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Coffee

Good Afternoon Everyone, I gave this question a lot of thought before I decided to seek feedback directly from the sources that be, so to speak. My question is, can someone give me insight on coffee? To be blunt, getting coffee for your boss. Can someone share their thoughts about this topic? Whether good or bad, I would love to hear from you. Thank you for your time.

Submitted by: Ann Shelton

 

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Good afternoon! I have been in your situation both with a previous boss and my current boss. The general rule of thumb I believe is, as long as you don’t mind getting him a cup of coffee, then it’s ok, however I have a few questions for you to think about first. One question that comes to mind is how does it make you feel when your boss asks you for a cup of coffee? Does it make you uneasy or is he/she asking in a degrading manner or a respectful manner? Is he/she someone which you have a great deal of respect for and look up to? My former boss didn’t drink coffee, but he would ask me to bring him fruit, candy, water or soda when he was meeting with visitors or other members of the Leadership team. It wasn’t so much that he asked, but the manner in which he asked it, it was very degrading and I was quite uncomfortable doing so. Also, having some insight into his personal views left little room for doubt that it was meant to be degrading and it was expected. When my former boss left the company, the gentleman who was brought in to replace him is the exact opposite. He is a brilliant businessman, is focused on growing the company and truly cares about the employees. He is a pleasure to work with and I hold him in very high regard. I do not have an issue bringing him a cup of coffee; usually I am the one asking him if he would like a one. I hope you find this helpful! LFR663 on 2/8/2016 3:12:30 PM
I believe you all will be proud of me and I must say that I am proud of myself. When I picked up coffee this morning I paid for it myself and purchased him a bagel with cream cheese. I will make it! Thank you. Ann Shelton on 2/5/2016 12:34:08 PM
Although buying coffee is a simple and considerate gesture, in the business world this might be viewed as a gift to be used for persuasion. If the boss is paying and requests a trip to the coffee shop, that sounds reasonable! Judith Creedon on 2/4/2016 2:57:40 PM
I forgot to mention...it is a daily run in the morning. Ann Shelton on 2/4/2016 9:09:30 AM
Hi Deborah, you hit the nail on the head. There are several factors, (I drive to pick it up) weather conditions, my schedule, his schedule, how I am feeling, how do you see me, is it sometimes reciprocated, how do others see me, there is laughter in a group, their is small talk about it when I bring the coffee in just for him while in meetings with his team, (however we do have a Keurig and Coffee machine in house) etc. While in the beginning it was fine, now I am beginning to feel a certain way and I wrestle with the fact that (like the majority mentioned) it is such a small piece of the pie here. However, I have mention this small gesture to my father, it seemed to ignite a fire inside of him. Then I move on to a different subject, like hows the weather:-) Thank you again, Ann Shelton on 2/4/2016 9:08:42 AM
More information is needed before being able to answer: Is it a consistent request from your boss all day long or once in the morning? How busy/buried in work are you? How busy/buried in work is your boss? Are you expected to make fresh coffee or do you get it from the pot/urn? Are you expected to wash the coffee cup before refilling? Thank you. Best Regards, Deborah Owen-Kraft on 2/3/2016 12:52:09 PM
If you are new, and the request is expected as a part of your duties (i.e. personal assistant, I would find out the following: 1. What kind the individual likes; (roast, expresso, caffeinated/ de-caff); 2. Cream or sugar; 3. what time of day; 4. whether you would be serving guests for a meeting. Some firms have a "office services" staff that provides this (i.e. making overall coffee for the department(s) Stephanie Woodruff on 2/3/2016 12:51:05 PM
Thank you ALL so much!!! I did not expect so many responses on my very first question. You all have brought me to tears... Thank you again. Sincerely, Ann Shelton on 2/3/2016 9:23:49 AM
It's refreshing to read all of these answers. I expected more negativity. My boss would not ask me to bring him coffee but I would do it without any hesitation. I have brought him coffee on occasion and he has offered to bring me coffee as well. We have a great working relationship. I always ask anyone who is meeting with him if they would like something so why not him? He works hard and, as someone else mentioned, he is often in back to back meetings all day. He has asked me to pick up lunch for him, if I am already planning on going out. Most of the time I am not, but will go anyway. He also offers to buy lunch for me but I don't take him up on it. Whatever I can do to make his busy life easier works for me. Jayne Irwin on 2/3/2016 8:32:33 AM
I don't make a big deal out of this and neither does he. He will typically get his own coffee but if I happen to be getting me some I will ask if he would like me to get him some......common courtesy type thing. Lynn Schad on 2/3/2016 8:28:58 AM
Do whatever you need to do. Do not let the coffee issue sink you. It is petty. When I get a new boss I just ask them how they want the coffee issue resolved. Be straight forward. I do warn them, however, that I don't drink coffee and don't know how to make it, so if I make it they are taking their lives in their hands. LOL! I have only had one coffee drinking boss and when I shared my coffee concerns he told me that he did not expect me to get him coffee. He was able to do that on his own. We now have coffee machines where I work and all I have to do is put the cup under the spigot and pull. It is the smallest details that make the difference between a good executive secretary and an excellent executive secretary. Decide what you want to be and then pour or not. Debbie on 2/3/2016 8:12:06 AM
I make coffee every morning for myself and my bosses. I don't see any issues with this as it's actually coffee for me too. However, I don't serve them coffee. If they are in a meeting and I offer a beverage to one of their guests, I will certainly ask them if they need a refill - and then I would. Janice Celedonia on 2/3/2016 7:49:10 AM
Touchy question. I am the Director of Executive and Board Affairs, but still an admin to my CEO and President/COO. Yes, my CEO once in a blue moon will ask me to get him a cup of coffee. I have absolutely no problem with this. It falls under the category of 'all other responsibilities'. Last week he even asked me how to make the coffee so as not to bother me to do it... Alice on 2/3/2016 6:51:08 AM
having read all the comments - I will agree that 'whatever it takes' seems to be the best comment I can make. I've worked with various bosses over the years - some want me to get their coffee - some don't - if you enjoy your boss and not everyone does - just be accommodating and enjoy the few moments you have with them - have also served coffee at meetings with a number of people attending. I've never felt pressured to do this as I've always asked up front what is expected of me. hope this helps a bit! sylvia frey on 2/2/2016 4:31:19 PM
Hi. Here are my thoughts...many CEO's that I have supported are in back to back meetings all day, have tremendous responsibilities that keep them busy throughout the day, rarely have time to leave the office to get coffee let alone lunch or even run a personal errand. In addition, they work early mornings, late nights, and many weekends. Those that I have supported have appreciated having a work partner that is really willing to do just about anything that is legal, ethical, moral, etc. Because the CEO's I have supported are in so many meetings, I always offer "can I get you coffee, tea, water, etc.?" If it's coffee, I do it and for one CEO I did that for nearly 10 years until the CEO retired a couple of years ago. If getting a cup of coffee for the leader of the company I support, helps in some small way...I'm happy to do it! My role is to bring value and support them, and the few minutes it takes to grab that coffee each day is no reason for me to take it personally and hold a grudge. I consider it as other duties as assigned and do it with a smile. Stacy Leitner on 2/2/2016 4:31:16 PM
I work for the owners of the company that I work for and they would not ask me to get coffee for them although I would gladly do so if they did ask. I think it is the attitude in which it is asked. Anonymous on 2/2/2016 4:12:25 PM
I agree with Valerie. Whatever it takes. Louisa Daniels on 2/2/2016 4:11:28 PM
I LOVE getting my boss coffee or tea. It gives us an opportunity to spend a couple of minutes together in the morning. This is a partnership and if you don't personalize it a tiny bit you may not build any trust in the relationship. These are small gestures of kindness and trust. It's in NO way demeaning at all, at least it's never felt that way to me in my 19 years as an EA. What in particular is it that you're struggling with? Jessica Davis on 2/2/2016 4:06:41 PM
I don't know why this question is such a big deal to some admins. I am of the mind that whatever it takes to get the job done....do it. I know some admins think it's below them to get a cup of coffee, but my take is that you get paid the same salary whether or not you do or don't get a cup of coffee. It's just a nice thing to do unless the boss is demanding you do it. I have worked for several executives. One was very old school and would ask me to bring him a cup but it wasn't on a regular basis. My current CEO gets his own. In my opinion it's just doing the job so the executive can concentrate on making the business run efficiently. I'm the office manager/executive asst. and I even unclog toilets on occasion so it doesn't bother me in the least. I know other admins will disagree but I choose to not let it bother me if I'm asked to get a cup of coffee. When we have guests, I arrange for catering and put out refreshments, etc. It's just part of the job. Valerie Butler on 2/2/2016 4:06:09 PM
Being an Administrative Assistant is a position of support. Whether it be as small as a job of just getting coffee or making copies to performing a larger task of creating letters for your supervisor, it's part of the makeup of who we are in the business world. Of course, if your boss doesn't want you to get his/her coffee and would rather do it themselves, then step back. But putting your best foot forward in service is who we are. Alias on 2/2/2016 4:04:09 PM
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