Passive Industrial Sabotage

It wasn’t until I was asked to fulfill the needs of a high-level meeting that I realized the mistake I had been making for months. This wasn’t a one-time mistake. It was an inadvertent sabotage, internal industrial personnel vandalism that has endured since at least November (it was January when I discovered my grave error). This entire time, for months now, I have been doing the unthinkable.

I have been making decaf coffee and passing it off as regular, fully caffeinated coffee. Coffee fraud. I prefer to think of it as “coffee cosplay” but it was fraud.

Image from Too Much Coffee Man by Shannon Wheeler. You should read it, it’s great.

I’m so sorry. Not to my coworkers–I mean, I am sorry to them, but I won’t say it to them, because I haven’t told any of them, nor will I. There is nothing to gain for honesty, but I am telling you, internet, because of a deep sense of shame which, whenever I feel that, something within me compels me to share, which is why I’m not popular at parties.

This only affected about five people in my office other than me, but we only have about 20 people in our office maximum. That’s 25% of my office that was wondering why they were not getting their precious morning drug. At minimum, I was personally affecting the performance of a quarter of my company by aggressively forcing sustained lethargy upon them.

In my defense, the packages of these coffees look identical except for the wording on the package. They are both pictures of rolling mountains with blue skies, font the same color in the same place, both have two words on the package. And the box of decaf was switched with the box of regular in the closet. And I was tired. In my haste to do something nice for my coworkers, I didn’t look at what the two tiny words (they get smaller every time I tell this story) said. The regular is a “Sumatra Blend.” The decaf is called “High Altitude.” Who names a decaf “high altitude?” That’s the name of a sky diving preference, a thrill seekers instructions, a place that gets your heart pumping, not a mild diarrhetic that gives you the essence of coffee.

I would accept this punishment.

Also, I was not immune to my own nefariousness. For the longest time I was wondering why I was feeling fine on weekends but then getting blistering headaches in the middle of the day. Was it dealing with the database processor whose head is so far up her own ass that I have to print out all my emails then fax them to her because she hasn’t upgraded the tech in her large intestine? Was it the wildly fluctuating temperature? I even started drinking more and more cups of coffee thinking that maybe my tolerance had built up or maybe I had late onset adult ADHD and uppers acted like downers on me. Surely the most logical explanation and evidence weren’t pointing to a swirling blackhole of stupid forming in my brain sucking into it all capacity for simple reason and logic?

We tend to mold facts to fit our own narratives rather than adjust our narrative to fit the facts. This went on for MONTHS. Some people are ashamed of having been duped by a conman or been a part of a cult. I don’t judge these people, for I was scamming myself. Come to me with your shame, for I am in no position to judge ever again.


Add yours →

  1. You . . . you . . . MONSTER.


  2. Work meetings are bad enough without having to go through withdrawal pains in the middle of the quarterly report.

    That’s hilarious. The trick would have been to only give everyone decaf when your least favorite person was going to be making a presentation so that everyone would fall asleep. With a headache.

    It must have looked like one of those animal experiments I saw years ago where a monkey or a rat pressing a lever got them a treat and then they turned it off and the animal went ballistic.

    “I’ve had three gallons of coffee today and I’m still asleep…”


  3. How dare you deprive your coworkers of their beloved caffeine. You should be horsewhipped, you fiend. Oh, my Goddess. I’ve been watching way too many PBS Victorian period shows. I need interact with real people.


  4. I do not drink the horrible beverage known as coffee but those around me who do would be disgusted in being served decaff, Tim says he likes his coffee like his beer full strength but that said if you have been dishing it out for months maybe they didn’t notice


  5. Let them drink coke.



  6. At least your conscience bothers you and you have learned a very important lesson! You didn’t actually tell anyone, did you?


  7. In your defense, “Sumatra Blend” & “High Altitude”? Really??? That’s like going to one of those fancy restaurants & the bathrooms have these weird symbols instead of the little man & woman on the respective doors. Then, you have to spend 20 minutes wondering if you go through the door with the squiggly line or the one with the spiral… or that third one with sideways infinity they may or may not have put there just to mess with you.


  8. Hahahahhahaha that is great. Definitely, never admit it. This is between you and your god (and fellow bloggers).


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