Dear Coworker: Were you really THAT hungry?

Please be gentle here, all. This is not just my first post in the pit, it’s my first post EVER here at the SDMB.

Dear Mysterious Coworker (and you know who you are):

After a year and a half working here, you probably are aware that I don’t take lunch. My boss, kind and gentle soul that he is, recognizes that I am averse to the hell of early morning hours, and thus permits me the incredible luxury of “flex time”, which means I get to come in at 10 am. However, since I enjoy going to the gym after work, and since lunch in this heavy-business area is usually at least an hour-and-a-half ordeal, I choose instead to eat at the office, at my desk, while performing work, so that I can put in 8 or 9 hours and still get off by 6 or 7 pm. This allows me to work out and still get home fairly early, in time to eat dinner and then not watch network TV.

For the last year and a half, I have brought in one of the following: 5 frozen microwave meals (one week’s worth of lunches), or sandwich fixings to last the week. Hey - it’s boring, but it keeps me fed and allows me to work uninterrupted (or at least surreptitiously surf the net whilst eating). :slight_smile:

So, yesterday I worked from home. For those counting, it means I have an extra frozen meal this week. Yay. Today, I came in (early, no less! Ugh.) and immediately jumped into a huge, massive, intensely important project. At about 3 or so, the hunger pangs had overtaken my very soul, and I decided to walk the ten steps to the kitchen and nuke myself a meal. Now, for those counting, I have 3 meals left, right? Wrong! Oh, so very wrong! There are NONE left.

Coworker, I’m on a deadline here. I really didn’t even want to break for lunch, but my energy was fading. Because of YOU, I had to walk downstairs, get in the blistering hot car, and drive 10 minutes to MacDonalds - cursing you every 20 seconds or so - where I got a Fruit and Yogurt parfait. I drove back to the office, and guess what? The damn parfait is still frozen. I can’t eat it (although let me tell you, I tried). So now, the migraine is kicking in from low blood sugar, and I’m pissed, and I STILL have this deadline, you know?

Coworker, I know all about the (mis)conception that occurs in all offices. You know, the one where you think any food in the fridge is yours. I may get mildly perturbed if my Coke goes missing, but hey, them’s the breaks. If you were strapped for cash and didn’t have any food, I’d welcome you to one of my meals - you don’t have to tell me about it (though it would be nice), and hell, you wouldn’t even have to pay me back. But THREE MEALS??? What, did you need dinner too? It’s so fucking obvious that you KNEW I wasn’t in yesterday, and figured you could sneak them right on out. I mean, maybe I wouldn’t even notice that ALL THREE of my meals were gone, right?

So, hey - thanks a lot. And fuck you. You broke my concentration, you wasted a half-hour of my time that needed to be spent on a very time-intensive project (did I mention that it was crucial?), you gave me a migraine that’s STILL pounding, and you just pissed me right the hell off.

And they weren’t even GOOD meals. They were fucking Lean Cuisine.

The solution to your problem:
[li] Purchase another 5 Lean Cuisine meals.[/li][li] Choose one, preferably the one with the most appetizing picture on the front of the box.[/li][li] Hi, Opal! :D[/li][li] Freeze the other 4, put the 5th in a Ziploc bag, and find somewhere warm. Leave it there for a week or so.[/li][li] Re-freeze the 5th one.[/li][li] Take all 5 to work, put them in the freezer, and wait for hilarity to ensue.[/li][/list=1]

(Oh…and welcome to the board. :D)

Can’t you bring in one Lean Cuisine® every day? That’s what I do, although they’re not always Lean Cuisine® ;).

But I’ve taken to eating at my desk (and not going on break with my group) for a few reasons:

  1. The conversations at lunch are so goddamn banal.

  2. I’m legally entitled to two paid 15-minute breaks every day, but I go out for five-minute smoke breaks a few times a day, so it’s really not fair for me to take a 15-minute break in the morning (my group never takes break in the afternoon) in addition to the time I spend outside smoking. However, maybe this and not eating with the group make me considered antisocial - even though I’m friendly and good-natured with everyone - and contributes to my fears I’ve expressed in this thread.

  3. Hi, Opal! :rolleyes:

  4. It takes my manager out of her office so I can surf openly. Do you think I do any actual work while they’re at lunch? Noooo way! Anyway, it’s my half-hour, unpaid lunch break. I should be able to do what I want.

Anyway, I don’t see why you can’t bring in one frozen dinner every day as I suggested. That’s what I do. They’re not the greatest, but they’re food. More or less…

  • s.e.

Very articulate! Great post, and an asshole co-worker. Welcome.

Could it have been three assholes acting independently?

Three assholes in one office?

Not likely outside the Beltway. Or a proctologist’s office.

Welcome! Please, for everyone’s sake, print that out and post it on the fridge. Then report back to us on the results. For scientific purposes! Come on!


Sounds petty, but could you put your name on them?
You know, just a slip of paper that says “This is deborak’s fucking Lean Cuisine, it’s not even that good, so don’t eat it!”

Wow, thanks for the welcome! How exciting to Actually! Get! Responses!

Apotheosis - you are baaaaad. I love it! :smiley:

Scott Evil - Yes, bringing an individual meal each day IS the logical thing to do. Unfortunately, even 10 am is just too early for my mind to function. I’m lucky to make it to work with my briefcase and my shoes! If I had to count on remembering to bring lunch every day, I’d be starving half the time and wouldn’t even have a coworker to blame it on…

It’s just so strange - I’m the ONLY person who keeps meals in the freezer - EVER. I work in the smaller suite upstairs, where I’m the only female, and suffice it to say that the engineers I work with would most likely die before passing up a long lunch to eat a crappy frozen meal.

Someone was either really desperate or has peculiar klepto tendencies. But it was still pretty shitty, and this was the worst day to have this happen. Grrr.

From here on out, I get to resort to kindergarten tactics. Name on my lunch in big, bold, black magic marker!

And WHY do people think that if it’s in the office refrigerator, it’s theirs?

That’s a little too subtle for me. I usually take a red Sharpie, draw a skull and crossbones and write something like: "DANGER! POISON! TOXIC WASTE! DO NOT EAT!!!

And, just in case: THIS MEANS YOU!!!

Why do people think what’s in the office fridge is “theirs” until it comes time to clean the fridge - at which point in time everyone denies all knowledge of its contents?

Seriously - great intro to the boards and you didn’t even complain about the MONEY you were out : lean cuisine and similar meals run at about $5 upwards each here…

Until recently, we never had problems like this at our workplace. Our whole floor is occupied by the IT department, and one of the perks provided to keep everyone happy (e.g. not out hunting for higher-paying jobs) was free Otis Spunkmeyer cookies, complete with a little oven.

The freezer was kept well-stocked with these huge plastic bags of frozen cookie dough balls, which very few people bothered to actually bake before eating (the smell would quickly attract hyena-like packs of bloated, malodorous scavengers from the marketing department downstairs). Consequently, no one saw the need to steal food.

Ah, the heady days of the internet revolution.

All the perks disappeared when the tech bubble popped, of course; but for a while, life was swell. Now we’re forced to resort to guerilla tactics, some of which have been considerably less pleasant than that described in my first reply.

[Homer]mmmmm… frozen cookie dough balls…[/Homer]

This is why I like to cook huge batches of weird ethnic food, not easily identifiable by anyone outside of that ethnicity, on the weekends and bring it in individual Tupperware. If they don’t know what it is, they aren’t likely to snatch it. I happen to love homemade borscht, but if you put in enough sour cream, it looks an awful lot like Pepto-Bismol…my co-workers may tease me if we eat together, but it tastes a lot better than the slop the fast-food place across the street dishes out. (And it’s cheaper and healthier, too!)
The 2% milk, though, which I buy to avoid the hideous chemically based non-dairy creamer that the office buys, disappears like hotcakes, no matter how big I write my name on it.

I once had a cow-worker like that. You could not bring in any food that she didn’t immediately try to “taste” (which meant eating half of it). I once ran to the grocery at lunch, and she asked me “What food is in the bag?” I said “MY FOOD,” and she got angry “What’s wrong with me taking a little bit of it?”

I bought it, I paid for it. Get your own.

A friend here at my office had a problem with someone taking some of her food, so most recently she attached a note to her stuff that read: “If you take this food, I will hunt you down, rip off your arm and beat you to death with it … have a nice day!”

Seems to work so far.

A friend of mine had problems with this. Her meals were Healthy Choice, and would notice one or two meals disappearing in the course of a week.

She tried placing her name clearly on the package. She even opened up the package thinking that the thief might think it could have been tainted in some way. She even left nice (and then hostile) notes on the refrigerator door. Nothing seemed to work, her food was still being stolen.

We tried every bit of detective work to track the thief. We could never find the packaging the meal came in, let alone any clues to the thief’s identity.

Then I got an idea. We went to a card store and picked up a musical greeting card. It was a graduation card that played a beeping “We’re in the Money” when the card was opened. We extracted the mechanical bits and placed them in one of the dinners.

Sure enough one of the meals turned up missing… Then from our boss’ office we heard a familiar tune….

Never even thought of checking his office trashcan.

A word of warning; gratifying as it might be to adulterate some foodstuffs and leave it there for the hapless thief to consume, knowing that this might cause injury or discomfort, there might be adverse legal implications in so doing; sad but true.

[/wet blanket]

We had a problem with this, and curiously nobody cared until it happened to a manager. Then we were entreated to a company wide email. Her points were basically that it’s not just a tuna sandwich. After running home on the train, cooking, eating, cleaning up after dinner and kids baths and putting them to bed, she prepares for the next day which includes:

  1. Kids clothes and bag for daycare.
  2. Her clothes
  3. Checking homework

It’s not just a sandwich or the fact that she paid for lunch twice. It’s TIME. She could have easily and more happily spent that time cuddling with her husband or reading a book. It’s the time she took to make sure she had the items in the house to begin with. It’s the time she had to take to go get another lunch 'cuz your sorry ass was to lazy or too irresponsible to plan ahead. And I agree with her.