General Steps for Making Coffee*
Due to the ongoing problems with coffee making in our break room, and after bringing in (at considerable cost) professional cleaners we feel the coffee area should not need to be touched again for some time, company management held a meeting to draw up guidelines in how to produce passable coffee using the coffee machine. Please use the following procedure in all future coffee making activities:
- Gently grab the little sliding plastic cup thing at the top of the coffee maker by the handle and remove it. Do this by pulling it out towards you. Please hold onto it through the entire removal process. Do not just pull it out and let go. It's possible you may find wet, brownish stuff inside the little sliding plastic cup thing. Do not eat this; instead, throw it away, but do NOT throw away the little sliding plastic cup thing. If you mistakenly throw away the little sliding plastic cup thing, remove it from the garbage and then clean it thoroughly. If you do not know how to clean or how to remove something from the trash, please see your supervisor.
- After removal from the coffee maker, place the little sliding plastic cup thing on the counter in front of you, keeping the wide, open portion facing up, i.e. pointing towards the ceiling (the ceiling is the part of the room that is ABOVE your head). If you are unaware of where to find the counter, or which direction is up, please see your supervisor.
- Place one (1) empty, clean coffee filter in the little sliding plastic cup thing. Coffee filters can be found beside the coffee machine, and are those paper cups that look like huge cupcake containers. Yes, just like the ones your mother used to bake for you when you were a kid. Please do not eat the filter. Make sure the bottom of the filter is facing down. Down is the direction the floor is when you stand upright. If you are unsure what a cupcake is, what "bottom" means, or where to find the floor, please see your supervisor.
- You have a choice of regular or decaffeinated coffee. If you're unsure what your tastes or dietary requirements are, please see your supervisor and/or physician.
- Once you're adequately certain of the kind of coffee you want to make, open one (1) package of it. These are the small, aluminum foil wrapped bags stored on the right side of the coffee machine for your convenience. If you do not know what aluminum foil is, what "right side" means, or that convenience is not just a kind of store, please see your supervisor. Keep the coffee in the package at this time. Do not eat the coffee or the package, or both. If you cannot find a package of coffee, please see your supervisor. If the supervisor cannot find a package of coffee, call the Supply department. Do not just call Supply, but make certain to ask for more coffee at that time.
- Once you have a package of coffee, open it. If you need help with this, please see your supervisor. If you do not need help, when you have the package open pour the coffee from the package straight into the filter you placed in the little sliding plastic cup thing.
- Do not pour two (2) or more packages of coffee in the little sliding plastic cup thing at the same time. The coffee machine does not make espresso. If you do not know what espresso is, please do not see your supervisor.
- Throw the empty coffee package away, which means only after there is no more coffee left in it. Make sure when you throw it away, you do so by placing it IN THE GARBAGE.
- Do not eat the coffee, the package, the filter, the garbage, or any combination of these four (4) items.
- Return the little sliding plastic cup thing to where you found it in the coffee machine. Do not turn the little sliding plastic cup thing over as you do this. Do not swing it around in the air. Do not make expressive gestures while you hold it. Do not return to your desk with it.
- Make sure an empty, clean coffee pot is on the coffee machine's burner. The burner is the round, brown plate found just below where the little sliding plastic cup thing goes in the coffee machine. Do not try to remove the burner. Also, the top of the coffee pot MUST be facing up. If you do not know what a coffee pot is, please see your supervisor. If you know what a coffee pot is, please still think about seeing your supervisor.
- Verify that the “Ready to Brew” light is on. This is the light at the front of the coffee machine which has the words "Ready to Brew" right beneath it. If this light is on, press the "Brew" button, which is the button with the word "Brew" on it. Press this button once and once ONLY. Do not press the "Brew" button and then pour one (1) coffee pot or more worth of water into the opening at the top of the coffee maker machine. In fact, do not pour anything into the coffee maker, the coffee pot, or the little sliding plastic cup thing while the coffee is brewing. If you cannot control the urge to pour something into any of these, please see your supervisor and ask him or her to restrain you until the coffee is finished brewing.
- If you are also pouring a cup of coffee for yourself, wait until the water completely stops dripping through the filter in the little sliding plastic cup thing and into the coffee pot before removing the coffee pot from the burner. If you don't know how to tell when a drip stops, please see your supervisor. Pour the coffee from the coffee pot into a coffee cup or coffee mug. The best way to do this is to lift the coffee pot by its handle, USING YOUR HAND, and pour the coffee into an empty, clean cup or mug. Stop pouring the coffee before it starts to spill over the side and out of the cup or mug. Return the coffee pot upright to the burner it was on when you finish pouring. Add cream and/or sugar as desired. Do not eat cream and/or sugar separately.
* I posted a version of this "memo" in the break room of a company I worked for some years back. Un-ironically, every once in a while an employee would request clarification on one or more points, believing it to be real. As all our corporate memoranda read like this, it was an honest mistake.