The Book Extract: Learn to Make a Nice Hot Cup of Tea

When I arrived in London, I was armed with a variety of skills but apart from a long list of politically incorrect jokes, few were relevant to survival in the virtual world. Being able to shoot pretty well from an M48 Mauser or knowing the words of all the revolutionary songs from Spain to the Soviet Union were fun, but not very useful. But the jokes were. Marx, Engels and Lenin are discussing if it’s better to have a wife or a lover. Marx says, ‘A wife, she looks after you so you have plenty of time to study’. Engels says, ‘It’s better to have a lover, you can see her whenever you wish so you can study any time you want’. Lenin shakes his head and says, ‘The best is to have both. The wife thinks you are with the lover, the lover thinks you are with the wife and you can go to the library and study, study and study.’ The first thing you need to study is how to make a nice hot cup of tea. This is the one skill that can make a real difference to your career. 1. Fill the kettle with fresh water. 2. Boil the water. 3. Place one tea bag per cup of water in the teapot. 4. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. 5. Cover the teapot and let the tea brew for five minutes. 6. Pour the tea into a cup. 7. Add a bit of milk. 8. Place a biscuit in the saucer. 9. Place a bowl of sugar on the tray. 10. Serve. P.S. One thing to beware of is if your tea is too good, it may take you longer to move up the ladder within the company. Good tea-makers are hard to find.

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