Not Going To Vouch For This Purchase

, , , | Working | June 6, 2017

(A coworker is on break and has decided to do some shopping. She comes to my register with the biggest haul I have ever seen.)

Coworker: “There should be a booklet underneath the reception desk. Can you get it for me?”

(I start searching with the receptionist, who has taken an interest. We finally find the booklet.)

Receptionist: “Isn’t that…?”

Me: “Yes. Call the manager down.”

(The booklet holds a set of vouchers which are used for helping children and young adults from poor backgrounds with education and basic living (clothes, stationery, etc.). They don’t have a monetary value stated as they are linked to the budgets the local charities and schools involved in the scheme are allocated. No one except for senior staff are allowed to even touch them, and [Coworker] isn’t senior staff.)

Me: “Umm, I think we need a manager to approve these, as they aren’t meant to be for some of the things you’re trying to buy.”

Coworker: “Oh, you don’t have to get him involved. You just need to scan one whole column and it should be fine. If it doesn’t work, just move onto the next. Here, I can help!”

Me: “No, I would rather a manager oversee this. It’s going to be a large purchase.”

Coworker: “It’s only a couple thousand! Nowhere near enough to bother his ‘Royal Highness.’”

(I’m actually standing mouth agape when the manager arrives. He talks to the receptionist and looks bewildered as he comes over and takes the booklet from me. My coworker looks nervous.)

Manager: “What? How did you come by this?”

Coworker: “Oh, it’s nothing. I just thought I would treat myself. You know…”

(The manager signals for a guard to come over and my coworker is escorted out of the store.)

Manager: “What was she trying to do? Her trolley wouldn’t be covered by these.”

Me: “She said to scan an entire column.”

Manager: *bug-eyed* “An entire column!”

Me: “And to move onto the next if it didn’t work.”

Manager: “I’m pulling a couple of guys from the stockroom. I want to you and them to total up that entire trolley. I need to get in touch with [CEO].”

(We spend close to three hours totaling everything.)

Manager: “What’s the number, to the nearest thousand?”

Me: “Well, it’s more accurate to go with £4,500.”

Manager: “Great. So with that, she would have nearly blown the entire budget for [Primary School I attended].”

Me: “Wow.”

Manager: “I can’t understand where she got them from. They’re kept in the safe at all times, except for select days, and they are counted every week. Also how did she know stacking the vouchers would work? Only store managers know that. Only I know that!”

Me: “Maybe they aren’t real?”

Manager: “Oh, they’re real. The codes check out, and I put a notebook through with one to be certain. [CEO] is launching an investigation. I’ll probably lose my job over it.”

Me: “What happens to [Coworker]?”

Manager: “I called the police the second I got in the back. She’s being held. [CEO] is considering pressing charges. Either way, she won’t be working with us anymore.”

(The investigation found that the vouchers actually came from when the store moved location, but for whatever reason, weren’t voided and destroyed in the move. We still don’t know how she found out about stacking the vouchers. We haven’t heard much else on whether she has been prosecuted, but we are checking local news just in case. My manager was able to keep his job in the end, only because of our quick thinking, to which CEO thanked us personally. We got a nice bonus from it.)

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