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Office Food Thief Has An Allergic Reaction After Stealing A Co-Worker’s Lunch

Photo: Krakenimages.com / Shutterstock
surprised man eating stolen food at work

It’s not uncommon for food from the refrigerator at work to go missing. However, it isn’t every day that it leads to an allergic reaction. Unfortunately, that happened to one food thief who was unaware of the contents of the food he stole.

An office food thief repeatedly stole lunch from one co-worker until he had an allergic reaction.

The woman took to Reddit to explain her predicament at work. She stated that she recently got a new co-worker named Omar. “Ever since he was onboarded, my food has been going missing,” she shared.

   

   

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“I’ve tried talking to him about this,” she wrote, “but he always plays dumb and denies knowing anything about my missing meals.”

Omar was forced to acknowledge the truth when things took a bad turn. On this particular day, the woman brought in leftovers that contained peanuts — something it was known throughout the office that Omar was allergic to.

“I made sure to label the package clearly with my name, but I didn’t think to include any label about it having peanuts in it,” she said. “No one else in the office uses allergen labels for their food; it didn’t even cross my mind.”

Despite the fact that Omar had once again stolen her food, the woman took quick action to ensure his safety.

“When I got to the fridge and realized my food was once again missing, I rushed to Omar’s desk where I of course found him eating my food and I told him that the lunch that he stole had peanuts in it,” she wrote. “His eyes got really wide and he went for his EpiPen, and thank goodness he injected himself before the reaction got really bad.”

Office Food Thief Had Allergic Reaction To Co-Worker's LunchPhoto: Elnur / Shutterstock

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The situation only escalated from there.

Instead of taking responsibility for his actions, Omar blamed his co-worker for his allergic reaction

“After Omar got done panicking about his reaction, he blew up at me,” she said. “He said that I could have killed him, and I said that he wouldn’t have been in danger if he wasn’t a liar and a thief.”

Despite the woman's very valid points, Omar continued to blame her.

“He told me that it was my fault for not putting an allergen label on the packaging,” she stated.

Things got so bad that HR got involved. According to the woman, “HR has ruled in my favor, but now requires allergen labels on all foods, and the entire office is mad at me, not just for the inconvenience of the labels, but because I ‘targeted’ Omar and ‘tried to kill him.’"

Why do people steal food from their co-workers?

According to a 2017 survey from American Express OPEN, nearly 1 in 5 workers admit to having eaten someone else’s lunch out of the office fridge — that's 18%.

   

   

Fast Company took a look at the psychology of stealing from co-workers. They claimed it comes down to four factors: short-term focus, ease of action, cost of action, and psychological distance. 

This means that regardless of their value system, people are likely to do what feels best in the short term. If something is sitting out ready to be easily taken, that makes it a more likely target. And, if there seem to be no repercussions, people are even more likely to try stealing food.

Stealing food from the office fridge seems like the ultimate form of entitlement. It’s as if one is saying that they have the right to anything they would like, regardless of who it belongs to. It’s time to show some respect for others’ things and end the office refrigerator wars.

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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news and human interest topics.