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making tea at work

(71 Posts)
blackmonday Wed 12-May-10 20:16:03

i started a new job about 6 months ago working in an office where i am on a lower grade than the 3 other women who work there but do not work for them. (public sector). it was going ok and i make my fair share of tea and coffee along with everyone else. just lately one of my higher grade colleagues has taken to asking me on a regular basis 'do you fancy making a tea?'. I am getting really angry about it. Just because i am on a lower grade is it my duty to make her tea? she hardly ever makes one. I have made it clear i'm unhappy but still get up and make it. It's really starting to get to me. I am not an office junior and more than capable of doing same/similar jobs to them, just find my grading suitable as i have young children at home. Job is fine apart from this. AIBU to object to making the tea? what would you do?

scurryfunge Wed 12-May-10 20:18:07

If it's not part of your job, don't do it, or do it as part of a fair rota. It's a form of bullying. Speak to your line manager.

thisisyesterday Wed 12-May-10 20:18:24

i would just say "nah... but if you're making one i;ll have one"

if you keep doing it she;ll keep asking you

cupcakesandbunting Wed 12-May-10 20:19:16

Then don't get up and make one. Rod for your own back, OP.

Next time she asks politely say "well actually, I don't want a cup of tea at this minute. If you want one feel free to stick the kettle on!" Make a joke out of it, but a joke that tells her what's what.

LittleSilver Wed 12-May-10 20:20:03

Nip it in the bud OP

pickledmonkey Wed 12-May-10 20:20:30

i hate this, i hardly ever offer - only because i know i'd get it wrong or fall over with a tray full etc. so i only offer when there's one or two people around - very bad. though i spent years as an office junior making more than a lifetimes.

i would never ask some else to make it though! maybe make really bad tea for a while for her

saslou Wed 12-May-10 20:22:26

People will treat you the way you allow yourself to be treated. If you don't want to make tea, then STOP doing it. thisisyesterday has suggested a good response or you can tell your colleague that you are busy/not the office junior. If you let people take the piss, they will

isthatporridgeinyourzone Wed 12-May-10 20:22:32

Do what I did when I was the most junior person in the office and had to make tea every fucking time. Spit in it.

blackmonday Wed 12-May-10 20:23:43

thanks for that. part of me feels I should make her tea as i am the newest member of the team and the other 3 have been there for years but it is really getting me down and making me feel quite crap tbh.

scurryfunge Wed 12-May-10 20:25:20

Just because you are in a new position shouldn't mean you don't deserve dignity and respect at work.

Boobaddum Wed 12-May-10 20:25:40

No it is not - she is not your supervisor and I have never been asked to make tea/coffee for anyone in the 10 years that I have worked for my local LA.

Can you get in there first and ask her if she fancies making the tea?

larks35 Wed 12-May-10 20:25:54

YANBU, my immediate line manager makes more tea/coffee than any of us mineons! I think it is actually an important managerial role - make tea for your workers, keep 'em comfortable, keep 'em happy!

As to what I would do, well if she is just a higher grade colleague, I would make my own tea when I wanted it, offer tea to others when I can be bothered and say a flat "you're joking, right?" if asked to make it.

If she's a higher grade line manager, then I would ask for a private talk and say that you feel you're being demeaned by her always asking you to make tea, explain that you are happy to make tea for everyone but that your job description does not state that it is a duty.

I'm kind of hoping that she is just a colleague and that you can in a more tactful way tell her to eff right off.

bran Wed 12-May-10 20:26:14

Why do you make it? Don't get yourself all wound up about it, just offer tea when you fancy having one yourself. She'll stop asking if you don't jump to it when she does.

cupcakesandbunting Wed 12-May-10 20:26:31

No you shouldn't make tea because you're the newest member. If you allow it to continue you will be sending out a message to these hags women that you are their subordinate and you are there to run their errands, which you are not.

In fact, why not ask her if she fancies making a cup of tea BEFORE she asks you? What's good for the goose...

expatinscotland Wed 12-May-10 20:27:17

'Do you fancy making a tea?'

'No, actually.'

And that's it.

Get your own travel kettle or bring a flask.

flowerybeanbag Wed 12-May-10 20:28:02

Say 'I think it's probably your turn actually, I'm sure I did it last time.'

Just because you happen to be on a lower grade doesn't mean you should make everyone's tea, you should take it in turns as people usually do, so you need to stand up for yourself a little bit.

MaisietheMorningsideCat Wed 12-May-10 20:29:06

I've worked for the NHS for almost 20 years and I've never, ever asked anyone to make me a cup of tea. Unless she somehow thinks you have a shared joke, you really have to say "no" - as in "do you fancy making a tea"? "no".

blackmonday Wed 12-May-10 20:30:51

oooh, some good advice on here. looking forward to her asking me tomorrow! i suppose i'm a bit of a 'people pleaser' and don't like confrontation. the 3 women in the office are a bunch of witches and completely lay into eachother when one goes out. Not a great environment to work in but hours suit and job ok, apart from the tea!!

AMumInScotland Wed 12-May-10 20:31:57

She probably doesn't even realise that you feel "put down" by it - the way you say she words it "do you fancy...?" makes it sound like she only means it as a suggestion, not an order. (Unless she's like this towards you in other ways too of course!)

Just say "No thanks" or "I'm in the middle of something just now" and don't do it. You might think you've made it clear you don't want to, but if you still get up and do it then she may not be aware that it's a problem. Then she will either stop asking (so often at least) or else will say "I'm a higher grade, you have to do it!" at which point you can ask your line manager whether he/she thinks its part of your job or not.

withorwithoutyou Wed 12-May-10 20:32:41

I had a line manager who used to do this.

I would pretend I thought she'd said "do you fancy a cup of tea" and would say "yes please, here's my cup".

She soon desisted grin

elvislives Wed 12-May-10 20:32:55

Just say no. What is your set up? Do you have a tea club? Do you take in your own supplies and just get hot water?

I work in the public sector and have worked in 3 different offices in the past few years. In two everyone just got their own. In the other anyone going out to get water would just automatically ask if anyone else wanted some. No one person or one grade was any more responsible for it than anyone else.

Next time she asks, just say "no I'm ok at the moment". Then get some later. Or ask her later.

expatinscotland Wed 12-May-10 20:33:00

then just keep it short and sweet.

'do you fancy making a tea?'

'no, really.'

then turn round and start working again.

no discussion.

flowerybeanbag Wed 12-May-10 20:34:05

I use 'do you fancy' in the middle of the night to DH when DS2 needs his dummy or something.


MaisietheMorningsideCat Wed 12-May-10 20:34:16

Or - take in some in a flask. When she says "do you fancy making a tea" you say, "I already have - pour some out - and it's lovely, thanks" A few contented slurps, a dunk of a biscuit, slouch back in your chair, feet up on the desk, flick through a magazine - and enjoy the faces from the witches that look like this shock


Magaly Wed 12-May-10 20:34:33

I agree with this is yesterday. a cheery "nah, but if you're making tea I'll have one' is perfect. non confrontational. gets the message across. I used to work in a team where a middle-aged man thought that any female should make him tea. I was only 23 and although i didn't spit in it, I used to not bother to let the kettle finish boiling so that it was luke warm and really milky...

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