Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tea to the people

I have been working out of a large office near Winchester for a couple of months now. This particular office has negotiated a catering contract with a national organisation. They operate the canteen, vending machines and small retail outlets around the site. As we are situated in the middle of nowhere, with no nearby retail alternatives the catering company is effectively operating a cartel.

Although the building I work in has a rest area, it seems none of us can be trusted with a kettle. It is not as if the people working on this site lack the necessary intellect and motor skills to be able to operate such complex equipment. Many here have engineering & computer science degrees. Some of the leading inventions in IT have come out of this place, including the very first hard drive.

So for our own safety kettles are prohibited. The conspiracy theorists amongst the workers (and there are many) suspect this is a plot to maximise the market for the catering cartel and some have suggested their employer may be taking a cut.

Someone working here full time could easily spend over £1000 a year on tea and coffee alone and whilst I am only here a few days a week for about 6 months I do have some sympathy.

Imagine my admiration for the resoluteness of the workforce when I went into the rest area the other week and saw that someone had set up an ‘illicit independent tea enclave’ Someone had gone out and purchased two microwave kettles (we do have microwaves) a box of tea, milk & sugar and had put up a sign declaring an independent ‘Tea Coop’ and inviting people to make donations of needed commodities.

So now we are free from the oppression of the catering cartel (Junta) and can make our own tea and coffee, the only risk we face is from superheated water, which is what happens if we leave it in the microwave too long. The provisional peoples government of the ‘Independent Tea Enclave’ have issued a public safety directive (printed out a web page highlighting the risks and pinned it to the wall) and so all will be well until the military police (health and safety) find out and the microwave ovens are declared enemies of the state (unsafe) and taken from us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe this makes the case against organisations setting up shop "in the middle of nowhere"; Good luck with the tea cooperative...