Fact Check

Urine in Coffee Pot

A vengeful co-worker made it his practice to urinate into the office coffee pot.

Published Dec 31, 1998


Claim:   A vengeful co-worker made it his practice to urinate into the office coffee pot.

Status:   True.

Origins:   Everyone's heard "friend-of-a-friend" stories about vengeful pizza guys masturbating onto your medium combination, sworn enemies pissing in each other's beer and irate butchers whacking off into the ground round. We've long been fascinated by the idea of using bodily fluids in something ingestible as a means of revenge.

As common as these tales are, they're often damnably hard to get to the bottom of. Here's a documented prime example of this type of story, from 1994:

The coffee just didn't taste right, so workers at Wire Rope of America in St. Joseph, Missouri, set up a hidden camera to find out why. What they found was a co-worker using the coffee pot as a urinal. The man, who was said to be feuding with other workers, was fired, but a company official declined to say if the dismissal was related to the coffee pot incident.

Not only was Milton Ross fired, he was also charged with assault. A videotape of his improving the coffee somehow found its way to a local TV station and was subsequently aired.

In 2005 this same scenario played out again as United States Postal Service workers in Akron, Ohio, suspected Thomas Shaheen, a 49-year-old USPS vehicle mechanic, of having poured urine into a break room coffee pot on at least two occasions in July 2005. Employees set up a video camera to catch him in the act, and on 5 August 2005 Shaheen was charged with two misdemeanor counts of adulteration of food or placing harmful objects in food and ordered to appear in Akron Municipal Court.

Barbara "pissed off" Mikkelson

Last updated:   25 August 2005

  Sources Sources:

    Creamer, Anita.   "Brewing Up a Twisted Revenge."

    Sacramento Bee.   30 July 1994   (p. SC1).

    Associated Press.   "Postal Worker Charged in Coffee Urine Case."

    The Washington Post.   25 August 2005.

    The [Memphis] Commercial Appeal.   "This Workplace No Kaffeeklatsch."

    26 July 1994   (p. A2).

    The Toronto Star.   "Workers Got a Little Extra in Their Coffee."

    26 July 1994   (p. A14).