There was a situation at my job recently, where a 10-year employee was suddenly fired. And we found out that it was because he had been caught stealing from the company. This was a huge shock to everyone, because it was so unexpected. I personally thought that I knew this guy very well but, apparently, not as well as I thought. The thing that made this so much worse, in my opinion, is that he had been treated so well at this company. The company I work for is very egalitarian, he started working in the warehouse, and eventually became the supervisor. They gave him plenty of responsibility, and I’m not sure if he even had graduated High School. He was originally from Guatemala, and I think snuck into this country, although I believe he is an American citizen now. The point is, with his background, there aren’t that many places that he could have risen that high. But he was given the opportunity to prove himself, and he did. I don’t know his salary, but I’m sure he was paid a decent and fair amount. And he had job security (the company is doing well, but even if business begins to fall he, like me, would be one of the last people that would have to be laid off, if it came to that). He was also married, with two young daughters.

So with all that, in this economy, where college graduates and other experienced adults are having difficulty finding work, why risk losing a good job? It makes absolutely no sense to me. I don’t know the details of the theft, what exactly was taken, how, and how much money was made, but I just can’t see how that is worth it. So now he’s got no job, two kids to support (I think his wife works, but I don’t know what she does or how much she earns), and it’s not like he can use this job as a reference now, so there’s a 10-year gap on his resume. I don’t know even know if they pressed charges against him, but whether they did or didn’t he’s still pretty screwed, and he has no one to blame but himself.

It makes me think of the big shots who get busted for stealing, or cheating on their taxes, people like Bernie Madoff, or the execs at Enron. They’re already making millions, or billions, of dollars, but still risk their own freedom just to get MORE. Obviously, what my coworker did was on a much smaller scale, but it’s still the same principle. I just hate to see people who should know better, screwing up their lives like that. I’ve got friends who are struggling for work right now, and would have killed to have the opportunities that he had, but he just pissed it all away. That’s a shame.


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