Ask Jack: Fridge Fiends, Dying Dreams, and Job of the Week

Man removing food from refrigerator in office kitchen, low section
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Blair, a famished AOL Jobs reader, tells us:

Someone stole my yogurt out of the office fridge! I am irate. I thought this kind of thing only happened in workplace comedies. How can I avoid falling victim to an office kitchen thief?

With apologies to the Special Victims Unit, I find office food theft to be especially heinous. You made the commendable extra effort to bring lunch in, whether to be budget-conscious, health-conscious, or even to maximize the time working at your desk. And yet, as the result of some cowardly crook, you end up spending more money, possibly grabbing some convenient junk, and you waste more time doing it. I am irate on your behalf!

Now, the fact that there is often free food lying around offices maybe seeps into some people's brains and they'll grab any morsel that isn't nailed down. But make no mistake, it is stealing. You are taking something that does not belong to you. And while that mindset might put you on the fast track to an executive position in corporate America, it is resolutely uncool.

What to do? Some sort of external bag, wrap, or foil can do wonders to "foil" those who would filch food. It's as if it flips a switch in their brain and they realize "oh, this isn't the refrigerator at my mommy's house." Likewise, a piece of tape or Post-It with your name on it can discourage lunchtime larceny. Or for a crude but very effective method, follow the lead of my former co-worker Mark Z. The sign on his food read "I spit in here." Did he really? We'll never know, but you can be sure that no one pilfered that potato salad.

In the Ask Jack comments section, "John Morgenroth" got a little philosophical with us:

I recently turned 40. No matter what your career, or the efforts you have made (we've all made mistakes at some point), how does one know when it's time to hang up your cleats and move on to graduate school or a new profession, and put your passion on the back burner?

First and foremost, I think I speak for everyone here at the AOL family of websites when I wish you a very happy belated birthday. Forty revolutions around the sun -- not too shabby. Now, your question is not an uncommon one among those who were daring enough to pursue their passions in the first place. (So again, kudos to you.) And I think you already know the answer: You can never, ever give up. Oh sure, you have to earn a living, so do what you need to do. But life can be remarkably stupid, and one might even make a compelling argument that it is utterly pointless. So what can we do? Well, don't screw over other people (and leave Blair's lunch alone), and just strive to be happy. Fame and fortune may not result from your passions, but as long as they provide you with some satisfaction, the pursuit is worthwhile and admirable. Because what's the point of just being miserable in some other, safer scenario?

Last week's Ask Jack questions

Do you have a work-related question for Jack? Write it in the comments below (better answers to this week's questions are also welcome!) or tweet it @AOLJobs with the hashtag #AskJack.

Jack's Job of the Week

Don't steal yogurt out of the office fridge! Instead, become a shift manager at the new TCBY Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt location in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex. Perhaps there is some sort of employee discount! If that doesn't stir up the fruit at the bottom of your career goals, there are thousands of other available positions that you can search for right now on AOL Jobs.

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