It’s 8:08 a.m. You’ve flawlessly executed your daily office routine which looks exactly like this: park car, exit and check yourself out in the first floor window reflection, walk in at exactly 8:01 a.m., trade barbs with football fan coworker regarding Monday Night Football, boot-up the computer, walk to the coffee machine.
You’re feeling decent, but you know you’re only minutes away from a searing hot cup of average coffee. You’re paddling out, punching through wave after wave, knowing that you’re about to shred for the next hour or so. Then you see it. The Keurig, the lifeblood of the office, with a completely empty water tank.
Sure, removing and filling the tank is only a temporary roadblock that if properly executed should only set you back 55 seconds or so, depending on whether you refill in the sink or at the water cooler. I know because I timed it. But this transgression cuts a little deeper, because when you enjoy the perk that is free coffee, you always refill the tank if it’s remotely close to being empty. So what kind of monster wouldn’t return the favor? And are they necessarily in the wrong? Let’s look at it.
First, there are those that would argue that it’s not their job to refill the water tank. This is an admittedly cynical approach, but many people subscribe to it. It’s the classic “No one did it for me, so why would I do it for them?” I work with many of these people, and so do you. They aren’t necessarily trash humans, but don’t expect them to ride for you when shit hits the fan.
Next, you have those that refill. Some do it purely out of fear, because most people don’t enjoy getting called out in front of their peers. Others are doing for no reason other than to feel good about themselves. They get off on the little sense of superiority they feel knowing that they went above and beyond to benefit the greater good. *Farts in wine glass, smells, repeats* No shame, though. The ends justify the means, and we’re all better off because of it.
Then there’s the category that I think encompasses most of us: Those who just don’t want to be dicks. Admittedly, this is me. This philosophy rests on the underlying assumption that it’s inherently dick to not fill the water back up. Or at least it could be interpreted that way. Some people don’t care, and some people do. But the risk of chapping one coworker’s ass is enough to keep them paying it forward.
Terry Tate famously said, “If you finish the joe, you make some mo.” I don’t think it’s a stretch to apply that to water.
Think before you drink. Odds are that the eight ounces of pure unadulterated heavy metal closer juice in your mug will need at least two minutes to cool down to a non-roof-of-your-mouth-burning level, so you can do the next poor bastard a solid and fill it up. Do the right thing..