Lunch time in the workplace is a special point in the day, not least because you’ve probably spent most of the morning looking forward to leaning back in your chair and munching heartily on the sandwich you painstakingly prepared last night whilst reflecting on just how hectic a morning it’s been.
As the clock strikes 1pm, you open the office fridge in the kitchen and find to your horror, that your much anticipated turkey and swiss cheese sandwich with mayo on rye bread is nowhere to be seen.
There is unfortunately a lunch thief in your midst and it’s up to you to seek out the felonious foodie….
- The above scenario occurred recently and the victim was not prepared to accept their loss lying down. Without a second thought, the rightful sandwich owner decided to do what any office vigilante would to nip the situation in the bud via the oft-used weapon of choice – the note on the fridge door:
2. With criminals being prone to criminal behaviour, the sandwich thief had a far darker motive in mind than simply stealing a co-worker’s sandwich and they too left a note on the fridge door in response:
3. It was time to take the gloves off. If someone ever steals your sandwiches from the office fridge, you can bet your bottom dollar that a strongly worded threat that includes entire words spelt out in capital letters will show your nutritional nemesis that you mean business:
4. It would appear however, that the sandwich thief is also no pushover. A stalemate had ensued and it was now a battle of wills. Somebody had to lose their nerve if the deadlock was to be broken. The question was – who will it be?
5. The first rule in any hostage crisis is to try and establish a rapport with the hijacker. The sandwich thief had given their name and this needed to be used to get them on side so that the discussions could begin (if indeed, ‘Sandwich Thief,’ was the Sandwich thief’s real name of course….):
6. Sandwich thief was proving less than willing to enter into any negotiations at this point. If you have something somebody desperately wants, the creation of urgency is a great way to crank up the pressure as Sandwich Thief’s response clearly shows:
7. Sometimes in life, a problem shared is a problem halved. If Sandwich Thief wasn’t prepared to play ball, then the empty threats that were previously made needed to be turned into real actions with real consequences. Enter HR – things are about to turn nasty….
8. It was quite clear by this point that Sandwich Thief is not your average sandwich thief. Despite having a name that describes exactly what his professional speciality in the criminal underworld actually is, thus making HR’s job that little bit easier if anyone’s sandwiches get stolen – Sandwich Thief’s ridiculous moniker also hides a ruthless streak that is in the possession of only the most dangerous of lunchtime cuisine criminals:
9. It would appear the negotiation had begun. Sandwich Thief was forcing everyone to come to the table and the rightful sandwich owner duly responded with a long and comprehensive list of counter demands that Sandwich Thief was going to have to take his time to ponder over:
10. Sandwich Thief has clearly read the bible. In the story of The Judgement of King Solomon, two women each lay claim to being the mother of the same child. Solomon easily solved the dispute by demanding the child be cut in half and shared between the two. One woman promptly renounced her claim, proving that she would rather give up the child than see it killed. Solomon declared the woman who showed compassion to be the true mother, entitled to the whole child. That was to be Sandwich Thief’s rationale. Ever the wise co-worker worrier, Sandwich Thief decided to ramp things up by raising the stakes ever higher:
11. Sometimes in life, when faced with an enemy that is so despicable, so ruthless and unflinching in their evil that all rational dialogue becomes impossible – you have to match their viciousness with your own fury. The rightful sandwich owner was not going to go quietly and boy was Sandwich Thief about to find out the hard way:
12. In every difficult, worthwhile endeavour there will come a point when the easiest course of action is to abandon forward motion. To allow inertia to take over and to return to the status quo. It is the brave and great man who, upon recognising this point, resists inertia and smashes on through to the far side. No matter the cost. I call this juncture, ‘the critical moment of will.’ Sandwich Thief was beyond playing hardball. It wasn’t even a game anymore. It was clear that Sandwich Thief had never intended at any point to enter into any sort of dialogue. He was simply toying with his victim. Sandwich Thief was able to commit such atrocities because he is buoyed by a religious fanaticism. His is the will of the zealot and the moment had arrived for him to unleash his doctrine on an unsuspecting world:
13. They say that pride comes before a fall, but was this it? Was this to be the moment that existence was to be freed from the vice-like grip of Sandwich Thief’s satanic ways. To threaten to steal your co-workers lunch is one thing, but to carry the dastardly deed out in full view of everyone that visits the office kitchen via messages printed out on sheets of A4 paper is quite something else. Alas, those very print outs were to be Sandwich Thief’s downfall:
14. The only question now was whether Sandwich Thief would fight on to the death or come quietly. As it happens, he wasn’t quite the demon he made himself out to be in the end: