In a manner of speaking, I am the 99%. In financial terms, I certainly am, considering the ranks of the super-wealthy who make up the 1% everyone is complaining about. Considering the harbour in Monaco that made such a sensational backdrop to the qualifying session of this weekend’s Formula One Grand Prix earlier this afternoon.
But recently a Polish taxi driver explained to me his dream of working as waiter in a hotel in London because he’d have the opportunity to “work inside a building” and “have free coffee on his breaks”, and it hit me that even as woefully 99% as I am, I seem to have kept hitting the jackpot during my working career.
I can’t recall ever working anywhere where free coffee wasn’t part of the deal. Sometimes it was crappy coffee, but it was free anyway. In the office in Dubai where I spent a couple of years in the ’90s, there were even free cokes. Where I spend my days these days, we have cold mineral water and sparkling water permanently on tap.
Have I ever appreciated it? Have I hell. In fact, I’ve been incensed when the coffee machine isn’t working. That’s how much I tend to value this thing that my taxi driver considers an aspirational perk.
And I’m also not going to insult you by giving you an ’80s US sitcom ending and claim that from now on I shall value each cup of coffee as the reward it is, because who does that?
But it is nice to be reminded now and then that I actually have got it pretty good.