My twin sister, Joy, started a new job last month, and on the first day someone stole her lunch.
She called me on her way to Quiznos.
“STOLEN, like the TUPPERWARE is GONE!” she wailed.
I laughed too loud and everyone at work knew I was taking a personal call.
“No way!!!!” I said. “Hahahaha No WAY!”
I’ve heard of lunch thieves before, and I’m an avid reader of PassiveAggressiveNotes.com (lots of office lunchtime “MINE, NOT YOURS” notes on food), but in my seven years as a 9-5er, the only thing that’s ever gone missing was a Diet Coke can or two.
Really, a whole Tupperware container?? Where would someone even hide that?
“...And there are only 14 people in the office!” Joy said, concerned.
This was no huge office building. There was no absent janitor to blame.
“Are you sure you brought lunch to work today?” I asked.
“Yes!” Joy said. “The secretary and I had an entire conversation this morning about it!”
(Now we have a suspect.)
“Maybe someone thought it was theirs?” I suggested as Joy bitched about lunchtime rush hour traffic.
“No, they couldn’t have thought it was theirs,” Joy said. “It was tofu pasta.”
We went over the details.
7:30 p.m.: The night before her first day of work, Joy makes an elaborate tofu pasta dish.
8:45 p.m.: Tofu pasta is eaten and enjoyed (uh, somehow...haha); leftovers are placed in appropriate Tupperware container for lunch.
8:15 a.m.: Joy arrives at work on the first day and is greeted by the secretary. The secretary asks Joy what she brought for lunch, and is curious about her tofu dish. A discussion of vegetarianism ensues.
8:20 a.m. Joy walks into the office kitchen and places food in the fridge.
12:05 p.m. Joy opens the fridge and does not see her Tupperware on the shelf where she placed it. She looks in all the drawers and in the door of the refrigerator. She checks the freezer.
12:10 p.m. Joy walks back by the secretary on her way out to go buy her lunch.
“I’m not crazy, you saw me bring my lunch to work today, right?” Joy asks the secretary.
“Yes! Definitely! The tofu!” she said. (Hmmm...good memory, secretary. Good. Memory.)
“Well...it’s missing now,” Joy said.
“Yeah. I put it in the fridge and now it’s gone. So...I’m going to go buy lunch now,” Joy said.
“You know...this has happened here before,” the secretary said, concerned, almost a whisper.
5 p.m. Joy leaves work for the day and her Tupperware has not surfaced. Not placed back in the fridge. Not in the trashcan. She cut her losses.
But the next day, the tofu pasta resurfaced. Figuratively.
Joy was told there was an emergency, mandatory staff meeting at 9 a.m.
The scary boss stood in front of all 14 employees, arms folded.
“STEALING LUNCHES IS STILL STEALING!” he said.
Joy froze. She didn’t intend to bring this to EVERYONE’S attention. On her second day.
“WE DON'T TOLERATE STEALING IN THIS OFFICE OF ANY KIND,” the boss said. “If ANYONE is caught stealing lunches, they will be fired ON THE SPOT!” he said, making eye contact with everyone.
(Hmmm....maybe he did it.)
People nodded. No one said anything.
9:25 a.m. Text from Joy: “OMG I’m officially the dork of the office”
Indeed, Joy. Indeed.
Although, to be fair, I think the fact that you brought tofu pasta did that all on its own for you.
Where-ever it is...