Assistant Manager LeBron Needs Some Help

To: Staff Re: Coffee Machine All, I know that you’re happy with how yesterday went. Am I happy with it? Maybe. Maybe not. I’m notoriously hard to read--it’s part of my raw, yet highly focus-grouped persona. (HR actually told me a few weeks back I need to improve my body language. And I said, menacingly, “I’ll tell you to improve your body language…” Just kidding. Or am I? Ha ha.) But really, it’s encouraging that the coffee machine hummed along nicely yesterday. Well, it didn’t break horribly, even though we’ve come to expect disappointment from it. And none of the problems that have dogged it in the past seven months--dating back to last June, really--came to light. Like that time Kevin tried to get the coffee machine to make tea, even though it’s a coffee machine, and you can’t expect to make a coffee machine into a tea machine overnight. The drinker (be it Kevin or Kyrie or Channing) has to realize that coffee has worked well for this office in the past, and we can’t be breaking off into coffee and tea and damn kombucha factions during this important final stretch. And sure enough, Kevin drank coffee yesterday, and he actually came up to me at my cubicle, where I was meticulously honing my craft and definitely not deleting videos of myself getting embarrassed at summer camp, and he said, “LeBron, bro, I think I kinda like this.” And now to the entire office, I say, the proof and the pudding--it’s all there. (On the topic of pudding, let’s talk about refrigerator etiquette. Last month, a total stranger waltzed into the office and stole Kyrie’s favorite snack. It doesn’t even warrant mentioning that this act is totally unacceptable, and we need to support Kyrie in this tough, snack-less drought. The last thing--and I hate to name names, here, but I’ll do it anyway--the last thing, JR, that we need is for someone to go do something boneheaded in retaliation. Let’s all be professionals and go dark on social media for the next few months. That being said, it’s best to label your snacks beforehand to prevent confusion. No one likes a snack-stealer.) Back to the coffee, though: it tastes pretty good. And you’re saying, "LeBron, it’s been tasting pretty good all year, so why’d you have to fire the perfectly fine barista we had in January, especially since you’re not even going to let the new barista make lattes the way he thinks they should be made?" You’re asking why we even need a barista, really, since there’s already this coffee machine that, you, LeBron, can use to make consistently great coffee, even when the beans are coming from some replacement-level geography like Russia or friggin’ Australia? These are all great points. The thing is, I’ve had really, really good coffee before--most notably in the Miami office--and this year’s coffee, well, it’s not quite at that level. I’m not telling any secrets when I say that there are certain offices, in certain geographies that may or may not be described as golden, brewing unprecedented, world-class coffee on a daily basis. And we know that sooner or later, because of Mr. Lacob’s innovative yet dehumanizing VC-management style, our coffee will be put into direct competition with theirs. So when I gripe about all of this, it’s because we need to hold ourselves to a higher brewing standard. We need to start doing the little things: cleaning up any loose coffee grounds and putting them back in the tin. Sharing the coffee maker throughout the working hours, and not just milling about aimlessly while someone else is using it. Grinding, every single day. (Also, Tristan: no more whole-milk lattes. Good God, man.) I know this email may seem kind of demanding, but I don’t apologize for pursuing greatness. To all of you, let me just say this: stop trying to overflow. Just fit yourselves in the cup. Really. I’m not saying this to be harsh or mean, I’m saying it because you guys are my brothers: I think of us twelve as apostles, or better yet, 12 ounces in a delicious tall iced cappuccino. We have, hopefully, six weeks left, fellas. Let’s be good to the last drop. Best, LeBron James Assistant Manager, Cleveland Office P.S. I heard the Miami office got a stipend for a new Illy machine this summer. Who wants in? *** Lucas Hubbard is a writer newly based in Durham, NC. You should follow him on Twitter.

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