Moral high ground might be tempting but it’s futile

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Anyone who has worked in an office or shared a communal kitchen will have some sympathy with MP Liz Kendall.

As the working week grinds into action, workers all over the country will be gearing up for the same battle she faced recently.

The shadow minister was so peeved when she realised someone had nicked her tuna salad that she engaged in one of the most pointless acts of office politics going. She scrawled out a tetchy note and hastily stuck it to the fridge door.

I’ve seen respectable grown-ups driven demented by exactly the same problem.

Even mild-mannered pip squeaks can conjure up a heinous, four-letter-laden rant when the fridge door swings open to reveal an empty shelf where their lunch or pint of milk should stand.

It is annoying when you go to the trouble of bringing in milk for your Monday morning brew only to find some skinflint has nabbed all but a dribble by 9am on a Tuesday.

Experience of working in newsrooms tells me you’ll usually find your milk thief hiding on the sports desk. But features departments are largely made up of women and Strictly Come Dancing chat can only occur when your pipes are properly lubricated, so there are occasions when a crafty steal might be required.

However, as Ms Kendall found out to her cost, getting worked up about this scenario never works.

She scaled the moral high ground, labouring under the misapprehension that it would make her feel better.

But some wag penned their own ‘I did it and I’d do it again’ confessional and an everyday occurrence swiftly became a news item. Salad-gate was born...and she was left looking a tad petty.

What she should have done was fight fire with fire. Getting down and dirty with an act of revenge was her best option.

I’ve heard of workers labelling their semi-skilled as breast milk before but there’s always one office perv who sees that as a challenge, rather than a warning.

No, the humble salt shaker is all you need to keep on your desk. You won’t need to sacrificially sabotage too many pints of the good stuff before your light-fingered colleagues get the message.