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Trouble Brewing (1) A Short Story - Page one:
The Maintenance Department Coffee Maker Gets John into Hot Water.
 


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Trouble Brewing . . .
          John walked into the Maintenance Shop to find Carlos standing at the workbench disassembling a hammer-drill.    "What's going on?"

           "Aw, the switch went out on this drill . . ."

           John nodded toward the coffee pot on the workbench, " Is the coffee ready?"

           Carlos shrugged," Sort of . . . I brewed a pot this morning but I haven't worked up the courage to try a cup. . . "

           John pushed a motor aside on the workbench to clear a little room. He picked the cleanest looking cup from the shelf above the mop-sink and centered it in the newly cleared space on the workbench. Then, he filled the cup with hot brew from the pot.

           John cautiously sipped from the cup, "Hmmmm . . . It tastes . . . weird".

           Carlos nodded agreement, " I ran out of coffee filters and had to . . . improvise."

           John took another sip, "Whattya mean?"

           Carlos set down his screwdriver and then pulled the hammer-drill's handle into two halves, " You know the chef always kept the coffee filters in the dry-goods room high on the left as you first walk into the pantry area?"

           John took another careful sip of coffee, " Sure, everybody in the Hotel knows where the Chef keeps the coffee filters!"

           Carlos pulled the switch from the drill handle," Well, Chef got a bug up his tail about how many coffee filters he was buying. So, he moved them all to secure storage. For the past week, coffee filters have been locked up. I've been meaning to leave work and drive to a grocery store or a Walgreens to get coffee filters but I just haven't had chance. . . "

           John started to understand the meaning of 'improvise', "Why does this coffee taste so weird?"

           Carlos confessed, "I cut a coffee filter from a vacuum-cleaner bag."

           John dumped his cup down the drain of the mop sink, "Thanks for the coffee, Carlos. It was REALLY REALLY good!"

           Carlos looked up from working on the switch of the hammer-drill, "Do you really think so?"

           John pulled the door to the Maintenance Shop closed behind him as he left, "Sure, try it yourself!"

           Carlos resumed working on the drill. He mumbled to himself, "No way."




           The next day, Carlos was intrigued to read the morning mail:

          
Memo

From: John, Engineering

To: Todd, General Manager

CC: Carlos, Maintenance
        Dan, Accounting
        Mike, Purchasing / Receiving

Re: Coffee Filter Reclassification Request.

           As a result of exhaustive research, the Plaza Hotel Engineering Department has determined that ordinary coffee filters can be easily substituted for paint filters. Because coffee filters are manufactured to food-grade standards, they are highly superior to paint filters.

           Because of supply and demand, coffee-filters can readily be procured for ($0.02) two cents each in contrast to paint filters which currently wholesale at ($0.77) 77 cents each.

           Based on an estimated usage of 14 filters per week, we could save the Hotel an estimated $10.50 per week or $546.00 per year by simply using coffee filters to filter paint!

           But, the Maintenance and Engineering Departments are prohibited from requisitioning coffee filters because coffee filters are currently classified as "food and beverage" .

           Therefore, I respectfully request a reclassification of coffee filters so that the Maintenance Department can requisition coffee filters for utilization as paint filtration devices.

Thanks in advance,

John
Chief Engineer

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