Should I make the coffee? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Should I make the coffee?

by on
in Admin Pro Forum

Question: How do you feel about being asked or expected to make coffee in your office? If you are the first person to arrive at the office, do you take it upon yourself to make it? What if you are not a coffee drinker? Is it your duty/responsibility to brew up a fresh pot every day?  -- Anonymous, Los Angeles

Comments

Do you drink coffee? If you want coffee, make it. If you don't drink it or want it do NOT make it.

I told a boss I didn't drink coffee and would not make it. He begged me to make it only if they had visitors and I gave in to that but never did have to (which may be a good thing for everyone as I'm sure I'd be a bad coffee maker). :)

Making coffee for the office has never been an issue with me and I am not a coffee drinker. Why you ask? I prefer a calm environment and find that coffee drinkers are far more pleasant with a cup of coffee in their hand. Think about it. :-)

I will make coffee and have drinks ready if I am setting up for a board, general or conference meeting. Otherwise, since I do not drink coffee I do not make it. I know the ones who do drink coffee will take turns during the day to make coffee and who ever comes in first in the morning of the coffee drinkers will make a pot.

The first coffee drinker in the office (that hasn't brought his/her own cup) makes the coffee, mostly because he/she wants some. :-)

We have a fairly small office, so we share responsibilities, but there's always one or two people that ignore the golden coffee rule of "if you take it, you should make it."

I'm sure the duties are different in each office, but I have always felt that if you don't drink coffee, you shouldn't have to make it unless it's part of your job description.

I'm not a coffee drinker so I refuse to make coffee. Besides, I can't stomach the smell of it. I rectified the complainers by leasing a Keurig machine where it brews one cup at a time and there is never any waste.

When our office opens the first person to want coffe makes it. It has never been an issue, and then whom ever takes the last cup is to make another pot...if they don't it annoys the other coffe drinker and nobody want that. There is no rule, just manners. If we are having guests in our facility someone will be assigned that day to make the first pot.

I look at it this way... making the coffee is a nice things to do, it takes only a few minutes to complete and everyone is happy. I don't drink coffee but if it makes my co-workers and boss happy, I'll make it and then they think I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread! :) Don't sweat the small stuff.

I make one pot a day and that's it. If they want more they make it themselves or they go to Starbuck's. You can either make one pot or don't do anything and they will have to deal with it. I am the office manager and have a zillion other things to think about. You have to make the decision to please or not to please everyone.

I'm not a coffee drinker, but I have noticed that people who drink coffee are usually VERY nice people and enjoy a nice visit. So, the social benefit is a benefit to the company because it boosts morale for all. Who doesn't want people to smile? So, if it keeps people happy, it doesn't matter who makes it. What matters most is a happy work environment. After all, aren't most offices hoping that their staff with work as a team, even on occasions having to assist outside the scope of their "job description"? Simple acts of kindness go a long way in boosting the over all feeling you have about others around you and your job.

I'm in an office of coffee drinkers. I don't drink it myself. They normally bring their own in.

In the past, I made coffee while I was a night auditor for the security guards. Lo and behold, one of those security guards became my husband years later. He really appreciated that I made it for them.

I would do it for a boss that I really have a good relationship with.

Our office coffee is AWFUL. If the person who usually makes it first thing in the AM is sick or on vacation, I'll make one pot but then the coffee drinkers are on their own after that. If someone hints that the pot needs refilling, I show them where the materials are to do so. I can't believe they drink that swill. It tastes like dirty ashtrays. So I buy a latte around the corner from the office...

There are several employees I work with that drink coffee and we have never had any issues. In fact, we take turns buying the coffee, sugar, creamer, etc and take turns in making the morning coffee and cleaning up in the afternoon. It is just who "gets there first or sees that it needs to be done". I feel very fortunate to work with a team of "adults".

Good luck!

I work in an executive office where there are only three, the President, CEO, and me. Whoever is in the office first makes the first pot of coffee and we all make more during the morning as needed. I am a coffee drinker so maybe that makes a difference, but I have no problem making coffee for the office. I also make sure we have fresh coffee for meetings and guests. We have a pretty friendly comfortable atmosphere and it makes everyone happy to have the coffee ready when we need it.

I drink all my coffee before I come to work and I am the 1st in the office. I do not make the coffee. The choice is yours.

I guess if making coffee were the only issue she had, the person who posted the issue about the bully in the office would be loving her job!

We have a little coffee shop in our cafeteria so I don't have to make it, but if we are having a meeting with outside consultants coming in for the day, it doesn't bother me to make a pot of coffee even though I'm not a coffee drinker.
If I am going downstairs to get myself a cup of water I will offer to get my boss his cup of morning java. It's just a courtesy, he'd get me my cup of water if he was going downstairs first.

In our office, coffee is made by the first person that wants some in the morning. Since most of our support staff do not drink coffee, it is usually not a support person that does it. The people that work later share the responsibility of rinsing and shutting it off. People seem to be used to it so it isn't an issue.

I'm not a coffee drinker and never volunteer to start a pot. However, I would if asked.

I have a solution for all of you. Never make a pot of coffee at work again! Contact your local coffee vendor and ask about the Keurig system. Coffee is brewed by the cup from a single small enclosed pod which contains a filter and coffee. The K Cup is placed in the Keurig machine, it pierces the K-Cup, oxygen forces water through the K-Cup and dispenses into your personal cup. 20 varieties of coffee and numerous varieties of tea are available. We used to have the traditional coffee maker (by the pot) in our office. We love the new Keurig system. Everyone can brew whatever flavor of coffee or tea that they choose whenever they chose. No mess, no muss, no fuss. It is very economical as well. How many pots of coffee have you poured down the drain because it went stale? For more information about this amazing product, or to find out the nearest vendor in your area, visit www.coffeepause.com. Happy brewing!

We usually have the first person in the office make the coffee. I do not accept the "I don't drink coffee so I shouldn't make it" argument. Whomever is the first in also turns on the on-hold music. Should they not have to turn that system on simply because they don't listen to the on-hold music? The person also unlocks all the fireproof cabinets. Should they not have to do that because they never have to get into those cabinets? I think that argument is ridiculous. If it is the job of the first person arriving int he morning to do something, then it's their job regardless of whether they personally use the item in question.

I've always told them they'd never want to drink what I'd make and it seemed to work. I don't drink coffee and don't ever make it. It would be like drinking mud...they found someone else to make it. Much to everyones delight!

I try to look at the bigger picture. 10 years from now, it won't matter if you made a pot of coffee this morning or not. My office uses both regular coffee machines and Flavia Machines. The Flavia Machine sounds similar to the Keurig machine mentioned above. Multiple flavors and strengths of tea and coffee, even expresso. If anyone wants flavored coffee or tea, they make it by the cup. If they want regular ol java, they fill up their cup from the pot. If they notice coffee needs to be made, they make some.

We have 210+ employees currently. No one is assigned to make coffee. The first person who wants it, makes it. Most of the admin staff takes turn making sure that the coffee bars are stocked with everything, but again, no one is assigned for that either. If someone notices it needs to be done, they do it. Whether you are sweeping the floors, typing a report, making coffee, and handling your boss' mail all pays you the same hourly or salary wage that you negotiated.

The only time anyone is REQUIRED to make coffee is if it is in thier job description. If they don't want it in thier job description, at thier next reveiw, they need to negotiate for someone else to be assigned that duty.

Making the first pot of coffee has never bothered me, it is a courtesy that is easy to extend whether I am in the mood for coffee or not. However, I think the real issue here is pouring the last cup of coffee and then placing the coffee container back on the burner - empty for the next person to find when they want some! How rude! It only takes a second to get a new pot brewing when you take the last cup... :)

We have visitors on a daily basis starting early in the morning. So the first person in the office makes coffee every day not only for employees but for visitors as well. Then whomever takes the last cup makes a new pot. This helps everyone keep the "team effort" attitude and work together happily and smoothly. This has never been a problem for drinkers or non-drinkers. I certainly don't mind making coffee for fellow employees I work with on a daily basis. Why should it?

In our shared employee kitchen (which is used by 70 people), as a general rule, only those people who drink coffee are expected to brew it. I'm not a coffee drinker, so I don't have to make it.

However, there's an exception to this situation: I do make coffee in our "executive lounge" when my boss (President/CEO) has visitors. It's part of making our visitors welcome (offering coffee/water).

To me, the whole "coffee" issue is a hot button that harkens back to the days of the "personal secretary" (who picked up the boss's dry cleaning, shopped for gifts for the boss's spouse, etc.). These days, some people consider it an insult to be asked to make coffee, but I think that part of my job is to free my boss's time up from doing the more mundane tasks. I don't consider it an insult at all. (Sometimes, though, it depends on the attitude of the person who ASKS you to make coffee -- if they seem to think it's beneath them to make it, that can be very annoying. It all depends on how you are asked to do it!)

I neither drink nor make coffee. However, once in a great while my boss asks me to do it for his visitors, and I comply because he's a very good boss in all other respects.

As I read the different responses it seems making a pot of coffee is not a big deal. I am one of the first people to come in and upon putting my lunch in the fridge always make a pot if someone else hasn't beat me to it. It's just a courtesy that takes no time to extend. I would like to mention though, I worked for a company several years ago where
I just happened to be in the break room eating lunch with a couple female employees when one of the salesmen came in for a cup of
coffee. There was no fresh pot and he got very annoyed muttering under his breath. Someone said "stop complaining and just make a pot", his comment, "that's womens work". Needless to say other females were informed of this. He soon learned how to open the coffee bag, put the coffee in the paper filter and push the button to make a pot of coffee!

The first time I made (and by made, I mean "burned") a pot of coffee was the last time I was asked. You gotta be tricky sometimes. ;)

Unfortunately, a lot of administrative assistants, feel it is beneath them to make coffee. I think that goes back to the "olden" days when we were all secretaries and expected to do such things as making coffee. Today, with Women's Lib, many of you feel we are equal to men and want to get out of the "little woman" mode. Do youselves a favor - make the coffee (unless it literally makes you ill) and come across as a team player and someone who can be counted on, not the opposite. You will go further in your career.

Leave a Comment