I misplaced the coffee mug I use at work. Losing one’s possessions is fairly common, but I’m recognizing that I really miss my trusty caffeine repository. It was the first thing I’d grab in the morning and a loyal companion to every early meeting. It was also a badge of courage.
My coffee cup and I first met in San Diego around 2003. The company I worked for had an incentive program. If you performed above and beyond the call of duty, they rewarded you with “company currency”, which could be used to purchase special items. We’d recently experienced explosive growth and were dealing with big growing pains. Fresh out of college, I was eager to prove me skills. I dealt with furious customers and software that wasn’t designed to handle their needs. It was awesome.
Eventually I traded in the “company bucks” I’d acquired for a big ticket item: a corporate-branded coffee cup. I’ve kept my trophy mug with me all this time, maybe as a reminder. When something bad happened at my current gig I’d look at my cup and reminisce. “Remember that time I stayed up for 30 hours fixing that crazy bug?” I’d say to myself and think: "this task is easy in comparison!". I often wonder if the software I wrote back then is still being used and performing well.
My cup was a reminder of battles fought… and won. It reminded me that people appreciate it when you go out of your way to fix something for them. It also reminded me of how much I’ve learned, and how much I have yet to learn. It will be missed.
*** BREAKING UPDATE -- 7/13/11 ***
I found my coffe cup! I accidentally ventured over to the IT department and it there was, sitting next to a pile of tech stuff. However, our reunion was bittersweet. You see, I've been using a new mug (shown below on the left) these last few weeks. It was a gift to commemerate grad school graduation, and to be honest, I've moved on. The old cup (shown below on the right) will still maintain a respectable position in the cupboard back at home. I'm so happy to have it back :)