Did someone steal your lunch?

Teacher Katie W. likes cream in her coffee. So, she purchased a bottle of creamer and put in into the break room refrigerator. When she went back the next day to add a splash of cream to the day's coffee she found her bottle almost empty.

Now, while it's possible that a single coworker likes drinking creamer, it's more likely that a whole parade of her fellow teachers thought that no one would miss it if they used just a tablespoon of creamer. And if just one teacher had used just one tablespoon, Katie never would have noticed. But that's not what happened.

Why is it that people who would never think about so much as picking a flower from the neighbor's yard think it is okay to eat food that doesn't belong to them from the company fridge?

Well, in some cases they think it's just an okay thing to do. One yogurt thief justified his stealing by stating that individual cups of yogurt sitting on the shelf are fair game -- if someone wanted to keep yogurt private they would put it in a bag. Faulty reasoning, I'm sure. 

Others think that everyone else makes more money than they do, so they feel entitled to it. If pay were only more fair, they wouldn't need to steal. Again, often times people in the same office make similar salaries, and even if there is a huge pay discrepancy, it still doesn't belong to you.

Some are just so self centered that no one could possibly be as deserving of the frozen dinner as they are. These people are a pain to work with in all areas.

What should you do with a lunch room thief on the loose? First, write your name on your food, so there can be no "accidental" consumption. Second, keep the non-perishable portion of your lunch at your desk. Remember, as a kid your lunch stayed in your backpack and you're still alive to tell the tale. Third, consider asking the boss to do something. (If the boss is the thief, maybe you asking will shame him or her into honesty.) Fourth, just bring in one lunch at a time. If you bring in a week's worth of frozen pizzas, the thief is going to think you won't miss "just one."

What not to do? While you may have heard "hilarious" stories about putting laxatives into brownies, do not do this. It's not funny. It's dangerous, and you could find yourself in serious trouble if you do that and the thief suffers from it. 

Here are some more stories of break room lunch theft:

Jillian W. has dietary restrictions that require she eat gluten free. Some coworker stole her gluten free lunch out of the fridge, leaving Jillian with no food she could eat for lunch.

Tonya B.'s company provided free lunch. No problems, right? Until they found a man from the neighboring company sneaking through a patio door and helping himself. 

Rose M. was an accidental lunch thief. She worked at two separate sites. One day she brought her lunch in to office A and put it in the fridge. Then she headed over to site B. At lunch time she took what she thought was her lunch out of the fridge at site B. Only after finishing it, did she realize that her lunch was at the other office and she was a lunch thief.

Jennifer S.'s coworker wasn't losing her lunch -- people were stealing her dishes. So, instead of being clean and tidy and washing the after she finished lunch, she left the dirty dishes in the sink until quitting time. End result? People who are too lazy to bring in their own dishes are too lazy to wash hers, and she stopped losing dishes.

Have you had a problem with an office lunch thief? Have you been the office lunch thief? Share your story in the comments.