Workplace Hazards: Home Office Edition

The home office hosts many hidden dangers from sassy cats yowling during client calls to pre-meeting printer failures, things can go wrong. Dangerously wrong. This is a story of my home office hazard. Coffee disasters happen, ruining work, keyboards and eroding freelancer morale. Good workplace habits and can save lives, increase productivity and keep your socks dry.


Here is my story.

This mug was 1/3 full of yesterday’s reheated coffee, now lukewarm.

"Working" on social media accounts

Taking a leisurely moment

offending coffee mug

This is a 20 oz ceramic behemoth mug.




    I was delightfully messaging my wife on Facebook when… reaching across my desk, I toppled over my bowl ‘o coffee.







“Oh Damn!” I mumble to a sleeping cat, while moving manuals, business cards and various ergonomic desktop paraphernalia. The slow dribbling of sweet caffeine nectar begins.



sweet ergonomic keyboard & ball traking mouse

God No! Not the ergonomic electronics!

Ack! I rush to the kitchen for towels. Moving my fancy mouse & keyboard, now poised to be sopping. I pride myself on never running. running makes things that just shouldn’t, flop. Plus my herniated discs and general disdain for arbitrary fleeing keep me from running. Ever.


I ran to the kitchen. Luckily, two absorbent kitchen towels awaited me hanging on the refrigerator door handle and the oven handle. I grasped and tugged, both releasing with ease. I ignore the crotcheted grandma kitchen towel, with a kitschy slogan  securely buttoned nearby. With gazelle like grace and surprising lack of alarm,  I assess the soggy mess.






I move the now drenched new camera instructions I’ve been meaning to read. Cursing not putting them in the bathroom.   IMG_20140612_130203





I duck under my elaborate ergonomic, adjustable desk that I sit at always. Must protect the complex electronics!


Electric shock and fire hazards are real threats to home office workplace safety.

Then it happens.

    The coffee cascade down theunfair coffee spill soaking my t-shirt perfectly ergonomic yet tilted front adjustable portion.

     Anointing my ball mouse, my neck, my back & my hair in Costa Rica Organic, fair trade with soy milk & agave.

     I linger under the table, feeling my bra becoming saturated.

     Knowing, getting out from under the desk will involve my hair, neck and face.

     At this point, there’s no way out of this sticky, dripping mess of my own creation. I curse my delicious brew. Coffee has led me astray. Distracting me from client work,   much dreaded sales calls and a Google Partners webinar. Strangely, Google Partners schedules these videos, yet they are prerecorded…. Well, not today!

    I finish cleaning up the fair trade deluge. Lamenting my wife asking me to clean the floors for a house guest, arriving tomorrow.

adorable cat picture

Pepper: keeper of the towels

Well, I cleaned my desk, the floors and proceeded upstairs for a change of clothes & fresh towels to find the final casualty of coffee carelessness: Pepper. Rudely awakened for towels. Luckily satisfied with a chin rub.

Moral of the story? Don’t drink & chat. Just drink. Coffee. Dedicate yourself to the task at hand. And use a coaster, damnit.

Take home office safety seriously. Protecting your greatest investment: your livelihood/living room/spare bedroom/loft/attic or modified garage. No one else needs to suffer the indignity of quality coffee squandered through carelessness.