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Hey, look! A coffee pot!

May 13th, 2011 · 80 comments

This isn’t the first “coffee-maker etiquette” flowchart I’ve seen, but it is the most aesthetically pleasing.

Says Sarah in St. Louis: “The IT department in our office is notorious for drinking the last of the coffee without making more.” (Note the subtle “I heart C++” mug.) Apparently, one of her co-workers thought breaking things down into engineer-speak might help.

Hey, look! A coffee pot!

Meanwhile, in Toledo, Ohio…a variation tailored to a slightly different audience:

What would Jesus do...if there were only this much coffee left in the pot? *He would brew more!

related: Passive-aggressive flowcharts

FILED UNDER: coffee · etiquette · flow chart · Jesus · most popular notes of 2011 · office · St. Louis · Toledo · visual aids

80 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Impressed

    My favorite PA post ever.

    May 13, 2011 at 7:13 am   rating: 28  small thumbs up

  • #2   Britishchick

    Passive-aggressive yeah, a bit. But I like it!

    May 13, 2011 at 7:13 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

  • #3   geech

    So glad I left office life behind a couple years ago. This is the kind of thing people worry about? So sad.

    May 13, 2011 at 7:20 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   Bernadette

      You have no creative sense of humor. That’s what is really sad.

      May 13, 2011 at 2:55 pm   rating: 32  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   Pit Pat

      Well, good for you, geech! Aren’t you just the luckiest duck?

      May 13, 2011 at 6:12 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

  • #4   Sandee

    Loving, “WALK AWAY.”

    May 13, 2011 at 7:30 am   rating: 38  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   quatfaux

      “But I want to turn it off!” WALK AWAY.

      May 13, 2011 at 11:48 am   rating: 27  small thumbs up

  • #5   Kurtis

    As an engineer, I must protest a fatal logic flaw in this diagram – it is possible to entirely bypass the “IsDecaf” check, thereby dooming oneself to a morning/afternoon of unexplained lethargy.

    May 13, 2011 at 7:57 am   rating: 77  small thumbs up

  • #6   KJS

    In the time it took me to read this, I could have made a new pot, but I’ve expended all my brain energy on this flow chart.

    May 13, 2011 at 7:59 am   rating: 13  small thumbs up

  • #7   DLo

    I need about 300 copies of this. Really.

    May 13, 2011 at 8:25 am   rating: 12  small thumbs up

  • #8   Sed bang

    I love this chart. However…

    You should NEVER leave the burner on underneath an empty pot – when I was a grad student I worked for a large police department. I can’t tell you how many carafes we had to replace because they got burnt and brittle. I remember one morning I went to take the carafe off of the burner and the entire bottom had fused to the burner pad; I pulled on the handle, and the bottom third of the carafe broke cleanly off.

    This is why I bought a single-serve coffee-maker for my current office – now I don’t have to worry about others pulling their weight AND I don’t have to drink the awful coffee that my department at the university buys.

    May 13, 2011 at 8:26 am   rating: 27  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   lgusrey

      that is actually very smart,. HA!!! Single cup, take THAT you dastardly coffee miscreants!!!!
      Now that I think about it, isn’t is P.A. to take the last cup of o’ joe and not make more for others?

      May 13, 2011 at 8:55 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #8.2   Dalamara

      More often, its just plain lazy.

      May 13, 2011 at 9:48 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #8.3   Melbot

      I had a coworker who would take the last cup, then flip open the lid of the empty carafe indicating that *someone* should make a new pot.

      He was also married and would spend all day on some fitness dating website, but I still find the coffee thing the most unsavory aspect of his character.

      May 13, 2011 at 5:52 pm   rating: 28  small thumbs up

    • #8.4   Donna

      Re: Single cup coffee maker people… THEN what do you do when the holding space for all the empty coffee containers fills up and the machine won’t close/operate properly!

      May 19, 2011 at 2:36 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #9   Txmatey

    This is the most clever P/A thing I’ve seen….so creative and well done too! Bravo!!

    May 13, 2011 at 8:33 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #10   oi

    Make sure burner is on. ON! Damn it. I SAID make sure! Do it! Do it gazillion times or no coffee for you!
    Those are the emotion behind that “ON” in red lightening.

    May 13, 2011 at 8:39 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   TickleMyBambo

      But… I… want to turn it off.. : (

      May 13, 2011 at 2:01 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #10.2   Risha

      WALK AWAY.

      May 13, 2011 at 9:09 pm   rating: 14  small thumbs up

    • #10.3   TickleMyBambo

      Okay..Well is it decaf? Yes. Bummer, I’ll just walk away…But.. I have this strange urge… the urge to..turn the burner off. I want..NO! I MUST turn it off!

      May 14, 2011 at 7:03 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #11   WhitneyD

    This might be passive-aggressive. But it’s also the best office related note I’ve seen! I know we could have used it at the office I worked at.

    May 13, 2011 at 8:48 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

  • #12   Slap Stick

    I laugh at all of you coffee addicted sheep.

    May 13, 2011 at 9:02 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   park rose

      How does that go? Baa-ha-ha?

      May 13, 2011 at 10:13 am   rating: 20  small thumbs up

    • #12.2   quatfaux

      “Baa-ha-ha”, he bleats, as he heads for the fridge to grab his DIET COKE…

      May 13, 2011 at 11:50 am   rating: 19  small thumbs up

    • #12.3   clumber

      Males drink Diet Coke? Huh. Something new every day I guess.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #12.4   Nunavut Guy

      Well 1 in every 10 do.

      May 13, 2011 at 9:01 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #12.5   spike

      Coffee is fucking delicious.

      May 14, 2011 at 8:22 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #13   Quite Contrary

    HEY LOOK! A brilliant PA note!

    May 13, 2011 at 9:07 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #14   kmd

    Brilliant. The very first line contains my favorite decision-making loop of all.

    Do you drink coffee –>no –>walk away <– but I want to turn it off!

    May 13, 2011 at 9:18 am   rating: 11  small thumbs up

  • #15   Zorin

    Trouble with this philosophy is you end up with lazy people who will peek at the coffee pot and if it’s almost empty, just walk away. As the number of people who do this goes up, eventually no new coffee ever gets made because no one wants to make another pot.

    Until someone gets desperate enough, drinks the last of the coffee and STILL doesn’t make a new pot.

    I think I’ll go to Starbucks instead. :)

    May 13, 2011 at 10:28 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   TickleMyBambo

      Starbucks is overpriced. It would be better and less aggravating if one were to either

      A.) Buy their own coffee maker and supplies, make the coffee at home and just bring coffee to work in a container.


      B.) Just bring their own coffee to work, make enough to last them through the day. Clean out the pot and leave it there for the rest to fight over who will make the next batch.

      And if one is truly desperate enough, then maybe go to starbucks. Cause obviously members of the office workplace lack both common courtesy and common sense. Either make the damn coffee or just go without it.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:54 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #15.2   clumber

      I’ll have to add Communal Office Coffee to my (long) list of possible subjects for my (pretend) dissertation.

      Not a coffee drinker myself, and honestly with as many who don’t wash their hands in the restroom as there are where i work, I wouldn’t feel comfortable consuming much of anything they had any part in. Seeing how many of them “live” under their desks (am in IT) makes me start heaving everytime there is some stupid potluck planned…. If it isn’t in its original tamper-proof packaging…

      *originally typoed “tapir proof”. Considered leaving that. Tapirs are dangerous too.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:58 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

    • #15.3   TickleMyBambo

      Clumber, you’ve brought up a valid point.

      Yeah the thought of people not washing their hands after using the bathroom and than proceeding to put their greasy, germ infested, hands all over the place… including food and coffee, is just downright vomit inducing. That is why I’ve always made sure to bring my own food and drinks, as well as hand sanitizer, so I wouldn’t have to worry about germs and having to fight over anything.

      May 13, 2011 at 2:18 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #15.4   Jimmy James

      It may be tapir proof, but those apes from 2001 will figure out a way to open it even if it means bashing it with a bone.

      May 13, 2011 at 4:31 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #15.5   Pit Pat

      At my old office job, there was usually lipstick on the water cooler spouts…

      May 13, 2011 at 6:15 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #15.6   Nunavut Guy

      Is that what you call yours?I call mine Johnson.

      May 13, 2011 at 9:10 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #15.7   Risha

      I think you’re all missing the point here, which is that Starbucks makes terrible coffee.

      May 13, 2011 at 9:14 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #15.8   Pit Pat

      and it discharges cool water? I don’t have one, myself, so I don’t know about these things.

      May 13, 2011 at 10:58 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #15.9   Nunavut Guy

      I have the deluxe model;it comes with temperature settings.

      May 14, 2011 at 5:14 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #15.10   Pit Pat

      and is it freshwater?

      May 14, 2011 at 11:58 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #15.11   Nunavut Guy

      Not lately.

      May 14, 2011 at 9:30 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #16   Zsa

    As the last one to come into my office (at 9:30) I was usually greeted by a stinking, burnt, partial pot of coffee made by the crew that came in at 5am.
    I would make a new pot, get my cuppa joe and there it would sit until the 2nd shift came in at 3pm to be greeted by the stinking, burnt, partial pot.
    It became a running joke. So much more so when I got preggers and threw up into the sink from the smell one day. then they TRIED to make me puke again. Those were the days…

    May 13, 2011 at 11:00 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #17   ligercorn

    Jesus would brew more and then turn it into wine. Yeah! Don’t tell HR!

    May 13, 2011 at 12:26 pm   rating: 18  small thumbs up

    • #17.1   jjm

      He did a miracle involving coffee. I think it was recorded in the book of Hebrews….

      May 13, 2011 at 12:47 pm   rating: 29  small thumbs up

    • #17.2   Nunavut Guy

      They don’t make Jews like Jesus anymore.

      May 13, 2011 at 9:13 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #17.3   Canthz_B bang

      Nunavut, I have six million tasteless jokes to explain that.

      May 14, 2011 at 1:21 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #17.4   Nunavut Guy

      Google “Kinky Friedman”.He is a Jewish comedian,singer song writer,activist……….well check him out.Cool guy.

      He wrote the afore mentioned song.

      May 14, 2011 at 5:20 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #17.5   pony girl

      Kinky for Governor!
      Why the hell not?

      May 15, 2011 at 1:25 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #18   Car Title Loans

    By far, one of the most creative notes that I have seen. What is it with IT and coffee? Maybe they think they’re too busy behind their computers that they can’t possibly spend the time to make more! But they should do it for Jesus!

    May 13, 2011 at 12:43 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #18.1   bug

      What it is, is an overblown sense of entitlement.
      They spend so much of their day knowing more than the people they are interacting with that they come to believe that they’re superior to everyone.

      May 13, 2011 at 7:29 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #18.2   techess

      Or they know that if they do anything besides fill up a cup people will assume that IT is in charge of coffee machines (it has a cord! it has buttons!) and then they will have to “troubleshoot” the coffee being too cold, or too hot, or tastes funny . . .

      May 16, 2011 at 12:41 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #19   TickleMyBambo

    What would Jesus do if he saw that the coffee pot was near empty? He would simply look at the chart.. Realize that it isn’t decaf, mutter “bummer” under his breath and simply just walk away. Why should he have to be responsible for humanity’s inability to make a simple pot of cheap coffee?

    May 13, 2011 at 1:46 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #19.1   Ndawg

      It looks like stick-figure Jesus is really pissed. Love how he’s got his hands on his hips and is wearing his best tight-lipped, PA expression on his face.

      May 13, 2011 at 3:47 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #19.2   TickleMyBambo

      That tight lipped PA expression on his fact is actually directed at me. Having used the word “simply” twice and “simple” once is enough to piss off an already frustrated Jesus because obviously in this workplace, making a pot of coffee really isn’t that simple.

      May 13, 2011 at 5:18 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #19.3   TickleMyBambo

      ((Side note: I typed face as “fact” by accident (stupid typos) but somehow the server is “taking too long” and won’t let me edit so I thought I’d fix that nasty error here instead of letting that linger… We can’t go around saying that Jesus has a fact face. ))

      May 13, 2011 at 5:49 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #19.4   BrookeDiz

      I love that stick figure! There are so many places I could use it. And, dammit, I will!

      May 13, 2011 at 10:15 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #20   Kay

    I’m waiting for the companion poster:
    What would Jesus do if there was only this much wine left in the bottle?

    May 13, 2011 at 2:18 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #20.1   TickleMyBambo

      What would Jesus do? Jesus would ask “Would you like some wine to go with your WHINE?”… hehehe… Yeah I know, lame.

      May 13, 2011 at 2:20 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #21   VM

    Notice that somebody’s already crossposted the chart on Neatorama.

    May 13, 2011 at 2:41 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #22   Divvitar

    Jesus would ressurrect the day old coffee, and tell it to sin no more.

    May 13, 2011 at 5:13 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

    • #22.1   park rose

      Has beens are always the best Born Agains.

      May 14, 2011 at 2:21 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #23   bug

    never knew jesus was a canadian!

    May 13, 2011 at 7:33 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #23.1   Nunavut Guy

      Wow,you misspelled three words in a six word sentence.

      May 13, 2011 at 9:20 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #24   Raury bang

    Well this is an awesome little way to educate people in any office job who haven’t surpassed a kindergarten education… It’s simple, has lot’s of happy little arrows to follow, provides multiple choice options and isn’t the least bit confusing… Good to see equal opportunity becoming more and more inclusive as it becomes more and more clear that society is becoming more and more incompetent XD

    May 14, 2011 at 2:31 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up


    I love it! Caffeine legal. Tobacco legal. Alcohol, you better believe it… legal.



    btw, I am RIDING adderall xr (my legal perception)

    May 14, 2011 at 3:12 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #26   Ron Hyatt

    Now if I could only get the liberal wankers to flush after themselves.

    May 14, 2011 at 3:34 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #26.1   Ramantastic

      If it’s yellow let it mellow …

      May 17, 2011 at 2:59 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #27   Adrian

    Actually, I don’t drink coffee… But the best fun there is is buying french roast and getting for the office and then watching everyone who drinks it, be really brighteyed for about 4 hours. Now THAT’S P/A

    May 14, 2011 at 5:16 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #28   butt

    We have a K-cup machine at my office. Individual coffee for the win

    May 14, 2011 at 5:36 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #29   Steph

    We have one too, you’d better believe those a holes never refill the water and I’m the only one that fills it when I get in.

    May 14, 2011 at 6:15 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #29.1   harmonicpies

      There’s an easy passive-aggressive fix for that. Just dump the reservoir after you’ve made your cup.

      May 15, 2011 at 9:07 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #30   Ali

    The coffee makers at my new job are so awesome. They’re ~fancy, but so damn easy to use. I thought, “There’s no way anyone can mess this up!” Yeah, right.

    People just don’t give a damn.

    May 14, 2011 at 6:29 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #31   morgajel

    My response was to buy a bean grinder and french press. It may be more work and I may look like a snob, but it sure as hell beats pouring a cup of coffee and having it taste like… the 6th level of hell. ugh.

    May 14, 2011 at 7:40 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #32   Iris

    LOL I love the WWJD drawing. That is hilarious! Hahahaha.

    May 14, 2011 at 7:57 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #33   Windsor Grace

    Please, Jesus doesn’t give a shit about coffee, he’s too busy collecting souls for heaven. Duh

    May 15, 2011 at 9:39 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #34   Pilgrimchick

    Ah, a perfect WWJD scenario.

    May 15, 2011 at 10:44 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #35   serenity

    Here is a german version of it:

    May 19, 2011 at 2:37 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #36   Ty

    I printed this bad boy off and put it over the coffee machine. My P/A-note-loving office manager is so thrilled she can hardly speak.


    May 20, 2011 at 10:59 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #37   Ross Hall

    Hey, Toledo people, looks like there’s more than enough coffee to feed 500 in there.

    Jun 12, 2011 at 7:41 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #38   Alex Coffee

    REAL FUN!! Creative and original ! Two thumbs up

    Jun 20, 2011 at 1:23 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up


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