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AIBU to not make the builder a cup of tea?

(84 Posts)
Alwayssunny Sat 05-Mar-16 08:29:43

So what are the collective thoughts on making tea for people working within your home?

We are renovating our house and have had a constant stream of workmen for weeks and weeks.

I have put a kettle in the garage for them and some mugs etc and mostly they have got into the habit of using it but occasionally we have someone in who is new or is the only workmen in and I end up feeling obliged to make then a cuppa when I have one.

On the days I work from home I do drink ALOT of tea but on Friday there was one carpenter working in the kitchen and every time I made a cuppa I felt obliged to offer him one (which he accepted)

This morning two blokes have arrived with diggers to do the garden and I opened the back door to have a chat about their plans and one looked beyond me and said 'is that a kettle in there I can see? We'd love a cuppa before we start'.

I just thought he was a proper cheeky fucker but am I just being mean and making a cup of tea is a small thing to do really in the grand scheme?

Am stood waiting the the kettle to boil!

KittyOShea Sat 05-Mar-16 08:32:57

I would always offer- I like a cuppa during my working day so I assume everyone else does too.

MillionToOneChances Sat 05-Mar-16 08:34:34

Just direct them to the kettle, mugs, tea, coffee and biscuits you've left for them in the garage.

RubyRoseViolet Sat 05-Mar-16 08:35:09

Obviously it's nice to offer and so always do but I can see how it could become a full time job if you have lots of people working in the house. In that case I'd definitely point them towards the kettle in the garage. Well, I'd make the first cup and then let them get on with it I think.

TeaBelle Sat 05-Mar-16 08:36:02

YABU I think. I always get loads of tea and coffee in before we have work done plus packs of biscuits. Good trades people are invaluable plus I think it's quite rude to have a drink without offering others

rumbleinthrjungle Sat 05-Mar-16 08:36:32

I always offer. But the one who got a foot through the door, looked me in the eye and said 'is that the kettle I can hear' in the tone you'd ask a two year old who has lovely green boots on, got a hard stare and a frosty 'no, you must be imagining it'.


Tif it has only ever been the one like that.

PurpleCrazyHorse Sat 05-Mar-16 08:36:41

I think I'd make them the first one, then direct them to the garage for refills. I ended up making teas all week for our carpenter, but I thought it was fine as he was doing a really good job (I even made cookies for him).

bearleftmonkeyright Sat 05-Mar-16 08:36:42

brew. Put the kettle on. My DP is an electrician and is really grateful for a cup of tea. Think of it as a win win situation as you will have much happier motivated builders.

Alwayssunny Sat 05-Mar-16 08:37:08

I do that when there are loads in million. It it feels odd if just one or two and in the same room as my kettle if I send them out but then make myself one!

Argh I'm over thinking it!

It's tea gate!

insancerre Sat 05-Mar-16 08:37:46

I always make them a cuppa and offer biscuits
I don't want them doing a gash job because I was mean with the rich tea

Alwayssunny Sat 05-Mar-16 08:37:54

And as for this mornings pair- they could have waited to be asked surely (and actually done some work first!)

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Sat 05-Mar-16 08:39:51

I'd just wave vaguely at the kettle and tell them to help themselves.

MiaowTheCat Sat 05-Mar-16 08:40:53

I don't drink tonnes of hot drinks but tend to offer if I'm making one myself and tell them to yell at me if they want one and I haven't offered as I'm crap on that front. If they do the passive-aggressive oooh is that the kettle routine though that would piss me off.

Our current builder hasn't bothered though - but he lives next door and has had his missus primed to pass cuppas over the garden fence pretty regularly!

Actually I tell a minor fib - at the start of our current work (kitchen refit) I did tell them I'd make them a cuppa but I could only make two at a time as I'd packed all the other mugs away until the cupboards were built!

defineme Sat 05-Mar-16 08:41:08

It is polite to...but if they are there for a long time then direct them to the garage kettle. I wouldn't find that cheeky either. I do think tea offering is a cultural norm in this country and that's nice. You were talking anyway so you had time. I would always offer on greeting and then say you're very busy with work so there's the kettle for future tea.

Alwayssunny Sat 05-Mar-16 08:41:21

I always happily make tea and offer a biscuit if I have people coming in to do a job as a rule.

But this is at least nine months and loads of them.

The main ones are happy with the stuff in garage as they eat their lunch there etc and most days I'm not in anyway.

It is the situations when I am in and working.

Making an extra few cups of tea (plus some with milk some with sugar some want coffee etc then wash all the mugs) actually feels like a disruption to my work rather than getting myself a quick green tea then back to the puter

Alwayssunny Sat 05-Mar-16 08:42:18

But define me if I then walk past them to make myself another one it feels incredibly rude not to do the whole round again!

claraschu Sat 05-Mar-16 08:43:38

A lovely English tradition- one of your country's many good qualities.

When I was back in the US for a year (I'm American) I missed being able to offer cups of tea. The workmen would have thought I was insane, and backed away slowly.

Hulababy Sat 05-Mar-16 08:46:18

Most of the time during our build the workmen were there when I wasn't. The project manager had a key and let them in and out.

We did leave a kettle, mugs, tea and coffee, milk and biscuits. Some brought their own flasks too. They used them and washed them too.

Sometimes they were there when if it home and if I was making myself a drink I offered, but sometimes after work I just needed to get in and do some more work at home so didn't.

So, I provide stuff to make their own. If I'm making myself a drink I will offer. Else I leave them to it.

LifeHuh Sat 05-Mar-16 08:48:15

I would make tea making facilities available and direct them there, if it was multiple workmen and for a while.But if it was one for a day I'd offer - like for the man from British Gas when out boiler repair took way over the expected time!
But thinking about it,I think the whole situation is a bit weird: why is the assumption you,the client,will sort for them? My clients don't make tea for me at work! My colleagues do,but you don't get workmen offering to make tea for everyone,do you?And if I am going somewhere tea may not be available I take a flask....
Hmmm,feel a touch of the 'gender stereotypes' coming on grin

Cabrinha Sat 05-Mar-16 08:48:29

I don't think it's cheeky at all to say "is that a kettle, we'd love a cuppa!".

It polite friendly banter - though with a genuine and not unreasonable request. It's a cultural thing in this country to offer tea to guests and that includes workmen.

It makes the world a happy place! Such a small easy nice thing to do.

I also work from home some days and sticking a kettle on 4x a day is hardly onerous - I don't even drink it!

But it's fine to make one and then say "I've got a busy one today - I'll leave the stuff out, can you help yourself for any more cups?"

Hulababy Sat 05-Mar-16 08:48:53

I also think it's different if it a small job with only one or two people in for a day or so.

But when it's a longer job and they are here weeks and months then they need to make their own.

Jesabel Sat 05-Mar-16 08:50:03

Surely it doesn't take any extra time to make 3 cups of tea if you are making 1 anyway?

So not sure why you are against it confused

ScoutsMam Sat 05-Mar-16 08:53:06

I don't want them doing a gash job because I was mean with the rich tea

Rich tea?! <faints> I can't do a job on rich tea! wink Custard creams are what you need! Tesco value are fine though.

I'd never ask for a cuppa before starting a job. You've got to put a good two hours in first. I love it being made for me but being pointed to a kettle is a-okay.

Roussette Sat 05-Mar-16 08:54:00

My NDN had an extension done. Lots of workmen etc.

Every single morning she made tea/coffee and bacon baps. For all of them.


I always make tea/coffee or like you, would leave stuff in the garage

mincepieprivateeye Sat 05-Mar-16 08:58:21

I always ask anyone doing work in my home if they'd like a drink and offer biscuits too. We had the some outside work done last year and left the garage open so the had use of power sockets. They had a kettle and mugs etc and I put a packet of kit kats or similar before I went to work.

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