General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

All sorts of special at work.

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I'm still hopping mad about this.  Kind of ranty so if this is in the wrong place please move!

A little background first.  I work in Loss Prevention for a retailer.  (I deal with theft and fraud.)  Every year we have to do an open house to clear up some misconceptions about my department and push our reporting line.  I did an open house at a store in the metro area that I am from.  I am at this store once a week.  End BG

I come to the store before opening with treats (cupcakes and punch in tow).  The store manager and I had worked out ahead of time that in addition to the treats we would have a ugly holiday sweater contest and give prizes.  I placed the cupcakes in the fridge along with the punch.  I marked them with a note please don't open or use for the LP open house. 

Two hours pass and I am ready to set up.  I open the fridge and the cupcakes have been opened and gone through and several are missing and the punch is opened.  The note is still attached.  Sadly this is a frequent happening.  I solider on.  I had gotten a few extra but the count was tight as we have a budget.  I conduct the open house and pass the treats out.  Here is where the problem begins.  People begin asking for a second cupcake.  I tell them that if I have any left I will let them have them however I have limited treats for people and I want to make sure everyone has a chance at them. 

Two ladies who are supervisors would JUST. NOT. LET. IT.GO, whining like a child about being hungry and wanting another cupcake, casting longing glaces at the boxes, pa remarks if someone declined a cupcake.  I take a break from the trainings and leave the break room and when I come back and find one of these supervisors mid nosh of a cupcake....I just shake my head and walk out.   I finish out the trainings and it continues to get just stupid about these cupcakes.  These supervisors are still whining about wanting another cupcake including the cupcake nosher.  I had enough I told them fine we are having a blizzard employees are calling in have the cupcake just take them out of the open box, nope they had to open the sealed box because the plastic toys on top were "prettier".  I gave up and went to my office and headdesked.

So wise ones, any suggestions on what I can do differently next time?

gramma dishes:
Apparently we now know where some of the "loss" you're trying to prevent is coming from?  You've got employees stealing cupcakes and beverages from the 'We're Here Today To Talk About Stealing' people!!   Good grief!!   :o

"I'm sorry but unfortunately, due to an employee stealing a number of the cupcakes before the meeting, I no longer have enough for everyone to have seconds. Perhaps if you could address the break-room thefts before the next meeting we'll have more to go around?"  >:D

As for next time I wouldn't bring snacks. Your budget is tight, there's a thief among you AND it sounds like the treats ended up being a distraction anyway (As if you were in a room full of toddlers!). I'd let the supervisors know that, next time, everyone should feel free to bring something if they don't get a chance to eat before the meeting.

Gramma dishes makes an excellent point, and not knowing the content you review in this presentation, making a point of discussig individual's (customer or employee) sense of entitlement due to "but I want it" versus, paying for it or following clear rules may be warranted.

Otherwise, is an inexpensive styrofoam cooler an option, and/or handing out treats *after* the presentation?

If you have to use a communal refrigerator, your next note on treats could mention that they are for the "loss prevention" meeting, and those who do not understand "loss prevention" or following rules against "taking without permission" may need further training.

Does your office have a lock on the door?  Do you have access to a locked area?  If you do bring treats again, get something that doesn't need refrigeration and lock it up.  Put the leftovers back in the lock up, too.

Your frustration is understandable.  It's too bad that the honest employees will likely be losing their treats due to the crooks in the group.


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