You have a coworker that is a suspected hoarder.  She has long been rumored to steal stuff from different floors.  She is generally unpleasant to be around.  She smells.

A coworker mentions to you that they said said coworker going through your trashcan one evening.  You are outraged.  You work in a highly confidential area and, although you never discard confidential trash, you wonder what else at your desk she has been going through.

Do you report the incident or let it slide?

Would you feel that you have been violated?

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9 Responses to Scenario

  1. dmac says:

    It would feel like a violation to me too but everything on your desk is company property. Can you lock your bins and drawers when you leave at the end of the day? Just to cover all of my bases, I would mention it to my supervisor but I wouldn’t file an official complaint.

  2. sherri says:

    I would leave it up to the coworker that observed said behavior to report it.

  3. MrsTDJ says:

    Ok, that’s super weird, but I don’t think I’d trip out. Violated by someone tossing through my trash? Nah. I keep anything of any value (personal or workplace confidential) locked up. I’d probably leave something strange in the trash can in case she decides to return.

  4. Gladys says:

    Violated? Yes. Report it? No.

  5. Kena says:

    If the trashdigger was only going through my trash, I wouldn’t feel violated….if it was my desk, I would. I would mention it to my direct supervisor.
    I remember one time I lived in this small apartment building…only about 10 units. I was leaving for work and there was this woman digging through the big commercial trash bin. When she saw me she paused and left. What was curious was that she looked normal–not searching for cans or clothes or food. I thought she was a pi looking for info on a tennant….That caused me to be more cautious in what I discard.

  6. Ames says:

    If I have heard the rumors about her stealing, I imagine my supervisors have heard. I would ask the person who told me, to tell security or whoever should be told.

    I would feel violated but if it’s in the trash I have released it. I might put my trash outside my cube/office so she does not have to come near my desk on her next scavenger hunt.

  7. Ms. Smart says:

    Sounds like a case for HR. And you know my motto on reporting: I’m itchin’ for some snitchin’!

  8. Kim says:

    I would probably ask her at the end of the day if she wanted to go through my trashcan. I might send out a mass email stating that i would prefer if nobody came in my office or space while I am not in. I would also state that my trashcan would be placed outside my door if anyone needed to check it for whatever.

  9. missmajestic says:

    I’m trying to think of something *special* you could leave just for her nasty arse!

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