Friday, May 16, 2008

Make Cream, Not War

The coffee creamer war is over.

For a long time, during the dark ages here at the agency, we had to buy our own coffee. Many a gray employee tromped down flights of stairs to the belly of the building, to a windowless "cafe" of sorts, next to shipping and receiving, and a lone ATM. There you could buy a cup of coffee for a dollar, and if you filled up five punches on your coffee card, you could get a free one.

Oh man, that got me. Kremlin-Gulag Agency was so stingy, whereas my former employer (YES-IT'S FREE, Inc.) brewed vast vats of Starbucks brand coffee and plied us with free Twix and Kit Kat bars. But the sun shone down on we weary advertising hacks, and a golden coffee maker was bestowed upon us from our now-benevolent ruler.

*Cue angels choir*

No sooner had the serfs sated themselves on free coffee, they began to fight amongst themselves. Some of us brought our own creamers, of varying flavors and fat contents. We brutally scrawled our names on the containers, in large angry-Sharpie-medium-point print.






Despite the clear demarkations of our cream, there were thieves amongst us. Soon notes were taped to the cabinets in the employee kitchen, and ominous floor-wide emails were sent, admonishing the greedy peasants for stealing from their neighbors.

"IF IT DOESN'T HAVE YOUR NAME ON IT, IT'S NOT YOUR CREAM!!!!" the messages hollered at us.

It sort of made me want to steal other people's cream, despite having my own clearly-marked cream. Maybe other people had better cream if theirs was being stolen? I mean, sure I bought the fat-free, but everyone knows the full-fat tastes better. Maybe if I stole it the fat grams wouldn't count? Plus the idea of stealing cream, right there in the middle of our corporate town square -- anyone could catch me! What if they saw me adding a huge dollop of "SALACIOUS BEE" cream to my non-salacious cup?

Oh, the very thought of it gave me the tingles.

But I didn't do it. Because of the Buddha. He's always telling me not to do bad things. But my co-workers, non-believers that they are, went on stealing from one another, and the hatred grew. We now passed one another in the cube-corridors, slit-eyed and suspicious.

"Good morning!" Salacious Bee would chirp.

"FUCK YOU!" I would scream back at her, my guilt from coveting her cream as clear as the florescent lights above.

Kremlin-Gulag Agency was in a bad state of affairs. Rather than bringing joy and peace to the agency, the free coffee had brought hatred and in-fighting amongst the formerly peaceable copy writing and art directing plebes. I trembled in my cube, afraid to venture out into the now-lawless second floor. Though I hadn't noticed anyone stealing my cream, I lifted it carefully each morning -- shaking it, listening to it, trying to determine if any of those bitches had sipped at it.

I'd become someone I no longer knew. It was with a heavy heart that I walked to the coffee maker yesterday morning. Resigned, I opened the refrigerator and braced myself for the hate-speech scrawled across cartons of half-and-half.

But wait.

What's this?


A message like a sweet call from an angel on high! I looked past the note, to rows and rows of assorted International Coffee Creamer bottles. There was Southern Butter Pecan, Irish Cream, Vanilla, Hazelnut, so many flavors, both fat-free and full -- I stood in the open door of the refrigerator and wept.

Oh, I wept like a new-born babe.

For it was as the Buddha always said: "Hatred does not cease through hatred at any time. Hatred ceases through love. This is an unalterable law."

Salacious Bee came around the corner and our eyes met, mine moist with tears.

She opened her arms to me, wide-open in her forgiveness. I walked to her and stopped a few feet short.

"Don't fuckin' touch me," she said with a grin.

"As if! You freak!" I said, and nodded my head.

Peace had returned to the agency. Through love, not hate.

Namaste, my bitches.


  1. I got some cream with your name on it.

  2. Stealers suck.
    But I don't drink coffee, so this is a no brainer for me.
    Well, except when I got the urge to drink that French Vanilla creamer that belongs to the girl in accounting...but that was only once, and I had my period.

  3. How did he beat me here?
    Because I fucking read first, god damn it.

  4. Annnnd ... there it is.

    I love that Lori immediately recognized The Boyfriend's work.

  5. Thats a lot of cream talk.

    I always thought those notes on the stuff in the fridge was for other people.

  6. bwaaaaahahahahaha

    Namaste biotches, Nama-fucking-ste!!!!

  7. I like coffee after meals with Drambuie, but Southern Butter Pecan could be worth a roll.

  8. Namaste.

    Being the recovering Roman Catholic that I am I had to look that it means respect huh?

    That was so anti-climatic for me...just so you know


  9. Buddhism is a pretty anti-climatic religion, well, until you reach Nirvana that is.

  10. 'Tis a sad parable that proves we can not govern ourselves.
    Big Brother steps in once again to quiet the masses.
    His secret chamber handshake deal with International Delight finally sees the light of day.

    And, Fred is hard to miss.
    Stoner Perv

  11. Good point. I bet we got the International Cream account.

  12. I thought you gave up coffee. Or am I confused. Wait don't answer that question.

  13. Buddhism is anti climatic? Jeez, the climate really gets it from all angles these days.

  14. But really, it makes a huge impression on me the way you write about your religion and how you practice it. Makes me want to be a Buddhist myself. And I don't even drink coffee.

  15. i don't have this problem cause i mainline coffee.

  16. Zen uses humor to teach. That's why I was drawn to it; it was a natural marriage.

    I'm glad you like the way I preach.


  17. Decaf? Ohhhhhhhhhhh, decaf. (You're aware that decaf still has some caf in it, right? Especially the water process decaf.) I'm doing my best to spoil for you, no?

  18. I'd say humor is a much underused tool in promulgating gospels.

  19. HILARIOUS! I love the dialogue between you and Bee! (When I got to ..." Bee chirped" I laughed my butt off!)

    Thanks for brightening my morning, once again:) OM

  20. We have to buy our own coffee but the creamers are FREE! No fancy stuff though.

    Again, congratulations on being "Coffee free". I am not there yet. Do they sell patch for this?

    Anyway, Happy Friday as well. It's a long weekend for us. Looking forward to it.

  21. @OM: I'd have to imagine Bee would object to "chirping" but that's what makes it all the more amusing to those of us who know her.


  22. Loved the article. Sounds article sounds like it really is written by my old friend Buddah Mamma!

  23. What about us non-coffee drinkers?? Where's the EEO police when we need them?? ;-)

  24. *sniffles* What a beautiful story!


  25. More hilarious work from the BM - nice job! Us media folks just make reps buy us free coffee. In addition to our lunches and tickets.

  26. We have free tea, coffee, herbal shit, milk of varying varieties and Starbuckesque coffee that we pay for at a reduced rate (except for the one a day we're funded !).

    We get along just fine. Now we just need them to fund chocolate lol!

  27. I love cream, I love coffee...I loved this blog...

    But I won't touch anything...

  28. Dude.

    This was a great blog. It made me weep.

  29. This reminds me of My buds college dorm.. there were several fridges for students supplies of milk etc., with all of them marked with names.. here too, there existed some cream stealers.. One fellow marked his.. "this is my milk and I spit in it!" someone else marked it "So did I!!"

    Richard.. the 3rd

  30. Eccccch. How can anyone drink coffee with anything other than skim milk?

  31. I just add milk to my coffee. I can't choose between all those different creamers.