Ahh, coffee, that warm and wonderful ebony elixir that jump-starts our aging metabolisms and makes life before noon possible.
My name is Guy and I’m a coffeeholic. I was coffee-free for many years but then, about ten years ago, I fell off the wagon. Like most addicts, it all started when I began hanging around the wrong places — namely coffee shops and bakeries where the enticing aroma is always present.
Then, there were the enablers in my life like Paul, and Shon, and Russell. These are the kind of guys who hang around elementary schools at the end of the day and whisper, “Hey kid, wanna have a free sip of some tasty black coffee.” They’re always offering to buy me a fresh, hot cup of the stuff.
But I’m not writing this to narc on my coffee-buying buddies or even to bemoan my own addiction. I’m writing this to talk about your addiction — yep, yours — and a novel approach to evolving both our addictions into something beneficial for those around us.
First off, how much of our finite lifetimes have we wasted in the Starbucks line? Can those morons ahead of us not just make up their minds? And why do baristas think that their ability to work a coffee pot or cash register, qualifies them to be psychotherapists? Just shut the Hell up and tell those decision-challenged idiots that black coffee is the best deal and provides the same kick to the liver as all those high-priced, fancy-named, fru-fru blends!
And I’m not even talking about drive-through lines. If fifty cars go through the coffee shop drive through every morning, and every car burns a half-gallon of gasoline while endlessly idling and making the already-late-for-work driver even hotter, why aren’t climate-crazies gluing themselves to drive-through ordering kiosks and having sit-ins at every coffee shop drive-through on the planet? You want the real answer? Because those climate-criers are already inside slurping their own hot coffee while browsing Facebook to ferret out even more egregious societal offenses.
So, here’s my proposition. Now that COVID vacation is over, and everyone is returning, albeit reluctantly, to the office, teamwork is once again becoming a thing. What if your department of ten people…or even your small company of twenty people, helped foster a team culture by all giving up coffee on Friday mornings and sticking that $5 per person in an old-fashioned coffee pot as each team member entered the workplace? Obviously, the coffee pot would have to be centrally located, preferably on the desk of that bulldog receptionist who could maintain the proper direction of cashflow.
At the end of a week, or month, or some random timeframe, the coffee money could be extracted and donated to a local non-profit. In my own hometown, there are two of those non-profits who immediately come to mind — Hope Clinic, the local free clinic and Good Sam’s, the local food pantry. Let’s say twenty employees got together and donated their Friday morning coffee money each week. That $75–100 would finance a complete, doctor’s visit with an actual MD for an ailing low-income patient. Over at the food pantry, that same money could help feed a family of four for a week.
Note: Don’t donate food to food pantries. They purchase food at the regional food bank for pennies on the dollar compared to what you pay the big box retailers. If you give cash to food pantries, it converts to more mouths fed instead of money landing in the profit column of big retailers.
I can imagine departments within large corporations competing against each other, with the winning department given the privilege of choosing the non-profit to receive the donation. I can also imagine people like you and me gaming the system by just stuffing a fiver in the coffee pot on Friday morning as we pass by with a Starbucks cup in our other hand. Don’t do that! The slight caffeine headache that lasts until lunchtime is a reminder that we’re suffering a minor inconvenience for the benefit of someone who really needs our compassion.
All I’m asking is that you give up your addiction once a week. If you’re an alcoholic or heroin addict, even better. Think how much more you could donate by just giving up a single double-scotch or dime bag each Friday morning. Who knows? It might even provide the springboard to analyze our other issues. Check out the links below to find out more about my two favorite local non-profits.
Our passions are not too strong, they are too weak. We are far too easily pleased.
— C. S. Lewis
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Thermodynamics: Four Laws
That Move the Universe
— Jeffrey C. Grossman
Here’s another one of those Great Courses books from Audible for those of us who opted for the easy courses in college. It’s 11 hours long but it’s broken into 30-minute lectures that even I can understand.
A meeting of great minds who think alike