Tuesday, December 20, 2005

HB Presents: Salaryman Lessons

Hello. My name is Jonathan, and I'm a Salaryman.

It's great to be a Salaryman. I get to wear nice pants, I can throw around terms like "we need to maximize ROI on the new tool" and "give me 5 minutes, I'm calculating the delta on the upgraded chargers." Someday I'll own a Cessna Citation X, fastest executive jet in the world, which we'll use to get to the house in Belvedere in under 4 hours.

I'm going to let you in on a few of the secrets of my success with an occasional series called "Salaryman Lessons," starting, logically enough, with my mornings. I always start the day with a fresh cup of Java. Back in the 80s Salarymen used something called cocaine as their pick-me-up, which seems really quaint now that you can get a latte every four blocks.

Here's what separates a successful Salaryman from the herd when it comes to coffee: stir sticks. If your coffee shop gives you a lid with an open cover, when you go over bumps or around turns, scalding coffee comes out of the top of the cup and lands on your center console and topcoat. This does not optimize your solutionality, and might even slow your company flywheel. You need stir sticks, like so (click to zoom):

Jam two stir sticks into the opening, and coffee stays in the cup, even on your boss' crushed gravel driveway or on the ramp to the helipad. Your nice pants stay nice and your upholstery won't smell like old half and half, which is where we will pick up in "Salaryman Lesson 2: Dress for the Job You Want." See you next time.

Note: We will discuss longer commutes, where you might want to drink coffee before you get to the office, in a later lesson on Travel Mugs.


Judy said...

Was this a tidbit you learned from experience or passed down through the ages from one Salaryman to another?

Jeremy said...

While coffee stirrers will do the trick, the ultimate solution, if available, is to use a standard-sized drinking straw.

Unlike a stirrer, it allows you access to your coffee, without having to fiddle with taking the wooden stirrers in and out and maximizing your caffiene intake.

My basis for this? The 5 years I spent working at Caribou Coffee during the morning and evening coffee rushes.

Jonathan said...

Don't you still have to wait until it cools down so you don't scald your throat through the straw? In which case you'd be at work anyway.

Disclosure: I'm less than 20 minutes from my office, so I don't care if I don't sip and drive.

Jeremy said...

Some people can't wait.

What can I say?

Actually, travel mugs are the ultimate way to go, but I see you plan on touching on that subject on another day.