As we previously told you, one worker’s live tweeting of the mystery of a colleague’s stolen shrimp friend rice lunch recently captivated the Internet, having been re-tweeted over 173,000 times. And while the drama surrounding the missing lunch may have been unique, the idea of a stolen lunch isn't exactly new.
According to a poll, about 18% of workers admit they’ve eaten someone else’s lunch out of the office communal fridge. In fact, “Ask A Manager” blog writer Alison Green notes that stolen food is a “constant” theme among those who write in to her. “It's such an unusual thing to be so widespread," she says. "Who are these sociopaths who are stealing lunches across the land?"
Of course, not all of this lunch stealing is on purpose. In some cases it’s as simple as picking up someone else’s yogurt thinking it’s your own, or maybe someone cleaning out the fridge and not realizing the food is new.
And you while you may think it’s funny to get away with snagging someone else’s meal, it actually could have consequences on the job. "People don't forget it — and you see these people every day," career and workplace expert Dan Schawbel, author of the forthcoming book "Back to Human,” says. “It becomes a trust issue. This person might not ever be promoted, or when it's bonus time, they might not get a bonus."