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Funny happenings with our big coffee pot at work

February 15, 2013

This is another excerpt from my first book, From Sharecropper’s Son to Tracking Missiles.” I have lowered the price of the digital version of my book on Kindle to $2.99. This story is about some funny things that happened related to our big coffee pot.

We used a 100-cup urn-style coffee pot at work. About once a month, Bob would take the pot home to clean thoroughly.

Bob lived alone in a mobile home. Sounds could be heard from any room in the mobile home in any other room. Bob had friends coming over to play cards and drink a little beer on Saturday night. Bob took the coffee pot into the bathroom and left it in the bathtub, filled with water. It could not be seen behind the shower curtain.

At a good breaking point in the card game, Bob excused himself and went to the bathroom. He set the coffee pot over the commode and opened the spigot. Bob sat back on the edge of the tub and enjoyed a cigarette while the water splashed loudly from the coffee pot into the commode.

After the coffee pot was empty, Bob flushed the commode and returned to the card table. He received some strange stares from his friends.

All of us drank coffee from that 100-cup pot, including a few people from other nearby offices. One heavy coffee drinker in an adjacent office was the director above our department manager. Every day his secretary came over many times to fill his and sometimes her cup. She always dropped money into the kitty to pay for their coffee.

When she was on vacation, a fill-in secretary was moved in from the secretarial pool. She started coming over and filling two cups several times a day, without putting any money into the kitty. One of the men said something about paying for coffee and she replied, “This is for Roy. He doesn’t have to pay,” and walked out with her nose in the air. This continued for a couple of days and she repeated the same statement to others who questioned her.

One of the men mounted two or three large flashbulbs in the upper corner of the room above the coffee pot. He ran wires from the flashbulbs along the ceiling across the room and down to his desk, where he had a battery.

Just as the smart-alec, fill-in secretary finished filling her coffee cup, the flashbulbs flashed. She jumped and threw her cup; coffee went everywhere and the cup shattered. She began cussing a blue-streak and stormed out of our room.

Within five minutes, Roy walked into our room, looked at the coffee pot and upwards to the exploded flashbulbs. He saw the wire along the ceiling and where it came down to a desk. He looked around and said, “Why?”

Someone bluntly told him what was happening about the fill-in secretary not paying for coffee. Roy looked at all of us and we were all nodding our heads and grinning. Roy smiled and said, “I wish you had come to me, but it’s over. Don’t worry.” He then walked out. Within an hour another fill-in secretary was in Roy’s office. She did pay for the coffee every time.

Roy had always given the secretary enough money to pay for both of their coffees. Apparently, the first fill-in secretary had been pocketing the money. She never worked for Roy or any department under him after that.

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