Wait, didn't they cover that in Intro to Programming?

This company has a rash of new hires, almost all of whom are fresh graduates of major universities, reports a pilot fish on the scene.

"One of the new hires comes up to a senior engineer and informs him that the coffee maker is not making coffee," fish says. "The engineer goes with the new hire to see what the problem is.

"New hire says, 'I push the button to make coffee but nothing happens.' Engineer looks at it and discovers there's no water in the coffee maker -- nor coffee, either."

Just make a fresh pot, engineer says.

New hire: "How do you do that?"

For a moment, engineer is puzzled that a college graduate doesn't know how to brew a pot of coffee. But figuring a brand-new employee wouldn't be pulling his leg, he decides just to walk the new hire through the process.

You put the coffee in the top and pour some water in, then press the brew button, engineer explains.

New hire finally locates the coffee (in one of those funny-looking bags beside the coffee maker labeled "coffee") and is about to pour a whole bag directly into the machine when the engineer stops him and explains that he has to put a filter in first, and then add only enough coffee for one pot.

After watching him do that, engineer explains that to avoid overflow, he should fill the pot -- after cleaning it first -- with water so he'll have the right amount.

New hire rinses the pot, fills it with water, puts the pot of water back on the coffee maker and presses start. Nothing happens.

Engineer explains that he has to pour the water into the receptacle at the back and put the empty pot in the holder.

New hire does that, and finally presses start again. "Where's the coffee?" he asks.

You have to give it a few minutes to brew, engineer says.

New hire turns and walks away, never to return to the coffee maker.

Sighs fish, "Later, the engineer goes to the new hire and comments that he's surprised that, having gone through college and lived in the dorms, he never learned how to make coffee.

"The new hire answers, 'There was always a Starbucks nearby. Coffee comes from Starbucks.'"

Sharky runs on coffee -- and your stories. Send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll score a sharp Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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