I love having offices in a shared co-working space. All the buzz of workplace activity without the drama. A variety of organizations weaving in and out. A downtown spot to call our own. It’s a good gig.
And then someone had to go and start stealing my coffee creamer.
It’s like the old “Friends” episode where Joey declares, once and for all, “Joey doesn’t share food!” Much like Joseph Francis Tribbiani, I share the same sentiment towards sharing coffee creamer. “Justin doesn’t share creamer!”
I was shocked and horrified (okay, not really) to learn that someone was stealing sips from the creamer I brought in. I noticed after my coworker and I had both been out for about a week and the bottle felt noticeably lighter upon my return. The bottle was clearly labeled “232″ (our suite number), so it wasn’t like someone could say, “I didn’t know!”
Here’s the bottle in question.
I did some experiments (i.e., marked the bottle to see if the level went down) and sure enough, that sweet nectar was being shanghaied. It was time to take drastic action.
I was almost out, so my next step was to buy more creamer. I took the new creamer and filled up the current bottle to about half-full. I wanted to keep outside appearances as familiar as possible.
Then I wrote this note:
If you’re having trouble reading my chicken scratch, it says:
I have been spitting in this for the last week. Stop using creamer that isn’t yours!
Is it childish? Yes. But it’s also hilarious. Two things to note:
- Obviously, I hadn’t actually been spitting in my own creamer. Gross. The thought of doing that makes my stomach turn. Thus, my next point.
- I felt like simply stating, “Don’t use this!” would have been too weak. An offense this egregious needed to have consequences with some bite. (Even if they were make-believe. Perception is reality, suckas!)
I then placed the note on the creamer bottle and placed it back into the fridge. The trap was set. Now, it’s time to sit and wait.
I’m not sure what I’m expecting, but I imagine it will be one of these options:
- A gagging sound coming from the kitchen, followed by profuse vomiting. I’ll leap into action, saying, “Gotcha, thief!”
- A fit of rage coming from the perpetrator, irate they have unknowingly been consuming my (imaginary) saliva. Followed by, of course, profuse vomiting.
- He or she will keep using my creamer, unaffected by the threat of my cooties. Unfortunately, this option does not include vomiting. Profuse or not.
I worked out of a home office for almost 18 months and never once had to deal with creamer issues. The biggest challenge I had was making sure the clients I was talking to on the phone didn’t hear my son during one of his legendary meltdowns.
Moral of the story: There are pros and cons to both situations.