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On National Coffee Day, An Ode to Our Coworkers Who Quit Coffee

Tomorrow is National Coffee Day, the one day a year when we pledge our enduring loyalty to the coffee bean. But what if your coworker is trying to quit coffee, and her caffeine deprivation ends up giving everyone else in the office a headache?

On Monday morning, your coworker announced that she was quitting coffee. She's been reading up on the negative impacts of caffeine on the body, and now she's going cold turkey.

I'm not talking about switching to decaf, or quitting coffee gradually over many months. No. She's pulling the plug on cappuccinos as of TODAY, and she's never asking for Hazelnut flavoring ever again! She scoffs at your Monday morning coffee run. You are weak, and you are not educated on the issues. She doesn't need the stuff anymore. She is stronger than a double shot of espresso.

By the next morning, however, things aren't looking so good. She teetering on the edge, and taking out her caffeine deprivation on anyone within earshot. "I can't hear myself think," this Americano-abdicating coworker muses as she throws a pen on her desk. "My head is pounding."

Meanwhile, her coworkers feel like pounding sand. Will her caffeine headaches ever end? When will she come back to the sunshine side of the mountain? Will her productivity increase?

We don't know, but by Wednesday morning, her complaints are making our emotions percolate to the surface, too. "CAN YOU TURN THAT DOWN!?" she yells at somebody using the copier. "I'M TRYING TO WORK, WHILE YOU GUYS JUST TAKE TURNS GOING TO STARBUCKS!"

When A Coworker Quits Caffeine
Anyone who has quit caffeine knows that it is not easy. Neither is watching someone try to eliminate this liquid gold from their life. There is a short period of time when the coffee-quitting coworker will be miserable to be around at work. There is no way around it. This coworker has become a total nightmare. [Warning: Language NSFW.]

We try to be supportive, but really, we don't understand why our coworker is putting herself through this ordeal in the first place. What's wrong with having one cup of coffee in the morning? Okay, two cups! we think as we take a sip of our fourth cup this morning. Here are five tips for working with the coworker who is in the process of quitting coffee:

1. DON'T question their decision.You don't understand why your coworker is doing this, but don't ask. Simply wish them good luck, and ask if they're done with the spreadsheet. You know, the one they screwed up because their head hurts this morning.

2. DON'T hide your drinking. It can be tempting to help out the caffeine-quitting coworker by keeping our own coffee consumption on the down low. But you don't need to hide your coffee drinking. Go on your coffee run, bring back that Venti latte. You do you, boo. This was your coworker's decision.

3. DON'T take their bad moods personally. Caffeine deprivation is making this coworker cranky. Don't take it personally. This too shall pass. Two weeks from now...

4. DO adjust your routine. What if this coworker was your coffee drinking buddy at work? The one who went with you on the coffee run? You might feel like you've just lost a work friend. Look for new ways to connect with this coworker. Maybe you can go out for an organic salad instead?

5. DO expect the work to get done correctly. This coworker could feel mentally and physically sluggish for days, and find it hard to concentrate. Bottom line: mistakes could happen with the work. Alert this coworker to their mistakes, and expect that they will be corrected. They will be, because this coworker is a cool person when she is not quitting coffee.

People who quit coffee claim it takes about about five days before the cloud lifts and they begin to feel more alive, and productive. Sure. We just won't talk about the last five days at work.


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