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Thank Goodness Some Criminals Are Stupid

, , , , , , | Legal | October 30, 2020

We recently hired a few new employees. One of them seems a little fishy to us from the beginning, but we assume it’s just his personality and he will find his place in our team someday.

Soon after that, we have several occasions where money is missing from the tills. First, we think one of the new employees is still unsure while cashiering and makes mistakes in giving change, and we talk to all of them.

At this point, I have to note something. In our bakery, we each have our own account on the tills so they can be used simultaneously by several employees, but we all share the same four tills, constantly switching between them, which means we’re not able to point out at what point the money went missing. It could be mistakes after all and it could have been anyone.

Still, the company has the stupid rule that it’s only the employees who were closing those days who have to sign the reports of missing money.

After the fourth time, we start getting suspicious, because the aforementioned new employee is the only one who was present on all of the occasions. Yet we can’t prove anything, as we don’t have cameras.

After the fifth time, the accounting department puts us on counting probation, which means we have to assign each present employee one till and count it before they leave, so it will become obvious if someone doesn’t have the amount that should be there. However, our new employee’s till comes up spotless every time.

At about the same time of that fifth incident, another location calls us for help; they have several employees out sick and have a bunch of shifts that need to be covered. The new employee and I each get assigned a few shifts. On my first shift there, I spot the manager on duty running around frantically, checking cash logs and talking on the phone with what I assume is the accounting department. After he hangs up:

Me: “What’s wrong?”

Manager: “We had close to 100€ missing from the tills two days ago and it was me closing that day, which means I have to sign that stupid form. But I’m thinking someone might have been stupid or out of it enough to have a customer pay with a 10€ note and give them change for 100€, so I was trying to find who entered they took a 100€ into the system that day. I called accounting and they said [Long-Term Employee of their location] and [Aforementioned New Employee] took 100€ notes that day. He is from your location, right?”

Me: “Yes… and you know what? We’ve had five incidents of missing money of varying amounts this month alone, too. We’re even on counting probation now. And [New Employee] was the only one who was present on all of those days. I think I need to talk to [My Boss].”

When I’m back at my own location, I tell my boss about what happened on the shift I covered. She calls accounting, too.

The employee was let go a week later after he had an appointment with my boss and someone from the accounting department, who managed to have him confess he stole close to 400€ by pocketing it because he thought no one would notice, as we all shared the same tills and didn’t count the money in store.

If he hadn’t been stupid enough to steal at another location, we probably wouldn’t have realized this for a long time. After a while of everything being fine, the probation would have been dropped again and there wouldn’t be anything to prove. The employee in question took this job to pay for his college degree — in business administration. Sometimes I really fear for our future.

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