometimes fighting (“WHO stole my lunch?”) and then the calm before the mid-afternoon storm.


Patricia’s back. She’s not impressed at the power of my faucet. Sorry Patricia.


Marketing (again) and big tall John return for their afternoon fix. The bespectacled espresso drinker from accounts shuffles in for his shot. Also steals a biscuit. He’s followed shortly after by a man I refer to as bear. The daily grunt from him and a nod towards Jenna as she enters for, I assume, the daily crying session. But no, not today. Today man in blue has followed Jenna into the kitchen. He’s touching her on the shoulder – there are no tears for Jenna! Not today, good for you Jenna!


Bob returns; does his daily dance, dons his jacket and heads off home. Good old Bob. Ever efficient, ever reliable, Bob.


Marketing are back for yet more fags. This is usually the time that I have come to refer to as the bathroom-bitching-break: an extended ‘bathroom trip’ via the kitchen for faux-coffee making and extended gossip sessions. Today I’m informed that we’re not happy with Jenna because it seems hot Ben has been paying her undue attention even though Jenna knows that Gemma wants to ask hot Ben out for a drink. I’m a little lost, but I do believe I may have finally witnessed hot Ben in action earlier. More coffee for more of marketing (they all look the same). Lots of sugar.


Cleaning. I switch off for a while. A little nap.


Patricia switches me back on. One final coffee for the big boss and another smack across the nozzle for me. Then, it’s all over. The excitement of the office politics is done for another day and I simmer and wait for the excitement of tomorrow. What will a new day bring? What is this new relationship between Jenna and hot Ben? Do they all realise we’re almost out of biscuits? Will I ever discover which department Bob works in? And will big tall John finally buy bigger cycling shorts? Until then, it’s lights out, power down and over and out.

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