Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Repost: Embarassing Problem Leads To Office Theft...And Painful Consequences

[Ed. Note: Tazi-Kat is taking a holiday vacation this week. Please enjoy a letter that you may have missed the first time around!]

Dear Tazi-Kat:

I have a very embarrassing problem, made worse by the way I have handled it. I have hemorrhoids, which leave me in agonizing pain and unable to sit still. I am too embarrassed to buy Preperation H at the store, and since they keep it behind the pharmacy counter I cannot secretly take it and leave the money on the service counter.

Last week, I was rummaging through a vacationing co-worker's desk for some white-out when I came across a huge stash of personal needs - feminine hygiene products, toothpaste, floss...and a brand new tube of Preparation H, still in the unopened box. Although I am ashamed to say I took it (and left the money for it), I have to say I am feeling great relief in other areas. My problem is, my coworker returned from vacation to find her product gone as well as the money that I left for her! She reported the "theft" to Human Resources, who sent out a memo about respect for others' personal belongings.

Tazi-Kat, although I am not proud of my part in this whole debacle, I am outraged that someone would take the money I had left! Should I approach my co-worker and explain what I did? Or just let the whole issue pass. What should I do when I need a new tube of cream? I just can't go back to living without it!


Dear H.:

I have to say, I am intrigued by your sense of morality. To steal is morally wrong, and I admire your desire to pay for your purchases; but your co-worker's desk is not your personal pharmacy. Since you appear to be positively humiliated over the concept of purchasing hemorrhoid treatment, I would suggest a compromise:

Write a letter of apology to your co-worker for taking her hemorrhoid cream, explaining that you were looking for white-out when you saw your tushy's salvation in a tube and could not resist "borrowing" it before realizing that once you used it the owner would probably not have wanted it back.

You stuck it WHERE? Um, no I don't want it back, thanks...

Mention that you left money for the product, so she knows your intentions were honorable, but pay for the tube a second time (consider it a penance for your actions) by enclosing money with the letter in a sealed envelope that is clearly addressed to your co-worker. You can do this anonymously, if you would like; I will not split hairs.

In the future, you might want to consider home delivery of pharmaceutical products through Internet sites like or CVS. It will reconcile your embarrassment over being seen purchasing the product with your need to buy it.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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