There’s an epidemic of workplace crime that brutally affects one third of America’s employee population: lunch theft.
Zippia says that 33% of workers have shamelessly admitted to stealing a co-worker’s food, which can be a frustrating experience for anyone who was looking forward to chowing down on the meal that they prepared for themselves to enjoy while they’re on the clock. There are some folks who’ve gone out of their way to enact sweet, well, spicy vengeance against serial food pilferers: Like this guy who crushed ghost peppers in his Chipotle chorizo bowl.
Usually, folks have zero tolerance for those who nab a meal that doesn’t belong to them, which is probably why so many are backing a TikToker named Toyia (@whoistoyia) who relayed a story time about a co-worker who burgled her $8 salad.
The TikToker says that her missing-lunch situation escalated into a full-blown workplace rivalry that is now being handled by upper management due to a confrontation she had with the culprit.
Toyia says in the clip that she works a hybrid schedule and breaks down the meals she brought in on those days: “So I took my lunch to work on Tuesday… I stopped at the market grabbed some salads. Two. One for Tuesday, and one for me to leave in our refrigerator until Friday. I work in a pretty small office I wanna say on any given day there’s only maybe, maybe 10 people in the office.”
She goes on to say that after throwing her lunch in the fridge, she didn’t think that her second meal would go anywhere and that it would still be there when she came back into work on Friday, as she would be working from home on Wednesday and Thursday.
However, that ended up not being the case. “I was having a really good day, I woke up in a great mood, I got to work on time, I had completed all my assignments; my desk is clear which is unheard for then agency I work for so I’m having a really good day. And I’m like my salad in here and it’s pouring down raining. So I’m like I don’t have to go outside, life is great.”
And while her day was going well, it was about to take a turn for the worse as her salad was nowhere to be found: “Go in the refrigerator, I don’t see the salad but it’s a full-sized refrigerator and there’s food in there from like the whole team. So I’m like OK let me move everybody’s stuff around to see where my salad is.”
Toyia went on, trying to rationalize why her meal went missing. “Please help me understand why there was no [expletive] salad in the refrigerator? So I’m like maybe somebody tossed it in the trash can? I go back to my supervisor like listen I’mma go to lunch a little later I need to order something she’s like OK, is everything OK?”
The TikToker told her supervisor that everything was indeed not OK because someone stole her lunch, which her manager just couldn’t believe. “There’s no way somebody did that,” Toyia’s supervisor remarked, to which the lunch-theft victim replied, “Yes way, because my food is missing.”
At this point in the video, Toyia said that her co-workers got involved and the plot thickened, “She’s like really, really sorry you know take all the time you need to go get your lunch or whatever. OK cool, I go get lunch. So when I come back, a couple of co-workers are telling me that one other co-worker had my salad walking it through the office yesterday asking them is this your salad? Is this your salad? Is this your salad? And everybody said no.”
Toyia didn’t seem too pleased that the co-worker in question would eat the salad she left for herself on Friday, saying: “I know this b*tch ain’t eat my salad,” punctuating her statement by clicking her nails together.
She went on to say that she confronted the co-worker about the lunch theft: “So I go ask her: Hey, so and so, umm, did you eat my salad that was in the refrigerator? Do you all know this b*tch looked me square in my face, this face, and said was your name on it?”
Toyia adjusts herself in the video and looks around making a variety of faces, presumably to convey her disbelief that her co-worker thought it was OK to eat food that didn’t belong to her just because her name wasn’t written on the container it was in.
“No b*tch cause it was my salad,” Toyia said. “Why you know it wasn’t yours? Your name wasn’t on it. So now I’m faced with a dilemma: Do I cuss her out? Or do I let it go? I couldn’t let it go. So I look her back in her face and I’m like hey it didn’t have your name on it. You shouldn’t have touched my stuff, well she’s just like oh well I was hungry I asked everybody was it theirs they said no, so, I just assumed ain’t nobody want it so I ate it. So I wanna ask her is she dumb, but I’m not, I’m not gonna ask her that cause I didn’t want to add insult to injury.”
Toyia continued, “So I let her know every day, that I come in here, and you haven’t replaced my salad, I’m going to throw your lunch for the day in the trash can. Every day. So she ain’t say nothing at first. She just kinda looked at me and was like what?”
Toyia says that she doubled down on the warning: “Every day that I come in here, and you haven’t replaced my $8 salad from the market, I’m gonna throw your lunch in the trash can, starting with today as I picked up her cup of noodles and I opened them up, and I tossed them in the trash can. Crunched them up, tossed them in the trash can. Starting with today, my salad better make its way in here, soon. And I walked away.”
The TikToker says that her retaliatory act against the lunch thief was brought to the attention of her manager: “She went and told the supervisor, supervisor pretty much came over and said you can’t do that, I already did, and everyday that she don’t replace my lunch I’m gonna continue to do it, so I’m almost certain we’re probably gonna have to have like a peer mediation sit-down situation come next week because I’m going to keep throwing her stuff in the trash can until she replaces my salad.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to Toyia via TikTok comment for further information.
Toyia’s strong stance against her co-worker elicited a series of responses from other users on the platform. One said that they would’ve fired the lunch thief “I worked HR. That’s theft and she would have been FIRED. I don’t playyyyy”
Another expressed their ire with the co-worker’s attempt at justifying the salad theft: “was your name on it?” My name was on my card that BOUGHT that salad!” which was a sentiment echoed by another TikToker who said, “i never understood ppls audacity with other ppls food…idc if it spoils ‘ITS MINES'”
Another said that they couldn’t understand why her manager wouldn’t demand that the co-worker replace the lunch: “I’m confused. Why didn’t your supervisor tell your co-worker she needed to replace your salad? As a manager I would! She admitted she ate it.”