Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Small Change

We had a presence at a local festival last weekend, raising our profile and [hopefully] a bit of cash. This meant collecting tins a-plenty, including two at Starbucks, soliciting donations with a tasting of some coffee-based milky sweet concoction, possibly a white chocolate mocha. Unlike last time, no-one stole the tin.Fast forward two days to Monday afternoon, and I had collected the two tins ready to count. Not very full, but not bad for one day.

Open tin one... pop! open tin two... pop... hmmm
Hey, you can tell this one's been in Starbucks... it smells of coffee!"
And indeed it did. On tipping out the fragrant tin we found a muddy, sticky, not-quite-coffee-colour liquid over most of the coins, and now on the desk. a mix of milk, 2-day-old coffee, syrup and whatever dirt had been coating the coins. Quite how it got there I don't know. Maybe someone had mistaken the tin for a slop bucket. As you do.

It wasn't nice, and was almost impossible to remove from a hundred or so coins by just blotting them. I ended up washing the coins in the kitchen, much to the confusion of others, and resulting in a lamentable joke about money laundering for which I should be shot. Still, I'm chalking it up as #132 on the list of things I didn't ever imagine myself doing when I took this job.

One further point: When helping your colleague to count the contents of a tin, it's plain not nice to speculate on 'which orifices these coins might have been in' or to mutter something about the amount of 'faecal matter' found on the average coin.

Now wash your hands.

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