Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the work refrigerator to store your “Eating Right” entrees for future enjoyment, the Phantom Food Stealer strikes again.
Too bad his (or her) gig is up. Given the rainy conditions outside today, I opted to skip the cafeteria’s offering of Saffron Cauliflower soup and just go cardboard style with my Digiorno pizza for one. Earlier this week I brought in a selection of microwaveable items (don’t hate me sustainable food or Michael Pollan fans) to get me through the week. When I opened the freezer, I noticed that one of my “Eating Right” entrees had gone missing (Turkey Lasagna is apparently all the rage for thieves right now) . Was I surprised? No. This is not the first time Phantom Food Stealer has heisted my food. This is the third or fourth time (see posts below) that I’ve been a victim of petty theft at work.
So what was so different about this time? Well, my friends, this time I was VERY close to catching the food thief in action. Why? Well, after I noticed my food had gone missing (and immediately shared the sheer hilarity of the situation with nearby coworkers) I shrugged it off and moved to the microwave to heat up my pizza. I noticed that the microwave had something already in there. I waited patiently for 4 minutes and then removed it, placing my Digiorno inside to heat up. That’s when I saw it. Evidence! The packaging from my “Turkey Lasagna Eating Right” was in the trash. Which means the following:
1) Said food stealer had definitely taken my food within minutes of my arrival
2) Interestingly I waited another four minutes for my pizza to heat up. And the food stealer did not show. Which means I have a feeling they realized I was waiting and it could become a potentially awkward work situation leading to avoidance.
My reaction? Lots of laughs and semi-feigned frustration (note I say semi). I grabbed my pizza. Put the Turkey Lasagna out for the food thief and headed back to my desk, deciding it best to avoid a very awkward situation (What if it’s someone I know well? How will I interact with them going forward? What is the right way to handle this?)
I got back to my desk, sharing all this with my friend Rob (who also volunteered to go back and find out the thief’s identity to satisfy his own curiosity). Then decided, wait, I’m going back to mark last remaining lunch in the fridge. Upon returning the lasagna was still there – meaning the person never came back to pick it up. I have a feeling they realized I was right there and on to them. So what did I do?
What any normal 29 year old would in this situation. I hearkened back to my love of all things Lord of the Rings, and decided to opt for a hobbit’s ”second lunch”, taking both my pizza and Turkey Lasagna back to my desk.
Imagine the food stealer’s reaction when he/she safely returned only to find the food they stole…stolen back.
I must say, this has been the highlight of my day at work. Till next episodes with the Phantom Food Stealer!
Detective Pao signing out.