Work fridge: NOT your grocery store

What if you had a peanut butter sandwich and the co-worker is allergic to peanuts? Ditto sulfites, ditto allergenic food dyes, ditto seafood. Are you legally responsible to provide food that’s safe for him to steal?

I agree that the solution is a combination lock on the fridge. At least that way you can rule out certain culprits and go from there.

Ferret Herder, I get all of that, but did you not read post #17, where I relate that anecdote that was my experience with my food only?

Also, in post #20, where I lay out everything I tried – clearly labeling the food as mine and not to be thrown away, notifying authorities, hiding the food, several times – the thief continued to think what I bought was their private source of dessert.

Let me try this another way. After all those attempts to thwart the thief, what would you have done?

And please don’t let the next suggestion out of your mouth be that I should have stopped bringing food. (Sorry, OP.)

And thanks fish. You’ve provided some insight, including reminding me that a lock of some sort would have been ideal – I wish I had had that as a first option.

While the laxative idea is illegal, a big batch of prune brownies (extra prunes) is not. It’s an old family recipe. The fact that it’s an unusual recipe is not relevant. It was in the refridgerator with your name on it.

If you bring a bowl of shrimp fettucini and someone with a shellfish allergy steals and eats it, you are not responsible.

It is the function of the legal system to mete out punishment. It is not your right, nor your job to do so. :mad:

I wasn’t meting out punishment, I was trying to prevent what was mine from being stolen. :eek:

I couldn’t care less if the thwarted thief felt punished.

That’s bullshit, and you know it. You wanted to even the score, you chose the vigilante route after you felt you’d been wronged too many times and the system was ignoring you. You chose to break the law, and punish the offender yourself. Sure, the side effect was that the thefts stopped, but the main purpose was to punish the culprit so he would choose to stop rather than risk more of the same.

Have we met somewhere before and I’ve forgotten? You don’t know a goddamned thing about what I was after. Just because that’s what *you’d * have done it for, don’t impute those motives to me. I’ve told you exactly why I did it. Anything else is all in your mind. At least you stumbled upon something correct: I gave the culprit a reason to stop and that’s all I wanted to do.

Back in the real world, sometimes you have to help yourself. In many places, the legal system is useless for minor crimes.

Bullshit. Unless you put a sign on your food announcing that it contained laxatives, adulterating it did not in any way prevent it from being stolen. It just made life miserable for the thief (and possibly some innocent victims) later. Sounds like punishment to me.

If you want it sound like that, I guess it will. They stopped after that though, so you tell me if it prevented it from being stolen (were you there in my life and have an alternate story?).

When you give your children a timeout to get them to behave correctly, are you doing it became you enjoy punshing them, or are you doing something that may be punitive but the ultimate goal is to get them to do something desirable? The purpose is not to punish them for the sake of punishing them, it’s to achieve a desired result. If you can’t see that, then, well . . . .

Again, I’ve met more Dopers in real life than I thought. Another who imputes his motives to me, but states it as indisputable fact.

OP, my apologies and I won’t let posters continue to involve me in derailing your thread. I only shared post #17 as my experience with a food thief and how I solved it. You and I have already amiably agreed to disagree.

Sorry, if I put my lunch in the office fridge, it’s still my lunch. Too bad for you if my brownies have laxatives in them.

Well, that’s kind of weird. I guess it could be explained by the rationalization whoever’s doing it might be making, that if it’s only food they’re stealing it’s okay. I would still work with the building management to solve it (I think monitoring would be the way to go), because I wouldn’t want to lose tenants or contracts over one thief. But, as you say, you’re leaving anyway. I hope someone some day catches the thief and punishes them appropriately.

And then it’s entirely possible that the criminal will sue you, and win.

When I bring lunch, it’s typically in an insulated lunch bag, with cold packs, and I leave it at my desk. I also eat food that’s generally considered to be “weird” (vegetarian, unusual flavors/cuisines, etc.), and no desserts. Mind you, that’s not intentional on my part, it’s just how I eat. If someone was eating my food and I were in your situation, I probably would have gone for lots of tofu recipes and other odd stuff until I achieved a sufficient level of “wtf” that scared off the pilferer. Probably Tofutti “ice cream” in the dessert situation. Harmless food coloring. But nothing that would cause physical harm of any kind. I’m sorry, but I couldn’t conscience that over a minor-yet-seriously-annoying property crime, and there is the risk of being in worse legal trouble than any thief you might nab.

Then the alternative is to wait in the back of the room all night, and when they steal your food, beat them soundly with a tire iron.

I fucking hate theives, and hope they all die painful, lingering deaths.

Illegal? Perhaps, but it’s certainly not immoral.

Right and thank you for this speedy and excellent reply.

I would double-check to make sure this isn’t some kind of Memo having been given to the cleaning staff a long time ago “Fridays is the day we clean out the fridge, anything in there please dispose of”, as Swallowed My Cellphone mentioned.

(bolding mine)

So if in additon to labeling my food as my property I put a label saying "WARNING! THIS PRODUCT CONTAINS EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF LAXATIVES. EATING IT MAY RESULT IN VIOLENT ILLNESS AND/OR DEATH! I’m in the clear? After all the thief had ample warning that it was not meant for eir consumption and that it contained ingredients that could make them sick.

What the stupid fuck.

When I had my kidney operation, I had to evacuate my intestines. I was given a bottle of really dreadful stuff to do this. Nasty as it tasted, I mixed it with other things to make it more palatable.

If I had mixed it with a bottle of orange juice, say, and left it on my desk and someone else took it and drank it and got sick, that’s my fault?

Or is it only my fault if I thought “And I hope Billy drinks this because he’s full of crap” but I don’t actually say “Hey Billy, drink this!” or put Billy’s name on it or something.

Who exactly is going to point at intent if someone makes laxative mousse? In my experience that’s more likely to be a case of trying to make my medicine more palatable.

I had medication in a prescription bottle in my desk. Pills were missing the next day when I came to work. If someone stole my pain medication and abused it and became sick or worse, am I liable? Do you really think I should be?

And if so, could you please get bent?

I was really mostly joking when I mentioned the laxatives. I think it would only be illegal if they could prove your intent. You weren’t setting a booby trap, you just happened to not feel regular that day and put some laxatives in your food so you could go to the bathroom. :wink: How are they even going to know who put the food there anyway?