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>Stand well back, I feel a rant coming on

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It appears that having to leave work suddenly to go onto maternity leave has had some unexpected consequences.

This maternity leave I didn’t leave on a scheduled date with plenty of time to clear my desk and to lock away anything precious. Instead I left suddenly and assumed that my colleagues would respect my belongings and that it would all be fine.

My first day back I discovered piles of discarded paper strewn over my desk. Obviously reasonable behaviour since my desk was next to a printer. So I threw them into the recycling. Only to have to do the same on my next day in…

But that’s small stuff compared to the realisation that several things have disappeared off my desk. Not things with more than minimal financial value but things with emotional value.

And I was being rather sanguine about that until I found a momento a client gave me on a colleague’s desk. And he wasn’t apologetic about having taken it. But rather implied it was fair game.

I cannot believe he would have taken things off anyone’s desk whilst they were on paternity leave but apparantly having a baby meant all my belongings were up for grabs. That he seemed to have assumed that I wouldn’t be back anytime soon and that it didn’t matter because I’d somehow not count enough for him to need to return my things when I did get back.

Is this yet another sign of the uphill battle I’m waging to be given an equal chance, that even the junior guys don’t see me as the equal of my colleagues? Or is it just that my stuff is more desirable?

And my stapler has gone missing overnight…

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10 comments to >Stand well back, I feel a rant coming on

  • Kate

    >A*ses. Why the felt they could take stuff from your desk, just because you weren't there is beyond me. If I were you I'd take it back and something from theirs, see how they like that! But you're probably more mature than me! xxxx

  • TheMadHouse

    >It gets worse I think, none of my belongings were returned to me when I resigned after beong on Maternity leave!

  • Noble Savage

    >Oh, how annoying! Maybe they need some time to readjust to you being back. People who haven't had children, especially young men, just don't 'get it' and have probably bought the line they've been fed that our brains dribble out our ears when the baby is born. Grrr…

    Best of luck reclaiming all of your belongings (and respect)!

  • London City Mum

    >I find the best way to deter the magpies is to tippex your initials on anything of value that you do not want to be nicked from your desk.

    Only problem with this was putting my initials on the back of my chair in this manner, years ago, only to then figure quite prominently in a) v expensive corporate literature (photo of the impressive dealing room with my chair in clear view), and b) on national TV when the economist was doing his spiel on breakfast TV.

    But, oh how I laughed!

    LCM x

  • make do mum

    >I worked in an art dept where everything was always going walkies. I put my name in permanent marker on anything I valued. But taking a personal momento is totally out of order. Put his stapler in a jelly like they did in The Office (so long as it doesn't turn out to be your missing one)

  • SnafflesMummy

    >Ha I am liking make do mums jelly idea. Maybe you could bluetack all of his things to the desk one day and when he wonders why day that you were only tryiung to be helpful, that you have been the victim of belongings disappearing and you wanted to stop the same happening to him.

  • Amy

    >how horrid! How can they just take stuff that isn't theirs? i hope you can reclaim your things and maybe leave a few dirty nappies in that guys desk too :D

  • zooarchaeologist

    >Steal it back, finders keepers and all.
    I came back to work to find someone had actually stolen my chair with, (I know its petty) my name tipexxed on the back of it. I only share an office with 2 other lads, it wasn't hard reclaiming everything.
    All's fair, help yourself to anything else you fancy too!

  • Clare

    >That's absolutely outrageous! I had similar happen to me with books and things, and my desk becoming a dumping ground, but nothing was malicious like that.

    I would set out to steal everything back!

  • Alice

    >I had a migraine last week at work – fine, because I knew I could help it with the full pack of paracetamol that's been on my desk for the last 2 weeks.

    Except somebody had been thieving and had remove the two blister packs of paracetamol, leaving the empty pack on my desk… grrr! As you said, there's not a lot of monetary value in a pack of paracetamol but they are the only painkiller I can take and it meant a long trip to the chemist to get more. Don't they know I'm pregnant??!

    People in my workplace are also awful for littering others desks with empty starbucks cups, such a horrible thing to come to work to in the morning.

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