The Suboptimal Kitchen – The 10 Steps to Getting a Cup of Tea

Process for getting a cup-of-tea in a certain kitchen:

  1. Enter the room and make your way to the sink from south to north. Try to avoid the crossing traffic on your way. Wash cup with provided cleaning equipment. Don’t bother trying to dry your cup because that means trying to get to the paper towels which are the other side of the hot water area and would involve more cross-step navigation than is good for anyone’s health.
  2. Turn around and proceed to collect a tea bag from the receptacle on the western side. Special attention should be given to the fridge door which may be open causing a hazard. There may also be individuals stood behind you awaiting access to the sink, another hazard.
  3. Traverse back across the room towards the hot water geyser. Add water and tea bag into cup. Be sure to maintain awareness of traffic crossing that is seeking to access the fridge on a east-west direction and also people accessing the sink in a south-north direction.
  4. Make the small easterly traverse to collect a stirring stick. There are a few hazards on this trip, but it can sometimes be affected by erratic behaviours around the hot water geyser with people approaching direction from the entrance in a south-north direction. People mistakenly seeking to access the paper towels may also be traversing in the same direction, these people should be regarded with suspicion.
  5. Head, slowly, in a southerly direction whilst stirring the tea bag in the cup. Deposit tea bag into the bin whilst retaining the stirrer once the required level of tea strength has been achieved. You will encounter others on your journey to the bin who prefer a stronger brew than you and are not yet willing to surrender their tea bag. There is also a likelihood of milk foragers intersecting this journey in an east-west direction. There may also be individuals heading directly towards you on their return trip from the bin in step 6.
  6. The location of the milk is dependent upon the time of day and other parameters that are too complex to describe here. To be sure to cover all of the requirements partially retrace your steps back towards the stirrers in order to access whether any milk has been left out of the fridge on the eastern side.
  7. If milk is located on the eastern side it will need to be assessed for its freshness as it has been out of the fridge for an unknown length of time. If fresh, add to tea, stir and exit via step 10. More normally though the milk on the side is just an empty carton, in this situation deposit the empty carton in the appropriate bin, because you know where the bin is and others clearly don’t.
  8. From the bin you will need to navigate across the room again in a westerly direction to the fridge. This involves crossing several north-south and even some west-east traffic. Once safely on the western side remove milk from the fridge, add to tea and stir.
  9. As you have taken some fresh milk out of the fridge you will need to make a complex assessment using several other undefined parameters as to where to place the milk. If someone else is actively looking for milk on the eastern fringes it is expected that you will pass it to them. If the kitchen is empty then it’s normally more appropriate to place it back into the fridge. Other than that it’s almost impossible to know what the right thing to do with the milk is, placing it in the fridge is often the safest choice. You may have to make an assessment of what to do with the milk whilst also traversing from west to east and crossing several other task routes.
  10. It’s now time to leave, assess the required cross-traffic situation and proceed with caution. If you’ve been following closely you will have noticed that you are still in possession of a stirrer. This should be deposited in the bin just outside the kitchen, because it’s just too difficult to get access to the bin in the kitchen.

This is based on a real kitchen, no attempt has been made to hide details in this post. If you’ve been in this kitchen you will know exactly where it is.

Please do not try to optimise these steps, it has been tried before and it’s just too politically difficult.

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