General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Another food thief thread

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My apologies for starting yet another food thief thread, but I can't search for an old one.

In the past six weeks or so (coincidentally coinciding with a stressful restructure), food has been disappearing from desks and the office fridge overnight.  The thief has particular tastes - yoghurt, carbs, and chocolate.  Sadly, those of us who have had food taken are the lowest paid in the office, and one colleague has had to forego breakfast this morning because her bread was pinched.

All food in the fridge is labelled, but the office thief doesn't care.  Items on desks (and in desk drawers) should be safe, but of course they are not.

We suspect we know who the offendor is: a very senior member of the team who often works late.  But there is no proof.

How can we politely let them know the thefts are not appreciated and ask them to stop?  (Bonus points if you can find a subtle way of saying "we know it's you!")  I voted for a somewhat PA note on the fridge warning the entire office about possible food theives; HungryColleague just threw a loud hissy fit.   :-\

I might suggest that one or more of you lower-paid people go to this person and ask them to help you. Treat him/her as though they are a potential ally. Ask for suggestions for what to do.

And ask if you can purchase, on the office dime, several Fridge Lockers. Ask him/her if they'd be willing to buy and put on the expense account.

Find someone higher up (not the food suspect, if you can avoid it, unless the people taking the issue us with the "higher up" are really good at acting like they just want a solution - not that they think that they are talking to the thief) and ask what the company can do about the theft of food.  People are going without meals - which means low blood sugar, poorer decision making skills, and all kinds of potential issues when everyone needs to be thinking and working their BEST to get through the special project.

Then sit back and wait for the manager to think of possible solutions.

Ordering in pizza for everyone during the push to the special project?

Locking storage for people to leave things in - like lunch, purses, jackets, etc.?

A company wide memo that anyone caught will be fired, no matter who?  And have that one signed by a higher up KNOWN not to be a suspect...

Good luck.

Has any notes been posted on the fridge or an email sent out to the group who has access to this area?

All employees,
We have had many complaints about food brought by employees disappearing. Food has gone missing from the refrigerator and from employee desks. Many co-workers are having to skip meals because the food they brought has gone missing.

We ask that everyone refrain from consuming any food that they did not bring or the provider didn't give explicit consent.

Thank You

I agree with Hmmmmm's note, but not the verbs.  The food didn't "go missing"--that sounds like it ran away.  It was STOLEN--I'd call the person doing this a thief right up front and try to shame them into stopping.  But I do think management should give people a locked place to store their belongings.


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