Ask Tessie: How to I get my coworkers to stop stealing my coffee creamer? |

Ask Tessie: How to I get my coworkers to stop stealing my coffee creamer?

Dear Tessie,

People at work keep drinking my coffee creamer. What would you do?


I Even Sharpied My Name On It

Sharpie-labeled food and passive aggressive Post-it notes are for the weak. Though in my heart-of-hearts I want to tell you to crush up some laxatives, you share a bathroom with these people, so it’s a lose-lose situation.

Now if we had allowed Ask Abby to continue blabbing on about civil discourse and addressing problems through positive communication, she’d probably recommend you write a polite memo to the whole office. As a gesture of goodwill, she’d tell you to purchase a coffee creamer for the whole office and suggest that everyone take turns keeping it supplied. “Pay it forward,” she’d write, or something equally nauseating.

But where’s the fun in that? To quote “The Prince” by Niccolò Machiavelli — Chapter XVII, concerning cruelty and clemency, in case you’re interested — “It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.”

No doubt you’re already a beloved member of this office since you’re cool enough to read my column and smart enough to come to me for advice, so let’s just focus on the fear aspect.

Throw a very public and over-the-top fit in the break room about your empty coffee creamer container. Word of your antics will spread throughout the office faster than a meme of Trump shooting a three-pointer with a roll of paper towels. It will inspire fear in everyone who thought, “Just a little splash won’t hurt. He won’t notice.”

Now if you’re not into being the center of attention, I want to introduce you to a little something called the ghost pepper. It is the world’s hottest chili pepper — 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. Pop one of those suckers in the creamer and I promise you, this horrible, unethical food stealing will stop once and for all.

Dear Tessie,

I’ve read dozens of opinion articles about NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem. Would you take a knee?


When Did Sports Get So Political?

I don’t even have knees.

Tahoe Tessie is a humorous take on the standard advice column. It is produced by the Tribune staff, and it is not meant to be taken literally. Have a question you want to ask Tessie? Send it to

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