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Office tea making etiquette

(83 Posts)
abbijay Wed 01-Nov-17 09:19:25

I am developing a special kind of rage for a colleague who has fairly recently joined my team about not getting involved in "brew rounds". I should, at this stage, probably point out I work in construction - tea is to builders what flour is to bakers - we don't function without it and it is a core value within any construction team. We have a nice kitchen in our office with unlimited tea and coffee so it's not like you have to pay for your drinks.
I've been here for a couple of years and if you want a drink you always offer those in your part of the office a drink too, maybe the nearest half a dozen people but not everyone will say yes every time. I probably end up drinking half a dozen cups a day and making one or 2 "rounds". (Water is an exception to this, you are "allowed" to get yourself a water without the need to offer - this is historical before my time and is openly discussed in the office).
When the "new boy" started he joined in with us, made brews and accepted our offers however over the course of 3 months he has changed his attitude (particularly following an unrelated boll0cking). Now if any of us offer a brew he declines!! But worse still once you return from the kitchen he will then toddle off on his own to make a drink just for him!! My inner builder finds this the HEIGHT of rudeness. And he, now, NEVER offers anyone else a drink.
I have taken to not very subtly hinting by making him a drink without asking or asking if I have missed out on a brew when he returns with his drink. Anyone else would have started getting back in on rounds by now but not "new boy".
This is starting to affect my working relationship with him and as his (non-supervisory) senior it should not be. Our boss is the same and it is driving us up the wall - as a team we have discussed it, as you do in office politics!
So who IBU? Me or "new boy"?

Lokisglowstickofdestiny Wed 01-Nov-17 09:23:00

Maybe he doesn't like way you make his tea. We have people in my office who don't join in the tea round, we know who they are, they don't get offered anymore and everyone just gets on with it. I couldn't be bothered to develop a rage about it to be honest.

superiorDoughnuts Wed 01-Nov-17 09:23:54

You are. Unreasonable as well as entirely unprofessional. Whether managing him or not, as someone senior, you need to get a grip.

He turns down offers so you have no reason whatsoever to be annoyed. It would be different if he were accepting teas but not reciprocating.

BeetrootTart Wed 01-Nov-17 09:25:05

YABU. I hate doing tea rounds so operate on the same principle. I don't want to make you tea and nor do I want you to make it for me.

treaclesoda Wed 01-Nov-17 09:25:06

If he's obliged to make tea for others, and accept others making tea for him, you'd better get HR to write it into his contract. Otherwise just leave him to get on with things.

treaclesoda Wed 01-Nov-17 09:25:31

Oh, hang on. Could this possibly be a reverse?

Ohdearducks Wed 01-Nov-17 09:26:41

Let him get his own tea ffs! He’s not making you get his and then not reciprocating is he? I could see your point if he was, he doesn’t want to be part of your tea making club and that’s fine you can’t force him and seriously need to let it go, what a ridiculous thing to get so wound up about it that affects your working relationship with him.

Ohdearducks Wed 01-Nov-17 09:29:04

Oh and herebrewbrewbrewbrew brew
This should keep you going for a while.

lalaloopyhead Wed 01-Nov-17 09:29:07

We have someone in the office who rarely makes a drink (think once a week if you're lucky) but takes 4 or 5 cuppas a day from whoever else is offering. That is annoying. If they got up and got their own I would think they were a bit odd but at least they have excluded themselves from the round entirely.

megletthesecond Wed 01-Nov-17 09:29:09

Luckily we stopped these at work a while ago. Some people made dreadful tea (teabag and milk in before water and left to 'brew for all of 20 seconds angry) and I'd end up not drinking their mug and being desperate for a proper drink but not being able to offer so soon after the last round.

MiniCooperLover Wed 01-Nov-17 09:29:46

Is tea the biggest thing you care about ?!? No wonder builders can have such a bad reputation as lazy arsed and always drinking tea! I don’t drink tea and used to still be expected to join in making it when I worked in an office and promptly told them if I wasn’t drinking it I definitely wasn’t bloody making it !!!

Onelastpage Wed 01-Nov-17 09:30:02

I can understand why this bugs you but YABU.

Also, if he is deliberately doing it to set himself a part then the best response is to act as if it’s had absolutely no impact on you. If he is ‘making a point’ then he’ll maybe realise how silly it all is. And if he isn’t then you’ll avoid seeming petty.

WipsGlitter Wed 01-Nov-17 09:30:33

You sound like a total asshat. Let him do what he wants.

I’m hoping this is a reverse...

PanPanPanPing Wed 01-Nov-17 09:32:59

I've never been involved in tea/coffee making rounds and I sincerely hope that I haven't caused any offence by (a) politely declining an offer of a cuppa and (b) making my own, when I'm ready for another cup.

He's decided to opt out, but you're just giving yourself the rage by making him a cup anyway!

KidLorneRoll Wed 01-Nov-17 09:34:47

I've recently moved to an office with brew rounds and it gets on my fucking tits. If I want a cup of tea I don't want to have to through a charade of "does anyone want any tea? Milk? Sugar" every sodding time. I just want to get a drink and carry on working without having to fanny about for 20 minutes.

thecatsthecats Wed 01-Nov-17 09:36:18

I gave up tea at work, partly because of the bloody rounds system, but partly because someone decided to 'test' how that I liked my tea how I said liked it, and kept making it different ways. Eff that.

I stick to tea at home, and as many as I like on my work from home day (made correctly!).

MrsKoala Wed 01-Nov-17 09:36:46

Yabu. It's different if he was accepting the drinks. I'd be making a complaint about you and your weird passive aggressive comments and unsolicited tea making.

Some people just like the way they make their tea, some people are a bit clumsy and dread carrying a try of teas, some people value the little break away from their work to focus and regroup (i used to do a yoga stretch and breathing exercise with my eyes closed while the kettle was boiling).

I think you need to get some perspective on this. Unless it's a reverse.

Moanyoldcow Wed 01-Nov-17 09:37:37


I hate all this enforced nonsense in offices.

It's very unprofessional to discuss it like it's a big deal - it's fucking TEA!

purplemunkey Wed 01-Nov-17 09:39:02

I avoid tea rounds too, and I don't accept offers from team members.

It hasn't caused any upset as far as I can tell but if they are secretly seething I don't really care TBH. I like making my own tea as a short break from work, I don't want to make six cups every time. I also don't want to feel like my round is due and pressured to go and make a load of drinks several times a day.


SilverSpot Wed 01-Nov-17 09:40:10

YAB very very U

Its a tea round. He isn't taking part. Get over it.

If he was accepting but not making that would be different, but he isn't.

PhilODox Wed 01-Nov-17 09:42:30

tea is to builders what flour is to bakers
Really? Is that why British buildings are all so crappily built then? They're using tea not concrete and brick?


VladmirsPoutine Wed 01-Nov-17 09:42:47

Yabu and sound like you need to unclench. Perhaps have a brew?

Many people can't make a decent cup of tea and I'd rather not part-take in tea-making rounds for all manner of reasons; not least because I can't be arsed to make 6 cups; this one wants 2 sugars, another wants it weak... but not too weak.

It's a fucking nightmare, and I'd also don't want the snotty woman who wipes her nose with her hand anywhere the kitchen. So I avoid all this by not taking part.

SpottedGingham Wed 01-Nov-17 09:42:47

I never got involved in tea “rounds”; didn’t accept nor offer but just got my own. Much easier. We had a free vending machine and it was annoying to have people say “I’m getting a lot so I’ll go first” 😤

Oddly enough, those on the regular tea runs were often those on under performance reviews.

DancesWithOtters Wed 01-Nov-17 09:43:10

God I hate tea rounds. I'd much rather just make my own and not have other people making it for me. I'm in a team of 12 and we all make our own.

LannieDuck Wed 01-Nov-17 09:43:41

YABU. If he accepted being included in other people's rounds and never reciprocated, that would be U. But he doesn't - he opts out entirely.

I have a lot of sympathy for him. The people at my new work do an informal version of this, and I've stayed well clear so far. I prefer to get my own:

i) I like the break from my computer
ii) I drink a huge amount of tea, so I would always be doing rounds if I got involved
iii) I find it hard to keep tea orders in my head, esp when I'm concentrating on something else work-related

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