Q: Someone keeps using the vanilla coffee creamer I store in the teachers’ lunchroom fridge. I may sound petty, but I’m annoyed.
A: Ah! The food thief strikes again! You’re not being petty; it is annoying. If you don’t know who it is, try a couple of approaches: First, tape a friendly reminder onto the container saying, “Would the vanilla fan please cease taking these contents?” (Or perhaps a no-nonsense note: “If you are not Jenny, please don’t use this.”) If that doesn’t work, you could not post a sign in the lunchroom asking people to please not “borrow” others’ food. (I’ve heard about a sign that one company posts on its refrigerator. “If you put it in, you can take it out.” It works!) A last resort: Mention the disappearing food to your supervisor, who could ether e-mail the group about the problem or discuss it in an upcoming staff meeting. Of course, if you catch the thief, privately ask him or her to stop.