Free Coffee to Anyone Who Reads This

Who needs a primer on how to improve readership to a blog? With this one simple statement, I expect an avalanche of readers.

One of my favorite mentors, Larry, turned me on to this trick many years ago. He related the toiling he did on his master’s thesis. Evidently these masterpieces of the written word are page after page of how to do something really great with the knowledge accumulated during the year or so of study.  Knowing Larry and that his masters is in Mechanical or Aerospace engineering, I’m sure it had something to do with the theory of quantum mechanics or physics or some other abstraction with more than ten syllables to its name.

Larry grew tired of writing this monstrosity over several weeks, if not months, and began to wonder if anyone would even read the thing. A committee of people in charge of granting his degree would review it. He wouldn’t be the only candidate, so he figured the chances of anyone reading the entire treatise was slim to none.

He inserted the following sentence into the middle of his paper: “Free beer to anyone who reads this.”

He bought two beers. And he received his degree.

A few years ago, I found myself in a somewhat similar situation. I conducted a weekly meeting with a whole bevy of people and issued an email shortly afterwards documenting the minutes to an even larger distribution. After a few meetings of noting no one was reading the minutes, evidenced by questions that could have been answered by the previous week’s email, I decided to pull a ‘Larry.’

In the middle of the email I wrote: “Free Coke to anyone who reads this.”

I bought two Cokes.

Only then did people read my email and wondered when I would throw out that phrase again. I never did.

(Aren’t people funny? Wanting to get a free soda that cost all of about fifty cents. I’m sure there’s a master’s thesis regarding that somewhere in the annals of the psychology schools.)

I’m serious about my offer a bit more obvious contained in the headline. I will purchase a free coffee to anyone who reads this and provides a comment to this article. There is a catch.

You won’t get the coffee, but a deserving armed forces soldier will. ‘Cup of Joe for a Joe’ is a great program run by the Green Beans Coffee Company. For as little as two dollars, they will provide a cup of coffee to a soldier serving overseas. Here’s a link to their website if you would like more information:

 I’ll donate up to sixty dollars for thirty soldiers if I get thirty comments from thirty individual readers.

Let’s have some fun. I’d love to hear about your thoughts and stories on STEMz and Roses. Thanks for reading!


About stemzandroses

I'm an engineer and writer with a built-in need to share my nearly 40 years of experience working in a male-dominated field with the rest of the world.
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11 Responses to Free Coffee to Anyone Who Reads This

  1. CE Jones says:

    I find your blog interesting. So, here’s one comment. I hope some soldiers get some great coffee!

  2. Vicki says:

    What a wonderful program. I read it twice. For an engineer, you write like a normal person.

  3. Katherine says:

    Clever! My sister in the Air Force has an excellent story about how Condi Rice broke her coffeemaker during her last deployment. (Sister’s deployment&coffeemaker–dang them possessive pronouns.) She’s in Afghanistan now (Mary–not Condi) and her coffee-swigging little self would be the biggest fan of this program. The blog is a treat in & of itself, however.

  4. Kim Curry says:

    I’ve got you RSSed on my iGoogle page. I don’t always have time to read every post, but I usually come back to catch up every few weeks or so. And as a USAF brat with a former Army sister, I’ll gladly comment to buy a soldier a coffee 🙂

  5. HM says:

    Over my 27 years, I have written more reports on the program than just about anyone. They are minutes, test reports, budget rationales, white papers, etc. The government contractually demands them, I get paid, the company makes a profit on them, so everyone is happy. I always wonder if anyone reads them. One day I was required to submit a variance/risk report on why a certain program was 50% underspent for the previous month and what I was going to do to make sure that did not happen again. I decided to skip the normal budgetary jargon and talk real life. I stated that the cause was the result of an employee’s two week vacation for his honeymoon and the likelihood of that happening again was low. On the other hand, since the honeymoon was the result of a new marriage, the probability that it might happen again was 50% in today’s society. I promised that the offending employee would receive counselling to minimize the risk of that occurring. Three months later an internal auditor caught it (after somehow being approved by three levels of management and then original analyst) and I had to rewrite the report.

    Enjoyed catching up on the latest month. HM

    • I’m with you, Howard. I’ve often wondered who reads all the stuff we put out, and then there is ‘Chuck’ who does catch it all. So I guess we are doing it for him! Thanks for the comment!

  6. Sheila says:

    My daughter and son-in law are in thr Army, and there is always a pot of coffee brewing, when we get together, (about twice a year).

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