You may wonder, what kind of sociopath would think of taking a colleague’s lunch? Well, let me tell you, stolen food mysteries at the office are really part of the package you get when signing that blessed and very cursed contract.
In fact, a survey has shown that a whopping 47% of workers have been a victim to a lunch thief, and 33% of workers admit to “having a bite, or two, or the whole lunch box” of coworkers’ food without permission.
But one Reddit user with “a lot of food allergies,” little free time thanks to a newborn at home, and even less sleep has had enough of her stolen snack hoard. The woman who shared her story on r/ProRevenge has been keeping nonperishable food at her desk, but after a while, she started noticing the sweet and savory goodness going missing.
From boxes of candy to bags of chips, you name it, “I genuinely thought I was just losing my mind,” she said. So she went on Amazon and got a nanny cam, “Not for my baby. For my snack hoard.” The results were instant, and the mystery has been resolved with a shocking discovery.
One office worker has had enough of getting her snacks snatched from her desk, so she installed a nanny cam and made a shocking discovery
Image credits: unknown
To find out about the psychology behind why people steal their coworkers’ stuff, Bored Panda reached out to Arthur Markman, a professor of Psychology and Marketing at the University of Texas at Austin and Founding Director of the Program in the Human Dimensions of Organizations.
“Most people want to think of themselves as generally good, so most lunch thefts involve taking food from a communal spot like an office refrigerator rather than from someone’s desk,” the professor said and continued: “That said, it is common for people who bring food regularly to work to report that some of their food gets eaten by someone else without permission.”
When asked where temptation to take food from one’s coworkers comes from, Arthur named several reasons. “Some people feel like they are mistreated at work (underpaid, overworked) and see taking food as a way to even the score. Some people feel like other people who put food in a communal space know the risks that some of their food might get eaten. Some people are just hungry and looking for a quick bite.”
In some cases, “a few people are just not nice people, but most people who steal their colleagues’ food think of themselves as doing something relatively harmless,” the psychology professor explained.
Interestingly, people who steal food from their colleagues find ways to minimize the sense of guilt or shame. “They typically do something easy (like taking food from the refrigerator or taking something from an open package). They often do something they hope won’t be noticed. So, they rarely open an unopened package or take the last of something.”
Arthur said that “They also look for other justifications. If you think you’re being mistreated at work, then stealing food is just ‘leveling the playing field’ rather than being something you’re doing wrong,” he concluded.
And here’s what people had to comment on this office mystery
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