Thursday, November 7, 2013

Stickers for Stinkers

“Back Off!” “Mine!” “Keep Away!” Every time I opened the fridge at the Bible bookstore where I worked, Imogene’s lunch bag stickers, complete with ugly faces, accosted me. How rude, I thought, and how unnecessary. After all, our co-workers are Christians. Imogene needn’t worry they’ll steal her lunch.

One day I had lunch with a friend at Kings Hawaiian restaurant, one of my favorite cafés. That scrumptious tuna salad croissant proved too huge for me to finish. I gently tucked it in a Styrofoam to-go box, then wrote my name on the top and put it in the fridge at work. When I went to get it the next day, it was gone.

“Does anyone know what happened to the sandwich I put in here yesterday?” I said. “It was in a King’s Hawaiian box.”

“Was it tuna salad on a croissant?” asked Rob.

“Yes,” I said. “What happened to it?”

“Oh, I saw Sheila eating it last night on her break.”

I tried to hold my voice steady, but I could feel my face grow hotter than a cowpoke's branding iron. I clenched my fists and nearly shouted, “BUT IT HAD MY NAME ON IT!”

Rob chuckled and shrugged. “Sheila’s a teenager. They see food—they eat food. She probably didn’t even notice the name on it.”

I rushed from the kitchen and straight to the customer service counter, where I paged Imogene on the intercom. When she arrived, I put my arm around her shoulder and crooned, “Imogene, dear, where did you find those lovely stickers you put on your lunch bags? I need to buy some.”

Have you ever judged someone as rude or mean, then had to walk in their shoes, and changed your mind about them? Has anyone ever stolen from you? How did you feel?