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When you do temp work for sustenance and hate every minute of it, you clearly have to amuse yourself somehow. Because you're broke the most entertaining option: theft. The Black Table uses its imagination and shares some ideas.



Step #1: Start Small.

Those juicy pens you like so much … wouldn't you like a whole mug full of them at home? They'd make you feel all comfortable and safe like the bowls of lemons on the kitchen islands in Architectural Digest. This isn't about design or kitchen islands, though; we know you barely have a working toaster -- it's about testing how much from the Staples catalog can be delivered overnight to the temp job. Or your house.


Step #2: Go Shopping.

Once you've figured out what the office will notice or not notice, start squirreling away. It may just be March, but you'll probably still be broke by Christmukkah. And don't you think your cousin needs an electric pencil sharpener more than a ghetto DVD?


Step #3: Mess With Their Heads.

Avoid being caught by creating a diversion. Alternate coloring the label of your micromanaging germophobic boss's hand sanitizer one day with stealing the bottle the next. Repeat.


Step #4:Decorate.

Remember: You're broke. Unless you're some sort of artist, you probably have old, cliched posters on your walls. (If you are an artist, we hope you're an oil painter so you can go to your temp job high. We hear the monotony is easier that way.) Every office has a piece of framed art they haven't gotten around to hanging yet, just sitting in a coat closet asking to be taken to a better place. If it's good, it's a


coup; if it's bad, it's a free frame. If you are temping at a place that has anything to do with design, there are probably stock photo catalogs around; these come in easy to hang sizes like two feet by three feet and often feature Bjork.

If you're feeling ballsy (or just really, really bored), you could just call Corbis and ask for a catalog to be messengered.




Step #5: Seek Sustenance.

All this stealing might make you hungry. If you're office has a pantry … voila, you now have a complimentary minibar. If it doesn't, a higher-up probably has a small fridge somewhere up his or his assistant's desks. Learn their lunch schedules, and raid. Similarly, some places provide complimentary feminine product dispensers in bathrooms. If you're suffering the indignity of having to work a temp job, do you really


need to pay for your own tampons, too? We think not. Stockpile. We've yet to see a free condom dispenser but we're still keeping our eyes peeled when we're smoking in the boys' room.




Step #6: Now Think Big!

Remember those great stock photos you took home … er … moved to another floor? The edge tore off on the commute home, and it's starting to look shoddy. You could take home scissors but you've already stolen three pairs, and scissors won't necessarily make an even edge. You need a paper cutter. When you start thinking about it, it makes sense: It's quite useful, and the blade is easier to wield than a machete


when you need to cut an avocado for guacamole.

Likewise, most magazines or publishers have giveaway tables full of books -- everyone takes the travel books, but don't you really want the luggage they're reviewing more? Fill the piece with travel books and roll it off. Think big: Steal for sustenance, style and amusement.



An Important Note.

The Black Table does not, in any way, condone stealing from a workplace. Even with our sick Excel skills, we have never been bored enough to try these schemes.


Martha Burzynski lives in Brooklyn. She blogs and tends to eat a lot of cheese.