I work for one of those companies that still employs a tea lady. Apart from the fact that she’s an evil old hag who probably urinates in the coffee urn when we aren’t looking, she’s really lovely. The trouble is that she takes her job a little too seriously.
I wasn’t privy to the discussions that took place when she was first employed, but I can’t help wondering how strongly the branch manager stressed that she was to “keep the kettle filled”, because this is exactly what she does – with a single-mindedness that would be admirable if it wasn’t so damned annoying.
It takes the (urine-filled) urn a while to boil, so those of us who arrive early have to rely on the kettle for our morning beverage. So far, so good. However, she also arrives early, so as soon as it has boiled and anyone pours out so much as a drop, she lunges for it like a trapdoor spider and scuttles off to the sink to fill it up again. You have to be prepared to wrestle it from her grasp+ if you’re second in line and aren’t interested in waiting for the topped-up kettle to re-boil. It’s either that, or make do with lukewarm coffee.
Not the best way to start the morning.
+ and let me tell you, wizened crones can be deceptively strong