A bit over a week now I’ve been working at my assignment. The work is interesting (and challenging), the people are friendly, I’m enjoying myself.There is however one thing that stumps me.
No, I haven’t started drinking coffee (even though getting used to waking up early is proving to be quite difficult and some people have suggested the vile black drink as a remedy. I’ll pass for now). But I don’t mind if others do.
So invariably, when I go for my cup (mug) of tea, I ask the other people present whether they want something as well. It was something that was institutional at my previous work and I enjoyed it. A small thing to do for another, with the additional benefit of making a tiny bit of small talk as you bring back the cup of coffee / tea / water / soup.
The answer here almost always is: “No, thanks.”.
Which brought about two things.
First, of course it is perfectly ok for people to not want a drink. It’s nice to step away from your computer for a few moments to walk to the coffee machine yourself. I can understand people want to get their own cup. But no matter how much I think that, it still feels feels like a personal rejection. Silly but true.
Second, how long to continue with something that “doesn’t work”? Should I stop asking people and just get my own drink? On the one hand I believe it’s good to adapt to the local customs; “when in Rome, do as the Romans.” On the other hand, I like getting drinks for people (as mentioned above). On the third hand (can someone lend me hand please?), I might just be too stubborn to change my ways. “I’ve been doing it like this for over a week now, so I’ll be damned if I change my ways!”
Now, a few people have actually started to say yes and to even include me when they go for a drink. Maybe just keep it up for a little bit longer…?