1. Stealing from the Water Cooler
I’m on a diet that requires me to drink a metric shit ton of water so I carry around a 1L Nalgine bottle at all times. I’m a mid-level manager at a 60 person company. At the end of the work day on my way out I usually pass the water cooler and fill my bottle up for the commute home. Yesterday I was doing just that when our office manager walked up and said the following: “You’re leaving for the day, water is for employee’s to drink when they are working in the office only.” I laughed it off, finished filling my bottle and headed home. I thought she was kidding or at the very worst having a shitty day and lashing out but she wasn’t. The next day I get into the office and open an email from her to myself, my boss (our CEO/founder), and our HR person saying that I am stealing from the company, that I didn’t stop filling my water bottle and immediately apologize when confronted, and that she is officially reporting this behaviour and asking to have it documented.
Needless to say we all had a pretty good laugh about it. My boss called me in hysterics and could barely form a full sentence as he was laughing so hard, and someone wrote “Is proper hydration good for the company?” on my water bottle. Our office manager however just walks past my office every day and glares at me.
2. Stealing Company Refuse
I had an employer of mine write me up for stealing trash. At the end of my shift, one of my duties was to gather all the trash. Often times I would pick through the trash and sort all the paper, pop cans, and water bottles in our company’s recycle bin. We had a special promotion with our trash company in which our company would get money based on the number of pounds we recycled. It ended up being $1500 per month AND we didn’t pay our trash bill.
So long story short, I got a final write up for stealing company time for sorting our recyclables so I stopped. The following month, our manager was pissed that she had to pay a trash bill. She called the trash company who told her that she didn’t pay for trash over the past 2 years because our company recycled so much – we would get a $1500 cheque AND a free trash service.
My boss thought the cheques were a bonus for her. Anyhow, the district manager was reviewing the write ups and saw I got written up for stealing trash, so he called me up and asked me what was going on. I told him the story about the trash company and their promotion so he congratulated me for a job well done.
The next day he flew in to talk to my manager. He asked my manager what happened to the $20,000 that she got from the trash company. Apparently she tried to pin it back on me, and our district manager promptly fired her. After escorting her out he called me into the office. He told me what happened in that meeting, and offered me a promotion to Assistant Manager.
3. Stealing your own Salad
I once got accused of stealing a salad.
I worked as a cashier at a grocery store while in high school and because they had me scheduled in for 6 1/2 hours, I only qualified for a 15 minute break rather than a 30 minute one.
On one occasion I spent the first 8 or so minutes of my break on the phone with a mechanic working out issues with my car. I then run back to the little cafe near the back of the store that has a salad bar to make a quick salad which you weigh and price there. At this point I had about 5 minutes left on break; the manager was very strict about not going over your 15 minutes.
So I’m stood at the cafe register waiting to pay for a good minute and no one is to be found. I quickly eat my salad and then take the sticker up to the front registers to pay for the $1.99 salad. I go back on the clock and about 20 minutes later I am called into the office. They say a situation has occurred but don’t tell me what. They said they are sending me home for the day.
I came back in the next day for my shift and they call me into the office again. In the office is the store manager, the assistant manager, the office manager, the cafe manager, and my shift supervisor. Bear in mind I was a 16 year old kid at their first job who had never been in any sort of trouble. They accused me of stealing the salad because “despite purchasing the salad, as our records do indicate, you consumed the salad before the purchase.”
I explained to them that the cashier at the cafe was nowhere to be found and how if I wanted to eat during my break at that point, I would have had to eat it back in the cafe and then pay for it up front. They tell me to go home, and that they will contact me tomorrow to let me know if I will keep my job or not. I left in tears, but then got really angry at the ridiculous overreaction so I came back in an hour later with a salad I had purchased from another store, slammed it onto the café register counter and told them I quit.
4. Stealing a Blackberry to trade in for a new house
A few years back, myself and a few of my friends were working as security guards. One day at work, someone was looking through the lost and found and noticed that a cell phone had gone missing, some shitty old blackberry.
Well, the shift leads got together and had themselves an “investigation. ” This consisted of listing off all of the rent a cops and coming up with theories as to why they might have stolen the phone, regardless of the fact that they had no idea when the phone was taken, as it had been added to the log months prior. They then eliminated “suspects” based on how plausible their stories were.
Apparently I was in their top list of suspects as I, “had just bought that new motorcycle and moved to a nicer area of the county.”
Luckily for me I quit the job shortly after but all I can say is any stereotypes you may imagine of the sort of guy that becomes a professional security guard are correct – they clearly think a Blackberry phone is worth the same as a new house and motorcycle.
5. Stealing a $3 Cheque
Back when I was in high school I worked for my town’s parks department. One time, my boss (a total sleazeball who sexually harassed every girl there and hated me because I wasn’t female) calls me in to his office. While there he accuses me of stealing a $3 cheque, and then says that I have to be let go. I tell him point-blank that if I was to steal from the department, it would be something a lot more than a measly 3 dollar cheque (what the hell would I do with that anyway?). Later on, I find out from a friend of mine that he found the cheque underneath his desk, and then a month later someone finally reported him for harassment and he got fired too. Karma’s a bitch yo!
6. Stealing your Dad’s ipod from work that he gave you
Back in the day I had an 80 GB iPod that my dad had given me because he no longer needed it (it was practically brand new). Even when I first plugged it into my computer, it came up as “Richard’s iPod”. Well, one day it’s in my purse that I kept under my counter at work while I was working. It goes missing. I couldn’t understand how it had been stolen as it had been one of the slowest days ever. Nevertheless, I was pretty riled about it. This happened during a time where the case we kept iPods in was broken and it was terribly easy to steal them and many had gone missing.
Fast-toward a few weeks later and my co-worker tells me that my recently-left for another job department manager thought I was the one stealing iPods and that he got into my purse when I wasn’t looking and took it to check the serial number but never gave it back because I was flipping out and causing a bit of a scene walking around asking everyone if they’d seen anyone take it.
7. Stealing your desk monitor and replacing it with a faulty one from home
In one of my darker life periods, I was doing part time tech support for a dinky computer shop. The owner was a pill-popping nut job that kept a loaded gun in a drawer in the front desk and regularly cheated his customers.
Anyway, I’m working one day and one of the other techs who had been there forever and a day tells me to go install a modem in some guy’s computer. I’m shaking my head, because this is 2009 and I can’t believe anyone would be requesting a modem. I ask him if he’s sure before I go out there. He said he was. So I go out and sure enough, he doesn’t need a modem at all. He needs a wireless card or adapter. I call, go back to the store, get the card, head back to the customers’, install it, head back and yell at the guy for being a dumbass, as common sense would tell anyone reasonably competent that he didn’t need a modem.
To cut a long story short, next week the boss comes in and fires me because the other guy made up some absolute crap about me stealing a company monitor and replacing it with a faulty one of my own, which made no sense whatsoever. On my way out, I rolled my eyes and said “Fine, whatever.”, grabbed my stuff, and left. The owner freaks out and follows me into the parking lot yelling and screaming and ranting and raving and trying to pick a fight. I just calmly walked to my car, went home, and had a beer.
I found out later that shortly thereafter the other guy was busted for fraud and the owner went bankrupt, shortly before popping a ton of pills and blowing his brains out.
8. Selling Gift Cards to Yourself
Several years ago, I was working for a sporting goods store as the customer service desk guy. Mostly what I did was returns and hunting/fishing licenses. While it wasn’t a glamorous job, I liked it because I’m an outdoors guy and the clientele were fun to talk to. One day we were informed that we were getting a new general manager as the old one was being transferred. The new manager was a raving lunatic! She enjoyed upsetting employees, didn’t give a flying fuck about our customers, did nothing to improve anything about the store and kept the other managers in her office with endless meetings about “improving” the store. After a few months of bullshit and seeing some of the high school girls that were hired to work in the shoe department crying after her mad ranting and raving at them, I had enough. I wrote a rather eloquent letter to corporate about her behaviour and actions, and managed to get several employees sign it. Two days later, a couple of regional higher-ups arrived and proceeded to read her the riot act. She was suspended for two weeks and told that if the store didn’t improve within the next quarter, she’d be fired.
I thought I had won but alas, no – I had not. Apparently she found out it was me who wrote the letter and wanted revenge so she logged into the computer system and started to fake records that showed I had been selling gift cards to myself, pocketing the cash difference and then buying merchandise with those cards. She then called in loss prevention who weren’t doing their jobs too well because they didn’t look closely at the files and their “last edited” dates because they believed it and called in the county sheriffs.
Two deputies came, looked over the evidence (to their credit, they asked “Are you sure?” and “Can you explain this?” several times, and I got the feeling they were unsure about the whole mess. Nice guys, too, they offered to take me out through the back instead of parading me past customers, let me have a cigarette before we left, and were generally courteous and respectful) and ended up arresting me on felony theft charges. I was taken to jail, booked – the whole shebang. I was in tears for pretty much three days but I knew it was all bullshit, so I go my parents to help hire a lawyer for me. I told him the whole story, and said under no circumstance were we pleading out to anything. He said ok and set up a meeting with the DA to talk about motions and such. When we arrived, the DA was all smiles and very polite. He informed me that the paperwork wasn’t quite done yet, but that they were dropping all the charges and filing False Report charges against my old manager. The investigators had looked over the evidence, and found that A) the files for almost 3 months worth of “thefts” had all been edited on two days, both of which I had not been present for, but that she had, B) they had all been edited from her computer, a computer I did not have access too, and C) several of the “thefts” occurred on days when I was in the system as being out of state on vacation.
I felt a lot happier after that and felt even better when my ex-boss was found to have fled the state and checked herself into a mental hospital for a “nervous breakdown.” She was eventually brought back, charged, and convicted. Last I saw she was an assistant manager at a gas station, while I’m now a firefighter and in school to become a police officer (and will make damn sure I read over every bit of evidence put in front of me). It’s only after I saw her pumping gas that I could claim victory over her.
9. Stealing a flash drive from a colleague’s desk
I had been working an IT job for about a year. This new guy starts and on his second day he accuses me of stealing a flash drive from his desk. I tell him I haven’t seen it, to which he replies “Well it didn’t just walk off by itself now, did it?!” I pointed out that he had left our office without locking it or even shutting the door, which is against our security procedures that were outlined in his induction the day before. He complained to the CEO (smallish company, about 100 employees), and an hour later found the flash drive on the ground by his desk. He had knocked it off with his coffee mug.