How to handle a person who TAKES without asking?

I have a new assistant in my classroom who started 2 days ago and ever since has been going into my cabinets without asking and taking my personal items that I purchased with my own money like paper cups, paper plates, water bottles, k-cup coffees, tea, etc. She is literally helping herself to my stuff and never once asked if it was okay. It's really just the principle and the fact that her first 3 days, she has taken multiple things EVERY day. So this leads me to believe that this is not going to stop unless I address it. How can I address it or come to a resolution? Please help. I need ideas on a polite way to let her know that this stuff was purchased by me and not the school. I want to be as gentle as possible as this person will be in my room the rest of the year and I don't want to embarass her or cause any tension. 


Some of you may have noticed this was posted twice but with different details: I decided to change up some unimportant details for privacy but didnt realize I had submitted both. Situation is real and I just need advice- details on who the person is shouldnt matter anyways. Thanks. 

22 Answers

  • Anonymous
    8 months ago

    If you are uncomfortable about speaking to her directly you could put a label on each shelf. You could also make a space for her stuff and label it with her name. Then you can let her know that you rearranged the cabinet.

  • 8 months ago

    What's wrong with you?  If you don't like how your new assistant is behaving, it is your responsibility to tell her what you expect.  Wherever I've worked, we've usually collectively pitched in to provide for such daily pleasures as coffee and paper cups.  Office supplies (like staples and paper clips) should be provided your employer from petty cash.  But then you're in some sort of school, so probably not.  She's only been there two days and is a legitimate coworker.  It's your responsibility to explain how your office manages such things. If you don't explain the rules, she's going to assume her behavior is just fine.  If she's very young, this might be her first real job and she could still be operating on "family rules."  

  • drip
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    How does she know this is your personal stuff. Have you ever told her that? Did you ever make the rounds of the classroom and let her know, hey this is all my personal supplies that I bought myself. Not school property. If you ever need anything please make sure you ask me first. 

    If you never told her that, tell her now with the add on.   Sorry I should of told you that when you started. That was my fault you didn't know

    If you have told her. Then tell her again. Sue I just wanted to make sure you knew these are my personal supplies. You need to ask me before anything is taken. 

    Or don’t even tell her to ask your first. Sue these are my personal supplies I bought. If you would like to bring in your own supplies we can set up a space just for your stuff. Sorry I didn’t let you know that from the start.

  • Pearl
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    just tell her its your stuff, she might think its part of the school stuff

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  • 8 months ago

    I can't imagine why you didn't speak to her ab out this right away the first time she did this. Why didn't you just say, 'Oh Lisa, I forgot to say - that's all my own stuff. You'll find coffee/paper/whatever in the staff room'.

    The longer you leave it, the more awkward it's going to be for both of you.

    It would of course be nice if she had asked first, 'Is this for anyone to use?' but since she didn't, someone should TELL her. It's not fair to let her go on doing it in all innocence.

    There is no need to 'confront' her. Just have a quiet word with her when nobody else is around. Say, 'Oh Lisa, I should have mentioned this before, but this stuff in the cupboard here, it's actually my own things, for my own use. But there's a big cupboard in the staff room and you can put your own things in there. Sorry I didn't think to tell you sooner'.

  • Lita
    Lv 6
    8 months ago

    There seems to be some confusion here. The school doesn't provide those items for our use. I purchased those items and would appreciate you not using them without asking my permission first thanks.

  • 8 months ago

    Its very simple. She is obviously under the impression that as the goods are in a school cabinet, then the goods are the property of the school and so for use in the school. A little explanation to her will easily clarify the matter, and a separate cabinet for her own person goods would be an excellent idea

    It is rather puzzling why you have to purchase your own bits and piece4s for use at the school. Very strange.

    If however after your explanation the habit still continues, than a more direct course is to be expected. Take her to one side and very politely inform her that if you catch her taking anything of yours from your cupboard again, you will remove her fingers and thrust them up her ****. This should have the desired effect, and it is believed that the effect will be lasting.

  • Eva
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    She probably thinks they are things supplied by the school. She doesn't know if you don't tell her. Tell her those things aren't supplied by the school and you don't mind about the paper goods (they're really insignificant), but that she should bring her own beverages. Tell her when there are not students or other people around and use a quiet, calm tone of voice.

  • 8 months ago

    You confront them and tell them not to take anything without asking.That is stealing, and not nice or acceptable in society.

    Now your own personal cabinet is off limits to others, if you are using community cabinets, no body knows better.

  • 8 months ago

    I think you should just sit her down and explain things to her. You really should have done so from the beginning in hindsight. But don't treat her as though she has done something wrong. She's not a mind reader. The fact that you have avoided this conversation up until now is your fault, not hers.

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