"Coffee Club" Crisis: When people don't pitch in

by EPI Staff on August 6, 2010

Q: My office has a “coffee club” where coworkers contribute funds and supplies to keep the caffeine flowing. Lately I’ve realized that some coworkers don’t chip in at all, but still help themselves to a couple of cups each day. Am I right to say something?

A: If it’s really grating on your nerves, then by all means, it’s time to take action. But instead of confronting the freeloaders directly (and risking an office tiff), it may be wiser to revisit or revise the coffee club’s ground rules. Skip the voluntary contributions and set up a regular monthly collection of, say, $5. A clear policy – written up and placed somewhere close to the coffee station – is likely to make non-contributors feel less comfortable helping themselves to a free cup.

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