DEAR ABBY: I have a co-worker who is always picking at everyone's food. At lunch or at break time, people hurry to eat before "Sam" comes into the lunchroom because he goes around helping himself to everyone's food. He doesn't even ask permission first.
People have told Sam it's all they have, but it doesn't faze him. He just finds a way to joke about it. These employees don't want to speak up because Sam is their supervisor.
Sam also creates a problem for the people in the front office. He goes to the front office every day and takes the candy they set out for customers and fellow employees to enjoy. He fills his pockets full and returns to "visit" several times a day until the candy is gone. This has gone on every single day for the past three years. Human Resources refuses to get involved.
How can I stop this? Sam is my co-worker and friend, and I'm the type of person who cannot hurt his feelings. How should I handle this? -- HUNGRY IN MADISON HEIGHTS, MICH.
DEAR HUNGRY: Sam's behavior is extremely inappropriate, and if he's been pigging out on everyone's candy for three years, I'm surprised his doctor hasn't told him he has to cut back on the sugar and fat.
He will continue this behavior until enough people -- and that includes you -- gather the courage to tell him "NO!" firmly and consistently enough that the message gets through.
As to the employees in the front office, their candy should be kept out of sight in their desk drawers and taken out and offered only to those customers and employees with whom they want to share it.