punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Why do people steal other people’s lunches at work?

While this isn’t a problem where I work, this topic has always puzzled me.

What goes through people’s minds when they do this? This is theft, pure and simple.

When I bring my lunch to work, I keep it at my desk. This practice started because an issue we had at the AOL Herndon office when I worked there in 1996. Stealing your lunch was just a smaller picture of a bigger problem, however. Our company had free coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Free is free, right? Some asshats would steal entire boxes of the stuff, and it got so bad, that we all kind of waited around until “supply day” and got what we could to last the week because in 2 days, it would be gone. This, of course, made the problem worse. Finally, we got memos that stated, “There is no reason our floor, which has 120 employees, should go through 500 paper plates, 500 forks, 500 spoons, 8 packs of paper towels, 2 boxes of 48ct cocoa mix, 200 foil bags of pre-measured coffee, 8 canisters of dry creamer, 8 canisters of sugar, and 1 box of Lipton tea bags (100ct) in a week!”

When takayla worked at an insurance office, people stole lunches there a lot. Not only that, someone got their insulin stolen.

I work in a small office now, and we only had one instance of this. Our network manager has a VERY strict, diabetic diet. He has to measure his food and so on. One day, someone was eating his lunch. This made him furious, not just because of the theft, but because he was suffering some sugar imbalance issues because of this. So he set up a network camera. Days later, we got the guy, who was a fairly new employee with an attitude that matched his actions. It surprised no one he was the culprit, and he didn’t work with us much longer after that (a mutual “get out/I quit” sort of thing).

This happen where you work? Have any of you been a victim of this? Can anyone explain to me this psychology?
Tags: lunch, theft, work
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