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Wedding Woes

This is a case study in hostile work environments.

Dear Prudence,

I have a medical condition where I have major symptoms if I have low blood sugar. I can’t leave my desk every time this happens, so I keep a small bag of candy in my drawer so I can eat between calls (I have permission from HR to do this). My co-workers are lazy thieves. They don’t want to go downstairs to the vending machine—they just rip through my desk when my back is turned. A bag used to last me two weeks, but now I am lucky if it lasts two days. No matter if I get up for 30 seconds, someone will be trying to get candy. I told all of my co-workers to stay out of my desk, but we are not allowed to lock them. In fact, I think they see it as a fun game.

I caught two and made enough of a stink to bring our supervisor to the floor. All he said was for us to stop wasting time and told me if I was bringing candy to work, I should bring enough for everyone. This isn’t kindergarten! I don’t know what to do. I do not want to escalate to HR because even if I win (and I will), my supervisor carries grudges and will make my life miserable. I need this job. I need the health insurance, and it took me 13 months to find this one. I can’t lose it.

—Candy Thieves

Re: This is a case study in hostile work environments.

  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    This is all messed up. I understand hesitating to escalate to HR if the supervisor will hold a petty grudge. But this is also a medical issue. In the interim, I would get a locked box for inside the desk to keep the candy in. 


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    MesmrEwe
  • Hey LW, I'd highly advise you to wear clothing with pockets. 

    In the meantime, document this to HR.   
    MissKittyDanger
  • I can't believe the issue of people ripping through a coworker's desk (for candy or anything else) is treated so casually. If I was the supervisor, those people would be out on their asses.

    That said, keeping the candy in a locked box inside your desk, or in your pockets, may help. Make sure there's no way your co-workers can get inside the box. Keep the key on you at all times. 

    image
    VarunaTTshort+sassy
  • Document.
    Also find a spot you can essentially hide it or lock it up.

    If need be, make sure you tell them you've brought this for medically low blood sugar and it's not meant for everyone.
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    Keep it in your purse. There is no way HR or a supervisor could defend your coworkers going through your personal belongings in the office. 

    Also your coworkers are terrible. 
    I thought this too, since my purse is in my desk.  But what if LW is a man?  

    short+sassycharlotte989875
  • I'd start stocking dutch droppies.  And laugh when I hear retching every time I leave my desk.  Can't help it if you didn't develop a  taste for what is actually a pretty weird candy.
    But, the LW shouldn't have to worry about this.  This problem should have been resolved when she told them she needs them to keep her blood sugar stable.  If these colleagues know this information and are still taking her stuff they are a) thieves regardless and b) knowingly endangering their colleague.  What kind of people do that?  It's like stealing insulin as a joke!
    imageimage
  • Keep it in your purse. There is no way HR or a supervisor could defend your coworkers going through your personal belongings in the office. 

    Also your coworkers are terrible. 
    I thought this too, since my purse is in my desk.  But what if LW is a man?  
    Good point!  But he could still keep a personal bag in his desk.  Like a tote bag.  A lunch bag.  And keep his candy in there.  People might still steal it, but now it's hopefully at another level in the workplace's eyes because that is a coworker going through someone's personal belongings.

    But OMG what is wrong with the coworkers and especially the supervisor?!?!  Because, gee.  Maybe the supervisor should be more concerned with coworkers stealing other coworker's stuff!  Than being concerned about the LW "bringing enough for everyone" (major eyeroll).  That's bulls**t whether someone has a medical condition or not.

    Although it's still unfair to the LW.  I'd suggest he/she starts bringing in those glucose gel packs or the pills.  They don't taste terrible.  But they don't taste that great either and no one would want to eat them as a treat.  He should even pass out samples of the glucose pills, lol.  Like, "Hey, You all need to try these!  If you've ever wanted to know what flavored chalk would taste like."  As a Type I diabetic myself, those are my go-to's for my purse and my car.  Mainly because those are places where I need something small, non-perishable, and won't melt.

    But at home and work.  Yeah, it is more pleasant to treat a low blood sugar with a Coke, juice, or a candy bar.  Especially since I severely moderate how much of that stuff I normally eat anyway.  Perhaps the LW can start stocking those less tasty glucose items.  And when coworkers stop raiding the drawers, go back to candy if they can do it without people seeing them bring it in or eating it.
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  • kerbohl said:
    I'd start stocking dutch droppies.  And laugh when I hear retching every time I leave my desk.  Can't help it if you didn't develop a  taste for what is actually a pretty weird candy.
    But, the LW shouldn't have to worry about this.  This problem should have been resolved when she told them she needs them to keep her blood sugar stable.  If these colleagues know this information and are still taking her stuff they are a) thieves regardless and b) knowingly endangering their colleague.  What kind of people do that?  It's like stealing insulin as a joke!
    What are those?
  • kerbohl said:
    I'd start stocking dutch droppies.  And laugh when I hear retching every time I leave my desk.  Can't help it if you didn't develop a  taste for what is actually a pretty weird candy.
    But, the LW shouldn't have to worry about this.  This problem should have been resolved when she told them she needs them to keep her blood sugar stable.  If these colleagues know this information and are still taking her stuff they are a) thieves regardless and b) knowingly endangering their colleague.  What kind of people do that?  It's like stealing insulin as a joke!
    What are those?
    I'm actually super curious too - and I'm so afraid to google it lol. 
    ei34
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    DH has been working a lot with an outsourced call center that his company hired. They call center is really customer service, but the have access to sensitive information so there is a lot of security around what the employees can bring into the room. They can't bring bags or any personal items, and would have to get some kind of special permission to bring food. (This just happens to be his current project, but these are huge and pretty commonly used by large corporations.) Based on LW being tethered to the desk, unable to lock the drawer, and being on the phone, that's what I'm picturing. (Also, a lot of these places treat their employees like shit, so supervisor would fit right in.)

    Bringing a personal bag or a locking box may not be permitted by security constraints. Either way, LW should escalate back to HR and report the fear of retaliation. It's not acceptable for coworkers to take LW's property without their permission, ever. It doesn't matter if it's a diamond ring or a starburst; stealing is stealing. 
    VarunaTTcharlotte989875ei34OliveOilsMom
  • kerbohl said:
    I'd start stocking dutch droppies.  And laugh when I hear retching every time I leave my desk.  Can't help it if you didn't develop a  taste for what is actually a pretty weird candy.
    But, the LW shouldn't have to worry about this.  This problem should have been resolved when she told them she needs them to keep her blood sugar stable.  If these colleagues know this information and are still taking her stuff they are a) thieves regardless and b) knowingly endangering their colleague.  What kind of people do that?  It's like stealing insulin as a joke!
    What are those?
    I'm actually super curious too - and I'm so afraid to google it lol. 
    I just looked it up. It's black licorice. That would keep me away from the candy drawer! 
    image
    MissKittyDangerMesmrEwesparklepants41
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    How awful. I'd end up just keeping stuff in my pockets. 

    charlotte989875
  • DH has been working a lot with an outsourced call center that his company hired. They call center is really customer service, but the have access to sensitive information so there is a lot of security around what the employees can bring into the room. They can't bring bags or any personal items, and would have to get some kind of special permission to bring food. (This just happens to be his current project, but these are huge and pretty commonly used by large corporations.) Based on LW being tethered to the desk, unable to lock the drawer, and being on the phone, that's what I'm picturing. (Also, a lot of these places treat their employees like shit, so supervisor would fit right in.)

    Bringing a personal bag or a locking box may not be permitted by security constraints. Either way, LW should escalate back to HR and report the fear of retaliation. It's not acceptable for coworkers to take LW's property without their permission, ever. It doesn't matter if it's a diamond ring or a starburst; stealing is stealing. 
    Agreed.   But in the meantime if the systemic issue in the company is that escalating isn't going to help then LW is going to need to come up with alternatives especially if things like hard candies can help this.  

    Maybe LW can say something to HR like, "Because of the security concerns is there a better location you recommend for me to store my food items required for my medical needs?"  
    short+sassyei34
  • kerbohl said:
    I'd start stocking dutch droppies.  And laugh when I hear retching every time I leave my desk.  Can't help it if you didn't develop a  taste for what is actually a pretty weird candy.
    But, the LW shouldn't have to worry about this.  This problem should have been resolved when she told them she needs them to keep her blood sugar stable.  If these colleagues know this information and are still taking her stuff they are a) thieves regardless and b) knowingly endangering their colleague.  What kind of people do that?  It's like stealing insulin as a joke!
    What are those?
    I'm actually super curious too - and I'm so afraid to google it lol. 

    SITB
    Salted black licorice.  My family members go for the double salted.  They are ... interesting.  I used to try to eat them and always  had to spit them out they were that bad, but I have started to develop a taste.  I'm not ready for the double salt yet though.
    imageimage
  • kerbohl said:
    kerbohl said:
    I'd start stocking dutch droppies.  And laugh when I hear retching every time I leave my desk.  Can't help it if you didn't develop a  taste for what is actually a pretty weird candy.
    But, the LW shouldn't have to worry about this.  This problem should have been resolved when she told them she needs them to keep her blood sugar stable.  If these colleagues know this information and are still taking her stuff they are a) thieves regardless and b) knowingly endangering their colleague.  What kind of people do that?  It's like stealing insulin as a joke!
    What are those?
    I'm actually super curious too - and I'm so afraid to google it lol. 

    SITB
    Salted black licorice.  My family members go for the double salted.  They are ... interesting.  I used to try to eat them and always  had to spit them out they were that bad, but I have started to develop a taste.  I'm not ready for the double salt yet though.
    That actually sounds good to me!  I like black licorice.  And I like salt on sweet items, ie salted caramel.  Now I'm curious.
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  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Fun fact: too much black licorice can cause extremely high blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythms. But that’s large quantities. The average person should be able to eat a few pieces without issue. 


    image
    short+sassyMesmrEwesparklepants41
  • ei34ei34 member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Poor LW.  This is awful.  Couldnt imagine working with thieves 
  • levioosa said:
    Fun fact: too much black licorice can cause extremely high blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythms. But that’s large quantities. The average person should be able to eat a few pieces without issue. 
    That is when it's the real thing not the flavored licorice that's available in most places..

    I'm team combination lock box!  They sell these for kids pencil cases size which sounds big enough for the job LW needs it to do, not the big bulky heavy ones.  And yes, it may be worth a meeting with the supervisor to (document and) remind him that this is for a medical condition to have it there, not a casual candy jar for everyone.  Her job isn't to provide for the entire office unless there's a reimbursement plan set up and if the problem is encouraged it'll have to go to HR and neither one of you wants that..
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