Aug 1, 2011
During my PhD and postdoc days, tea breaks meant taking a fresh air (literally) out of the chemicals-filled labs to go to tea kiosks which were 5-10 mins away. I wasnt a tea or coffee drinker, so I just used to go for a company (and tea(m) spirit). Some profs wernt big fans of that idea, as tea kiosk became secondary residentials for some students. It was also a hot gossip-mongering spot. While some thought it to be detrimental to the group dynamics, some exactly wanted that, i.e., groupism, and some others thought it would help in better group harmony by allowing people space and time to vent out their -ve feelings about other group members to their friends and get a relief.
In my company, tea and coffee are served right at the workstations, obviously because the company doesnt want man-hours to be lost in the whole process. Their funda: u want tea, u will get tea. In fact, I (and my PhD supervisor) suggested this idea in IISc itself. Some opine that the whole purpose of tea is to take a break from the workstations and so, by bringing the tea to the desk, the use of the tea is gone.
Now, I wonder what made Ian Bell get himself run out y'day. Was it his quest for tea, or the break?