Thursday, December 4, 2008

Short Attention Span Theater

I know "nobody cares what you had for lunch", but my lunch today involved a small mystery. We'll call it the Case of the Purloined Turkey.
For lunch yesterday, I went to the Fresh Market, bought a chef's salad and salad dressing and brought it back to work to eat. On the top of the salad were six rolls of meat and cheese - three ham and cheese, three turkey and cheese. I ate one of the ham and cheese rolls, tore up a turkey and cheese roll and a ham and cheese roll and sprinkled it on the salad. The salad was huge, so I ate about half put the other half in the refrigerator for today. I had eaten all of the ham and turkey and cheese that I had put on the salad, so when I finished, I had three rolls left - one ham, two turkey. I put them on the top of the remaining salad, closed up the container, and put it in the refrigerator. Today, when I got out my salad to eat it, there were only two rolls left, one ham and one turkey. There was also a small piece of lettuce caught in the seal tab on the salad container, which I'm fairly sure didn't happen when I closed up the salad after lunch yesterday. I noticed the fact that there was one less roll as soon as I opened the salad, but I really wanted salad for lunch today (a rare occurrence and not to be discouraged), and I decided that, given that the rest of the salad looked untouched, I would assume that someone had opened the salad container, taken a turkey and cheese roll, and closed the container back up and put it back in the refrigerator. I was a little shocked that someone had stolen part of my lunch. I mean, it was fairly common at the company I worked for previously, but I almost never bring lunch in, so I've never been a victim of having food stolen. And I really wouldn't have thought that my co-workers at this company would stoop to that level.

Although, as I ate my tampered-with salad, I remembered that when I first started here, we used to have a snack tray which would come up short of money every month. This was a tray of little crackers, brownies, gum, etc. that was placed in our office by a vending company - so it was the same kinds of snacks that you can buy in a vending machine. I don't know exactly why we had it as there was a snack machine on the first floor of our building, but whatever, it was there. It operated in the honor system. Each snack cost $.60 and there was a hole in the tray in which you deposited the money for the snack you took. I very rarely ate snacks from the snack tray, but when I did, I would put in a dollar, giving $.40 extra for my snack. I knew a few other people did this, too. However, every month, when the vending company came to pick it up, there was not enough money in the tray to cover the snacks that were gone. About six months after I started, our head honcho got fed up with paying the difference out of his pocket and told the vending company to take the snack tray out. So it's been gone for about three years now. Now, we're a small office, and we've turned over a great deal of our staff since the snack tray days. If we accept as a premise the fact that a person who steals snacks out of a tray that operates on the honor system might also steal a turkey and cheese roll out of an individual lunch in the 'fridge (not necessarily a foolproof assumption), that does narrow our list of suspects to about seven people. Of those seven, I know one of them did the same "pay a dollar for a $.60 treat" trick that I did. So she was not the snack tray thief. At the time, there was a lot of suspicion on one particular guy, but he's since left our office, so maybe he wasn't the snack tray thief after all. I do have one strong suspect from the snack tray days, whom I think would not be above stealing out of a lunch. But I just really don't like the guy, so maybe that's why I think it was him. If we reject the premise that a person who will steal out of a snack tray will steal out of a lunch, then we have the whole office as suspects. Only one person knew that that was my salad, and I really don't think he was culprit, so it couldn't have been personally directed at me.
So the question is - who moved my cheese?

12 comments:

Gina said...

That is messed up. Who the hell steals lunches? (although I know it happens all the time). We used to have a snack tray in our very small office and the same thing happened. Although, in our case, i think it was more of, "oh I don't have change, I'll put it in later" and forgetting.

However, now we have a guy who is really cheap. Whenever there is something on the company, like pizza, etc, he is always in. And yet, when we are pitching in, like for a birthday or something, he will refrain, claiming he doesn't like pizza. yet, between the time everyone leaves for the night and when we come in (he is the last one out), lots of pizza, cake, etc will disappear. He's a douche.

Shelly Overlook said...

Aside from the pathetic-ness of stealing the $.60 snack, someone noshing on your lunch, then putting it back!, really grosses me out.

Shelly said...

Gina - I know, right? I've always heard about lunch thieves, but this was my first time being a victim. Yeah, that may have been part of the problem in our office, also.

And your cheapskate sounds like a total douche. Stealing the food after he didn't contribute is extra dirty.

Shelly said...

Shelly - it grossed me out, too, but at least all of my co-workers are clean. We're a professional dress office, so no grubsters in jeans and dirty tshirts around here.

Pickles and Dimes said...

AHHHHH. This drives me insane. It's time for a lunchroom camera, I think. :)

Shelly said...

Shauna - YES!

d e v a n said...

URGH!

Jess said...

Wow. We've had people steal stuff from our fridges before, but it's always been, like, sealed frozen lunches. Nobody has ever opened someone's container, taken something, and then put the rest back. How odd.

Alice said...

wow. that's messed up. i've been the victim of lunch theft, but like jess - we're talking a whole sealed container, like a frozen lunch or something. not a PART of my ALREADY OPENED and half-eaten lunch. that's disturbing. i'm with shauna - time for a camera!

Shelly said...

devan - Agreed!

Shelly said...

Jess - see, now that I could understand. A whole frozen lunch makes sense to steal in my mind. It's the weirdness of taking part of the lunch and putting the rest back.

Shelly said...

Alice - I know! It's obvious that I have handled this food, so you're getting my germs when you open my lunch and take part. Weird.