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Psst, Your Workplace Is Full of Food Thieves

Enjoy your sack lunch today -- er, the one you would have eaten if it hadn't been stolen. Grrr.

Well, feast on this: A new survey from grocery delivery service Peapod.com finds seven in 10 employees have had their snacks, lunch sacks and fizzy drinks lifted from the company fridge!

I know you're hungry for more information about the survey, so let's unpack it item by item, shall we? In a nutshell, the 24/7 economy has created a workplace full of Blutos from Animal House. Let's say it together: Food fight!


These days, nobody's sack lunch is safe from the co-worker who opens the break room fridge to retrieve their boring PB & J sandwich and...ooooh, what's that? It's our pre-packaged, Trader Joe's microwavable enchilada lunch. Score!

Now this co-worker wants the whole enchilada, and they think they deserve it. They're working waaaaay harder than we are, and scrolling our name across the wrapper in big, black Sharpie isn't going to stop them. Besides, a rumor has been making the rounds about our big, fat, totally undeserved (and totally untrue) raise! As the lunch-lifting co-worker rationalizes their way to heating our enchilada plate in the break room microwave, they let it bubble over a little bit without cleaning up the mess.

Think of it as the app(etizer) economy in action. Is workplace food thievery the cherry on top of the Great Recession? Is it the gravy ladled on top of the heaping, potato-like mound of hours employees are working in today's smartphone-tethered economy?

Well, roughly 42% of employees in the Peapod.com survey who work more than 41 hours per week admit to stealing a co-worker's food, compared to 30% of employees surveyed who work fewer than 40 hours per week. It's some food for thought while you decide what to buy for lunch because your lunch is missing.

Now for the interesting part: 71% of employees surveyed said their food has been stolen at work, but only 35% admit to taking anybody else's food. Hmm. So how does that work?

The Millennials, meanwhile, are the ones we prefer to steal food from in the office. Nearly three-fourths (73%) of Millennials surveyed said they've been the victim of an office food thief. However, Peapod.com finds the Millennials are the most likely to steal food, too! Nearly half (48%) of Millennials surveyed who said their food has been stolen at work admit to turning around and stealing food from another co-worker.

Employees aged 55 and over are the least likely to steal a co-worker's food: A mere 18% of older employees admit to taking food that does not belong to them.

Men are twice as likely to steal food and drinks at work compared to women. While they're stealing our lunch in the break room, maybe they can make us another sandwich while they're in there? Thanks, guys!

This survey is something to chew on while we stand in line for today's $4.99 slice-of-pepperoni-pizza-with-medium-drink lunch special because somebody stole the salami-and-cheese sub sandwich with fresh fruit, Sun Chips and an enormous Panera Bread cookie we so carefully packed last night. Don't worry, we didn't deserve to eat them, anyway.

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