the free water fallacy

The UPS guy just came in a filled his big (industrial-sized) water jug from our water cooler.    I didn’t begrudge him at all, when he got a cup from the counter, filled the cup, and drank it (twice), while standing there.   But when I sat here listening to the glug-glug-glug-glug-glug for two minutes, and watched the water level go down another 6 inches as he drained the contents into his jug, and watched him slink out the back door with his back turned to me like he was trying to hide something, I did get a little irritated.  It seemed a bit excessive.

Why should I care?  I’m not paying for the water.  (Although I AM the one that always ends up having to change the jug, even though I never drink it.  “Come on, Crossfit!  You’re strong! Let’s see you lift!”)

I just feel like I always have to pull my own weight and I go to pretty great lengths to do so.  If I want a jug of water, I go out and buy one, and I have a hard time with people who don’t share the same work ethic. 

But then I think, Why am I being so petty?  We’re talking about WATER here.  It’s not like he does it all the time.  In fact, I’ve never seen him do it before.  And the poor guy: he’s hot, delivering all those packages to everyone all day long.  He’s thirsty.  And who know how much UPS drivers make anyway so I shouldn’t begrudge the poor guy a few gallons of water.

But then, as I am writing this, my co-worker goes over and does the same thing: he walks over and re-fills his little plastic water bottle. Which he pretty much does all day long, day in and day out, for as long as I’ve worked with him, which is a really long time.  I’d like to calculate the cost of all the water he’s singlehandedly drunk at the company’s expense.  It’s probably a few thousand dollars worth, at least, and suddenly, it occurs to me that I’m REALLY pissed off about this issue.

Who ARE these people who think that they’re ENTITLED to a water cooler, as if it’s one of their certain inalienable rights?  I have no respect for these moochers/idiots/socialists.  We need food, too, during the day, but no one expects “work” to provide us with an endless and daily supply of free lunch.  Why is water any different?  We all get salaries; we can all afford to buy our own food and water.  That “work” is kind enough to provide a water cooler when they could easily say, “There’s tap water in the bathroom, drink up,” should be considered a privilege, and reserved pretty much for emergency situations only.  If you want to drink water all day long like a camel, that’s fine, but go buy your own.   I think it’s funny (read: annoying) how much less water everyone drinks when they suddenly have to pay for it.

So … despite my good intentions towards the UPS man, my co-worker’s abuse of the water cooler renders me unable to rise above my pettiness.  Pettiness is the fat child on the teeter totter, and no matter how much leg-swinging and bouncing up and down the skinny child does, pettiness remains firmly planted on the ground, unable to enjoy a ride to the top.

And now I’m not only mad at the UPS man, I’m mad at water-cooler abusers worldwide.

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