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to hate setting up teas/coffees as part of my PA role?

(197 Posts)
Bumblequeen Thu 10-Feb-11 12:36:37

Work as a Senior PA in London, earning a good salary. However I really do not like having set out teas and coffees for the Directors external guests. He has at least one per day.

As a general rule I DO NOT make refreshments for the Director as it is not required as part of my role. I have never offered as I did not want to make a rod for my own back.

My colleagues on the other hand do not seem to mind making teas for the team whereas I avoid it at all costs. You can guarantee that on the hour someone will jump up and ask "anyone for coffee?" They then spend 30 minutes hanging around the kettle!

Whenever I see meetings with external persons in his calendar I sigh.

Apologies if I come across as snobby as that is not the case. I have worked in all kinds of roles since the age of 16.

Anyone else who struggles in this area?

VenusRising Thu 15-Nov-12 23:58:12

I started my own company and hired women Bubbly.
I used to work in an engineeringish field, but moved laterally to suit myself.

Bubblyjubblymummy Thu 25-Oct-12 11:43:01

VenusRising, what a fab name! Not being funny but how can you work in a female only enviornment?? I've been there, it was like being in a real ife adaptation of Rosemary's Baby.
Btw, love the tea made with cold water..very good!

Jux Thu 25-Oct-12 08:01:03

I didn't mind really.

The way I saw it was that my boss cost 300 quid an hour and I cost, well, a lot less. One of us was going to make the coffee and it would be silly for someone costing 300 quid an hour to spend time that way. Sometimes my boss did do it, but generally not.

VenusRising Thu 25-Oct-12 00:02:22

I hate making tea and coffees for people as I have excema on my hands and I blister with the heat of the mugs - I like to keep my hands as dry and cool as I can.

I did work as the only female on a peer team once and I made a point of just making my own as the lazy sexist gits would sit around and wait for me to be "mother". I once made a pot of tea for them with cold water. They shifted their own lazy bums to make their own drinks after that. The sexism still rankles.

I prefer to work with women now, and we all ask if someone wants a coffee, if we are making one ourselves, but noone takes the piss, and uses it as a tool of subservience.

FreudiansGoldSlipper Wed 24-Oct-12 23:59:41

I only did this on a few occasions when some one who was very senior usually older came in and also for wanker director from the states

Why should I make tea it is not part or should not be part of a pa's job it is so old fashioned ot have a pa fussying about like a tea lady

I am no longer a pa smile

lucyellenmum Wed 24-Oct-12 23:53:55

This is why i wouldn't be a PA. Not that im choosy like, but i do have a PhD, im struggling to find work but i just coudnt do that job. Don't get me wrong, im not fussy, im doing a cleaning job just now for minimum wage, i actually really enjoy it, but i don't have to cow tow to anyone.

As for the person who thought it was professional to do the high heels and seemed stockings to get ahead professionally? This is a zombie thread from this year, not 1950!

Bubblyjubblymummy Wed 24-Oct-12 23:46:51

Larks35, I know that of course there is much more to the role of PA than just a pretty frock, contrary to what some people may think, I do have a brain which I do like to use!
I can also offer resourceful, organised, calm in a crisis (well with me it's more of a zoning out).
Well, that's it..thank you and goodnight!

larks35 Wed 24-Oct-12 22:45:41

Bubbly "I was actually looking for people who work as a PA because It's something I'd like to do, it pays good money and I love working in plush offices in a sexy shift "

I'm pretty sure there is more to being a PA than wearing a shift dress and making a decent coffee. What else do you think you could offer? A friend of mine is a PA and making coffee (she makes me a fine one at home) and wearing shift dresses aren't in her job description.

Bubblyjubblymummy Wed 24-Oct-12 22:34:33

Don't mean to wake up the zombie thread..but there is nothing like a lovely fresh filter coffee!

Joiningthegang Mon 22-Oct-12 17:04:36

You sound insecure to me - like you arent confident that people recognise your abilities and if you make tea it wont look good. I hope you dont accept hot drinks from others if you arent prepared to do your fair share.

Surely working together is exactly that, not avoiding jobs you feel are too menial for your status.

Adversecamber Mon 22-Oct-12 16:54:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TalkinPeace2 Mon 22-Oct-12 15:56:21

The FUN bit of doing that job is the amount you can overhear ....

clusters of people from the visiting company will carry on the MOST CONFIDENTIAL conversation in front to the lady handing out coffees, forgetting that she might just have a brain.

I've had a splendid time then passing notes to members of my team that swung the meeting in unexpected directions.

That and one particular gang (who I knew to be sexist old gits) got the high heels, seamed tights treatment and told me LOTS of things they came to regret.

catgirl1976 Mon 22-Oct-12 14:32:49

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh it's a zombie

Ih well

catgirl1976 Mon 22-Oct-12 14:32:15

My PA makes my tea and coffee

I am not "too important" to do it, I am too bloody busy

KellyElly Mon 22-Oct-12 14:27:24

I'm a PA and I've never had to do this. I have always worked for companies where I had a much more involved role - desk top publishing/editing/writing/membership etc and have usually had Admin Assistants below me to do this if necessary. Never really had to do dry cleaning either. When I was temping I did get asked to go to New Bond Street to get valentines presents for the directors wives - that was actually quite fun smile

MardyBra Mon 22-Oct-12 14:20:26


<mutters: why do people do this?>

GooseyLoosey Mon 22-Oct-12 14:18:47

I am a fairly senior lawyer but if I was with a senior partner in a meeting, I would ensure that I offered and poured the coffee and arranged for it to be there and filled it up if I needed to. I would also get up and do the photocopying and anything else that was required. The client is there to see him and I am there to support him. That is my role in that meeting.

Likewise, if I was in a meeting with junior collegues, I would expect them to do the same.

If I asked my secretary to support me and she refused, I would not be happy.

Bubblyjubblymummy Mon 22-Oct-12 14:12:21

Wow..what an old but interesting thread, I got eyeache reading most of them! I have to say I don't mind making the tea/coffee/wine whatever, I make damn good coffee too.
I was actually looking for people who work as a PA because It's something I'd like to do, it pays good money and I love working in plush offices in a sexy shift

Monty27 Fri 22-Jul-11 10:29:21

I agree you should do what you're paid to do. As I say if you've accepted a job where teamaking etc is part of the role then you should do it, and with good grace. If its not specified as part of the role though I think a bit of give and take wouldn't hurt.

catgirl1976 Mon 18-Jul-11 16:52:47

No profit in it smile So it's not encouraged no........

MirandaGoshawk Sun 17-Jul-11 21:45:02

shock Human kindness not allowed?

aquos Fri 15-Jul-11 18:25:12

I haven't worked in the PA/secretary role for about 10 years.

The last post I had was supporting a team of 3 directors. All men, all well over 50. I did find the refreshment thing demeaning. Struggling into the boardroom with china, hot water, juice and biscuits. Trying to knock the door, open it and not drop the tray, all the time being ignored.

We had a new man join the director team, in his 40s. I was having a fraught day a few weeks after he'd joined the team. He spotted I was stressed and made me a cup of tea. He was called into one of the other directors offices and I overheard him being informed that " we don't make drinks here for the junior staff".

I left shortly after.

catgirl1976 Fri 15-Jul-11 18:11:11

Well sadly at work I don't have time to "be a team player", nor am I paid to be one. Outside of work I will do anything for anyone, happy to buy the drinks, happy to make tea, coffee, scrub the loo or take out the bins.

At work - I do what they pay me to do and would get extremely short shrift if I was found hanging out in the tea room waiting for a kettle to boil.

MirandaGoshawk Fri 15-Jul-11 18:10:35

Agree with catgirl. The boss is paid more to do important stuff and the PA's job is to support him/her. That means making tea/coffee with a smile. After all, the PA is paid the same if she's daydreaming at the kettle or taking notes/whatever, so what's the problem?

Looking after your boss/another human being is rather nice, anyway. I enjoy making coffee for my mum on the rare occasions that I see her, for example. It's sad when people view it as demeaning.

michglas Fri 15-Jul-11 18:04:00

You don't sound like you're much of a team player, and perhaps should come down off your high horse a little

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