I don't make tea.
I said this to a friend over coffee. After almost projecting her frothy latte all over my face, she looked at me in shock. Tea making is a right of passage all designers must go through in order to be accepted within a design agency, she claimed. I don't think so.
Tea making is demeaning. It is a process by which you are saying to everyone in that studio (who doesn't already know it) that you are the newbie; you're the student, the learner; you're time isn't worth the same as theirs. You are marking yourself as their slave. This is dramatic, but I find the fact that interns have to work long hours at half minimum wage, just to get by after slaving away at University for four solid and painful years is demeaning enough. They should be making me tea.
I have made a conscious effort not to make tea and sometimes I do worry that it will cost me a permanent job. Tea offering is a way of offering friendship. By declining others (I couldn't possibly accept with no intention of returning the favour) and not setting foot near the studio kitchen for the entirerity of my stint at design agencies, I am preventing the start of conversations, of potential friendships and future employment.
I will not succumb, though. I am stubborn and I insist that it will be my talents as a designer that will win me a job. I will bowl over creative directors with my innovative ideas, rather than my satisfying brew. Unless I am wrong and that tea is the only way to a design studio's heart. If you can guarantee me a job for a cup of tea, then call me Polly. How do you like it, again?