You know that old saying, "Better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt..."? I sure wish I could adhere to that one. I am the only person in a group of fifteen coworkers without a Ph.D. (or two or three) in a science-related field. It would sure help my image not to mention my self esteem if I would just SHUT UP once in a while...The story goes like this.
The new boss bought my kids (the scientists) a new fancy-schmancy coffee maker. This thing looks like it was made by the space shuttle people. It has bells and whistles, knobs, dials, buttons and options for things I've never even heard of (decaf-half-fat-espresso-frappa-mocha-chino-what-o?) Now I've been against the whole idea from the start. We have a perfectly good vending machine nearby that dispenses coffee, cappuccino, hot chocolate and sometime copious amounts of money (See July 11th's entry for details). A new fancy-schmancey coffee maker is all well and good until someone has to FILL it, or CLEAN it, or FIX it. And then who's job do you think that will be? That's right. Good 'ol Molly Bee. The same person who makes the other 'magic equipment' (printer, copier and microwave etc..) around here work. That's right folks, the toner-changing-paper-filling-crud-scrubbing fairy doesn't do it! I DO.
So when I realized the game was afoot, I embarked on my evil plan. First I raved about the coffee in the vending machine. [That was a stretch actually, because that coffee is really vile and they know it. But after a while, it deadens your taste buds and you can live with it.] Then I made sure everyone knew the story of how the money in it all came cascading out of it one morning into my eagerly awaiting hands. Nothing like the promise of a surprise jackpot to get them turned around to my way of thinking. Nope. They weren't buying into it. Then I gave them the talk. "Now I know a new coffee maker seems like fun, but it's a lot of responsibility you know. You'll have to walk it and groom it and feed it." Nope. That didn't work either. So, defeated, I just resorted to grumbling and taking pot shots at the whole idea.
So the fancy machine was ordered. It arrived and I set it box and all out in the department. My personal boycott didn't allow me to pet and coo about it, read the manual, set it up or, Lord forbid, drink anything that came out of that abomination. I turned my back and walked away. The first thing they did, being the good scientists they are, was to toss the manual to the side along with the carton and packing (which yours truly then had to dispose of). This was all going exactly as I thought it would. They filled it full of water and fired it up; poking buttons and spinning dials with glee. At one point someone got burned.The water leaked all over the floor. There was cussing and cries for help but I stood strong. I didn't intervene; not my responsibility! I don't even drink that coffee!
And at the end of the very first day I walked by it and sure enough a bright red light was blinking on the side. I turned to the nearest kid and sputtered:
"Uh Huh! I was RIGHT! I just KNEW this would happen". No one knows how this STUPID thing really runs. It's broken and flashing a '358' error code message and no one is paying any attention to it! Now I have to read the manual to find out what a '358' error code means and fix it before the darned thing detonates and blows up the whole company! I told you this coffee machine was a BAD IDEA!" (All the while, I'm huffing around in righteous indignation mode looking for the discarded manual. I am nothing if not a drama diva! )
The kid looked at me kind of bewildered and said, "Ummmm...the 358 means 3:58p.m.....you know... two minutes to four. It's a clock. "
Oh. Uh. Never mind. Maybe I over-reacted. A little. By the next day, everyone in the department had heard the tale and now not only do I not have a leg to stand on where the fancy-schmancy coffee machine is concerned, I have to endure the frequent shouts from over there..." Oh No! What's a 10:49 (11:17, 12:00, 1:26) error message mean!?!? Where's the manua?!?l". Hardy Har !Har!.....I'm still not cleaning it so the last laugh is on them! Off to get some coffee...from the vending machine!