Did you have a nice hot screaming bowl of brain juice this morning? I sure did. Why do you drink coffee? Because it’s great. Because you’re on deadline. Because, “Sorry, Mario, the Princess is in another castle.” But do you drink as much as your average Dean of Students?
Every writer I know has a nice round nuclear shadow on their desk where the coffee cup goes. I moved mine to the side of my non-dominant hand to trick myself into drinking slightly less. But still I want coffee. At the delicate pour-over joint in my neighborhood they always ask, “What do you take in your coffee?” And right when I’m going to remind them that I take it black I get the shakes and scream, “MORE COFFEE.”
Surprisingly writers and editors are only number four on the below, totally scientific list.* In Attempting Normal comedian Marc Maron talks about his days as a morning news reporter for Air America. They began in a car at 4 a.m., “stopping on the way to pick up a large silo of liquid crack at Dunkin’ Donuts.” That’s radio. But when I get all jacked up on deadline and hand in a story, it’s my editor who has to patiently convert it from ALL CAPS.
Still, apparently we aren’t cranking as many cups as Education Administrators. Which makes perfect sense. I remember my elementary school principal, Mr. Marshall, being the first guy in and last guy out, even on dark New England afternoons. Also, whenever I catch a whiff of the norm-core prison stench that is “burnt coffee breath,” I get flashbacks to the dreaded waiting room of my high school vice principal’s office.
But wait, marketing and PR people drink even more than that? Now I understand why I get so many goddamned emails from you people at 1 a.m. What about my ouvre here makes you think I want to try your new “diet hangover cure?”) I’ve already got one: It’s called COFFEE.
Meanwhile, healthcare administrators drink slightly more than physicians, which I’m happy to hear. When I go to the doc I want to have the correct chart waiting for her outside the room so we can have a relaxed conversation about my health.
Nothing but a personal responsibility to the trust put in them by their clients keeps our brothers in finance (#10) sharp and alert. (Just kidding. It’s cocaine.)
FUN FACT: You can lose points on your health department inspection if they find a coffee cup in a food prep area. Same for a server station and behind the bar. This is why food prep workers come in 7th. When I worked in restaurants the boss instituted a “drink and dump” policy. Unfortunately it was excellent, strong coffee from La Colombe and we only had one staff bathroom.
Some of these seem like they should be higher on the list, but the averages get weighed by other substances. Maybe tea drinkers keep professors and social workers at 8th and 9th? Meanwhile nothing but a personal responsibility to the trust put in them by their clients keeps our brothers in finance (#10) sharp and alert. (Just kidding. It’s cocaine.)
Then there’s the most specific category of all: Human Resources Benefits Coordinator (#12). Sound lame? Not when you get richer from them than your average Wall Street wolf. The chapter “Would You Rather Be Sexy or Rich?” of Ramit Sethi’s embarrassingly-titled I Will Teach You to Be Rich carefully explains how guaranteed personal wealth comes not from investments but from reliable low-cost healthcare and steady, employer-matched 401k contributions over the long run. Yawning yet? HAVE SOME COFFEE.
Others are split and for good reasons. When Gramma’s sick at home and one of her machines starts beeping, I want her to have a Personal Caretaker (#11) ON IT. But I spent last April in a hospital being soothed by some very calm nurses (#13).
An addendum reads that judges, attorneys and hotel workers are most likely to take their coffee black. Makes sense. I do too. And as you may have noticed, I’m judgmental.
In the end, this is science. The ingenious results of rigorous data testing. Hypothesis and analysis. It cuts through muck. It answers questions. And for that reason scientists and lab technicians are number one. They stay alert. They stay late. They check and recheck. They cure diseases. Work weekends. And they give us the charts that bring order to chaos.
God Bless them.
*This data comes from a bought-and-paid-for survey sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts and CareerBuilder.com with the customer-is-always-right title “Which Professionals Need Coffee the Most.” We’ll never know if Starbucks would have told our moms whether bass players need more coffee than sculptors. Or if a microsurvey among the laptop-oise of my local indie in Brooklyn would tell us that architects need more coffee than screenwriters. But it is what it is.