The highs and lows of an office tea club

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Jaqui and that’s Jacqui, not Jackie and definitely not Jacky, is the real queen of the kitchen.  She used to be the PA to one of the Directors, but then her Director lost her job in the last restructure and Jacqui became part of the general admin team.  She has had a chip on her shoulder ever since.  Very efficient and effective when she wants to be she is also abominably obstructive and lazy when she doesn’t.

Jacqui has an annual temper tantrum about the state of the kitchen at least every 3 months.  And today is one of those days.  The eruption occurred early this morning, when she couldn’t find any room in the fridge for the pancakes for the lunchtime pancake race.  Her massive bosom heaved as she emptied the fridge of its contents, binning everything not in date, and she became increasingly red in the face as everyone fled the scene, suddenly needing a “nice coffee from the café”.

The email followed, as we all knew it would, berating everyone for being so disgusting as to leave mouldy food in the fridge, dirty tea-cups in the sink, and overflowing and unwashed recycling in the corner.   The fact that we all know she is right (we work for a healthcare organisation after all), and the kitchen is truly disgusting at times, doesn’t stop us grumbling about being told off.

Just who the hell does she think she is?

athenamat / Food Photos / CC BY-NC

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She who runs the tea club

Tea club 925 is operated by Jill; a well-dressed, glamorous granny with platinum blonde hair and a penchant for Debenham’s cruise wear.  She joined the organisation many years ago, and has survived countless reorganisations, mainly because no one is sure what she actually does.  What ever it is, she only does it on Wednesdays anyway as the rest of the week she is busy having lunch.

Kindly Jill, started work as a shorthand typist and isn’t keen on computers.  She has a basic grasp of word, as long as it doesn’t involve anything hard, like tables, and won’t touch excel.  This means that the tea club list, is carefully drawn with multi-coloured biro pens each month before being stuck up in the kitchen and covered in tippex.

Richard Cocks / Foter.com / CC BY

Fortunately Jill has mastered email, so long as someone else prepares the distribution list for her, and so having completed the herculean task of drawing up the month’s list, she is able to email her colleagues and ask for their subs.  Then she goes for lunch.

You may of course have spotted a tiny flaw in this system.  No sensible Tea-club would be run by someone who only works one day a week, and hasn’t got a clue who anyone in the office is anyway.  Nor will you be surprised to learn that Jill isn’t actually very good at collecting money.  Or buying tea.  Or coffee.  Or sugar…Oh you get the picture.

Nonetheless, the Tea club remains dear to Jill’s heart and she believes that this makes her important.  When new people are introduced to members of the team, most people say something like “I’m head of paperclips or widgets” or” I work for Bill who works for Ben” .  Not Jill. She proudly tells people that she runs the tea club.   Except that she doesn’t.  Jacqui does.

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Every well run office needs a well run Tea Club

Every Well Run Office Needs a Tea Club

It is truth universally acknowledged that no office can run without it’s tea club.  The real power lies with he or she who has control of the biscuit tin.  Consider for a moment; if you piss off your boss,

el patojo / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

you will probably be in the dog house door the rest of the day,
if you upset the Ayatollah in charge of the tea club you will pay the price for considerably longer.

This blog will track the ups and downs of  an everyday tea club in an office just like yours.  We will follow the power games, the takeover bids, acquisitions of premium coffee brands, and hostile raids on other departments when the milk runs out.

Meet the good, the bad and the downright mad.  They are all in Teaclub 925.