March 5th, 2004

Roman

Detective work

This morning I was late getting to the break room. As I walked toward there with my cup, Elaine, the engineering secretary, asked me if I had made decaf coffee this morning. No, I said. She said that someone had started a pot but neglected to put the pot under the coffee basket to catch the coffee, and it had spilled out all over the counter and floor. Tina was wiping up the last of the mess when I got in there.

Elaine questioned everyone who came in the room: what did you know and when did you know it? Greg told her he had seen a pot brewing when he came in earlier. The pot was where it belonged then, and he said the decaf pot was next to it, empty. But Tina said no, the decaf pot was in the sink when she looked, and she was in the room when Greg came in.

Elaine continued to ask questions, while others looked at her blankly. Most of the gang didn't care who had left the coffee brewing with no pot underneath. But Elaine couldn't let it go. She finally pinned it on Elsa, who had started a pot and apparently forgot about it before finishing the job.

Rather like me, Elaine wants to get to the bottom of things.