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Mug Shot

September 12th, 2012 · 56 comments

I’ll start with the moral of the story first: “It just goes to show you that passive aggressive notes are funny but not effective.” That observation comes courtesy of Janell in San Francisco, who admits that she penned the following note after her third coffee mug went missing from the office kitchen.

Explains Janell: “While a lot of people commented on the note, my mug never appeared. After six months passed, my boss bought me an identical mug just so I would take the note down. A year later, one of my co-workers quit. We found the mug in his office.”

Have You Seen This Mug? My Starbucks blue and white San Francisco mug was last seen on Friday morning, Jan. 21st in the Creative Services kitchen drain rack. The mug loves maple brown sugar oatmeal and attending morning meetings.  If found, please wash and return to the Creative Services kitchen drain rack. Mug, if you can read this, I miss you! Please come home soon.

related: Justice, with a side of fries

extra credit: The Anti-Theft “Plug Mug”

FILED UNDER: anthropomorphism · kitchen · office · San Francisco · stealing

56 responses so far ↓

  • #1   StephM

    I wonder if he wanted to return it but was too embarrassed after the note went up, in case someone saw him. Shoulda returned it anyway, explained that he didn’t mean to walk out with it (that’s my guess since it was still in his office; if he wanted to steal it he would have taken it home.) and apologized. But now you have two mugs!

    Sep 12, 2012 at 2:42 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   Bookmark

      Hm, I’ve worked in an office before, and it’s really not that hard to take a mug bag to the break room area without being seen. Maybe he was embarrassed initially, but to wait a year and a half and never return it… that just screams “I’m a jerk and I don’t care”.

      Sep 12, 2012 at 3:02 pm   rating: 65  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   Emily

      I agree the note might have made him more reluctant to return it out of embarrassment but she didn’t ask for the person to come forward; he could’ve just done as she asked: wash it and put it back where he found it.

      Sep 12, 2012 at 4:51 pm   rating: 14  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   JK

      This guy sounds a bit creepy. “I believe you have my stapler”/”I could set this place on fire” creepy.

      Sep 12, 2012 at 10:17 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

  • #2   Captain Hampton

    How cheap do you have to be to steal someone else’s mug? Get some scruples, bro.

    Sep 12, 2012 at 3:03 pm   rating: 19  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   nyuu

      He couldn’t afford any scruples.

      Sep 12, 2012 at 3:12 pm   rating: 54  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   Tesselara

      Looks like he got a mug instead.

      Sep 13, 2012 at 7:11 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #2.3   Nunavut Guy

      Scruples…..Scruples….come here boy….

      Sep 14, 2012 at 1:31 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #3   Thunder McKing

    The office equivalent of the death bed confession.

    Sep 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm   rating: 68  small thumbs up

  • #4 bang

    Where I work we run dishwashers every night for the dishes that are used for meetings and clients, etc. If you put anything personal in the dishwashers, the items will end up in the cabinets with all the other public stuff the next morning, so you have only yourself to blame if someone pulls your mug out of the cabinet to use.

    Sep 12, 2012 at 3:39 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Smokey

      Trixie is a mug taker……

      Sep 12, 2012 at 3:48 pm   rating: 68  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   jerquee

      Yes. This. Same with the dish rack. If you have a personal item, don’t mix it in with communal stuff. You can’t count on every other person in the office knowing that “OMG It’s MINE!”

      Sep 13, 2012 at 11:31 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #4.3   Jami

      Or you could just take a pen and along the bottom where there’s no paint write your name on it.

      Sep 13, 2012 at 1:45 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #4.4   The Elf

      Whoa! Don’t go around inserting logic and reason into these things, Jami!

      Sep 13, 2012 at 3:05 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #4.5   Jami

      Okay, how about going to Color Me Mine and making the ugliest mug with your name on it for way too much money? One no one would steal except for an Etsy Upcycler who wants to turn it into a lamp.

      Sep 14, 2012 at 12:14 am   rating: 30  small thumbs up

    • #4.6   jmb

      @jerquee, um ya, but they know it’s not THEIRS.

      Sep 17, 2012 at 10:47 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #5   Adriana

    My boyfriend and I read this together and we started coming up with all these alternative possibilities, like maybe he bought his own San Francisco Starbucks mug. The best one, though, is that the real culprit planted the mug in that guy’s office knowing that he had quit. Dun dun duuuuuuuuuun.

    Sep 12, 2012 at 5:43 pm   rating: 124  small thumbs up

  • #6   Ali Longworth

    I’m glad she got her mug back but, personally, I don’t want anything that LIKES morning meetings.

    Sep 12, 2012 at 7:55 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   The Elf

      I’ll take a morning meeting over a Friday 4pm meeting.

      Sep 13, 2012 at 8:25 am   rating: 32  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   Ali Longworth

      Wow Elf, that Santa is a real a-hole.

      Sep 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #6.3   redheadwglasses

      One of our biggest clients is Target Corp. Some asshat over there schedules two-hour conference calls (MINIMUM two-hour calls) late on Friday afternoons.

      Sep 18, 2012 at 12:11 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #7   shepd

    That mug gets some terrible reviews on amazon. The first mug where most of the reviews says it leaks. Even the dollar store can get that much right!

    Sep 12, 2012 at 7:58 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #8   Lola T. Bean

    Maybe her mug just wanted to strike out on his own… Maybe he didn’t REALLY like morning meetings?

    Sep 12, 2012 at 8:19 pm   rating: 20  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   Lil'

      I suspect it had something to do with the maple brown sugar oatmeal. Maybe he was the apple cinnamon type, and she just didn’t know him at all. It’s never easy trying to live up to other people’s expectations when your heart is tugging you in a different direction.

      Sep 13, 2012 at 7:39 am   rating: 25  small thumbs up

  • #9   lana

    I had a string of mug thefts that I attempted to thwart by buying increasingly ugly mugs. The mugs continued to be appropriated until I bought a Che Guevara mug. I figured (correctly) that the stock brokers I worked with would avoid it like the plague. I found out later they wouldn’t drink out of it because they thought it was Charles Manson.

    Sep 12, 2012 at 10:08 pm   rating: 107  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   The Elf

      I don’t know what makes me laugh harder: that they wouldn’t drink out of Charles Manson mug, or that they wouldn’t drink out of a Che Guevara mug.

      Sep 13, 2012 at 8:26 am   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #9.2   Laura

      But couldn’t you just hand wash your mug after you were done with it, dry it with a paper towel and take it back to your desk? That’s what I do, and no one’s ever stolen my mug. Have people forgotten that hand washing still exists?

      Sep 17, 2012 at 12:19 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #10   Jami

    I wouldn’t say notes never work. Years ago I brought my favorite mug to work from home because my brother kept using it. (It had wolves on it. Therefore it was “manly” enough for him.)

    Sure enough, everyone at my new job kept using my mug. That wasn’t the problem, the problem is they never washed it after using it. One time I picked it up and found it full of ants.

    So I left a note that I thought was nice but maybe some people would see it as a PAN saying “I don’t mind if you use my mug, but please wash it after you do. I found ants inside it. Thank you.”

    After that, they stopped using my mug completely.

    Sep 12, 2012 at 10:29 pm   rating: 28  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   Lil'

      I don’t even bother with real mugs at work. We’ve had many mugs come up missing around here, so I just use the styrofoam cups the company provides. There have been a few rare occassions when I’ve brought my travel mug into the office, but it has a photo of my husband and son on it. I don’t think anyone would have dared “borrow” that, but I would have loved the entertainment value in hearing a coworker explain why she has a photo of my family on her mug.

      Sep 13, 2012 at 7:32 am   rating: 20  small thumbs up

    • #10.2   Jami

      I work in a small public library. So there’s no real need to worry about mug thieves. Everything ends up in the same cupboard and if you do what I do – which is write my name on that part on the bottom that doesn’t have paint or glaze on it – your cup doesn’t end up in the manager’s yearly cupboard purge. (Somehow on a staff of 11 people we have 50 or so mugs. But some are used by The Friends and some by volunteers and OCEA’s always leaving us mugs.)

      Like I said, for me it was the fact they never washed it after using it. Though at least they left it in the kitchen. My brother would keep it with him all day long and only put it to be washed at the end of the day.

      The image on the mug was called “Red Wolf, White Light.” There’s one on eBay if anyone cares to go look at it. For some reason it was a mug men loved to use. My (oldest) brother used it, my cousin when he visited, the person who used it the most at my workplace was one of the male volunteers.

      Fact of the matter was, I rarely got to use my own mug in all the years I owned it. (I don’t even remember what happened to it. I brought it home after buying another one just for work. It just vanished one day….)

      Sep 13, 2012 at 1:54 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #10.3   kermit

      It ran away with the tomatoes of the previous note.

      Sep 13, 2012 at 2:26 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #10.4   redheadwglasses

      Think again, Lil. My coworker has a mug with a picture of her and her husband on it, and she has trouble tracking it down — people take it and use it. I don’t drink coffee, but i Think I’d choose a plain mug or one with an ad on it over something that obviously is a personal belonging of a coworker.

      Sep 17, 2012 at 11:51 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #11   Tesselara

    Actually, note WIN! Everyone knew that it was her mug and were able to return it to her loving arms (to once again enjoy oatmeal and morning meetings in joyous reunion).

    Sep 13, 2012 at 7:10 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #12   The Elf

    Not that I support office thefts, but I do have to wonder why people leave stuff they like in shared spaces. It’s bound to walk eventually. Just wash your mug, dry it out, then put it back at your desk. It might still walk, but at least someone would have to go through your clearly defined space to get to it. That alone will deter most opportunists.

    Sep 13, 2012 at 8:30 am   rating: 15  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   jerquee

      This exactly is my policy. My office has too many people and too many various coffee mugs to know what belongs to whom. I keep my personal mug on my desk at all times. It never goes in the dishwasher or drying rack. Just wash and dry it myself daily and, voila!

      Sep 13, 2012 at 10:08 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #12.2   Dan

      Not everyone works in an office environment where you can keep stuff on your desk and the company is too cheap to provide styrofoam cups.

      Sep 13, 2012 at 11:33 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #12.3   The Elf

      If the company throws a shit-fit over coffee mugs on or in desks, I would say the work place has bigger problems than mug theft.

      Sep 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #12.4   Ann

      I think the point was that not everyone has a desk. Or a place to put a mug.

      Sep 13, 2012 at 1:42 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #12.5   Roxy

      My husband taught me that the trick is to never scrub the caffeine stains off. The mug is still clean, i.e. no milk or sugar to encourage life to flourish, but looks grotty. No one ever picks that mug to drink from.

      Sep 13, 2012 at 8:32 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

  • #13   The Elf

    That anti-theft mug reminds me of the heart-plugs from Dune (1984 movie version). I expect blood to come gushing from it, as a floating fat man circles the room, laughing manically.

    The Mug Thief will die before these eyes, and he’ll know – HE’LL KNOW – that it is I, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, who encompasses his doom!

    A passive-aggressive note has been written. The forms of kanly have been obeyed.

    Sep 13, 2012 at 8:37 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   Gecko Hunter

      I’ve heard that it was the theft of a coffee mug that prompted the Butlerian Jihad.

      Sep 13, 2012 at 1:05 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #13.2   Gecko Hunter

      It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion, It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed. The hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning. It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion

      Sep 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm   rating: 14  small thumbs up

  • #14   Fireseeker

    It seems her question mark went the way of the mug; it too is missing.

    Sep 13, 2012 at 8:55 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #15   JPop

    I try to picture everyone’s office environment where this is happening. I work in an office w/ 6 people. We NEVER steal each other’s lunches from the fridge and we certainly do not walk off with each other’s mugs. You’d have to be NUTS to grab my Elvis mug. I’d be like, “Excuuuuse me!??” Gross!

    Sep 13, 2012 at 9:21 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   The Elf

      6 person office. There is your answer. For any office theft, the list of suspects would narrow rapidly.

      Sep 13, 2012 at 10:55 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #15.2   Ann

      I work in an office of five. If someone stole my lunch, I could see them eating it from where I was sitting.

      Sep 13, 2012 at 1:44 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #16   Dane Zeller

    Advice to victims of thievery: you can increase your chances of getting your stuff back by not putting requirements on it’s return. I would not have asked that the mug be washed. It’s like asking someone who steals money from you to return it along with 6% annual interest.

    Sep 13, 2012 at 9:24 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

  • #17   AlfaCowboy

    This doesn’t seem passive aggressive to me. It just sounds like a polite request in note form.

    Sep 13, 2012 at 11:32 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #17.1   Ed

      This site, and much of the rest of the world, does not seem to recognize the difference between passive and passive aggressive.

      I agree; this note lacks the necessary aggressive touch for it to be a passive aggressive note.

      Sep 14, 2012 at 10:43 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #17.2   Pixy

      I can help both you guys out. Scroll up. See the yellow sticky note with the site name in it? Look directly to the right. “funny (if not necessarily “passive-aggressive”) notes from pissed-off people”

      Sep 15, 2012 at 8:04 am   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #17.3   AlfaCowboy

      Agreed, Pixy. I was just making a random comment, though. Not at all arguing about the note’s inclusion on the site.

      Sep 17, 2012 at 10:51 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #18   Beatus Mongous

    Creative services people are bitches.

    Sep 13, 2012 at 11:37 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #18.1   kermit

      Maybe the creative service used their
      “creative service” skills to divest her of the mug.

      Sep 13, 2012 at 2:28 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #19   Nunavut Guy

    I’m keeping an eye on the knife and the spoon.

    Sep 14, 2012 at 1:58 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #19.1   Jami

      But it’s that dish you should look out for. Always running off with utensils. You’d think it was Jack Harkness or something.

      Sep 14, 2012 at 7:01 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #20   feleepe

    So, I had this Buzz Lightyear glass that I loved with all my heart. I realize this makes me sound 8 years old, but whatever.
    Anyway, our company moved and on the moving day somebody set my glass on the floor along with other kitchen crap (we were planning on washing it before re-using) and another somebody accidentally kicked it, shattering it in a million pieces. I was so disappointed to hear about it that I didn’t have the heart to even get angry. I just sighed in frustration.
    The point I was getting to is: I’d rather somebody stole it and left it to me one year later. At least I’d have it right now.
    I miss you, Buzz :’(

    Sep 17, 2012 at 9:34 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up


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