Thursday, March 24, 2011

Why I Drink Coffee at Work

I’ve developed the relatively poor habit of having some sort of beverage in my hands at all times. I’m currently working my sub-I at a hospital in suburban Detroit which means two things: (1) I am physically present in the hospital for long hours every day and (2) I have virtually unlimited access to food and drink.

The consequences of this on my BMI are immediately evident. Lurking in my subconscious, however, I have discovered a desire to always be holding some kind of beverage. I’m not sure if the desire stems from some unconscious urge to be holding a counterweight developed whilst playing cornhole, or from a general physiological disposition towards dehydration.
My best guess, in fact, is that much like a leather jacket, a beverage makes one look more casual. Do I look distinguished in a shirt and tie? Perhaps, but only until I slip on my suede jacket from the eighties. Much like the tuxedo t-shirt, it says, “I’m formal but I like to party” (see Talledega Nights for more information).

Similarly, at the hospital I am dressed in business dress apparel topped with a white coat which give a misrepresentative air of knowledge and/or authority. However, when I’m holding a cup of “seasonal roast: French Toast Coffee” in my hand, it says “I might look like I’m all business—but you and the delightful smell of syrupy French pressed goodness says otherwise. In fact, we may as well be listening to Michael Bubble and paying $6 for a latte right now.”

And I think that’s why I like it. If I’m going to be in the friendly confines of this palace of sickness, I need a little buffer. In the afternoons, to avoid running to the bathroom as frequently in the morning, I generally hold on to some clear fountain beverage in a colorful cup provided by the dining lounge. Now, instead of the relaxing atmosphere the carbo-laden French toast scent provides, my beverage says: “I may be at work, but I could’ve just as easily stepped out of a matinee showing of True Grit and be holding a bucket of popcorn behind my back.”

Some may think this is disrespectful in a hospital setting, and I would tend to partially agree. Of note, I refrain from bringing my beverage into the actual patients room with me, but that’s not to say I’ve never looked a little silly fumbling for a paper in my pockets on rounds because I can only use one hand without spilling syrupy smelling aribica bean-based caffeine goodness on my white coat.

I also think that I function at a much higher level because on some level I feel more relaxed. The closest analogy here is that to people taking a smoking break at work. When I feel stressed I can enjoy a delicious taste of fountain Sprite soda, imagine an amc preview or two, and then go on with my day (which, by the way, can’t be too stressful because I’m typing this at work).

No comments: