May 21, 2012

The Work Yoghurt Thief.

It's only a small thing.  A ridiculous thing to be holding a grudge about but it is Monday morning.....

We have a yoghurt thief at work.  And I was their victim on Friday.  A few weeks ago, a colleague of mine fell foul of the thief and put an even more terse note than mine on the fridge door.  At first I thought she was being precious but now that it's happened to me, I feel her anger.  This wasn't an innocent mistake, our staff fridges are well away from public areas and non staff never wonder into 'our' areas of the building.  Also, the unwritten rule is that everyone labels their food and no one else at work shares my first name.

It's not the dollar value of what's been pilfered, it's the lack of respect and the loss of trust.  Yes, your life might have depended on our cartons of yoghurt, but the least you could do is leave an IOU note.  A replacement yoghurt would have smoothed the waters entirely.

I don't know why people at work do this kind of thing to each other.  We all work hard and well.  Meal breaks are well earned and needed moments of 'me time' to keep us going through the day.  None of as ask the world of our employer in terms of extravagant kitchen supplies and nor do we expect it.  We're all content to bring in creature comforts from home.

All any of us want is to be able to put food in the fridge, with our names on it and expect to find it when we wish to eat it.

How do you feel about work food thieves?  Does it happen at your work?


  1. YES! I think they are everywhere. If we have it- we are more than happy to share with staff and students who are hungry. There really is no excuse at our work as our boss has installed a fab coffee machine and an endless supply of biccies. A few years ago it was bad- in our little separate staff room we had a lot of food, coffee, milk etc 'go missing' after we left work. we took to wrapping things up in sticky tape or paper bags so that they couldn't see whats in there or writing that you have spat in it if it is a big bottle of juice. For us it is all about the inconvenience of then having to go out and source more food when you thought you were all set, sometimes if people are on supervision duty they only get 20 mins for lunch. it is extremely mean, cos many just go without then! A few years ago our boss followed through on it and treated it as extremely serious and sent out a pretty savage memo saying that there would be dire circumstances, including police involvement, if anyone was found to be stealing anything- including people's food and tea and coffee supplies. It stopped really quickly. Perhaps your supervisor could outline the discipline process they have at their disposal.

  2. So sorry someone stole your food! It's not a nice thing to do if people have no time or money to get replacements and have to go hungry all day! If you're a diabetic or something then yes your life could depend on your next snack/meal to keep your blood sugar levels right. I used to sit next to a guy who told me he had to keep his food in his desk, he couldn't bring in anything that needed to be refrigerated as people had stolen his food and he needs to maintain his blood sugar levels with snacks and such through the day. Just rude and there is no excuse for stealing someones't food!

  3. UGH! That is so annoying. I've had my cheese and a couple of other things disappear from the fridge at work before, but I've given them the benefit of the doubt since we don't label our items or anything.

    We often have the opposite issue at my workplace! I find myself emptying the fridge as it fills up so often.  I will never touch anyone else's stuff that is still within code and looks good, but when I do a clean up I often find tubs of yoghurt months past their use by date, or containters of food that have gone fuzzy and green! Ew.

  4. Red Roses and CrystalMay 21, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    I  liken this to co-workers who leave their coffee cup in the sink for others to wash up. Completely lazy and inconsiderate and a game I never played. 
    At my previous workplace we didn't encounter many dramas with stealing or the quaint term some use.. 'borrowing', because staff brought their food in a plastic lunch box which maybe made it more difficult to access for those with slippery fingers. Thieves will grab the easier option.
    Do you place foodstuffs into the fridge individually SSG? If yes then try packing all dietary requirements into one sealed container. If nothing else it will slow down the perpetrator and be sure to shove it right to the back of the fridge if possible.
    Good luck.

  5. I have never got how people do this. Don't they feel embarassed or ashamed? Can they really be that hungry for youghurt?

  6. That is so wrong town. I have heard of people TAKING a sausage out from someone's lunchbox. Who does that kind of thing?!!? Shameless!

  7. About a month ago I had some Snickers Rocky Road wrapped up in clear cellophane and tied up in ribbon in our staff fridge (only a few people have access) - it was a gift for a friend. I went to get the rocky road the next day, but it was gone. My anger has died down, but I'm still perplexed over it. It was wrapped up like a gift - who does that?! I'd had yoghurt and stuff taken before, but this tipped me over the edge. The lack of respect still upsets me.

  8. Rhiannon VanillaBlissMay 21, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    I've had it happen before too. I had 2 pieces of pizza wrapped in clingwrap and the person opened it and took one. I couldn't eat the other piece because I didn't know who had touched it!

    My partner leaves cheese at work and someone took that. The next day he was looking and a guy at his work said 'oh was that yours? It looked good, so I ate it'. No apology or anything!

  9. I feel your pain.  I am still cross about my jar of strawberry jam that disappeared a few months ago.

    Cant help looking suspiciously at peoples toast toppings now and wondering if they were the one :P

  10. Not quite a food steal but I had my lunch and a fork in the staffroom fridge once. Then lo and behold, I come back after teaching class and my fork is missing. Turns out one of the staffmembers gave it to a Year 7 student... what the hell? It was on top of my lunch container. People suck. Also go here for more laughs

  11. Sorry this is off topic but I swear I just saw you in the Tim Tam ad on tv!!! The one where Tim Tams grow on trees. You're wearing your Missoni poncho and holding a camera and have a huge smile on your face. I totally squealed at my husband and said "Hey, I think that's Sydney Shop Girl"! Have you seen it? Is it you?! How exciting if it is!

  12. I hate when I buy things like juice or cheese and when I enquire around our small office as to where it went, the answer is 'Oh I thought it was mine'. The same goes for the fact that I am the only person in the office to buy butter, but when I go to use it on the rare occasion I find it's almost empty! People need to learn fridge etiquette. 

  13. Yes this irritates me no end. Especially when you've taken the time to plan your lunch and bring the items to work to have them pinched by someone is very disrespectful. I've had a drink opened and half drunk then left in the fridge. Well what am I supposed to do with that now. I am not going to drink out of a bottle that someone I dont know has drunk out of. 

  14. I dont get why others would steal food. It's rude. I'd never do it as I prefer to know what I'm eating and where it's from. Sorry this happened to you.

  15. I think it happens in every office unfortunately :-(
    One of my colleagues put up a note recently saying "On Wednesday, someone ate my sushi. I would appreciate reimbursement for your honest mistake." Of course no one contacted him! 

  16. Not really an issue where I am now. We take it in turns to buy milk, biccies etc, if someone is out of tea or coffee we share. It all balances out in the end.
    Years ago, I would take a yoghurt in to work and it got stolen every day. One day I went on the hunt and caught the culprit red handed. She was like 'oh is it yours'. I told her she sure as hell knew it wasn't hers. She didn't do it again.

    TDM xx

  17. I will never understand why people do this. If nothing else - don't they think it will be obvious? When I used to work in an office there was a food thief who always used to eat this yummy goat chevre I liked to eat at breakfast with nuts. I stopped buying it because it was expensive and I was sick of replacing it. It is just such poor form. The worst part is that the office supplied tea/coffee/sugar/biscuits. It isn't as if they would starve if they didn't eat my cheese. 

  18. I'm not glad that I'm not the only person who's been robbed at work but I don't feel so bad about getting as angry as I did.  Some of you have some pretty disrespectful colleagues....

    SSG xxx


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