No More Masala Chai?

or free coffee or lemon tea?

No really...I never thought the day would come when cost cutting would affect the office pantry to this extent!!

I still remember my first day at work at the *free* pantry. I was your typical halli guggu (country bumpkin) who mixed milk with lemon tea, much to the disdain of my posh colleagues. It's an incident that is naratted during family functions and other social gatherings.

We were promised 'fresh and honest' coffee, and a few months later masala chai - a perfect cure for those with chronic colds. (Note: We were getting all this for free, the same masala chai cost Rs. 25 at the airport.) There was the haunted vending machine in one pantry that would start steaming and puffing for no rhyme or reason, and only the ones who were too sleep deprived to be spooked by ghosts would dare to go there.

Then HR decided to revamp things and introduce milk powder machines that were..well...not much to blog about! There were fiery email exchanges about cockroaches and other forms of non-veg coffee found in the new vending machines. After some initial irritation, we got used to the paysam like milk-powder coffee and tea, that was relatively roach free.

Then, a few years later, they decided to re-introduce 'fresh and honest' coffee, lemon tea, and masala chai - much to our delight! Finally - a pantry that (re)served good stuff!

And despite coming full circle regarding beverage decisions, HR is once again going on a new orbit - our pantries will soon function with a smart card (really? is this a way of working smarter??) Essentially, we will now PAY for our tanin and caffeine shots. What fun is it to PAY to stay awake, to chill out, to catch up on some gossip or crib about an annoying boss or client?Paying for it makes it as boring as indulging in superficial conversations - the types all the Coffee Days and Barista's are so full of!

Well I suppose one cannot crib too much - I heard many offices function this way. Moreover this might encourage us to switch to healthier lifestyles that is not so dependant on caffeine. Wonder if they will introduce green tea...hmmm.

Yet, this is a move that has left us feeling a bit upset as the atmosphere in the pantry is going to be very different. But I suppose change management is something we are all too used to, and paying for coffee will just be another activity in this office.


  • Ashu | November 03, 2010 7:48 PM

    no more chai breaks in the pantry :(( hope they dont start charging us for reading the newspapers..

  • Resh | November 03, 2010 7:48 PM

    This sure is going to help me get off the habit of cutting down on chai - but sometimes you just need to have some tea/coffee - huh? Wondering if buying a flask (to get hot milk) and a few teabags and sugar would be more economical in the long run. Hot water is free - atleast as of now, I suppose? ;)

    A bit of a disappointment, but i guess like every other decision, this will also take time to get used to,

  • Anitha | November 03, 2010 7:50 PM

    Or how about we become chaiwalas ourselves and sell it at a lower rate? :)

    The Malayali in me is waking up..

  • See Bee | November 03, 2010 7:52 PM

    Cute fwd I got today:

    "Hello Everyone

    Life is a journey wherein one keeps on moving and progressing. And with each new milestone crossed couple of new lessons is learnt. This yearning has encouraged me to move on.

    As most of you know, today is my last day at the office. My memories will remain fraught with various challenges, innumerable learning, late night process-settings & recognition which has come with years of Journey with this organisation. The bottom line has always been 'coordination' & 'cooperation' that always found the top priority in this company.

    It has been a Roller Coaster Ride starting from a early stages to this day. Today, when I get down, I am bound to feel GREAT as well as a little dizzy ... Mixed Feelings ... as they say :-)

    In all these years I have satisfied the taste of almost every co-worker and boss, and this satisfaction helped me to grow personally and spiritually. Now I am moving out of the organisation in my old age. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone without whom this wouldn’t be possible.

    @ All the Tea/Coffee drinkers who let me help to satisfy their urge to be woken up

    @ My maintenance personnal

    All the best to all of you and I wish you great success.

    Yours Truly


    Note: As I had never any operational email-id so I am using my friend's machine to deliver this mail. "

  • popsie | November 04, 2010 1:23 PM

    Ah, cost cutting - tell me about it! :-( Fortunately we get hot milk,hot water from the machine and the rest (filter coffee, tea bags, bournvita, badam powder, instant coffee powder) lies beside the machine and is periodically re-filled. While it gets boring, it's a lot better than those regular vending machines I've seen so far.