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Dear The Hunger Games,
I work in a medium-size office with 23 coworkers. People are generally polite, and we get along pretty well, but there is one problem that’s driving me crazy: someone keeps stealing my lunch! I’ve tried everything, from sticky notes to all-staff e-mails, but nothing seems to help. The perpetrator seems bolder than ever. This is particularly upsetting because I’m very particular about what I eat. After packing a nice nitrate-free turkey sandwich on fresh-baked, organic ciabatta bread, I hate to settle for Jimmy John’s. What can I do?
—Lunchless on Long Island
You should avoid the refrigerator at all costs. During the 60 minutes of your lunch hour, your 23 colleagues will be drawn to it like moths to a flickering flame. Their flirtation, gossip, and idle chatter are merely cover for competitive backstabbing, in which they all try to install themselves as the lone survivor at your company. Well-prepared food on delicious baked bread is merely a lure. Let them have it. Instead, you should withdraw deeper into the building, laying low while they fight it out. To sustain yourself, prowl for food in meeting rooms, in backpacks, and in the Dumpster out by the loading dock. Eat from vending machines if you have to—but don’t go near the Cornucopia. I mean fridge.
—The Hunger Games