Author Topic: Another food thief thread  (Read 12836 times)

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KimodoDragon

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Re: Another food thief thread
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2013, 08:22:54 AM »
We had a similar situation at my work where they knew who was taking food.

The manager posted a notice on the fridge saying that "If you eat food you didn't bring you are a thief. (This company) does not employ people willing to steal. Steal food, lose your job. Got it?"

The food thief stopped immediately. Sometimes you need to be blatant with the consequences.

That same note went up on our fridge here.  It's in our company policy that theft is theft no matter what is stolen.  It seemed to work.  no recent complaints about food being stolen.


MrTango

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Re: Another food thief thread
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2013, 09:15:05 AM »
We had a similar situation at my work where they knew who was taking food.

The manager posted a notice on the fridge saying that "If you eat food you didn't bring you are a thief. (This company) does not employ people willing to steal. Steal food, lose your job. Got it?"

The food thief stopped immediately. Sometimes you need to be blatant with the consequences.

That same note went up on our fridge here.  It's in our company policy that theft is theft no matter what is stolen.  It seemed to work.  no recent complaints about food being stolen.

This seems like a good idea to me, but only if HR approves of (and is onboard with) the idea of summary dismissal of any employee caught stealing in the office.  If someone realizes (or even suspects) that the threat is an idle one, it won't be effective.  Of course, if someone suspects that the threat is idle, they get caught, and they are summarily escorted out the door, it'll send a very strong message to everyone else who might be tempted to steal something.

It's a nonviolent application of the Tarkin Doctrine.

tinkytinky

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Re: Another food thief thread
« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2013, 09:29:13 AM »
I like the paper bag stapled idea, with one addition. Put a note on the front of what is inside and an envelope. It would go something like this:

 This bag is not a vending machine as this food is for my meals. If you take something from this bag leave the amount for the item in the envelope so I may purchase something for my meal.

Granola bars - $.50 each
Tuna salad kit with crackers - $3.00
bag of chips - $1.00
oatmeal packets - $.75 each
trail mix - $1.50

etc......  This would work with the refrigerated items as well. You just have to be to the point. Your desk drawers/names on fridge items is not the same as the candy dish sitting on the desk for anybody to take a few.

The reason I think this would work is because the culprit seems to think " nobody saw me, it was only one little item, nobody will miss it. " This tactic lets the person know that you DO notice and you know exactly what is in the bag. with the bag stapled, you know immediately if somebody took something out of it. If something is taken out, and you were not compensated, you could then take it to the higher ups. If you have done something about it yourself, and didn't get results, your management will probably take a closer look, because it gets more serious.

(If everyone does this can you picture the person going from desk to desk, getting frustrated?)

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Hillia

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Re: Another food thief thread
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2013, 09:42:19 AM »
The problem is that food thieves are very entitled people.  Signs, attempts to shame them into good behavior, appeals to their better nature - none of these work because they just don't care.  If the person you suspect is the thief, he may even feel that he's earned the right to scavenge food - after all, he's there working late on Super Big Project.  Look how hard he works, the sacrifices he makes!  What slackers everyone else are, going home at 5!  He needs to eat when he's working so hard, and he just can't spare the time to go out and get something, or bring enough food from home.

I would be very surprised to see a company fire a manager for taking food.  That might be the final straw in a long list of other issues, but I can't imagine that would be the only reason.  As he's above you in the food chain, accusing him directly wouldn't be too productive and could hurt your career at that company.  You can't *make* him stop stealing your food.  It stinks, but there it is.  The only solution I see, as others have suggested, is to keep your food at your desk during the day, and lock your desk at night.  If your desk doesn't lock, take your food home with you every night.  It stinks, it's unfair, the guy is a total jerk and it would definitely affect the way I felt about him at work (no special favors or rush jobs for you, buddy), but I don't know that you have other alternatives.

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veronaz

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Re: Another food thief thread
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2013, 09:59:39 AM »
Quote
This bag is not a vending machine as this food is for my meals. If you take something from this bag leave the amount for the item in the envelope so I may purchase something for my meal.

I donít care for this because when Iím ready to eat my lunch or have a snack, I donít want money.  I want my food.  Telling someone itís okay to take my food as long as they leave money?  No, because then I have no food and I have to go out and buy something. 

rose red

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Re: Another food thief thread
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2013, 10:19:43 AM »
Call me cynical, but I don't think a sign will work on someone who does that in the first place.  I would just invest in a lunch box/bag that locks, or fashion a lock yourself.

VorFemme

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Re: Another food thief thread
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2013, 10:22:47 AM »
Get a locking briefcase or a laptop bag with a small padlock and leave any snacks overnight in it?  Gym bag with food in airtight container (metal or plastic) and gym clothes on top?  Used gym clothes probably not the best choice - and getting a small lock for the gym bag can be an option.

For some reason, if there is an obvious "break in" to get to something, it is more obviously "stealing" in some people's minds - and HR or management may have a harder time arguing that it was "just a yogurt" or "just a granola bar".  It was *something* in a locked container so it was "breaking & entering"!

I do know that many desks have locks - but the keys may have been lost or there are rules about NOT using the locks in case someone needs access to files or other items stored in the desk.  Sometimes one desk is set up to be used by different people on different shifts - so the common supplies and files are shared - there may or may not be a drawer set up for each user to keep private supplies in (I carried a briefcase because I had never met the other person sharing my desk and didn't think that a guy would want to see my feminine supplies - nor did I want random women "borrowing" them only to find the box empty when I needed them).
« Last Edit: October 08, 2013, 10:28:27 AM by VorFemme »
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Ms_Cellany

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Re: Another food thief thread
« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2013, 10:26:02 AM »
There's always the $20 Fridge Locker
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Hillia

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Re: Another food thief thread
« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2013, 10:39:42 AM »
There's always the $20 Fridge Locker

I went to the site to see what these were.  I lost it when he was using a grizzly bear to demonstrate how sturdy the locker is, and at the bottom of the screen the disclaimer pops up: 'Do not attempt this at home'.  Like I have grizzly bears hanging out, and I randomly toss them sealed food items to see if they can open them.

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Psychopoesie

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Re: Another food thief thread
« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2013, 10:40:14 AM »
Wouldn't surprised if it was someone senior.

I use to run a milk club for about 5 or 6 of us who worked as a team. We couldn't believe how fast the milk went, when none of us where having endless cuppas.

We were having a meeting in the tea room one day and I happened to look up and see one of the senior managers help himself to our milk (clearly labelled). He would have been on 2-3 times our salary.

I wrote him an email saying I'd noticed him using our milk and invited him to join our milk club, since he may not have known who to contact about getting started.

He never joined the club but our milk consumption dropped after I sent the email.

I suppose I'm saying unless the senior person is caught out like that and called out on it, I'm not sure it will stop. I'd previously put up polite notes on the fridge to no avail. Hillia's right - people that do this often feel very entitled IMO.



veronaz

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Re: Another food thief thread
« Reply #25 on: October 08, 2013, 10:44:14 AM »
A stapled bag won’t stop thieves.  They’ll just take the bag and rip it open.

To me, stealing food from the office frig or from someone’s desk is just as bad as stealing from someone’s purse/wallet/coat pocket and people are fired for those things.  Food thieves aren’t cute, funny, or harmless.  Others aren’t responsible for feeding thieves…….everyone at the office earns a paycheck.  Stealing food from the frig/desks is no different than stealing a wallet from someone's purse when they're in the bathroom stall.

I once worked in an office (a law firm) where people were missing relatively small amounts of money ($10, $5, $2) from their desks, purses, briefcases, and coat pockets on a regular basis.  A trap was set, and I think they also installed surveillance equipment.  The thief was caught and fired.  Turned out to be a woman who worked in the mail room.  She was really “nice” ::) and spent time chatting and observing people as she went around delivering and picking up mail.  Her "excuse" was that she didn’t make much money and had no money for food. (btw I’m not saying highly paid people don’t steal……..I know they do, so let’s not go there.)

Workplace theft is a security issue, not really an etiquette issue.  The only real solution is for management to be on board and fire thieves. Whether it's equipment, office supplies, food……it's THEFT
>:( and should be dealt with accordingly.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2013, 10:53:54 AM by veronaz »

tinkytinky

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Re: Another food thief thread
« Reply #26 on: October 08, 2013, 11:25:52 AM »
I don't know. I guess we all are going on personal experience. I kind of thought that this was more of a "I'm working late and need something to eat. I know they have food so I'll just help myself to some" as opposed to "OK they have left, now I can fulfill my master plan....Their food WILL be mine! Mwhahaha"

I worked in an office with one of each. We knew who did it each time. The paper bag idea would have worked with the first because he was just that clueless (and he was a second in command).  where nothing short of write up/let go would have helped with the latter. We ended up just bringing things each day (it was horrible on the days that someone forgot) That one resolved itself when that person left the company (so no advice on that one).

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BarensMom

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Re: Another food thief thread
« Reply #27 on: October 08, 2013, 11:35:46 AM »
I would absolutely love to see the look on the thief's face if he opens the office fridge and found a stack of Fridge Lockers!  >:D  You and your co-workers should totally do this!

BeagleMommy

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Re: Another food thief thread
« Reply #28 on: October 08, 2013, 11:48:59 AM »
I would start with a note saying: "Food has been taken from this refrigerator on a regular basis.  These are items that are not for general consumption, but belong to individual employees.  Please get permission before taking any food you did not bring in yourself".

If that doesn't stop the theft, go to a supervisor.  This would cause health problems for someone with a medical condition that needed to eat on time and/or specific amounts.

doodlemor

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Re: Another food thief thread
« Reply #29 on: October 08, 2013, 12:01:35 PM »
The problem is that food thieves are very entitled people.  Signs, attempts to shame them into good behavior, appeals to their better nature - none of these work because they just don't care.  If the person you suspect is the thief, he may even feel that he's earned the right to scavenge food - after all, he's there working late on Super Big Project.  Look how hard he works, the sacrifices he makes!  What slackers everyone else are, going home at 5!  He needs to eat when he's working so hard, and he just can't spare the time to go out and get something, or bring enough food from home.

I would be very surprised to see a company fire a manager for taking food.  That might be the final straw in a long list of other issues, but I can't imagine that would be the only reason.  As he's above you in the food chain, accusing him directly wouldn't be too productive and could hurt your career at that company.  You can't *make* him stop stealing your food.  It stinks, but there it is.  The only solution I see, as others have suggested, is to keep your food at your desk during the day, and lock your desk at night.  If your desk doesn't lock, take your food home with you every night.  It stinks, it's unfair, the guy is a total jerk and it would definitely affect the way I felt about him at work (no special favors or rush jobs for you, buddy), but I don't know that you have other alternatives.

Parking my POD right here. 

I really, really like Hillia's realistic, common sense approach.  In today's economy it might be easier to take extreme precautions than to put one's job in jeopardy. 

Also, it would be interesting if everyone took every bit of food home with them, so that there was absolutely nothing to steal.  Food thief would have to deal with being hungry or getting some food of his/her own.  It would be interesting if there were a cam showing this person ransacking his way through the office, looking for food.