Here’s my dilemma. A week or
so ago our cleaner came into the office at about 5.30pm in the evening, as he
does every day, and I noticed he was wearing a pair of Nike shoes that are
exactly the same as a pair I own.
I didn’t think anything of it
until I saw him get in the lift later in the day wearing them again, and it got
me wondering where my shoes were as I hadn’t seen them for a while.
I ventured under my desk
where I found three pairs of shoes, as well as all sorts of other unmentionable
crap, but not the pair I was looking for. And that was what first made me
suspicious, because I was pretty sure that was where they were.
For a couple of days the
whole shoe thing popped out of my head until I decided to have a look around at
home for them. Again, plenty of shoes, but no brown/grey Nike loafer types.
Now I’m very suspicious.
There are really only a couple of explanations for my shoes going missing.
1 – I’ve left them on a train
or mislaid them somewhere else. This is entirely possible. I’m not great at
keeping track of my stuff, and have left quite a bit of it on trains, notably a
dozen langoustines and two sea bass fillets.
2 – Someone’s taken them.
Also possible. But shoes are an odd
thing to nick, aren’t they? I’m not sure I’d be happy wearing someone else’s.
But then again, these were in relatively good condition, not worn too often.
2a – The cleaner’s taken them. I’ve read too much crime fiction to remain a believer in coincidence. I have only ever seen one other person wearing these particular trainers in the 14 months I’ve had them.
Now, I don’t care much about
the shoes. They were an impulse comfort purchase bought in desperation after I
almost crippled my feet walking around the several million square feet of the
Las Vegas Convention Centre in a pair of RM Williams boots. They were comfortable but they didn’t really suit
me (too trendy, I think), and I’m not sure how long I would have kept them.
And despite the fact that the
guy may have stolen a pair of shoes from me, I don’t really want to get him in
trouble. Anyone who needs to steal shoes probably needs his job quite a bit,
and doubtless needs the shoes more than I do. The fact that he wears them in
here every so often could also mean that he has nothing to hide and they are
not my shoes at all. That or the fact that he’s not very bright.
But that said, I don’t want
him in the office. I keep my iPod, laptop and other sundry valuables about the
place (as do my colleagues) and he’s here at night when the place is empty and
the pickings relatively easy.
My problem is one of lack of proof, and lack of ideas about how to proceed.
Unfortunately, since I left
junior school my Mum no longer writes my name in my shoes, so there would be no
evidence that the shoes are mine.
So all things considered, I’m at a bit of a loss to know what to do about it.
The options seem to be:
1 – Challenge him outright
2 – Make a joke about what great shoes he’s wearing and tell him I have pair the same!
3 – Make a complaint (with zero evidence) to his company.
Termperamentally, I guess I'm probably pre-programmed not to do anything at all, and hope that the problem goes away. But I realise doing nothing is not one of my options. So help me out here: what would you do? Comments gratefully received below.