Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Virginia’s Water

Water from the water cooler was $.15/cup. I think coffee was $.35/cup. It was an honor system where you drop your money in a little pot and help yourself. If this was annoying, you could go to whoever managed the coffee or water “clubs” and pay for a month at a time. A whole month of water was $2, coffee was $5.

My job prior to this had been for an internet startup in Pasadena. Before that, I worked in the entertainment industry (TV production). In both industries, they pretty much hose you down with free food and coffee in the hopes that you will just forget to go home. So this nickels/dimes crap for water (water?!) and (frankly bad) coffee was pretty foreign to me. I figured paying monthly would at least allow me to pretend the coffee and water were free, the way God intended.

Virginia ran the water club. I couldn’t find her desk, so I asked a random guy near where I thought she should be. He was very friendly and offered to take me to her. When we arrived at her desk, I explained I was new and wanted to join the water club. She said I would have to wait until the first of the month (about a week away) and to come back then. I offered to give her some prorated amount for the remaining days of the current month. She said she didn’t do that.

The friendly guy said something like, “Well Virginia, I think we can let the lady drink for free for a few days just to welcome her to her new job, right?” Virginia forced a smile and said, “Sure,” and I went back to my desk.

About an hour later, I got an email from Virginia explaining that I could not drink for free for the remainder of the month because it was not fair. I would have to wait until the following month when, once I was a water club member, I could have water without paying for each individual glass like a non-member.

The lady who shared my cube read the email over my shoulder and then left. When she came back a few minutes later I asked her where she’d gone. She answered, “I just quit the water club.”


  1. I've worked with 1,000 Virginias, all bad people, all terrible co-workers. This post has triggered my PTSD.

  2. I don't think you could take nit-picky much further than that.

  3. And see I probably would have given $7 and tried to drink a month's worth of coffee and water in one week to get my money's worth. Then again I'm also inclined to suggest you pay $.50 for one cup of each to throw in Virginia's face. I bet Virginia tells all her friends about how hard it is to run the water club, but you know, *someone* has to do it!

  4. Um, bitch. What kind of place doesn't provide at least WATER? I think I'd have a lot of self-control problems at this job...

  5. I hope this isn't a comment got lost I think...anyhow...I was thinking how pathetic and sad it must be to be a Virginia...but man it makes for a funny post....I am laughing hysterically at the comments alone! I think so far Michelle's ismy favorite!

  6. Hahahahaha!!

    I'm going to add this to my "Why I continue to work for myself list."

    I hope you instigated a coup to overthrow the water club dictatorship. At the very least, I would have tormented Virginia with daily club improvement *suggestions*.

    1. Free water Fridays
    2. Water club gift cards
    3. No more plain water - ONLY bubbly water
    4. Water club incentive punch cards
    5. Water club ID badges
    6. Fines for not finishing the water you pour

  7. Thanks for the comments and taking the time to read.

  8. She should have started a "Toilet Flush" club too. You can't flush the toilet unless you're part of the club. See how that went over.

  9. This was a great post. Haha. Some people really are that power hungry!