Coffee or tea?

A couple of beverage related tales.
Tale number 1

A colleague of mine created an alphanumeric method to note which drinks people wanted in a meeting. It was a form of abbreviations that made the recording of requirements, neat, efficient and effective.

It’s quite simple really. You start with the type of drink you want, C for coffee and T for tea. This is then followed by a W if it is wanted white or a blank if it is black. Finally comes the number of sugars.

In this way a TW2 is a white tea with two sugars and a C is just a black coffee. Clearly you need to record the number that are needed using either X 2 or a bar gate system.

The system has worked very well for me over many months, that is until someone asked me for a week tea. This required some quick reprogramming or refining. So now a strong black coffee with one sugar is a sC1 and a weak white tea with no sugars is a wTW.

As I’ve said a very neat and succinct system, saving endless seconds which would have been lost in refreshment confusion. You can try it for free if you like.

Tale number 2

What is the proper response to the question ‘Would you like a coffee or tea?’? Surely it must be yes (I would like a coffee or tea) or no (I wouldn’t).

Is it not the correct way to pose this question ‘Which would you prefer, a coffee or a tea?’? At least this would lead to a definitive answer, yes, no or perhaps a neither thank you.

Why these things should bother me I have no idea but this whole question got me thinking about the shortest and most efficient way of asking what people would like to drink.

Initially you could cut out a whole type of drink by using the question ‘Would you like a coffee?’. Most people would say yes, if that was there preference, or would say ‘I’d rather have a tea if you have one’ if they were that way inclined. In this way you have passed your labour cost onto them.

Only the most pedantic would say no and wait for you to then ask the tea question.

This approach has saved me four words, or a 44% improvement in productivity, or thirteen letters, only yielding a 41% improvement. But there is more.

I know realise that I can make further productivity gains by removing all words except for the single drink. I can elicit the same response from my fellow drinkers by the most simple of questions ‘Coffee?’.

A massive 89% improvement in word count productivity or, a still impressive 81% gain in letter count.

By the way, if you are faced with a group, you will need to add the word ‘anyone’ to the end of your chosen drink.

I guarantee that using this method, aligned with the alphanumeric notation system above, will free up your life.

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