The Importance of Coffee Machine Signage

Posted by Conor Murphy on August 16, 2011 in Editorial -- Share:

Decaf Coffee SeattleThe following blog post is part #2 in a series chronicling the coffee culture at Big Fish Games. Read part #1 here: A Tale of Two Coffee Machines

You might think every employee here at Big Fish is so consumed with games and gaming they don’t have time to wrestle with any other challenges. Not true! Here is a true office story we’re pretty sure all our fans can relate to.

There was once an employee who had a boss (with us so far?). And every week this employee would meet with his boss. The meeting would last for about an hour – sometimes more, sometimes less.

In any case, the employee and his boss started to detect an awkward, but common occurrence during their meetings. While the employee would be yapping away about his ongoing work projects, his manager would be overcome with a yawning fit. Big yawns. Huge yawns. Yawns the size of lawns. Large manicured lawns in front of estate properties. Often times the yawns were so fierce they would cause loose papers to scatter around the office (ok, not really, but you get the idea).

At first, this employee and his boss tried to ignore the yawning epidemic. After all, what is a yawn? Just a deep inhalation followed by an exhalation of air. And we all need air. But then the yawns became more frequent.

And, as we all know, yawns have a domino effect. When the manager began to yawn, her underling would catch the vibe and started yawning as well. Much like the flu, yawns are contagious (even writing about yawns is making me want to take a deep, long YAWN!).

Soon, their weekly meetings consisted of nothing more than a series of yawn exchanges. Of course words were spoken, but they were mainly interspersed between yawns.

Manager: So (mini-yawn), how is it going (yawn)?
Employee: (relaxed yawn) Pretty well (medium yawn). (long yawn).
Manager: (yawn) hmmmm.
Employee: yup (yawn).

As you can imagine, the employee soon began to experience feelings of self-doubt. Perhaps he was so uninspiring that he could only aspire to be the company’s Chief Yawn Elicitor (also known in corporate speak as the CYE)? Maybe doctors ought to prescribe him to patients with insomnia? Was he born boring or was this something that developed over time?

The manager also started to wonder; why am I so tired? Did I eat a sleeping pill with my Cocoa Puffs this morning? Did someone spike my water with drowsy? Why is my employee putting me to sleep? If this guy can’t talk for 3 minutes without causing me to nod off, how will he ever hit his numbers?

But there was a much bigger, overarching question, which was: why was the manager’s daily coffee intake not fighting off her yawns? Why was she still so tired?

The manager was quaffing coffee from the good machine, not from the fancy machine, so what was the problem?!

Weeks passed. Months went by. Seasons changed. In Seattle, season changing means there is a slight change in the rain pattern. During winter in Seattle, it rains a whole lot. And in the summer, it just rains a lot.

Then something happened that changed everything. One day his manager went to fill her tank with coffee. FYI, the word “tank” in this context is referring to the body and not a heavy armored fighting vehicle carrying guns and moving on a continuous articulated metal track. Lo and behold, there was a note posted on the coffee machine. Generally, the coffee machine notes would say “I’m broken again” or “out of order”. This note however said something of an entirely different nature. Alongside the button for Coffee #2, a piece of paper was attached with the words “Decaf Coffee”.

Decaf Coffee

My dear readers, can you guess which coffee the manager had been drinking each day? If you guessed coffee #1, you are wrong. But if you guessed #2, the decaf coffee, you are correct! The manager had been drinking decaf coffee all this time.

Mystery solved. The manager was alright. The coffee was alright. And maybe the employee is not that boring.

Take the time to make sure the coffee in your own office is properly labeled lest you may suffer from the same outbreak of yawning our dear employee had to endure.

Written by

Conor is a Marketing Manager with Big Fish, working out of the Seattle office. In his spare time he enjoys watching science documentaries and playing old school adventure games. Get in touch with him on Twitter! or Google+