Foiling Foragers of the Office Refrigerator

Like many workplaces, my office had a refrigerator in which the cubicle farm dwellers stored the lunches,  snacks or drinks they brought from home. Most labeled their containers, of course, but that never kept the poacher’s paws from what he or she found palatable—and free. One could never manage to connect the thief to their booty, let alone catch them in the act. They knew better than to leave telltale evidence in their own cubicle. I’m not proud of my response, but it proved effective in foiling the thefts. As parents of young children at the time, we always kept a small bottle of ipecac in the medicine cabinet—in case one of them swallowed something they shouldn’t. I withdrew a quantity of the syrup and injected it through the navel of an orange. Sure enough, the orange disappeared from the office refrigerator. Soon after the poaching stopped.