Picture this: You've gone to the effort of packing yourself lunch for work, it might be last night's leftovers, your favourite salad or a just a humble sandwich.
You get into the office, put it in the fridge and then get on with your work, with the thought of your delicious lunch keeping you motivated.
When lunch time finally comes around you excitedly rush to the kitchen to devour your much-awaited meal, only to find it has disappeared, never to be seen again.
This is a situation that is all too real for many office workers, with a new study revealing that one in three people are guilty of stealing their co-worker's lunch.
Lunch stealing is apparently a problem in offices all over the world, US television station WCCOreported.
The UK based study found that a third of people admitted to taking a colleagues lunch just because they thought it looked better than theirs, reports news.com.au.
Another 12 per cent claimed they nabbed something from the communal fridge because they were hungry and they didn't bring any of their own food.
Lunch stealing among co-workers has become such an issue that there have been products specifically designed to deter potential thieves, such as a sandwich bag designed to look like it is covered in mould and a lockable cage to keep your food in.
A study conducted last year by UK brand Husky Lifestyle revealed that the people most likely to steal food are in a Director role or higher, with 46 per cent of people in this position admitting to knowingly stealing food or drink.
They confessed the most common item they have stolen was milk from the fridge (37 per cent), followed by confectionary such as chips, chocolate and lollies (18 per cent).
The research had similar findings to the most recent study, revealing that more than 39 per cent have taken food from a workmate without asking, with 25-34 year olds being the worst offenders at 42 per cent.
"Although it's quite alarming that 1 in 3 people steal food and drink at the office, it appears it will continue to happen regardless of the measures people take," Angela Mundean, Director at Husky Lifestyle, said.
You might be wondering, why would someone ever commit such a horrible crime? Well according to John, a software engineer who works at an investment bank near Wall Street, it's not that big of a deal.
He admitted to reaching into the refrigerators of his employers and snacking on other people's things — sandwiches, cupcakes, eggplant Parmesan, even leftover Chinese — somewhat regularly.
"If it's after 5pm and the person has gone home, it's fair game," argued the food thief, who asked his last name not be used so his eating habits could go undisturbed.
He defended his habit by pointing out that day-old food is gross, and said he left things that did not perish as quickly — such as soda, yoghurt and apples — alone.