Today, for the millionth time, my boss made me go down the block to get him a cappuccino from Starbucks. (We have a fancy coffee maker in the office, but it’s not not fancy enough for my boss.) I’ve long since realized that even if I act grumpy and annoyed when he asks me to do this, it’s not going to stop him from asking. But I still act grumpy and annoyed anyway.

What made today worse was the fact that after going all the way there and coming all the way back (about a ten minute trip), I walk into the conference room to give it to him and end up tripping and dropping the damn coffee all over the floor.

And thus began a downward spiral of degradation. Let’s chronicle the factors which contributed to my shame, shall we?

  • I had to apologize and try to play it off as if it wasn’t utterly humiliating. “Oops. Wow, look what I did! Boy, that sucks, huh? Har har har.”
  • My boss begain wiping off his pants as if to imply that the coffee had somehow splashed up on him (which would have been impossible based on where I dropped it).
  • The receptionist quickly appeared with a roll of paper towels, and also reminded me that the carpets had just been cleaned last week.
  • I had to get down on my knees and dab up the relief map of foam spread across the carpet while my boss continued working just a few feet away from me.
  • “Wow, that looks really nasty!” my boss said.
  • I asked him if he wanted me to go back for another cappuccino. He, of course, said yes. He didn’t give me any money for the replacement coffee. (Moral sidebar: since I dropped it, should I have to pay for it? Or since he’s the asshole who makes me get it, should he accept that an occasional dropped coffee is the price he has to pay for the convenience of making me his coffee boy, which is not my job?)
  • I had to return to Starbucks, where of course the employees remembered me from ten minutes earlier, and explain why I was back again so soon. They don’t hear “I dropped my coffee” very often, I can tell you that.
  • There was confusion about whether I should be given a free coffee. I said I was perfectly willing to pay (my own money), but for some reason every employee in the store seemed to get involved in the debate before a verdict was reached.
  • They comped my coffee.
  • And then I had to come back to the office again, hand my boss the second coffee and explain that they gave it to me for free.

My boss isn’t a total jerk. Whenever I get coffee for him, he offers to buy me one, too.

But I don’t drink coffee.

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