- Tech & Gadgets
- BRW. lounge
Published 31 July 2012 03:00, Updated 25 March 2013 11:22
Drina had only been at her new job for one day when her lunch went missing from the office fridge overnight. It was not much of a welcome – and that thief knows what they can do with the purloined butter and fetta.
Petty theft is a perennial workplace problem and the biggest question is not how but why.
Why would someone steal from their colleagues? They often spend more time in close proximity to their workmates than their own families and friends.
Tony admits to stealing an apple from Drina’s desk when he was working late one day but says he admitted it the next morning.
“And I got paid back because she’d had it on her desk for a long, long time and it was awful,” he says.
Roger, a manager, had fallen back into the grip of the drug ice and was raiding people’s desk drawers looking for cash. Eventually, he asked a number of people at work to lend him money before leaving his job.
“He must have walked away with more than $1000,” says one colleague. “He was a manager and we all trusted him. We didn’t know he was also asking everybody else.”
Len admits to committing fraud in two different jobs when he was a teenager and collecting money for weekend binges, first with marijuana, and then with ice.
“I did it because it was easy and it was there,” he says. After rebelling against his Jehova’s Witness parents, he was keen to be accepted by the “bad kids”.
Some people try to foil the thieves, locking their cabinets, taking home their headphones and other equipment.
Webcams can also even the score. One worker set one up to catch whomever was stealing his fruit, then made a screensaver, complete with screen gabs of the thief in action, with a message: “Stop stealing my things or I will report you,” according to a report on HC Online.
Some contributors to eHow.com have listed anti-pilfering suggestions for those who want their food to hang around long enough to eat.
(With assistance from Liz Cooper-Smith. Some names have been changed to protect the perpetrators.)