General Question

nikipedia's avatar

What's the etiquette for taking the last item of community property?

Asked by nikipedia (27526points) May 21st, 2008

I drink a lot of tea. My boss recently has started drinking my tea. Fine. I’m happy to share. But this morning I came in to discover

he took

the LAST


My coworker seems to think this is perfectly acceptable. Am I the only reasonable person here or am I cranky from caffeine withdrawal?

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10 Answers

ccatron's avatar

turn it around. what if you took the last one?

my point is that someone has to take it. if it is community property, then I say it is “first come, first serve”. Although, it should not be abused. if the first person takes more than their share, then we have a problem.

sorry, but I think you just have to find another source of caffeine at this point.

EDIT…i misread the description…if it is known that it is “your tea” but you’ve made it community property, then i think the etiquette would be that you get the last one.

marinelife's avatar

Community property would imply the boss was chipping in and buying tea too.

What you are describing is a boss, graciously allowed by you to share your supplies, taking advantage of your generosity.

Taking the last teabag in the latter situation is, at best, insensitive.

Your co-worker’s response does not seem normal. Any chance that person took the last teabag and is letting the absent boss take the blame? :)

wildflower's avatar

I think a rule along the lines of: whoever empties the stock, has to re-stock, would resolve any conflicts in that area. But then, if you don’t have that rule established, maybe let it slide this time but bring it up as a ‘going forward’ notion.
Plus, that way you get to be the bigger person and win the moral high-ground :)

kevbo's avatar

Spicoli, I’m confused. Is it your tea and you’re sharing or everyone’s tea of which you are the primary user?

robmandu's avatar

Doesn’t sound like you’re so happy to share now. :-\

I think your feelings here are righteous. That said, to me this situation is kinda like loaning money to friends or family. You might call it a loan, but you should consider it as a gift and be genuinely surprised if it’s paid back.

Unfortunately, your boss is a prick who makes more money than you and feels justified in mooching off of your good graces. So it really sucks to give him a gift.

Bottom line: hide your tea.

nikipedia's avatar

@Marina: I had not considered that! But I believe coworker is staunchly positioned in the coffee camp….

@kevbo: I just netflixed Fast Times! And okay, it WAS my tea. It mysteriously started disappearing. I saw boss drinking it and put two and two together. But, it was in the place where we keep items-for-public-consumption in our lab so I really did not mind. Until this final teabag issue developed.

And finally, @robmandu: Genius. Problemo solved.

kevbo's avatar

My old department director, who was senior VP of communications and making around 90k a year, would constantly raid her employees desks for snacks (nuts, e.g.). She’d do it after hours when the employee wasn’t around. She was also in the habit of asking to “borrow” female employees makeup and tampons. Ick!

nikipedia's avatar

UPDATE: I bought more tea this morning. I decided not to hoard it, as it is just tea and I am a grownup and can share.

Moments ago, my boss picked it up and said to my coworker, “Ah ha, where did this go? I couldn’t find it yesterday.”


kevbo's avatar

That’s quite generous of you. Maybe keep emergency tea at your desk.

robmandu's avatar

heh… dude thinks that “the office” is providing the tea. He must not know that you’re bringing it. If correct, he’s merely ignorant, not rude.

Hanlon’s Razor might apply here: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

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