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Sharing, Evidently, Isn’t Actually Caring

, , , , , | Working | October 14, 2021

It’s not uncommon for there to be cakes in the office due to birthdays, weddings, or just a good sale on at the nearby bakery. All cakes get put in the little kitchen area and are free for anyone to take. It’s a good system and most people treat it fairly.

On my way to work, I pick up a few large boxes of cookies and a couple of tray bakes. I also buy a large box of savory items. I place all the cakes on the kitchen side and write a note, “[My Name]’s birthday,” and leave it there. The savoury stuff goes under my desk as I have plans for it later.

At the morning tea break, I go to grab a cookie to find nothing left. It’s surprising; there should have been enough for everyone. A bit disappointed, I go to the shop and buy something else.

On my way back to my desk, I notice my other box has disappeared, as well. I check everywhere in the kitchen and surrounding desks, and even the trash. It’s gone. 

Coworker #1: “What are you looking for?”

Me: “A box of food. I put it under my desk?”

Coworker #1: “Is it not with not with others?”

Me: “No, that box is being donated. Did you see anyone near here?”

Coworker #1: “No. Oh, wait! Yes. [Coworker #2] was sitting there a while ago, when you weren’t here. Try asking her; she might have seen something.”

I go to her desk.

Me: “Hey, did you see a box underneath my desk? [Coworker #1] said you were over there.”

Coworker #2: “No, sorry. What was it?”

Me: “It was food. I put it aside for later.”

Coworker #2:  “Sorry, I didn’t see your pastries.”

Me: “Wait. I didn’t tell you what was in the box. Did you take it?”

Coworker #2: “What? No, I just assumed.”

Me: “That box is going to a small charity where I live. I want the box back.”

Coworker #2: “I didn’t take it.” *Storms off*

I was annoyed. I talked to my boss, who talked to security. They showed me the CCTV and, [Coworker #2] clearly took the box from my desk. Another camera showed her at her car, putting the box in her boot and stuffing food in her face.

They went to look for [Coworker #2] and took her to recover the box, only to find it not in her boot. Once again, they checked the cameras. It seemed that she went to her car to get the box after I called her out, instead of admitting it. She threw it in the bin!

I did manage to buy a second box in time. It was for a local childcare charity. They have little to no funding and they rely on charity and donations to be able to offer reduced childcare for struggling families

When [Coworker #2] was confronted about what she did, she still refused to apologise or pay me back. When the company had layoffs later that year, she didn’t survive.

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