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Lunch Thief Publicly Called Out By Angry Coworker

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One always puts their lunch somewhat at risk by leaving it in the office refrigerator.

Any number of things might happen to it, including going bad should the fridge lose power, or becoming contaminated should other people’s food or drink spill on it.

Of course, the biggest risk one takes when leaving food in a communal fridge, is someone else might eat it.

Redditor Steelsnapdragon found themselves in that very unlucky situation.

Luckily for the original poster (OP), they were able to catch their thief red-handed and had no trouble giving them a piece of their mind.

Wondering if their behavior was inappropriate, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for embarrassing a lunch thief at work.”

The OP shared how they simply wouldn’t tolerate thievery in their office kitchen, much to the shock of some of their colleagues.

“So I started a new job recently.”

“I work in a small studio, there are several others in the building, think open plan office with sections assigned to each studio.”

“The person I had an altercation with doesn’t work for my studio just FYI.”

“I eat lunch at 1ish and most people eat at 12.”

“I came down early to eat at 12, I made coffee and while at the counter noticed my Tupperware in the sink, empty.”

“Imagine my surprise when I turned around and saw a man I didn’t know sitting down at the table with my food on his plate.’

“He had just stuck it in the microwave.”

“Acting rashly since I was mad, I sat down next to him and said ‘hey that looks good, mind if I try it?'”

“Then before waiting for an answer I yanked the plate away from him and snatched his fork out his hand, he just blinked in shock as did the other people there as I started eating.”

“He then, quite loudly, asked what I thought I was doing and I replied ‘huh you know this was actually much better when I first cooked it, it probably lost some flavor in the fridge’.”

“He caught on quickly that it was it was my food and went a lil red.”

“I then asked him where he got the gall to steal someone else’s lunch and then ask them what they were doing when they took it back.”

“He stuttered out some nonsense about not knowing it was mine and I replied ‘well you knew it wasn’t yours right?'”

“He just mumbled something like an apology and I said that’s no problem it was nice he’d warmed it up for me at least, in an admittedly b*tchy tone, and then he just got up and left and the people there just stared in silence.”

“2 of the silent watchers, maybe his mates idk, told me that I was rude to him and that there had been nicer ways to go about it.”

“I told them to think how they’d feel if someone ate their food before saying they should focus on their lunch and I’ll focus on mine.”

‘Well, it’s been a little awkward at lunch since and I have the impression a few people are talking shite about me at work now, maybe I could’ve been nicer sure.”

“I still don’t think I was wrong but tell me Reddit, AITA”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for calling out their colleague who stole their food.

Everyone agreed that the food thief got just what they deserved, even if a select few felt that they could have used their words a little more carefully.


‘God I love everything about this! “

“So f*cking satisfying.”-  carina484

“That. Was. Glorious.”


“It was YOUR food.’

“He literally stole it and anyone who thinks you’re the ah for confronting the thief has just given you the heads up regarding what kind of people they are.”

“I would have high-fived you if I witnessed that.”- Cosmicshimmer


“I had someone stealing my food in a cosmetology school.”

‘I had my name on my stuff, and had already talked to the teachers about it.”

“It got to the point I bought a lockable lunch box.”

“It worked for a bit, but apparently it only made them more determined.”

‘I came into the lunch room one day and saw them cutting the lock off of it!”

‘I happened to have my phone out and just started recording, they had their back to me.”

“I slowly walked up and waited until they started taking stuff out and they even said ‘oh, this looks good, too bad the princess won’t get any’.”

“I then asked who they were calling a princess.”

“The look on their face was priceless.”

“I showed the teachers the video, while that person was complaining I videoed them without consent.”

“Yes, we weren’t allowed to have phones out on the floor or in the classroom, but nothing against in the lunch room.”

“They ended up getting booted from the program.”

“Some of their friends gave me grief, but then I reminded them that their friend was literally stealing, not just from me, but many others.”

‘And that they were lucky we didn’t get the police involved, cause when they left the program that day, as they cleaned out their desk, a lot of people saw he had stolen a lot of items from others.”

“It was a hot mess.”- BryLac


“I miss the days when you could just pop a mf for doing dumb sh*t.”- Popular_Ad_9420

‘You handled this brilliantly.”


‘He won’t be trying that again.”- TheHoneySeed

“You handled this brilliantly.’


‘He won’t be trying that again.”- TheHoneySeed


“F*ck that guy and anyone who defends him.”- stealthy_singh

“Sure there are always nicer ways to go about things, we know that.”

“But, since he was obviously so comfortable I’m sure he’d done this before.”

“We learn in pre-k not to take things that aren’t ours without permission, he knew that food wasn’t his.”

“Good for you!”

“I think it’s so strange that people steal other people’s food in offices.”- marinabourbon


“Don’t steal other peoples’ foods ’cause u don’t know what angry bear you’re poking!”

“The people shaming OP can now bring food for their friend if they care so much.”- FTLLiz


“As others have said, this was pretty ballin.”- AllecioWingTSS


“You rock!”

“You have now hopefully prevented anyone else’s lunch from being stolen.”- Main-Sheepherder9060


“But honestly grabbing the plate and shouting several sarcastic comments isn’t actually the most adult way to handle this.”

“You could have just directly called him out, ‘Stop eating my food!’ and achieved the exact same result.”

“If I were your supervisor and witnessed this, I wouldn’t be impressed.”

“So definitely NTA, but I’d personally advise handling it differently next time, especially in a workplace where you want to make a good impression.”- MindDeep2823


“Normally I explain why but it’s not needed.”

I would tell you this.”

“One time a friend at work said I can have their lunch, I was told just grab it out the fridge, blue bag with spaghetti.”

“I grab it, open the lunch bag and something said to make sure its the right lunch.”

“So I brought it to them.”

“Sure enough it was someone else’s lunch.”- icwilson33

The OP later returned with an update, sharing that her actions proved to be just what her studio needed.

“So not sure if anyone wanted an update but I finally found out from a new friend at work that yes the lunch thief has struck before!”

“Apparently everyone wrote their names on their lunch to combat this, and the thief then targeted unmarked lunch or lunch items, guess no one told me ha.”

‘People apparently started being petty and standoff-ish to the thief since and he blames me for that lol.’

“Also according to my new friend most were actually very pleased that the thief was finally identified/dealt with.”

“I was assured that besides the thief in question and his cronies no one thought I was being a b*tch.”

“However, not knowing much about me, assumed I was a very serious or clique-y person from my reaction, which I mean fair, I dress very professionally when most of the office dresses quite casual which probably added to that, think high heels, blouse and skirt VS shorts, graphic tee and slops.”

“I’ve started to come down to lunch earlier to chat with some people and the office seems to be warming up to me.”

“So not a drama-filled update but I’m very happy things turned out so well and my reputation with my colleagues is off to a good start, thanks again for all of the comments and support think this will be final edit slash update too, thanks Reddit.”

Be it a candy bar or a diamond necklace, theft is theft, and should never be tolerated.

As was revealed, had the OP not called out her studio’s refrigerator thief, this likely would have continued for some time.

Thanks to the OP, everyone can now leave their lunch in the fridge without having to worry whether or not it will still be there at lunchtime.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.