Is the economy that bad? Six doggie bag stories.

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4. Doggie bag or job offer?

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    Salt and pepper shakers sit on a table at the Elysian Fields Cafe in Hoboken, N.J., in this 2008 file photo. Do these belong in a doggie bag?
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Several years ago, over lunch, Barry Maher was discussing a job opening at his Las Vegas consulting firm with a potential candidate, when she asked the waiter for a doggie bag. She emptied her half-eaten spaghetti into the container, added the partially eaten piece of bread from her plate, and grabbed three pieces of bread remaining in the breadbasket. She then dumped in an entire basket of teabags and all the packets of sweetener. 

After Mr. Maher signed the check and they got up to leave, she said, “Oh, just a minute,” and went back to the table.

“I, too, went back and examined the table,” says Maher. “Unbelievably, both the salt and pepper shakers were gone. The only condiment left on the table was a half-filled bottle of olive oil, which probably only survived because it had an open spout rather than a cap."

"I didn’t offer her the job,” he says.

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