Workplace employees who think they won't get caught...

athena21

Member
Aug 8, 2011
486
10
This is more of a rant than asking for advice, but I would love to hear stories from people who have been in similar situations.

Basically I'm going to have to fire one of my employees. I've been a manager at this company for about a year and a half, and I've never had to fire anyone before; usually I can just push people to quit on their own if they aren't performing well enough.

The person in question is an employee I just promoted to a management position a couple months ago. I found (and it came as a complete surprise to me) that he had bought merchandise using his employee discount, and then when he was working alone, returned it for full cash value (making about 25% profit) under a friend's name probably thinking it wouldn't be traced back to him. Now I'm questioning if he's done it before, or if he's done things like tried to sell stuff online that he's bought with his discount, which is another huge policy breaker.

As soon as I figured it out and confirmed as thoroughly as I could that I wasn't misinterpreting the situation, I e-mailed our LP director and my boss. That pretty much seals the deal, this guy WILL be fired. It's not a slap on the wrist or do it once more and you're out...it's a you're fired, you idiot.

What really upsets me about this, is that this guy was JUST promoted. His wife is also pregnant with their first kid, due ANY day now, and they depend almost solely on his job for their income. He even went and bought a house after his promotion, and I can only imagine unless they have family willing to step in, they'll lose everything. I had even almost bought him a baby gift, spending about $50 of my own money until I decided I couldn't really afford it....now I'm so glad I didn't!

It just irks me that in this economy, when everyone complains about not finding work, there are people who have everything and everyone on their side, and they make a poor decision to screw it all up. He won't get a second chance, and he will have a very hard time finding a new job; he has health issues that have required him to occasionally call in last-minute, and I really doubt most managers are as understanding and forgiving about those issues as I am. I don't feel bad for him at all, as to me it's a you made your bed, now you lay in it situation...I'm just really disappointed.

Has anyone had a similar situation?
 

kema042290

O.G.
Nov 30, 2010
368
101
This sounds like retail.

I've never been in management,but I've had managers and cashiers that worked with me get fired for stealing. Sometimes they were actually arrested. It's always the ones that you wouldn't think would go there. I don't understand the point of stealing when you can simply find a job that will pay you the salary that you would like to be paid.
 

KathSummers

Member
May 31, 2010
376
1
I work in IT and there is someone at work who takes in his personal other work to the company and uses company computers to work on it. I mean HELLO it's an IT company you wouldn't think we'll figure out in a second that you are doing your other work here on company time?
 

doreenjoy

zzz
Feb 6, 2008
10,640
58
I have had to fire people before for misconduct and misappropriating company products.

First, don't feel sorry for him because he's in a tight financial spot. There are no excuses for stealing from the company. Employees know the rules for company discounts and they know the penalties for violations, so it's not like he didn't understand that what he was doing was wrong.
 

kema042290

O.G.
Nov 30, 2010
368
101
I work in IT and there is someone at work who takes in his personal other work to the company and uses company computers to work on it. I mean HELLO it's an IT company you wouldn't think we'll figure out in a second that you are doing your other work here on company time?

I work in IT too. But you really can't fire him for that because you have give a reason why you were on his computer in that file. At least with the government. But everyone is told that your activity online is being monitored, so I don't do anything too crazy.
 

doreenjoy

zzz
Feb 6, 2008
10,640
58
kema042290 said:
I work in IT too. But you really can't fire him for that because you have give a reason why you were on his computer in that file. At least with the government. But everyone is told that your activity online is being monitored, so I don't do anything too crazy.

In most companies, you sign a conduct agreement where you say that you will not use company equipment for non-company purposes. When I worked in hi tech, it was grounds for immediate termination.
 

kema042290

O.G.
Nov 30, 2010
368
101
In most companies, you sign a conduct agreement where you say that you will not use company equipment for non-company purposes. When I worked in hi tech, it was grounds for immediate termination.

True, but even with that you there are certain ways to do it. At my job even if I have their computer and am doing repairs on it I can't search through it without a reason. If they had a virus and I happened to be looking through it and I found porn they would be terminated immediately. If I just was being nosy and looked through their computer while I doing manual updates then it would may get fired because I shouldn't have been looking through their computer without reason. It's not like we don't pretty much know what they are doing being some of our computers can't have devices connected to it via usb and they have basic user rights so they cannot do much. Online everything is monitored so they really don't have much to get away with.

At my old job, I found music that may have been pirated on a computer and we couldn't do anything but tell him to remove it because we weren't supposed to be on his computer looking at that file. I just happened to see it while I was looking for a different file.
 

athena21

Member
Aug 8, 2011
486
10
This sounds like retail.

I've never been in management,but I've had managers and cashiers that worked with me get fired for stealing. Sometimes they were actually arrested. It's always the ones that you wouldn't think would go there. I don't understand the point of stealing when you can simply find a job that will pay you the salary that you would like to be paid.

It is retail. And to me, I don't understand the point of stealing when it could easily cost you a steady job, no matter how much you're getting paid. This guy obviously wasn't out looking for another job; heck, he'd talked to me before about what it takes to get promoted to higher positions and saying he wanted to stay with the company for awhile. I don't doubt him on wanting to stay with the company since I think it was a dream job for him. I think he's just incredibly immature for his age and circumstances, and he didn't think he'd ever get caught. It'll be a really hard lesson for him when he gets fired the same week his first child is born, but I have no empathy for people who bite the hand that feeds them.
 

doreenjoy

zzz
Feb 6, 2008
10,640
58
True, but even with that you there are certain ways to do it. At my job even if I have their computer and am doing repairs on it I can't search through it without a reason.

That's definitely not how all of the companies I worked for are. Where I live, the company owns the computers and they retain the right to monitor every activity on that computer, even without warning. Same is true of the company phone lines -- employee calls can be monitored with no notice.

Bottom line, it's ridiculous that people who are using company equipment and company time to break the law think they have a right to privacy.
 

CocoMeow

Member
Oct 23, 2011
926
2
That's definitely not how all of the companies I worked for are. Where I live, the company owns the computers and they retain the right to monitor every activity on that computer, even without warning. Same is true of the company phone lines -- employee calls can be monitored with no notice.

This is the same with the office I have worked for. Upper management was even allowed to go through our work emails, since technically they "owned" the emails.
 

KathSummers

Member
May 31, 2010
376
1
Also, here it is the duty of IT security to monitor these activities because any other work or software other than the company's can possibly damage our system. When we sign in for this job we know exactly what we can and can't do on our computers.
 

natalie78

Did you die?
O.G.
May 6, 2008
4,990
12
I work in IT too. But you really can't fire him for that because you have give a reason why you were on his computer in that file. At least with the government. But everyone is told that your activity online is being monitored, so I don't do anything too crazy.
Not true. I work for the government and our computers can be searched at any time for any reason (or no reason). That includes everything stored on the computer. And I believe this it how nearly all businesses operate.
 

ILuvShopping

★☆★★☆★★☆★
Jun 4, 2007
23,747
3
some people get desperate for money, you'd be surprised at how stupid people can be to make a quick buck. don't feel sorry for him. i know it's got to be hard. but that's why you're the boss. this is why i never want to be a boss.

and glad my work doesn't have an IT department :biggrin:
 

clevercat

catwoman
Sep 29, 2008
13,345
4,512
I no longer have sympathy for someone like this. Years ago I fired somebody for falsifying commission claims. There was a lot of backlash against me for doing this and I know many people thought I had been too tough (even though everything I did was sanctioned by HR). Fast forward two years and that person was arrested for stealing huge amounts of money in their then-job - and trying to frame a colleague for it.
I do feel for you, OP - having to do the deed is obviously a difficult experience. Just remember he did this to himself.
 
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