Put the Sugar in First

As I contemplate the first coffee of the morning, I am too often faced with a truly horrendous situation. A set of circumstances so bad that I immediately start to panic and hyperventilate.

Blood rushes to my brain, causing an explosion of nerve endings that leave me feeling faint and slightly nauseous. Grasping the countertop, I begin to sway and stagger.

It would be an exaggeration to suggest that I am actually dying, but believe me when I say that I am wondering if I will make it through the day in the light of such an assault on my senses.

It is with a heavy heart that I must report to you what I sometimes find.

Yes – there are grains of coffee in my otherwise pristine white sugar, as stored and displayed in my perfectly designed and functional sugar bowl

Someone has introduced renegade brown elements into my sugar that were never intended to be there. I’m pretty sure I know who it is, given that my dogs do not have thumbs and only one other person lives in my house. This was undoubtedly well intentioned, as it was probably a precursor to the provision of a cup of steaming hot coffee – but let’s be clear about this.

There is an order and an elegance to the act of said coffee, and introducing an alien species to the previously beautiful rolling hills and undulating valleys of my sugar storage system is not part of the plan.

I think I understand how this heinous crime has been committed. There is at least one teaspoon that must accept part of the responsibility. However, after suitable admonition and a few tears of sorrow, I am hopeful that I can also persuade the culprit to beg forgiveness.

But on this cold and wintry morning (in the middle of spring), I ask myself a more fundamental question. Why?

What on earth possessed anyone to interfere and create such mayhem and disruption in a perfect arrangement? How can it not have been noticed that a few grains of instant coffee (and I have counted 6 of the malicious interlopers) would ruin an otherwise splendidly pristine picture of peace and calm?

I think the answer lies in several errors. Firstly, of course, did the evil perpetrator actually understand what the sugar arrangement was designed to achieve? Had there been sufficient communication of my sugar-related goals? Were they a part of the original working group to consider these matters, or had I mistakenly assumed that we were all on the same page? Perhaps in their desire to improve the coffee-making situation, they had ignored the agreed rules?

As I think more about what has happened, it seems that at least some of the fault lies with me and my failure to explain, check understanding, and agree preferred outputs.

I think I know the rules, but maybe not?

Put the sugar in the cup first before adding coffee from a different container. Or, perhaps using different spoons for different ingredients might work best.

Maybe I need to identify the scope for error, and purchase a brand-new machine that avoids all such problems. A coffee pod that needs no teaspoons – how good would that be?

Or, I could just stop taking sugar.


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