I tried to stifle a yawn as I moseyed over with the travel cup, that I brought from home, in-hand to the Keurig to make a cup of piping hot coffee. My short journey from my new desk to the tepid machine, who decided on its own who and at what time they would get their morning pick-me-up, became my mini-break among the busyness of event planning and building social media content online.
I ended up running into another co-worker by the Keurig in the kitchenette who was warming up a leftover snack in the microwave, which always strongly smelled like the thing the last person who used it put in to it. I greeted her with a familiar grin since she had sat right across from my desk when I was an intern on the other side of the office.
“Hey,” she said as she draped a damp paper towel over her breaded item so that it wouldn’t dry out. “So how’s everything with you?”
I had just dropped the French Roast K-cup into the machine, shut the cartridge contraption, and pushed the button with the largest depiction of an amount of coffee on it. “I’m just trying to get used to this new adult schedule.”
She chuckled at my comment while shoving her treat in the microwave. “Yeah, it sucks. Now you have to get up to go to work. No more just being a kid.”
I imagined my childhood as the creamer that I had dumped into my dark coffee and watched it quickly fade away into the darkness. Somehow the conversation turned to the discussion of midday naps.
“I wish we could take naps like kids,” she said while staring at the well-lit merry-go-round of food behind the microwave door.
I poured two packets of sugar into my coffee and stirred. “It’s crazy because they don’t see the value in it when they are young, and when they grow up, all they can think about is how they should have taken advantage of nap time.”
I walked away from the Keurig thinking about how quickly life has sped by. Less than a year ago I had started interning on the other side of the office. My role in the office grew, and a little while after I had graduated from grad school I moved from a job there as a part-time employee, who could take off randomly and go to Oregon if I wished to, and into a full-time position with big responsibilities. I felt that I had definitely become an actual adult with my first new full-time “big-person” job.
I sat down at my desk, which was also home to my new name plaque, and began opening emails. I had a bit of shock at that moment. I was no longer just the intern, who would make sure she grabbed as much coffee from the Keurig as possible, before heading off to class for the day. I was an employee who could equitably enjoy a cup of deserved coffee without feeling like I had to hoard it. I was now the adult at the Keurig, getting used to grown-up life.