Office fridge padlock sparks debate: ‘Peak pettiness or justifiable security?’

Publish Date
Thursday, 18 May 2023, 1:31PM
Would you lock up your milk to prevent people from taking it from the office fridge? Photo / Getty Images

Would you lock up your milk to prevent people from taking it from the office fridge? Photo / Getty Images

Those of us who spend our days sitting behind a desk know the perils of the office fridge all too well.

The week starts with good intentions and Tupperware containers of leftovers, which we inevitably forget about as soon as we pop them in the fridge. Containers go missing, smells develop, and who knows what is lurking in the depths of the fridge shelves?

But the greatest tragedy of the office fridge can be summed up in those four terrifying words: “We’re out of milk”.

A Reddit user shared the post to ask whether padlocking your milk is a step too far. Photo / @Vented55

And now a viral photo has raised questions about whether we should be taking greater security measures to stop our milk from going missing.

A Reddit user with the handle Vented55 shared a photo on the CasualUK thread for a second opinion on office etiquette, with the snap showing several milk bottles with one padlocked shut.

“Peak pettiness or justifiable security in the office kitchen,” they captioned the snap.

Countless Reddit users then took to the comment section to share their thoughts - and their own experiences with the office fridge. The majority of commenters agreed the padlock was a prudent move rather than an over-the-top security measure.

One wrote, “As someone who used to buy two pints of milk every week, only for it to be completely empty by Wednesday morning, I totally understand the rationale. I vote not petty.”

Another chimed in with: “Having had someone steal my food at work, I totally agree.”

“I’m always happy to share my milk in the office, but the amount of times I have found that MY milk which I bought is completely empty with no replacement offered/available makes me feel this is completely justified,” another mused.

“Nothing worse than making a cuppa only to find that someone finished the milk and left you high and dry (of milk).”

One person admitted they had also taken to locking up their milk in the work fridge - turns out you can actually buy a padlock specifically made for this purpose - but it was no match for a determined milk thief.

“I bought an UdderLok for my milk at work and it worked fine for a few weeks, but then I think some thief took it as a challenge and pretty much ripped the carton apart to steal the milk,” they shared.

Others pointed out that locking up your belongings is perfectly acceptable, although it’s not often done with food items.

“It’s not any more petty than using a locker to store your belongings or locking up your bike. It’s not petty to stop people from stealing your stuff,” one user pointed out.

What are your thoughts on this? Petty or justified... 

This article was first published in the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.

Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you