Now that I work from home, I drink more coffee than ever before – probably. And not just because when I’m at home my stove-top coffeemaker is always one or fewer rooms away.

It’s also because ‘working from home’ means going out frequently for meetings and interviews and client interactions. So I generally spend a lot of time, when I’m not at home, around other people in a coffee conducive environment, like a cafe or theatre or someone else’s kitchen.

But the other day I realized that I had unconsciously implemented and was abiding by a rule: never have a coffee at someone’s office.

In this instance it was a job interview, but on other occasions it has been a meeting where I’ve declined a coffee. In those circumstances I’m always offered a coffee (or tea) and I always say no.

There’s two simple reasons:

1. The coffee might be terrible – I’ve learned this the hard way.

2. Maybe they were just being polite, and don’t really want to make you a cup of coffee. Maybe they’re allergic to the oil on the beans, or they don’t know how to work the coffee maker or something. By accepting the coffee you’ve just made them uncomfortable and scared, you awful human being.

2. But the biggest reason is this: you don’t deserve a coffee. You haven’t earned the right to have someone make you a drink. If you’re having a meeting at someone else’s office, odds are, as a freelancer you don’t have the job yet. And coffee is for closers. So close the deal and then treat yourself to a decent cup of coffee.

I do however, always take a glass of water when offered. In case I get thirsty. And to show I’m not a pushover.