Don’t Steal My Bananas

Posted by on Feb 24, 2012 in Stories

One day, I realized that bananas were disappearing from my desk at work. Were my co-workers eating them? Were they stealing them to be funny? Was the nighttime clean-up crew throwing them away? I didn’t make a big stink about it, because they were, after all, just bananas.

One evening, I left my expensive sunglasses on my desk, and the next morning, they were gone. My favorite Maui Jim’s, I would make a big stink about. I called building security to report the missing item, and a few hours later a burly guy with a clipboard showed up.

“What is missing?”

“My sunglasses.”

“Can you describe them?”

“They were Maui Jim’s, tortoise-shell with bronze lenses.”

“What’s the value of the sunglasses?”

“About $180.”

“Is anything else missing?”

“Well, now that you mention it, there was a banana on my desk last night that is gone now.”

“What’s the value of the banana?” No joke.

“About 75 cents?”

He told me he would file the report and left. I got the annoying feeling that I would never hear from them again.

I decided to take matters into my own hands. It occurred to me that there must be software out there that could turn the MacBook’s inconspicuous webcam into a motion-sensitive camera, and indeed there is: EvoCam. I installed it, adjusted the settings, and angled my laptop towards the spot on my desk where I normally leave things. I wanted to leave something as bait, but I was fresh out of bananas, so I dug some change out of my pocket and left in on my desk. I hoped to catch the thief in action and find incriminating videos to watch when I came in the next morning.

The next day, I found the change on the desk where I left it. There were indeed two recordings to watch, but they only showed the vacuum guy (not being very thorough) and the trash lady (dumping my recycling with the regular trash) coming into my cube and doing their job without even noticing the money.

The next day, I got a banana and tried again, but no one took it.

This went on for a couple of weeks, but no one took the bananas.

Every morning that I came in, I had to eat the banana that didn’t get stolen, so I was getting pretty sick of them. On top of that, I found my sunglasses. They had fallen behind my file cabinet. A normal person would have given up, but not me. I am a man of principle, and I was committed. I had to find out who the banana thief was.

Finally, one Friday morning, I came in to find my banana missing and a new video waiting for me. At 5:50 AM, a woman with a security uniform came into my cube, stood at my desk, picked up the banana, inspected it, and then walked away with it. Busted.

I considered my options. This was a security guard who I had seen in the building before, and it was just a matter of time before I saw her again. Do I confront her myself and ask her to repay me for every banana she’s ever stolen from me? I might get in trouble for that kind of blackmail.

I called downstairs to security to tell them that there was a break in the case. I went to their office with my laptop. I told the security manager that I had found my sunglasses but that I had recorded video of someone stealing a banana from my desk. I excitedly opened my laptop and played the video.

As he watched, the guy’s mouth dropped open. He couldn’t believe that this security guard was stealing a banana. He also couldn’t believe that someone would take the time and energy to set up a hidden camera and catch a thief.

“Boy, if you ever need a job in security, just let us know. We could use you.”

He called his boss from the next room, and as I played the video again, he had the same reaction. The boss then called HIS boss upstairs. We went up and played the video one more time. Everyone was amazed. It turns out that this woman wasn’t even supposed to have access to my floor, so she was in even more trouble than I thought. They assured me that the matter would be handled immediately.

“We can’t have someone like that on our team.”

I’m pretty sure she got fired.

After announcing to my peers that I had caught the banana thief, others came forward and said that they’ve had their overnight fruit stolen off their desks and out of their drawers in the past. This woman loved her fruit.

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