It was 1:58 pm.
Like most afternoons, I was starting to feel a little tired from another busy day. My two allotted cups of coffee had already been consumed long ago, so I needed a quick pick-me-up before a fast-approaching 2 pm meeting. Candy sounded like a good idea, but I had secretly been eating too much of the kids’ Halloween candy.
No, I thought, I had better try something a little healthier. I rushed to the refrigerator and looked for some fruits or veggies. To my delight, my wife had just gone to the store and purchased a new type of juice. Yummy…pineapple juice! I quickly grabbed a juice glass and poured myself a healthy serving. With a minute to spare, I made it back to my desk.
Perhaps I should have given myself a little more time. With all of the hustle, I inadvertently bumped into the glass, spilling the juice all over my desk. Needless to say, when the meeting started I was frantically (and covertly) sopping up sticky juice. Since I work remotely, however, my client was none the wiser.
I did learn a few valuable lessons from this experience. Here they are.
1. Coffee Mugs are Short & Fat (for Good Reason)
A piping hot mug of coffee is usually at least 160°F. Stop and think about the shape of a typical coffee mug. Coffee cup manufacturers wisely design most mugs with a stout width to height ratio. The reason for such a design is obvious: no one wants to tip over a blazing hot cup of liquid.
Juice glass manufacturers, on the other hand, do not seem as concerned with top-heaviness. Usually much taller than wide, aesthetics are given preference to spill aversion characteristics. Perhaps understandably so. At the breakfast table, your risk of spilling juice is minimal. In the unlikely circumstance of an accident, very few of your belongings are impacted. Spills at your desk are another story.
In future juice drinking excursions at my desk, I’ll be relying less on juice glasses and more on coffee mugs.
2. Getting Juice Out of Your Keyboard is Impossible
I clean my keyboard on a weekly basis. To do so, I shoot concentrated air beneath the keys and drive out the dust (or whatever else gets in there). Until recently, I’ve never had to deal with getting liquid out – especially sticky liquid.
After finishing that fateful work day, I decided to take apart my keyboard. Using my fingers, I popped off a few keys that had become sluggish. First, I tried spraying compressed air into the key cavity. This did not work, as the juice had already dried like glue. Next, I took a damp rag and tried to wipe away the dried juice. Again, this did not work because I could not get my fingers into the tiny crevices. Finally, I decided to soak the keys in warm soapy water. After letting them dry, I reassembled my keyboard feeling pretty good about my odds of fixing the problem. Although the keys did work a little better, they were still stuck. Rats!
Thankfully, I had a back up keyboard (pictured right) for my other monitor, so I just swapped it out.
3. An Office Floor Mat Serves Many Purposes
If you work from home, you spend a lot of time sitting in the same place. Unless your office floor is a hard surface, you will probably need a plastic floor mat. As I’ve discussed in other articles, office mats protect your carpet and subfloor from chair rollers that can be surprisingly damaging.
When you spill pineapple juice everywhere, a floor mat also protects your carpet from devastating stains. In my case, most of the juice dripped off of the desk and landed within the perimeter of my floor mat (pictured right). Although I have a few cracks in the mat, I was able to wipe up the liquid before it trickled onto my carpet.
If you currently do not have an office floor mat, I highly recommend that you buy one. Depending on the size you need, you can usually get one for less than $100.
4. Pineapple Juice is Yummy
Despite my initial spill, I did end up getting a refill later in the day (in a coffee mug, of course). I wouldn’t want to drink pineapple juice every day, but it sure does pack a load of flavor. Juice connoisseurs take note – pineapple juice is yummy!
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