Dear Etiquetteer: At work, most Fridays, the company provides bagels for breakfast. Many times, I've already eaten breakfast. Is it appropriate to take a bagel home and eat it on Saturday? Would it make a difference if I waited until 10ish, when most of the bagels are gone?
It's ironic that your query should arrive on this particular Friday, as Etiquetteer's own workplace is nearly impassable with free food - from farewell breakfasts, from a caterer's bountiful tasting, from Heaven knows what else.
Etiquetteer believes that priority should be given to those who intend to consume provided food immediately, and so endorses your waiting until just after the breakfast rush to select a bagel to enjoy later. You show exceptional and courteous restraint. Etiquetteer, in over 25 years in the work force, has seen some appalling behavior around free food in the workplace. Circling like vultures for the kill doesn't even begin to describe it . . .
On days of Exceptional Bounty, the best time to head to the office kitchen would be 4:30 PM to package any desired leftovers for the journey home. While only very few might snarl, you'll be blessed with gratitude from your poor colleague whose responsibility it is to clean the kitchen the next day.