I am surrounded by 3 neighbors. Two of these neighbors are British. The other is a retired American guy who has an Irish wife. When repairmen come to any of these houses, I see the repairmen wandering from the house to the backs of their work vans with cups of tea (sometimes on saucers). Aren't they supposed to be working? Not taking tea breaks on your dime? Is it for better service? Shouldn't they fix your roof, pipes, electrical, etc. up to a certain standard whether or not you offer him a cuppa?
Now, before you think I am a heartless person; I do offer repairmen water if it is a hot day outside or coffee if it is cold. I just don't understand the tea breaks. Should I be offering?
Oh- a note to any repairman who comes to The Bungalow. You might want to make your own. I'll put the kettle on, but you might want to finish it up. Well unless you like your tea very strong with entirely too much sugar and a splash of milk.
Haha! Actually I always offer our repair man or any service ppl that come over a beer. I don't know why, but I do, and more often then not they actually accept it!
Having worked (for a short period of time at least) in the service industry, I found baked goods especially motivating.
There is nothing more thirst quenching than tea on a hot day. Seriously, especially after a nice long walk.
We had a British guy working on the gate security a while back. I told DH to go out and take him a cuppa! He appreciated it, hahaha. I have to stop myself offering tea to the workmen that come to the apartment, I find Americans just look at you strangely when you offer. I make them coffee instead (they still look at me strangely though)
When I lived in England i worked at Whittard of Chelsea (Posh Tea Shop) and some obviously rich old lady came in and asked for "staff tea" because she was having someone fix her plumbing and didn't think they'd drink her expensive tea.
I'm with Yaya. . . a beer. . . but only once they've made the repair correctly.
LOL! That is so funny. I offer our guys beer (it's Germany, you know?) or soda or water and they almost always take beer. I don't know about the tea, but it couldn't hurt, I guess. Really, you can't make tea? You live in the land of tea. When I come over (like I'm just going to come bang on your door) I expect a good cuppa. But I like it strong, so maybe it won't bother me. :)
Ah, a cuppa is so civilized, yes? Nice way to affirm our bonds as human beings.
Although the beer would be nice, too :)
Aren't the British just so civilized? When service people appear at my door, I offer them the problem. Maybe at the end I might offer something cool to drink but aren't they here to work? I don't act like their slaves but it wouldn't occur to me that they were interested in anything other getting the job done. Just saying....
I with you on the hot tea on cold days and cold tea on hot days. Sweet tea, blech! I live in the South and still can't do it. Offer them a pint. I bet you'd get great service.
It's a ritual, nothing more. The English have these quaint activities that cement the bond between artisan and employer.
Have you come across the Christmas box for the postman or dustman yet? If you don't want your rubbish strewn across your path, it's another quaint ritual you should become conversant with.
what about vodka? do you offer vodka? you can freeze that shit when it's hot.
Tea is dumb (unless I'm laying in bed with a nice cup of ((can't get behind the "cuppa" thing)) Sleepy Time and a good, non-pornographic book).
As for iced, it was made for drinking straight up, no sugar. Maybe a little lemon though...
I know. Sometimes I just want them to work and not sit around drinking tea. If it's a local person I always offer tea. If I'm in a rush though and want them gone, I don't offer anything.
I am voting for the vodka.
but you already knew that, didn't you??
i offer water when it's hot. the hot tea must be a british thing. the do love their tea over there.
I would rather have wine
I'll usually offer water or diet cola. When I had our fence installers out, I left the back patio screen door open and placed a tray with a pitcher for cold drinks out there so they could get out of the sun. The thank yous were generous.
To me, tea isn't tea unless it is ice cold and ubersweet. I AM from Savannah. :)
I always offer them beer. Although, when the guys came to install our washer and dryer, they wanted my Big K Diet Orange soda instead.
More beer for me.
Ahhhhh the South never dies!!! Sweet tea baby!! WAHOO! And on an interesting side note, I actually don't drink sweet tea...even being born in the south did not sway my mother into giving it to me as a child and therefore I have never grown to like it. But beer, I like that.
I've made the mistake of offering my bathroom to a garage door repairman once. Take it from me...just don't ever do that!
I'd say just stop trying to understand British things when you're American. They just don't add up. I know. I'm British. Now put the bloody kettle on and forget it....
Tee, hee, funny post Kat and timely in more ways than one (you'll find out tomorrow). Did you see my post about Extreme Makeover where I mention British contractors on tea break?
Okay, after reading some of the comments I have to chime in here in defense of tea, which I love hot and iced (straight up) by the way and I would argue that drinking it is quite "smart" when you consider how healthy it is. I guess I don't find hot tea in the morning any different than hot coffee in the morning which most Americans drink (bleh!). For many it's about their morning caffeine hit.
I'm always trying to feed them. I try to feed everyone.
This has been quite an educational post on people's differing views on their drinks!
I like the idea of extending the offer of a drink in kindness.
I'm an American living in Oklahoma (with some English heritage in the history...)
Even on 100 degree days I drink my hot peppermint tea for breakfast. It is calming...and maybe it is just the ritual...knowing that it is the one constant in a varied day.
I with you on the hot tea thing (though a hot coffee I don't mind pretty much anytime). In Chinese culture they believe in drinking a hot something soup or tea daily it gives you a long healthy life. Maybe British are the same way ;)
OUr movers we found out (after they were rifling through our pantry and conned the neighbor into making them a tray of coffee) are supposed to be served a drink or snack. It's customary. I say just pack my stuff and get out! I'm not running a restaurant for you!
I don't get it either.
It was winter the last time we had a repairman over. He wouldn't stop talking about the fantastic trip he'd just taken to Cuba. Bastard. Get to work.
Meh. Start your own tradition. Offer them free home surgery or something.
I always want to offer repair guys a cold can of coke or something like that. It's just in my nature to be hospitable to anyone who comes into my home. I refrain though, just because if they cut their lip on the soda can, they might sue me.
you are VERY funny!!!! OMGosh look at you making the repairman put his own kettle on...
I heard it was your blogoversary so happy days to you and many more too!
Hello, just stopped by to congratulate you on your award and found your blog so interesting that I joined your followers.
I never think to offer anyone tea or coffee , even actual guests. Bad me
I guess it doesn't hurt if you put it in a travel mug for them! I love my tea!
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