Thursday: What Am I Doing Here ?


They say that service will keep you sober. The first thing we learn how to do when we come in the rooms, is how to set up chairs and tables. (And lights on Friday night).

The second thing they give you is a coffee urn and they say, “Make the coffee.”

Why do we have to make coffee ??? Well, the coffee job, is the most important job you will ever have in a meeting. Setter Uppers are there first. The room is void of furniture and life, and it is your job, to bring life to a particular room and space.

Coffee is the most THANKLESS JOB you will ever have. And I’ve seen some men in my time, cop major resentments and go back out and drink, because they believe that they are owed more than they need.

Really !!

Making coffee brings you into direct contact with every human being who walks through that door. Because the first thing they ask you is … “Is the coffee ready ???”

Some people appreciate a good cup of coffee, then there are those who’s only job in life is to complain about the urn of coffee you spent fifteen minutes setting up for them, and half an hour waiting for it to perk …

You Miserable Bastards …

I’ve been making coffee for more than fifteen years. And tonight’s speaker, a very good friend of the Thursday meeting spoke. At twenty six years sober, he does service at the Five O’ Clock Shadows meeting here in town.

Often, that little voice in his head speaks to him in the quiet of an empty room,

“What are you doing here ?”

We usually ignore that question. Because we all know why we are in a particular room, and why we are making coffee.

You never know what conversation will open up, over a good cup of Joe …

That is why we stress Twenty minutes before and Twenty minutes after.

It usually goes, if you make the coffee – you will probably end up cleaning that urn after your meeting. The Prime time to score a newbie is before or after a particular meeting.

Newbies don’t get why we ask them to get IN THE GAME from the very start.

If they have a job, they will be accountable and show up. (for the most part).

Making coffee is a very personal job for many. Because we are providing a specific service to our men and women. They get an earthen ware mug, and not just a Styrofoam cup, in many meetings. We actually provide earthen ware mugs.

We get to meet everyone who comes in a room on any given night. And we get to make someones day or night, just by our presence.

And Presence is the greatest gift we can give each other.

I heard a quote my friend spoke to me a while back.

When he was new, there was a meeting in lower downtown, on the railroad tracks that run through the city core. That meeting was populated strictly by Big Burly Bikers.

My friend walked into that meeting and began his journey with us, a LONG time ago.

Yes, he made coffee then too.

He didn’t know jack about God. Or prayer. And he said this to one of the burly biker guys.

It went like this … “I’m not quite sure about God, and I don’t know how to pray. Or who to pray to. And our Biker Guy replied … Well if you can’t pray to God, then Pray to the Wall in your house.”

And that is exactly what he did that night after the meeting.

My friend is still sober. He still makes coffee. The difference today ?

He knows who God is …

Twenty six years later, my friend is a LONG sober member.

And we keep it simple.

Chairs, Tables, Coffee, Conversation.

Tomorrow is Friday. The Best Night of the Week.

Memories from a Time Gone By picks up on Saturday, with Day Five …

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