No one likes a thief, especially one that targets food. Although their actions may not have made them the most popular person in the workplace, these people have some pretty good excuses for why they took to food thievery. Whether it was revenge, to make a point, or just from hunger, lunch thieves spill their reasons for why they are the way they are.
He Really Wanted To Get Back At That Thieving Coworker
“Back when CD’s were a thing, I had a guy steal a cd case of mine containing about two hundred dollars worth of CDs. I saw him do it, but he managed to hide it before I could run the son of a gun down. So I stole his lunch out of the fridge every day for about two months until he quit bringing his own and started going next door to the very expensive cafe to buy a lunch. I figure I cost him at least twice what he cost me.
It turned into quite a production. I even had management helping me arrange to steal his sandwiches so he could never figure out who was doing it. He ate nasty crap too, so it wasn’t even like I was stealing it to eat it. I usually just carried it out the back door and fed it to the local hippie’s dog. Scooter gained about ten pounds on Thomas’s lunches.
Revenge is definitely a dish best served cold. Refrigerated, even.”
She Only Did It Because She Had No Other Choice
“I’m not proud, but I did it once out of desperation. I was not in a great place. My significant other was not working or contributing at all financially. I had just gotten my paycheck, paid all the bills with it, and literally had nothing left, something like 70 cents. I was starving. I had no money to buy anything from the cafeteria, I was depressed and angry. So I took someone’s frozen dinner, snuck up to a different break room where I heated it up and ate it. It’s a big place. I never heard anything about it. I did feel guilty and put another one in there a few months later when things had gotten better.”
Doris Takes Her Lemon Yogurts Very Seriously
“When we were first married, I packed my husband’s lunch. Lots of food and little snacks. When he got to work, he’d take the fridge stuff to the shared fridge and keep the dry stuff in the box at his desk.
On Monday, I’d packed him a lemon whips yogurt.
On Tuesday, I packed a raspberry one.
Guess who forgot he had raspberry yogurt and ate a lemon yogurt out of the fridge on Tuesday?
The lady who had the lemon yogurt FREAKED OUT. She screamed at my husband, began crying, complained to everyone up to HR and down to janitorial services. He went to the store the next day and bought five lemon whip yogurts and wrote, ‘Sorry, Doris!’ on all of them. She was still pissed. He even tried to give her the raspberry one and it made her even angrier (apparently ‘Lemon was her thing and everyone knew it!’) which is why he replaced it with five lemon ones.
We moved away, and later went to a wedding where we ran into one of his former coworkers and the first thing she said was, ‘Do you remember yogurtgate?! Doris is STILL upset.’
Doris was (by all accounts) insane. This story was recounted to me by his other, sane coworkers probably 1,000 times at holiday parties and get togethers.The wedding we went to back home was five years after he left, so apparently, it’s still a thing, still ruining this lady’s day.”
Every Time He Couldn’t Find His Lunch, He Freaked Out Even More
“A long time ago, maybe 15 or so years, I worked at a company that bought lunch every day. You might think hey, that’s a nice thing, but they also didn’t let you leave the building for your lunch. Whatever, they paid enough to make dealing with that worthwhile, and free lunch.
There was this guy there that nearly everyone hated. I actually kind of liked the guy, thought that despite being a complete toerag, he was kind of funny. Well, this guy started being a jerk to the people who delivered lunch one day, so I figured screw him, I’ma eat his lunch. So I did. And he was ticked. Then I did it the next day, and the next.
I would eat his lunch 4 out of 5 days. I started not ordering lunch for myself, I would just eat his. And nearly every day, I’d hear him bellowing about how those freaking idiots forgot his lunch, and going around to every group checking the group’s lunch to see if his was just misplaced. He’d call the lunch delivery place and lose his mind at them. It was not misplaced, nor forgotten. And the lunch places got wise too – they would double check, and have someone sign that his lunch was indeed delivered. I ate his lunch, over and over, I ate it. Then on the day I quit, I told him that I had been eating his lunch for five and a half years. Screw you, Henry.”
He Lived For The Days When Meetings Were Catered
“I am a software engineer by trade. I was around during the dot com boom. Things were grand for a few years before the bubble burst and things got slim. Previously, people would hire you on the spot if you could list off enough acronyms, skill was not a necessity. I had a daughter and another daughter on the way. When the market went to crap, there was literally no work – way too many posers.
Around 2000, 2001, I was unemployed for some time, about 6-8 months. When 9/11 happened, the market went from crap to worse. I took the first thing that popped up, but it was thousands of miles from home. I packed things in my car and went for it. I sent nearly every penny I earned back home to the wife and kids to live – and had basically just gas money left to get from the janky motel to work and back.
Anyway, back on point, I didn’t buy food. I would eat the leftovers from corporate meetings and lunches that were left for over a day. I actually would stay late after people left for the day so that I could eat out of the garbage cans in the lunchroom – a lot of decent food would be thrown away and that was my primary nutrition for the 9+ months I was there.
I didn’t take anyone’s fresh lunch that I know of. I wasn’t trying to rob anyone of anything, and honestly, the greatest bounties I had were after in office meeting/lunches and all the leftovers from them. These are usually thrown into the break room for whomever to take after they’re done. I would pack as much as I could covertly and ration them as long as possible, days or weeks.
Eventually, I found a contract close to home and was able to move back before my second daughter was born. I was very grateful and was able to at least afford to eat simple meals with the family.
I think a lot of people just assume that because you’re in a reasonably respectable position/career that there are not tough times, but that isn’t always true. The pride in me kept me from asking people for help and certainly from admitting I was on the verge of homelessness. I did work through it in the end, but it was tough – but worth it.”
He Got In Trouble With His Commanding Officer, But It Was So Worth It
“I’m in the army. At my old duty station, we had a fridge that was reserved just for snacks and food you had to pay for. We used the funds to buy going away plaques for people leaving the unit. There was another fridge reserved for food brought from home. Anyway, this chief warrant officer liked to put his lunch in the fridge meant for the paid food all the time. I hated when people used their rank or status to try to get away with things, so finally one day I got tired of it. I took his AMAZING sandwich and put $2 in the jar. He was TICKED when he saw his lunch was gone and started yelling and asking who took it. I looked him in straight in the eye said, ‘Oh, sorry, thought it was for sale since it was in THAT fridge,’ as I pointed to the one reserved for sales. I’m an E-4. He’s a CW4. Yeah, my commanding officer railed me for that one. Afterward, we laughed about it. The chief didn’t put his lunch in the wrong fridge for the rest of his time there.”
Their Boss Was None Too Happy To Be Disturbed Over Something So Small
“One time my boss had a peach cobbler in the fridge and he told me I could have it. I was eating it later that day in the lunchroom, which was right next to his office. Another coworker came in while I was eating the cobbler and said with a big smile and a laugh ‘Isn’t that Ted’s (my boss) peach cobbler? Hahaha. Is it GOOD?’
I said, ‘Yeah, it’s delicious,’ and didn’t think much else of it. The next day, I was eating in the lunchroom and she went into Ted’s office to rat me out for eating his peach cobbler, which he told me I could have. This ticked me off because she was always really nice. She didn’t know I was in the lunchroom at the time and she’d left the door to his office open. I could hear the whole thing and my boss knew it. Well, he proceeded to yell at her for bothering him with something so trivial while he was in the middle of something. He then told her no one likes a snitch. She was facing him with her back to the door and I walked in the doorway while he was yelling at her and gave him a head nod. He saw me and ever so slightly returned the nod while still yelling at her.
I put two and two together and figured out why I got in trouble on other occasions when the boss wasn’t around and had no way of knowing what I did. Anyway, I would throw her lunch away every Friday for the next month and then whenever I felt like it after that. I feel bad that I did it that many times now, but man I was ticked at the time. Probably because she was always so nice to my face and then would turn around and snitch on me for stupid crap.”
Eat Her Pie, Say Goodbye To Your Bear-Claws
“Jerk ate most of the homemade pie I was given by a client and then feigned illiteracy and blindness when pointed to the, ‘For [my name], do not eat!’ note taped to it.
In retaliation, I spent the next two weeks waiting for him to take his 11:30-12:25 timewaster trip to the john and then stole the bear-claw from his lunch.
After a few days, he started bringing two, then three. He thought he was just eating them and not remembering, because, as he put it, ‘There’s no way any of you would steal my lunch, you all order out!’
I think I ate one or two of them, just to spread the crumbs all over his desk; The rest I stored in a locked drawer until I needed the space, and then delivered them to the warehouse with ‘Courtesy of Jerk’ written on the box.”
What Goes Around Comes Around, Lady!
“A lady I used to work with stole my lunch several times. I went to HR about it and she cried and said she was having money problems, so they let it go. I heard her later telling her cube mate that she just kept eating her lunch before lunch time and she didn’t want to have to go out for lunch, so she ate other people’s lunches. So after that, I made a point of raiding her lunch box and taking anything packaged that looked good. I did it every day until she quit.
It was a mean thing to do, but screw her.”
How Eating His Lunch Nearly Started A Fist Fight In The Office
“Well, I try not to do it too often, but I find it a shame to waste food, so if it’s the end of the week, and people have left stuff in the fridge that is going to expire over the weekend, and they aren’t around to eat it, I will eat it instead. Or try to make some use of it.
As for other stuff, I leave it alone. Once it hits a day before expiration though, I eat it. If someone does claim to have been stolen from though, I explain and repay. Usually, the ‘victim’ is understanding, and accepts it for what it is, and leaves me alone afterward. Once, though, it got heated and I had to knock some teeth out to get my point across. The guy would leave food all the time, for weeks before I started doing my weekly ‘clean-up.’ Eventually, he got mad at me, saying he was saving that food. Everyone knew he was full of crap though as he would bring in lunches, and then go buy lunch instead and leave it to rot in the fridge, thinking it was funny that the ladies had to clean it up. That was when I started to eat the food he left behind before it was past the expiration date. We all knew he would never eat it, so it fell into that golden realm of ‘Screw you, you aren’t eating it anyway.’ He got violent and demanded I repay him. I told him that if he were to have been actually eating his lunches, then sure, but as far as I knew, he didn’t give a crap if it went to waste, so why should it matter? The other 30 some coworkers agreed with me. That ticked him off. Enough to swing at me, which was dumb of him. Do my work enough, and even if you look like a little roly poly, you still have a bunch of muscle underneath that flab. Didn’t take much to get him to start eating his own lunches that his wife would make him and quit wasting food.”
That’s What She Gets For Microwaving Her Food When She’s Supposed To Be Covering Breaks!
“I worked at a casino where dealers rotate from table to table, then go on break. So it was up to the people who had their break after you in the rotation to get you to break on time. One lady would always run to the bathroom or to the break room to get a sip of water before giving you your break. Always this or that which would put you on break late. This day, she was after me in the rotation again and it was time for my break. So, of course, she went to the break room first to pre-heat her food, once again screwing me out of my break. So when she showed up and I was able to go on break, I found her food in the microwave and ate it. One of the most satisfying meals ever.”
He Was Trapped In The Office, What Else Could He Do?
“I was trapped in the office by myself for an entire weekend because of a blizzard/state of emergency. After I ran out of my own food and singles for the vending machine, I raided someone’s stash of frozen dinners in the freezer.
I left an apology note and replaced them afterward.”
One Sandwich Won’t Make Too Much Of A Difference
“We had a long training and my company provided small and delicious sandwiches from a caterer. They always take the leftover sandwiches and put them in a fridge for us to eat throughout the week. After a really stressful day, I just wanted a sandwich so I went to the fridge. They were all out of sandwiches except for a grocery bag with my boss’ name on it. In the bag were about five sandwiches. I opened that bag and took one for myself. My boss didn’t pay for those with her own money, she doesn’t get to take them home with her. Plus, she makes 3x as much as I do, she can afford a deli sandwich more than I can.”
“I Was Ashamed Of Myself, But I Was Just So Hungry”
“Back in 2007, I was in an abusive relationship where the guy would take my paychecks and spend all our money on pills. I was a bit chubby at the start of the relationship, but I lost like 40lbs in a couple months cause I literally had nothing to eat most days aside from plain white rice and water. I used to get dizzy every time I stood up. I would sometimes find enough change on the ground to buy a Dr. Pepper at work and that would usually get me through my shift, but there were a couple of times I was so hungry that I resorted to sneaking bits of people’s lunches in the break room. One time, I ate the rest of my boss’s half-eaten brownie, and another time I ate a rotten apple that someone had left behind the microwave.
I was ashamed of myself, but I was just so hungry. Those were dark times.”
She Thought That Brown Sack Looked Familiar…
“I did it completely on accident. My mom and I both packed our lunches in brown paper bags and put them in the refrigerator the night before. I grabbed the bag I thought was mine and went to work the next morning. When I got there, I put the bag in the fridge. Lunch time came around and I grabbed the bag out of the fridge and opened it up. It was healthy crap that I did not pack. Obviously, I had grabbed my mom’s lunch that morning on accident. Having nothing else to eat though, I dug in and ate whatever the heck it was she packed. About an hour later, I started thinking about it and it occurred to me I had seen another brown bag lunch in the fridge at work when I got ‘my mom’s’ lunch out. I went back and checked that bag; sure enough, it was my lunch. I had eaten someone else’s lunch! I felt like the biggest idiot and piece of crap. I made a sign and stuck it on the fridge with a much shorter explanation and included my number and an offer to buy them lunch. I never heard anything about it.”
He Thought There Was No Harm In Having Seconds
“Not me, but I was one of many who enjoyed this one. I was working on a construction site. We needed to get a job done, so they sent an apprentice out to get 20 orders of Swiss Chalet for the 20 guys who had to stay. He was going to get back by 12 pm, so people got themselves back to the trailer from wherever they might have been working in a big hurry.
When the kid got back with the food, the lunch trailer was full of hungry workers. Everybody got a meal, and then a few minutes later, one of the guys saw that there was still one meal left. He asked if everyone got one. All seemed good, so he decided he’s having seconds.
Just after he took a big bite, the door opened, and the guy he’d been working with all day entered, looking for his supper.”
“Don’t Want Your Food Swiped Or Thrown Away, Take It Home”
“If it ain’t got a name on it, it is up for grabs. I work in a place where the employer occasionally provides free food. You never know what it can be. So if you don’t put your name on it, I assume the employer provided it. Especially if it is someone’s food from an earlier shift.
Note: I am talking about prepackaged food. Yogurt, soda, candy bar, etc. If it is someone’s sandwich in a ziplock bag then you know it is someone’s lunch and it is off limits.
I never understood why someone would leave their food in the fridge after their shift was over. The fridge is for temporary storage. You are not supposed to leave your food in the fridge for days as if it was your home fridge. Don’t want your food swiped or thrown in the trash, take it home.”
She Humiliated Her In Front Of Other Coworkers, She Had To Pay
“She embarrassed me in front of a lot of people after I replied that no, I don’t want to have kids. Huge freakout about how it’s my duty as a woman. After all that, a bunch of the women who heard it started treating me as some kind of kid hating weirdo. So yeah, I ate her lunch a couple times and I will never be sorry for it.”
It Was An Accident, He Swears!
“I ate a coworker’s lunch accidentally once. It was the first time he’d ever purchased the specific brand of frozen dinners I ate, so I just assumed I’d left it in the fridge to eat later after we’d purchased pizza instead.
After discovering I’d eaten his dinner, I just told him to get something delivered and I’d pay for it.
Now whenever he brings in food, he mentions it to me that it’s his food, even though he relieves me and we almost never work together.
We’re still friends though.”
He’d Always Wanted To Try One Of Those Sandwiches And This Was His Perfect Chance
“This kid who worked for me had a father who was a butcher. Every day, he came with these delicious looking sandwiches. He was Polish, too, so they were made with stuff I couldn’t pronounce, but looked so dang appetizing.
I jokingly told him he needed to bring me one in so I could try it.
Well, one day he quit unexpectedly with no notice, leaving me short handed and scrambling to find another person to hire, whilst trying to do his job and my own.
He left his sandwich from the day before in the fridge, and you can bet I ate it.
And I was right, it was one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had.”
“I’m hungry. I forgot to get my own lunch. I’ve been eyeing a sandwich in the fridge for a little while, waiting for someone to take it. It’s been hours and it’s still sitting there. Maybe the owner forgot about it. So I go in, and eat it. Still, no one mentions ‘my sandwich is gone.’ So as far as I’m concerned, I got a sandwich and no one cared.”