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Theft or reasonable?

(96 Posts)
Roseformeplease Sat 12-Apr-14 10:17:04

Just come out of a huge supermarket where we stopped for breakfast en route back from holiday. DH and MiL ordered huge breakfasts and the rest if us had cake / biscuit type meals. They gathered dozens of little salt and peppers at the end of the meal (20-30) and DH helped her to scoop the lot into her handbag.

I said I was very, very embarrassed and walked away as this is theft. They reasoned that the packets would have been binned.

I argued that I always try and return the unused ones to the cafe.

My children (teens) agree with me. DH and MiL say it is not theft.


NB after a week with her I might just have had enough so be unreasonable as she hums all the time and smells if cheap hairspray.

BuzzardBird Sat 12-Apr-14 10:19:17

Your children sound like they have better morals than your dh and mil.

therealeasterbunny Sat 12-Apr-14 10:20:03

I wouldn't exactly go so far as to say it is theft, but I really don't think it's very moral!

MiniSoksMakeHardWork Sat 12-Apr-14 10:21:27

20-30 is a lot of salt sachets for 2 meals so Yanbu. However, if they'd been given a couple and not used them, I'd feel differently.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 12-Apr-14 10:22:54

I'd agree with you. I'd only take one sachet of each so no concern about unused ones possibly been thrown away. If they took dozens knowing they didnt need that many then the only intention was to take them home.

Why would you do it? Salt and pepper is hardly expensive. Its not exactly crime of the century but I guess if everyone did it then the price of food would go up to cover it.

SoonToBeSix Sat 12-Apr-14 10:24:01

For goodness sake they are right they would have been thrown away it's hardly theft.

TriggersBroom Sat 12-Apr-14 10:28:57

Were they on the plate or in a bowl on the table?

If on the plate, then they're part of the meal so fair enough.

If they were on the table then YANBU. Did they nick the ketchup, mayo, and vinegar too.

Crinkle77 Sat 12-Apr-14 10:29:16

Thing is they didn't need to take 20/30 sachets in the first place. They should have taken what they needed and that's it.

ilovesooty Sat 12-Apr-14 10:30:39

Freeloading and embarrassing behaviour.

Beastofburden Sat 12-Apr-14 10:31:22

If she's prepared to use that vile ground pepper then she deserves all she gets.

Taking one or two that were served on your plate and will clearly get chucked- fine.

Clearing a whole jar of them on the table which is meant for lots of customers- not fine.

My MIL does this too, and she can't go to a hotel without emptying the bathroom of tiny bottles of cheap shampoo. I think it's a generation thing, she lived through the war and there was a lot less throwaway culture stuff for most of her adult life. She sees it as thrifty, not theft.

The joke is, it mostly gets thrown out anyway, or will be when she dies, as she takes far more than she has any need for.

RunnerBeen Sat 12-Apr-14 10:45:15

It's hardly theft, uneccesarily greedy yes but i think theftis a bit much.

I sometimes end up with one or two extra sachets of salt, i stick them in my handbag incase i'm having a quick lunch in the car at another time. Same with Mayo and any spare plastic fork i haven't used at the time. Taking that much though is just stupid.

I think you were right to be embarrassed though- i would have also walked away.

pictish Sat 12-Apr-14 10:47:01

Where does a person find it in themselves to care either way?

ilovesooty Sat 12-Apr-14 10:50:00

pictish I'd imagine being in the company of people behaving like this would be embarrassing. I'd care if I were there.

pictish Sat 12-Apr-14 10:52:24

Maybe I'm not all that concerned with what a bunch of strangers in a distant branch of Tesco might think of my mother in law?

Nennypops Sat 12-Apr-14 10:57:05

Of course it's theft. The supermarket is in effect giving permission to take enough salt and pepper to go with the meal. Anything over and above that is taken without permission, there is clear intention to deprive permanently (which is the Theft Act definition), therefore there is theft.

The excuse that they would be thrown away is nonsense. I'm assuming that they say this because they took 20-30 sachets in the first place and argue that if they left them on the table the person clearing it would just bin them. But the point is that that would not happen if they had only taken the one or two that they actually needed for their meals.

ilovesooty Sat 12-Apr-14 11:07:04

Fair enough, pictish
We're all different .

FunkyBoldRibena Sat 12-Apr-14 11:27:44

Well, at least you can now get them both a salt and pepper pot for Christmad/birthdays so that they can stop stealing salt and pepper.

diddl Sat 12-Apr-14 11:30:15

Well it is theft, isn't it as surely they are there to be used with your meal.

Maybe you could argue that you are paying for them in the price of your meal & are "entitled" to what you would have put on your meal.

But clearing the whole lot?

Why would anyone do that?

LadyMaryLikesCake Sat 12-Apr-14 11:30:33

It is kind of stealing. The sachet's are not cheap (they used to be £10 a box IIRC) and the cafe will have to replace the ones they took.

The local Wetherspoons now bring bottles of ketchup/mayo etc to the tables now instead of having a condiment section as too many people were nicking them and it was costing them.

Caitlin17 Sat 12-Apr-14 11:48:08

I don't know if it's theft but it's weird and scroogeish. What on earth will they do with their booty? Save on buying salt? I'd have been embarrassed by it and tbh questioning why I'm associated with such odd (and not in a good way) people.

LadyMaryLikesCake Sat 12-Apr-14 11:52:10

The local supermarket allow me take a couple of ketchup sachets (I only take 2). They are useful as I sometimes give ds hotdogs in a flask with some sliced buns for a packed lunch. I always ask though and there's no way I'd take loads.

Salt is very cheap so there's no need to take loads of sachets. Do you think it's the 'hotel buffet breakfast' idea - 'It's free so I'll take it, whether I need it or not'?

Theodorous Sat 12-Apr-14 12:01:44

Weird that you got your knickers in a twist over it. Who actually cares? Maybe get a hobby or join a club or something.

CoffeeTea103 Sat 12-Apr-14 12:01:47

Theft? Calm down miss goody goody. I wily think bad manners but not extreme as theft.

Theodorous Sat 12-Apr-14 12:08:17

Is there a huge hacking market for middle class mums stuff? What are they going to do, sell your login to Boden so they can sneak an extra slipfloppoo skirt in your order? Will there be a queue of head teachers waiting to buy details so they can block the daily emails about reading levels? Will there be a market for mothers in law to access information and be able to delete the endless whines?

Theodorous Sat 12-Apr-14 12:14:50

Sorry wrong thread

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