Office Space Cadet

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Dear Dharma,

A friend/coworker recently went on vacation and I took care of her cats while she was away.  While I was there feeding the animals, I noticed that she had four large boxes of office supplies and other items that had recently gone missing from our department.

I was shocked – I would never have taken my friend for a thief! After she returned from her holiday, she invited me over and the boxes had been moved. I feel like I should have said something, but had no idea how to broach the topic. Help!

Signed – Is That My Stapler?

Dear Stapler,

I’m not gonna lie.  I have a certain amount of respect for a good thief. It requires a flair for planning and craftiness that I just downright admire.

Unfortunately, your friend is not a good thief. If you’re going to steal, make sure it’s worth running for. Like, to Brazil. Seriously, read John Grisham’s The Partner. Now HE was a good thief.

Anyway, four boxes of offices supplies won’t get you there – and the fact that she left them out in the open when she knew you were going to be there is beyond me.  If she keeps up like this, she’s going to get herself arrested with a rap sheet, cuz she’s just not that smart about it.

One of your options is to address her directly, and maybe there’s your opener! “I couldn’t help but notice all the office supplies you had at your place and… umm… what were you thinking leaving them out like that when you knew I was going to be there? Seriously! Pick up the game or pack it in before you get busted!”

It might make her think twice about what she’s doing once she knows you know. Maybe those supplies will magically resurface in the stationary room… or maybe not. Maybe she’ll be the mastermind in the next Thomas Crown Affair.

If you aren’t comfortable with that option, does your company have a whistleblower policy? This would enable you to anonymously report the theft, while hopefully keeping your friendship intact.

The only other thing to do is pretend those boxes didn’t exist and continue on – however, I can’t help but feel that turning a blind eye won’t be where this story ends.

Dharma

 

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