Aaahh, the coffee run! Some may call it a coffee run, but we know that what they really mean is the Tim Horton’s run or the Timmie’s Run as some like to call it. I specifically name Tim Horton’s because I rarely hear anyone ever offer to do a coffee run when they are heading out to Second Cup or Starbucks. Starbucks is understandable; who can remember all those combinations: “Venti Iced Skinny Hazelnut Macchiato Sugar-Free syrup Extra Shot Light Ice No Whip” or “Double-Double“?
The coffee run is when someone with the freedom and flexibility to up and leave their work station goes to get coffee at Tim Horton’s and offer’s to bring back some coffee for their co-workers. On the surface this sounds nice. You might think; “How nice of Bob in accounting to think of us and bring back some coffee for everyone.” Unfortunately a coffee run has much deeper meanings than kindness and thoughtfulness. If someone is excluded from the coffee run this can cause hurt feelings and without saying so, it can also reveal the social environment of the workplace.
People will notice who hasn’t been asked if they want coffee. People will not only notice who you ask, but also who you take money from. Did she cover the cost for Becky from procurement or did Becky have to frantically rummage through her purse for the $1.70? When there’s an early morning meeting at work, is there someone who usually brings a box of donuts and Timbits for everyone; or are there people who only bring a beverage tray of Tim’s coffee for their closest co-workers. When someone is on their way to work, do they call the office from the drive-thru and only ask a few of their closest co-workers if they want something while everyone else is reduced to drinking the not-so ideal office coffee stirred with powdered Coffeemate and grainy sugar from whatever packets are laying around the office staff room.
This sounds somewhat petty, but I’m a people watcher and I tend to notice things that the average person brushes off as being nothing. I don’t think people should read too much into their office’s Tim Horton’s run, but sometimes these types of extensions of kindness reveal a lot.
I often hear Christians express a hankering for being a better Christian or example of Christ in their workplace; well… here’s an easy way to do so: start by being more conscious of the little things at work. It might sound like an insignificant way to be Christ-like in the workplace, but I strongly believe that sometimes it’s these simple things that make a difference in our interactions with our co-workers. Doesn’t sound convincing enough? Well, think about what a difference it might make in your co-workers day if you did bring a box of 12 donuts or 40 Timbits and a Take 10 box of coffee for everyone!
Maybe it’s inconvenient for you to do a drive-thru in the mornings or maybe there is nowhere to do a coffee run; well… maybe you can bring some Tim’s Tassimo T Disc’s or single serve cups to work for everyone to use.
Anyhow… every workplace has their own culture and way of determining who is “in” and who is “out”. In the workplace we’ll naturally be closer to some than others, but let’s not get into the habit of contributing to petty workplace social hierarchy. You would know your own workplace best, so whatever ways you feel like extending social kindness to your co-workers is alright!
Disclaimer: This is not an advert for Tim Horton’s. I don’t really like coffee, but I love the thoughtfulness of co-workers who include me in their Tim Horton’s run. I especially like the look on their faces when I tell them I don’t drink coffee 🙂