Related Posts with Thumbnails
The Book

Out now at Amazon | Waterstones

Middle Class Handbook on Twitter
Chattering Class

This week's fiddle-faddle

Babybel

Must be MC; they have a waxed jacket, says @heidistephens

Mini M&S 99p cheeses

Compelling

Personalised gifts

Always luggage, never towels. Distinction c/o @ohchrisburton

Cheese toasties

Need a more grown-up name, says @Gary_Bainbridge

America's "grilled cheese"

Not good enough. Implies there's no bread involved

Croque Anglaise

Possible winner from @Robins_Books

Supermarket pasta salads

Always, always rubbish

Andrex's "rollaphobia" campaign

No, we do NOT leave loads of rolls around the house!

Gladioli

Grand and colourful; very MC

Latest Comments
The Periodic Table of the Middle Class
This form does not yet contain any fields.
    « CHATTERING CLASS: THE WEEK, TORN AND DRESSED | Main | She Thinks/He Thinks #1: Biker Boots »
    Thursday
    Jan102013

    Office tea-round etiquette  

    It’s our national drink, and we are incredibly particular about how it’s made (even if it’s only a bloody tea bag) and yet we are awkwardly lacking when it comes to any firm rules about who to include in a communal cuppa.

    You’re in the office, you’re between tasks, a bit thirsty and looking for a 5 minute displacement activity. You want to reinforce your team-player credentials by offering to make tea for colleagues, but you don’t want to spend the next 15 minutes rinsing chipped promo mugs and remembering whose teabag was the rooibos. Call us the Debrett’s of the Middle Classes, but may we propose the following guidelines:

    1. Always offer to your nearest neighbour – you never know when you might need them to cover for you when you slip out for that clandestine job interview or spend the morning online trying to get tickets for the National. 
    2. Extending the invitation to your island of desks (six max) also shows team spirit. But if you don’t get a reply after the second ask, let it go. You don’t want to sound too needy.
    3. Still no takers? You could widen the circle to avoid the discomfort of a solo brew, but pressures of future reciprocation mean this could quickly spiral into 15-cup rounds. Avoid.
    4. Where geographic groupings are less meaningful than social groupings, save interdepartmental beverage-based fraternisation for when you have a tough problem to crack over the same computer screen, or you need a favour (someone to design your wedding invitations, sharing illegally-downloaded US TV series)
    5. Meetings: be wary of offering to make other people a cup if the number of participants is greater than 2 or 3. You don’t want people to think you’re the workie. (Note if it’s the kind of meeting where a subservient has already set out a pot of something, on no account use the phrase ‘I’ll be mum.’ Not even as an ice-breaker.)
    6. And finally, homeworkers: resist tweeting ‘just putting the kettle on, anyone fancy a brew?’ That joke’s over now.
     Flickr: Phil Wiffen

    Reader Comments (2)

    This is one of the main reasons I decided to set up my own business and work from home. Just thinking about it is bringing back my nervous indigestion.

    January 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSue G

    The protocol for joining the 'scone club' in our office is highly politicised. Then the risk of being sent to Coventry if you fail to pull your weight in bringing in scones. Brownie points for buying butter pats at Costa.

    January 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJ J Carter

    PostPost a New Comment

    Enter your information below to add a new comment.

    My response is on my own website »
    Author Email (optional):
    Author URL (optional):
    Post:
     
    Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>