DEAR ABBY: I couldn't help but add my two cents to the letter you printed from "Hungry in Madison Heights, Mich." (March 2), about the supervisor who stole everyone's food, candy, etc.
At my job, we had the same problem. "Dan" would open people's drawers and eat whatever he found, too. He would even go into lunch bags. It didn't matter if you were sitting there or not -- if it was food, he was into it!
One day a man who worked with him opened his desk drawer and realized that a tiny field mouse had gnawed through the wrapper of his candy bar and eaten part of it. He took the bar out of his desk and left it sitting there while he went to find someone to take care of the mouse. While he was gone, Dan entered his office, saw the candy, and took and ate it! Everyone except me was upset about him eating something that a mouse had nibbled. I was glad! Needless to say, Dan never took what wasn't his again. -- MAUREEN IN WEST CHICAGO
DEAR MAUREEN: When I printed that letter from "Hungry," I had no idea how pervasive the problem is. Some readers suggested that the supervisor suffered from a compulsive eating disorder or undiagnosed diabetes. Others said he was simply a jerk. And here's how they dealt with it:
DEAR ABBY: My husband was plagued by a co-worker who ate treats from his desk. I told him to set out some "cookies" I had just purchased at Petco. They look exactly like human cream cookies. My husband left them out when he knew the offender would be around, and then left the office. When he returned, sure enough -- the cookies were gone. Nothing was ever said, but he never raided my husband's desk again. -- GAYLE IN PORT ORCHARD, WASH.
DEAR ABBY: I have a rather naughty solution for "Hungry in Madison Heights." Place a bowl of sugar-free candy on his desk. I guarantee the supervisor won't dip into it more than once before he learns about the way sorbitol acts on one's digestive system. -- NANCY IN FOWLER, OHIO
DEAR ABBY: That letter brought back a memory that made me laugh. In order to prevent her brothers from chowing down on her personal snacks, my youngest daughter would -- in full view of them -- lightly lick the top of the cookies, container of popcorn, etc. After that, they wouldn't touch it! -- CAROL IN BEACON FALLS, CONN.
DEAR ABBY: That supervisor is nothing more than a bully. He's using his position as their boss to belittle them and crush their egos into submission. He's stealing from them and damaging production potential by creating a hostile workplace. Perhaps if Human Resources saw the damage done in dollar signs, they would have been more helpful and paid attention to the complaints in the first place.
The afflicted workers should sign statements attesting to what he has been doing and send them en masse to the man's supervisor. If nothing is done or retaliation occurs, legal action should be set in motion. -- BULLIED ONCE IN BUFFALO
DEAR ABBY: If "Hungry's" co-workers are imaginative, the next time the supervisor opens a candy box in their desk drawers, the man will find six or eight copies of your column inside. -- DALE IN EL CERRITO, CALIF.