Re: Thief!

1

Last week I talking my mom as I walked down the stairs, out of my building, and down the block. Suddenly, I stopped, patted my pockets, and realized my phone wasn't there. I wend back up the street, back up the stairs, into my apartment, and stared at my desk for half a minute before I realized that my phone wasn't in my pocket because the whole time it had been in my hand, next to my ear. Because I was talking on it.


Posted by: Trevor | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:09 PM
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Trevor, you totally made me guffaw with that one.

I totally do that kind of shit, but I *think* i haven't done anything quite that egregious. Yet.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:17 PM
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3

When I was in a gym, for whatever I was paying I understood that I was paying for a complete personal towel supply. I knew the guy who ran the place, and he was always bitching about towel thieves. The other thieves, not me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:20 PM
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4

Have you ever felt guilt that was "just right"?


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:21 PM
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5

Have you ever felt guilt that was "just right"?

Yeah, but then I thought, "I really don't deserve guilt this good."


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:25 PM
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6

Ha! I stole an issue of Bon Appetit from last January from the Y today. Silly thing is, this chili recipe I wanted isn't even really that different from the way I already make chili.

This is the third time I've stolen a food magazine from the Y. (In about 4 1/2 years.)


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:25 PM
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7

5 made me laugh.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:27 PM
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8

Becks stole a drug resistant staph infection! Shameful!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:29 PM
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9

I now realize that the gym attendant wasn't just being unusually friendly on my departure.

YOW! Big towel, hot mama!

I feel disproportionately guilty about this.

Well. Accidently stealing a towel: low guilt factor. It's just a towel. Having everybody know you're stealing a towel: embarrassing, cuz now they're all gonna be like, 'That bitch is stealin' all the TOWELS!'. Not knowing you were doing it: really embarrassing! 'NOOOOO! I'm not a towel thief! I didn't mean it!'

The only cure, I think, is to very ostentatiously return the towel with a brusque, 'GODAMMIT! I walked out of here with the goddamn towel! Stupid. Sorry about that!'

max
['And then run away and pretend like it never happened.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:35 PM
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10

Weird. Just last week I walked out of Nordstrom's carrying an outfit I hadn't purchased. I was halfway across the mall (having been in and out of several other shops) before I realized it. I walked back to Norstrom's and paid for the outfit as if nothing had happened.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:35 PM
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11

I once slit open the plastic covering one of those write on/wipe off boards, you know, in order to steal the foam sticky stuff you use to affix it to the wall. Because I needed foam sticky stuff of that nature for something or other, and I couldn't find it anywhere.

I am still mortified about this.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:37 PM
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12

11: As far as pilfering goes, I've never heard of anything so specialized.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:41 PM
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13

5 is really brilliant. Perhaps the only truly great blog comment.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:41 PM
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12: If you're gonna steal, there's no point in stealing mundane things like towels.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:44 PM
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15

I remember the time I was working at a startup in SF, and we all had a big party at the CEO's house. A couple of us were upstairs, playing one of those drinking games where you have to answer a question or drink. And someone asked the receptionist's boyfriend, who none of us had met before, "what's the biggest thing you've ever stolen?" I thought he was going to say something like this, "a basket from the supermarket," or "a towel from the gym." But no, the answer was, "a Lexus."


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:48 PM
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16

Maybe he meant "Alexis" and he was a kidnapper. You should have turned him in, arthegall.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:50 PM
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17

7, 13: w00t!


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:50 PM
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18

I know you're already celebrating, but 5 really is great. You should probably retire now.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:55 PM
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19

I once walked out of a convenience store and only realized about 15 minutes later that I was holding a bag of english muffins. English muffins which I did not, in fact, want. I sucked it up and ate 'em though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:55 PM
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20

You should probably retire now.

And you know what? I can!


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:57 PM
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21

Oh I stole lots of things as a rebellious teenager. But that was all deliberate. It's the unintentional theft that's new for me.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:57 PM
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22

You weren't talking to me, were you?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:57 PM
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23

Brock's talking to his ass anomalies.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 8:59 PM
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24

Is nothing sacred, Sifu?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:02 PM
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25

24: You must be new here.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:03 PM
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26

Hey, it was a question.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:04 PM
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24: look I'm concerned for the guy, but if I have to consider Brock's ass to be sacred we're in some odd territory.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:05 PM
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24: Yes.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:05 PM
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if I have to consider Brock's ass to be sacred

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.


Posted by: Jessica Biel's Ass | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:14 PM
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24: Yes.

Kind of a Heideggerian answer.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:17 PM
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31

I was going to make a joke about how Brock is obviously being punished for his youthful transgressions.

But I guess now I won't.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:19 PM
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32

Jessica Biel's Ass is always already Assing the Assing-assing.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:19 PM
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33

Anomaly phenomenology.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:19 PM
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34

Mainframe computer.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 9:27 PM
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35

You once accidentaly stole a mainframe computer?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:06 PM
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36

1: This sequence of events happens to me about once a week. I also find myself searching for my glasses while wearing them.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:26 PM
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37

Mwah, see, my band stole the show at the Roxie last weekend.

[rimshot]


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 10:30 PM
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38

Certainly not.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:00 PM
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39

Huh?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:06 PM
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40

I think he's saying he purposely stole a mainframe computer.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:08 PM
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41

You mean porpoisely? HOTT.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:10 PM
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42

Jon Stewart's interview of Chris Matthews on tonight's Daily Show is outstanding.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 10- 2-07 11:28 PM
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43

I was recently working on several automated web spidering tools and accidentally set up a denial of service attack on some popular blogs.

I might accidentally do this again unless I receive enough money to pay for enough modafinil to keep me awake and alert, and also money for education to make me the kind of better programmer that doesn't make those sorts of mistakes.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 2:43 AM
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44

OMG rep Issa is threatening us with a blackwater DOS!!


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 4:06 AM
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45

Is 43 a joke? I don't think that the ToS would do that kind of thing.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 4:21 AM
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46

whoa, my convoluted humor was too subtle for John Emerson to clearly identify. My life can now be referred to as complete.


Posted by: bryan | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:15 AM
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47

Books. When I was young the fact that I had taken a number of books to another country made me guilty. Now I realise that people borrow books freely from each other and quite a few are never returned. I've lost more than I've taken.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 5:33 AM
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48

I have stolen a small mountain worth of binder clips from work because I fiddle absentmindedly with them all day then, just as absentmindedly, drop them in my pocket when I get up to go do something. I have no use whatsoever for binder clips at home.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 6:21 AM
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49

Jessica Biel's Ass is always already Assing the Assing-assing.

I don't understand this completely and want to, but I'm afraid I'm missing something obvious.


Posted by: terpbball | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 7:07 AM
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50

Is it acceptable to take printer paper home from work? We're talking about one ream a year.


Posted by: blortch | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 8:44 AM
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51

It's not right, but I've done it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:06 AM
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52

Things I have stolen: weirdly few. A cashmere-wool cardigan from the lost-and-found bin at St. Olaf, after it had been there all semester; a slightly-used $2 keyboard-cleaning set from work; several minor and significantly over-priced items from the thrift store. I sort of stole from my retail job in college in that I ate various reheated vegan burritos from the shop and only paid for them about 3/4 of the time.

Now I feel rather pathetic. Time for a new career as a thief of high-ticket items, since no one will suspect me owing to my bland bourgeois exterior. Tyrants beware--this is the start of our [by which I mean 'my'] freedom!


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:11 AM
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53

Once, I was getting paid to work, but I was actually commenting on Unfogged!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:14 AM
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54

I think that stealing from the boss is a matter of prudence, not ethics. I might make an exception for small businesspeople who treat their employees decently, or non-profits. Applications for exceptions will be handled individually as needed.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:21 AM
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Oddly, I recognize taking paper from work as wrong -- I've done it occasionally for convenience, but I feel sketchy about it. Pens, on the other hand, are all mine, and I feel no guilt about removing them from the office or using them for personal stuff.

My moral sense spends a fair amount of time amusing itself by creating incredibly fine grained distinctions with no real justification.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:31 AM
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We had to disassemble doors (down to removing parts of the door jamb) in order to move the thing.

It was quite a caper.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:43 AM
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57

A lot of the things people are reporting they've purloined from work, like office supplies, were things I recovered from work by dumpster diving. Why they were so often being thrown out I have no idea but I still have plenty I got that way, and that's from over five years ago.

I built generations of computers entirely from parts thrown out by my company. The laptop I'm using as I type this was from a dumpster, although not at work.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:45 AM
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58

Your name says it all, IDP.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:48 AM
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59

50: If you are using it to print work related stuff at home, sure.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:51 AM
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60

My office provides free drinks (water, gatorade, soda/pop/coke, juice, etc.) Is it stealing if I take one and drink it at home or in my car, instead of the office?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:52 AM
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I sincerely hope not. I used to do that all the time, but now I'm down to just taking water on the two days a week I have class.

(I mean, why should I have to pay $1.25 for water at the school cafeteria when it's free here... They're paying for my tuition, why not my drink?... And other rationalizations)


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 9:56 AM
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62

It's stealing to drink water during the two hours immediately before quitting time.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 10:18 AM
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63

It's stealing from the best version of your self to drink bottled water.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 10:23 AM
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64

The better angels of your nature will go thirsty.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 10:24 AM
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60: if you at least opened it at work, I think you're in the clear. If you took it specifically in order to drink later, that's stealing.

LB's pens/paper distinction is similar. Once you've used a pen at work, it's got your grubbiness all over it and no one else would want to use it anyway. Taking home a ream of paper is different because you're just taking it purely for personal use. That's more similar to taking a box of new pens from the supply room (which I bet LB doesn't do).

All this of course depends on the fact that you're taking them for personal use. If you're taking them home for work use, a la 59, then that's totally fine--be it pens or paper or whatever. Obviously there is a limit here somewhere (taking home your office desktop for home/office use: probably not okay. Taking home a fresh ink cartridge for your home printer, on which you do almost exclusively work printing? Tough call.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 11:44 AM
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My moral sense spends a fair amount of time amusing itself by creating incredibly fine grained distinctions with no real justification.

That's kinda fun, isn't it.


Posted by: terpbball | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 11:47 AM
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I borrowed my office computer speakers for a party so I could have both indoor and outdoor music. I am wrestling with the question of whether it will ever be convenient to return them.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 11:54 AM
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Oh, I forgot, I took a microwave home from the office once -- mom still uses it.

That one wasn't so much stealing, although Time Inc. turned out not to have been cool with it in retrospect, but the kind of mistake that could have happened to anyone. While I was receptionisting at the inhouse doctor's office, we moved to much smaller quarters. My boss, the nurse-practitioner who ran the office, said we were going to have to get rid of the microwave, did anyone want it, and I piped up and schlepped it home for Mom.

A week after the move, she mentioned that management had asked what happened to the microwave, and she'd said it got lost or broken in the move, because it was easier to explain than saying she'd given it away because she figured no one wanted it anymore.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 11:59 AM
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And I have a friend who used to work in a factory that made stoves who (with a bunch of friends) stole one for a friend's mother on the Johnny Cash One Piece At A Time system. When they got it together, the broiler didn't work, but it was still better than what she'd had before.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 12:02 PM
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11: B, I know you're long gone from my part of the world, but I swear to you two weeks ago I bought a wipeable white board only to discover someone had swiped the puffy sticky tape. And the magnets. Now I know.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 12:10 PM
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She slyly used you as a mule to get her a nice new microwave. She would have denied everything if you had been caught.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 1:32 PM
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What do you think she does with all those waterbuffaloes she beats up? That's right, microwaves them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 1:35 PM
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73

one ream a year is fine, and more and you turn gay.


Posted by: bryan | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 2:05 PM
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74

"Is this my daughter? No, officer -- this was my daughter. Take her away."


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 2:55 PM
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75

Every time I read that statistic about Terry Pratchett being the most shoplifted author in Britain I get a swinge of guilt, and convince myself it was that one time I shoplifted one of his books that caused this statistic to occur. I am still not sure why I did that. I don't even like his books that much.

Also, I stole one of those plastic grapes from a display bunch in the supermarket when I was a kid. Because I found fake plastic food very fascinating. I confessed to my mum afterwards and she was furious.


Posted by: President Evil | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 3:26 PM
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I see Katherine Hepburn overacting in the role of LBs mom, a dead water buffalo at her feet.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 3-07 3:40 PM
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