A Day at the Office

As I have stated in times past, I love my job and the people with whom I work. Sometimes, I worry about the wisdom of us working alone together for many hours a day – without adult supervision.

Yesterday, we noticed that the water cooler was leaking onto the floor. The three of us, college educated professionals, stared at it. What should we do? Being the Director, I took charge, I’ll call the company, I said.

The nice lady at Diamond Springs told me it was the bottle and not the cooler.

I listened patiently. Whatever. They needed to send someone to fix it. I didn’t care what caused it – it needed to stop.

No worries, says she. All you have to do is take the bottle off the cooler, empty the reservoir and replace it with a new bottle. No need to send someone on a service call.


I hung up the phone and walked to where I could see the cooler. I noted the bottle was nearly full. D was cleaning water off the floor, while N was inspecting the faucets on it.

K. I was worried.

N came across the hallway and said, so, when is the guy coming to fix it?

He isn’t. The lady said we could fix it. I then repeated to her what I had been told.

She stared at me with the same blank sort of look I imagine was on my face while I was on the phone.

K, was all she said. D just laughed.

The three of us stared at the water cooler. Helpless. Maybe one of the male teachers could lift it when they came in? But that would be in three hours. We stared some more.

I knew Chris was in town, and he does odd jobs for us; so I decided to call him. Everyone agreed this was a good plan. So, I called Chris. I could hear him rolling his eyes at me. Of course I’ll come. We’ll figure it out.

K. I assured my coworkers help was on the way. We went back to our various administrative tasks—designing amazing individualized educational plans for students and hand picking the perfect teacher for each child–periodically we checked the floor.

Chris arrived, walked into the kitchen, and surveyed the situation. He looked at me and I could see that hereditary incredulous look on his face, I could hear his eyes saying, Really? He may have even raised an eyebrow at me.

Well, yeah, huge, full water bottle, tipped upside down into the cooler-thingy, leaking onto the floor making a dangerous mess. My teachers would have to walk there later. Yes, really. Thank you very much. I walked away. I thought to myself, fool it’s you who instilled this snide-critical-eye-at-the-world in your children, what were you thinking? It wasn’t supposed to be turned on me, damn it.

When I returned, Chris was kneeling on the floor in front of the cooler, filling an emptied bottle from the faucet. The empty bottle that had been beside the cooler.

Oh, well, yeah, that’s a good idea, I guess.

Uh-huh. He emptied the bottle, and then the reservoir this way. I tried to look busy in the office.

So, it you’re wondering how many college educated professionals it takes to fix the water cooler. The answer is, more than three.

Word Count: 563


2 thoughts on “A Day at the Office

  1. Funny! Good one.

    I used to install water coolers and service accounts for an outfit in NoVa called, AquaCool. Yes, I applied there, in part, for the name. Had you known of my experience, you could have called on me. Maybe next time?

    You can try on your own to remove and replace the bottle atop the cooler, although I imagine the weight of it could be problematic for your female staffers. The general procedure is to tilt it back a bit, cup the mouth and flip it over (one hand on the bottom, the other on the mouth). You’ll get a little spillage, but it’s minimal. Verify it’s a leaky bottle first, because it could be a crack elsewhere in the machine. If it is the cooler, empty the reservoir and call for a replacement. Otherwise, put a new bottle on in reverse order. (Minus the hand-on-the-mouth step. Quickly “pour” it on instead; again some spillage will ensue.) Managing the weight and the size of it are the biggest challenges. It’s awkward at first, but it gets easier with experience.

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