I received an email invitation to an early morning meeting in which one of the other attendees was from out of town. When he finally arrived on the appointed day, he remarked he had not had any time to procure coffee at the hotel. Worse, he had just passed by our office coffee machine on the way into the meeting and there was no coffee available. He appeared to be in desperate need of his morning caffeine fix if we expected him to be functioning in the meeting.
The fellow leading the meeting turned to me (the only woman in attendance in the midst of a whole conference room full of men) and asked if I could go make coffee. I replied I would be glad to make the coffee, but if I did I would highly recommend no one drink it after I made it.
The meeting coordinator looked at me sort of funny and asked why not. I told him I did not drink coffee since my mother had never permitted the children in our family to have coffee as youngsters. She was convinced coffee would stunt our growth if we drank it, so I did not develop a taste for it (nor can I even tolerate the smell of coffee), ergo I have never made a pot of coffee.
And then I proceeded to ask when I do go to make the coffee if I should put in the creamer or coffee first in the pot and then the water or vice versa. Slightly baffled by the turn of events and a little perplexed, the leader of the meeting just then spotted the office assistant in the far corner of the conference room handing out photocopies of the agenda and he asked her to please make the coffee.
And thus a little humorous intervention on my part turned a potentially awkward and embarrassing situation into a negligible blip on the radar screen. No harm, no foul.