Thieving and greed in my office is rife, and it’s not a new phenomenon, in fact it’s getting worse. This week the microwave went for a stroll, there one minute, gone the next, never to return. In true corporate finger-pointing mode the first question on the floor was who can we blame?
Of course everybody protested their own innocence, deciding instead that it must be the cleaners. Well, who else in the office would ‘need’ to steal a £50 kitchen item, was the initial thinking. We all know about the mega-buck earning traders in the office, so initially they weren’t on the list of suspects.
However, that theory was short lived thanks to the office manager reminding us about the ‘leather-bound diary scrum incident’ just before Christmas. Oh yes, the traders were the first ones caught wrestling their way into the new 2007 diary stash. Each of them determined not to miss out on ‘something for nothing’.
Next on the amateur sleuth list of culprits were the ‘stationary thieves’, the thinking being that perhaps they were branching out from pens, pads and the ultimate kudos item in the office- theft stakes, the coveted printer cartridges.
But what about the food thieves, surely they deserve to be a consideration and we’re not just talking about the opportunists who think that the contents of the fridge are theirs for the taking. No, these people have far more front. Every month, after everyone has sat through the ‘performance update’ meeting, there is a sweetener in the form of a buffet lunch. Originally, just a few sandwiches but after ungrateful complaints of stingyness, it’s now blossomed into a heaving table of pizza selections, chicken platters and every kind of gourmet delicacy available for delivery in the square mile. Rumour has it that even warm artichoke hearts were spotted last month. The problem is that not everybody in the office gets to marvel at this feast, for there are a couple of individuals who ensure they are always first in the queue at feeding time. So with laden plates, yes one in each hand, they hurry back to their desks to fill up their plastic lunch boxes, thinking that nobody has spotted them pilfering enough food to feed them, and their three riverside apartment flatmates for a week. Then it’s a quick walk, sometimes a gentle jog even, back again to grab second helpings. So if you’re stuck on a call when the buffet opens, then it’ll just be the scraps left by these vultures with the ‘well its free’ mentality, for you.
After witnessing this greed I’m not convinced that the cleaners deserve to be the first point of blame. Perhaps the focus should shift to the well- dressed, expensive accessory-carrying members of the office. They obviously think that there really are such things as a ‘free lunch’, and indeed microwaves as well now, in which to reheat their gluttonous gains.