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You are watching: Fired for stealing food at work


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​There"s a good reason the a Los Angeles comedian"s recent tweet around a co-worker"s stolen having lunch went viral: world could relate—because employees gain their lunches stolen every the time.

Zak Toscani, a comedian that works in ~ a Los Angeles post-production agency specializing in subtitling, tweeted the a "co-worker got his having lunch stolen and also they"ve agreed come let him clock the security camera tape."

Co-worker acquired his lunch stolen and also they’ve agreed come let him watch the defense camera tape. This is the many excited I’ve ever before been at any kind of job ever. Ever.

— Zak Toscani (
zaktoscani) march 29, 2018

His updates conveniently took on the tone of a soap opera: human resources and also the co-worker perceived the defense footage. The culprit—a mrs from the office—took she colleague"s shrimp fried rice from the communal fridge, then tossed the in the trash. The mrs went home for the day, then HR sent a companywide e-mail around not steal others" lunches.

By the following morning, Toscani"s original article had to be "favorited" by an ext than 100,000 Twitter users and also retweeted about 50,000 times.

Toscani might not be reached through his publicist and did not reply come a Twitter inquiry for one interview with Online.

A typical Crime

Lunch theft is together a typical issue in workplaces that that has appeared in sitcoms favor "Friends" and "Good Times." NPR specialized an illustration of "This American Life" come the problem.

A survey, highlighted in the New York Post, by virtual grocer Peapod discovered that 71 percent of employee have had a snack, drink or enjoy the meal stolen indigenous a rectal kitchen.

"People steal every kinds of points at workplaces," claimed Art Markman, professor the psychology and also marketing at the college of Texas in ~ Austin and also author the the Fast Company online write-up The Psychology Behind Why people Steal your Coworkers" Stuff. "They take it coffee without paying because that it as soon as there is an respect system. People stealing office gives for residence use or make copies for an individual use at work.  the agency owes them that for gift a an excellent employee." 

Food, that seems, falls into the very same category. Researcher who put $1 receipt on a bowl in a rectal refrigerator alongside a six-pack of soda shed their drinks but kept the money. Markman stated workers often tend to rationalize swiping someone"s lunch with thoughts choose this: • It"s favor the refrigerator at home—everything"s up because that grabs. • i was ravenous and couldn"t assist myself. • It"s not like I"m taking someone"s money.

"People do a most things that are easy to do," that said, including that research mirrors that "people will cheat on tiny things the it is unlikely they will certainly be caught doing, just due to the fact that it is easy. They aren"t yes, really thinking about the consequences."

Developing and also Sustaining Employee Engagement>

What have the right to Be Done?

HR can take steps to protect against petty theft—which doesn"t seem as well petty to the person who has to go hungry that day, together Victoria Neal,, an HR Knowledge Advisor because that the culture for Human source Management (, wrote in the April issue of"s HR Magazine.

See more: Fbi Reopening Investigation Into Clinton Email Investigation Before

"The biggest problem with lunch-stealing native an HR standpoint is that it harms morale," Markman said. "People just feel choose they trust their co-workers less when who is steal lunches. The is vital to watch what the offender does to fix relationships v colleagues. I can"t imagine shooting someone because that stealing lunches, however I can imagine someone acquiring fired because they undermine the cohesiveness the the workplace."

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