April 27, 2010
From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...
So a coffee shop very close to our office is giving away free coffee and pastries today. I'm trying to avoid pastries right now, swimsuit season and all that, but will never say to no free coffee. I headed up for my free joe and received a paper cup with a thing of Coffeemate attached to it. Apparently, Coffeemate is sponsoring this coffee giveaway in an attempt to make their product relevant again.
Officemate mentioned seeing Coffeemate commercials recently that try to make Coffeemate seem really cool and hip. People are dancing around to "Express Yourself" (the Motown/R&B version, not the Madonna version), gleefully pouring Coffeemate in their coffeee and apparently enjoying the freedom to be themselves that Coffeemate provides. "I used to feel so oppressed, but then I put artificial hazelnut flavoring in my coffee! Free to be you and me!"
In an attempt to be as badass as K, I only drink my coffee black these days, so Coffeemate's efforts are lost on me, but I was happy to have my free cup regardless. When I got back to our office, I sent an email out to our students, letting them know that free breakfast awaited them less than a block away.
Minutes later, one of our (admittedly dumber) students came down and asked if she could get some coffee. "Yeah sure, anyone can," Officemate said. "Where is it?" she asked, looking around our office. "It's not here," Officemate said patiently, "it's at [Local Coffee Shop]. This is the Student Affairs Office."
If it has gotten to the point where we have to explain to our students the difference between our office and a coffee shop, and they just assume our office is the place to come to have all of their needs met, not just the ones pertaining to their studies, we have got to drastically change the way we interact with them. Except that our boss already instructed us to hire a massage therapist to give them massages next week to help them cope with the stresses of the end of the school year.
What have we done?