Are You A Petty Condiment Pilferer?

With both my kids off to University in the next week or so, I’ve been racking my brains for ideas to impart to help them get through what is going to be ‘lean times’.

Of course, there’s the list of easy cheap recipes, how to make washing powder, washing up liquid, shower gel and shampoo go further, put not so dirty clothes on a rinse, buy or borrow used text books, look out for reduced produce in supermarkets, don’t impulse buy and so on.

Then this morning, reaching into the glove compartment of my car to select a different CD to listen to on my way to work I spotted a selection of condiment sachets, extras I intended to take home and use.

Now, I understand there’s an ethical argument here as to whether it is ok to take more than the unwritten rule that you should only take what you need. But these freebies are there for the taking – right? And my kids could stock up on them to save a few valuable pennies – right?

If you build it, they will come. And if you put it on the table, chances are someone is going to take it.

Some people claim that they have been able to save money by pilfering the extra condiment or napkin – and hey, why not keep, take home and wash plastic cutlery, not only is this a savvy way of not having to buy proper cutlery, but it helps the environment.

The practice of concealed condiment collecting is by no means a new concept. Historically, back in the 1500’s, people would abscond with a thimble of jam under their wigs after visiting a tea shop! Nowadays, it’s not considered a crime to stash a few extra packets of ketchup in your pocket, after all, it’s only small amounts of what is there to be taken.

However, for every person who considers making off with extra condiments is not an issue, there are those who consider it outright theft and only to be consumed within the establishment offering them.
The anti-condiment pilfering believe that these items are still a cost to the company, and that it is the same as an employer taking money out of peoples pay and the habit could lead to an escalating problem moving from loo rolls in the public toilets, or worse.

I’m afraid I have to sit on the fence on this one, after all I’ve been guilty of sneaking a few extra sachets of brown sauce or vinegar to take home – just look in my glove compartment.

So, my advice to my kids, to perhaps appease those who object to such an activity, if you and your flat mates are desperate and your larder is bear, just take a few, not bucket loads, and be subtle about it – hide them under your wig!

The Survey Initiative by no means condones pilfering, and the views in this blog are solely that of the author.

However, The Survey Initiative are absolute advocates for employee engagement and as such have spent over 20 years gaining experience and insight into employee research. If you would like to know more about how they can help your organisation, then why not give us a call on +44 (0)1255 870735 or contact us via our website here.