It’s a simple question that people probably don’t take the time to think about. Right in our wheelhouse at TheEricHammer.com. What is the policy on taking home food from the office? Cool or not cool? If food is put in the kitchen for everyone to take, can you take food with the intent of taking it home? My answer is no, but I’ll admit it’s a dicey situation with a bunch of variables. Hypothetical situation: a meeting ends in the conference room that took up several hours. Lunch was catered for said meeting. Once the attendees left, the excess food is placed in the kitchen for everyone on the floor to enjoy. Nothing crazy, just some sandwiches, bags of chips, some salad, bread, etc. In my opinion, you can only take what you’re going to eat at that time. It’s a free for all so long that the food will be consumed in the office. A bag of chips presents a different argument because that doesn’t technically have to be eaten right away. If I took a bag of chips but didn’t eat them, would it be okay for me to take them home? It probably is considering it’s not open food, but I’d leave them at my desk to be eaten at work because I have respect for the office space. Doesn’t feel right to take it for the road. It’s a grey area. If you take a sandwich, it needs to be eaten at that moment. When you make an announcement that you’re taking a sandwich home to give to your kid, that’s when it transitions from grey to black/white, when it moves from “I suppose that’s fine” to “that’s wrong”. I’ve seen this a few times. People will take extra salad, for example, and put it in tupperware to eat for lunch tomorrow. Food in the kitchen is a treat that’s meant to be enjoyed at that moment, not later that day or the next day. If a box of munchkins is available, what are you gonna do – throw a few in a bag and stick it in your jacket pocket for future enjoyment?
Just another one of those weird corporate office instances that irks me. Major poor person move. Want to (essentially) steal food from the office to take home? Fine, but don’t make an announcement about it. You’re taking advantage of a rare office perk, and I have a problem with that.