It started with a box of paper clips. Miles palmed it from his boss’s desk during his annual review, after she told him he needed to “be a team player.” When he returned to his cube, he found himself grinning like it was the Hope diamond.

He started taking other things. A stapler from HR. Coffee filters from the breakroom. Patricia’s mug with “World’s Best Mom” printed on it. Each time he felt a thrill. He was better than those other flunkies. He was Miles Beckman, criminal mastermind!

He grew bolder. His first desk chair was a triumph. He chose his victim (the red one in the empty cube near the men’s room) and dismembered it, a piece each day, secreting the parts out at night after everyone went home. He took a fax machine; he threw his blazer over it and ran out the back door at lunch with it tucked under his arm.

Why stop? He was invincible!

Until his apartment was so packed with reassembled top-of-the-line office furniture that he couldn’t get to the bathroom. Then he felt like kind of an idiot.

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