Disappearing office supplies

For many workers, their desk or cubicle at work is home away from home. They adorn them with family photos, sports team mementos, coffee mugs with pithy sayings, cool calendars and other tchotchkes. While most workers feel pretty secure about leaving those things unguarded, your office supplies and other items might not be so safe.

According to a new survey by OfficeMax and Kelton Research, 42 percent of American workers polled admitted to “borrowing” supplies from co-workers and never returning them. Whether out of forgetfulness, thoughtlessness or downright maliciousness, it doesn’t seem like a big deal. A pen here. Some paperclips there. A pair of scissors. Maybe a red, Swingline stapler once in a while.

But what about when you really need something and you can’t find it? Then it becomes a bigger deal. At a previous job, someone swiped my sandwich from the break room refrigerator, took a huge bite and put it back in the bag. I guess the liverwurst and limburger cheese wasn’t very appetizing. I hope not.

Have you ever been the victim of an office pilferer? What’s the weirdest item that’s been lifted from your work area? Do “sticky fingers” at work tick you off or is it just part of life at the office?

Follow AJC Jobs on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ajcjobs.

6 comments Add your comment


June 8th, 2010
3:48 pm

I once came to work to have my pens, pen holder and file folders gone from my desk. It turned out to be a practical joke from a coworker, so I got them back. Thank goodness!


June 8th, 2010
5:02 pm

Once I brought a turkey ham (cured & smoked dark turkey meat for sandwiches etc.) to a co-worker and placed it in the freezer for her to take home. I told her it was an excellent alternative to pork. Well needless to say, she forgot to take it home a couple of times – when she finally remembered to get it – it had been taken! The whole turkey ham! no one ever fessed up…


June 8th, 2010
10:18 pm

I worked in an office in a male-dominated industry and pens were always disappearing from my desk. I finally ended up purchasing some glitter covered pink pens with fluffy maribu tails – problem solved!


June 8th, 2010
11:04 pm

So, Nono-

Nobody takes you seriously at work I take it?


June 15th, 2010
4:17 pm

Not so much something that was taken from my desk, but I went on vacation once and came back to find that my boss had completely rearranged everything about my desk..She’s not quiet 5 feet tall and she had moved everything to fit her..When I said something to her, she said, well I couldn’t reach the phone or the caculator..


June 21st, 2010
1:11 pm

I’ve always wondered why office supplies take on a mystical aura of unobtainability. It’s like the commercials where a guy humiliates himself and annoys his friends to get beer.