There's a thing that happens pretty much every day you're in the office.
So, you've decided your mouth feels as furry as the underside of my mate Jon's sofa (he has three dogs and they're not fussy about where they deposit...well, anything really, but certainly not their fur) and it's time for a cup of tea (or perhaps coffee if you fee that way inclined...which I'm don't!).
A glance around the rest of your tea round buddies (if you haven't got tea round buddies, I'm sorry for you. Really. There's nothing like a good tea round to bolster your spirit) and mentally check off when each of the crew last made the trek to the kitchen and brewed up.
Bad news. They've all done it since you last offered your services as a teaologist. There's nothing for it, you're going to have to get it sorted.
After breezing round the team; gathering mugs and taking orders, you head for the kitchen which is where the fun starts. Inevitably, the kitchen / tea point / staff room or whatever is about as well designed as a pair of underpants with the Y on the back - nothing is in the place which would afford optimum 'handiness'. So, you spot a gap in the people who were there before you, head for the bench to put down the mugs and start the process of creation - at the last minute the guy from finance moves to his left to reach for a teaspoon and the gap's gone. A last minute lurch to your right and you set yourself up in a sling-shot like arc toward the far end of the worktop.
Having safely landed, you begin the Hungry Hippo like grabbing of tea bags / coffee / sugar in an intricate dance of death with colleagues hands darting to and fro with many a 'sorry', 'after you' and 'no, not for me - I'm on the Roibosh'. Tea and other less interesting choices sorted (for information, there is no hot beverage which comes close to the deep joyjoy felling of a good cup of tea - in case you were wondering).
Then begins the perhaps most dangerous element of the entire dance - the shuttle runs between ground zero and the hot water boiler - steaming mugs in hand, you and your colleagues move in a capoeira like dance. At each turn disaster is waiting to strike, but your sure, deft movements pirouette you and your tea to safety every time (or at least most of the time. Thankfully office-based scalding incidents are rare(ish)).
The disposal of tea bags, the addition of milk, the transfer to the tray and the journey back to your team can often be equally challenging but you are an expert, master, a savant of teaological transportation.
Far be it for me to suggest an alternative to this regular poetic expedition into the arms of danger just so we don't go all dry and crusty but, and you have to admit that the Japanese have got something here, what about sushi?
I'm not specifically talking about the foodstuff but rather the delivery mechcanism. We're clever right? I mean humans generally (and engineers in particular obviously) - so, surely it wouldn't be beyond the wit of man to produce a sushi bar based antidote to the office kitchen dance?
I would have done a drawing of it but I couldn't quite figure it out (are we on the conveyor, is the hot water on the conveyor, what if you need more than one cup etc etc), so I did a drawing of the 'before' instead (basically carnage). Answers for the 'after' on a postcard.