Opportune Criminal 27 January, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Well, let me just tell you how it is. From my point of view. Not that I can tell it from anyone else’s point of view after all.

I was leaving work as usual, going out the back door. If you use the back door you pass the outside of the loading bay, and onto a lightly used road. The loading bay was all locked up, but there was still a crate left outside, quite how the idiots doing the loading forgot it I don’t know.

So I had a little goosey and it was a whole crate of ink cartridges. Branded stuff. I don’t know if you know about ink prices? They’re ridiculous, and this whole crate of them where anyone could pick them up.

It may have been ink cartridges, but I just saw money, so I picked them up and carried them home with me. They weren’t in work, so it wasn’t really stealing. Not really.

I put them all on eBay and by the morning some of them had been sold already and some others had bids on. Being the efficient kind of guy I am, I went to the post office on the way to work and got some of them sent off.

Thinking nothing of it, naive perhaps, I went into work and continued with my job. I hadn’t stole them after all, so why would I feel guilty?

After a while, my manager, George, took me aside for a chat and after the usual chit chat, he asked me straight.

“Did you take a crate of cartridges from the stock room?”

“No Mate, I didn’t even go onto the stock room”

“Cool cool. Just needed to ask. Hope you don’t mind”

That was the end of it. But at the end of the night he asked me to help him lock up. It was a bit odd, but not unheard of. After most of it was sorted, he called me into the meeting room, put a DVD in the computer, and started playing a video.

Unsurprisingly in hindsight, it was the CCTV from the back door, and showed quite clearly me taking the crate of ink.

I started worrying, this guy could fire me on the spot, and even get me prosecuted. My argument of not stealing it suddenly seemed silly and just an excuse to justify it to myself, which it was to be fair.

He asked me what I’d done with them.

I’d shut off my only redemption, I couldn’t even return them and say sorry. Half of them already had bids which I had to honour, the other half were already in the postal system. How much would it cost me to buy that many new to replace the ones I’d pinched? And was that too schoolboy? Surely a big corporation like this one wouldn’t accept “I’m sorry I stole, here’s some replacements”, it would be prosecution to be made an example of.

I was caught, there wasn’t much I could do but be honest.

“I put them on eBay, half of them are already gone.”

“And when I asked you if you’d taken them, you lied to me.”

“No, you asked me if I’d taken them from the store room”

I immediately regretted being cheeky to the man who was deciding my fate, but he just laughed, and took the DVD out of the computer.

“So how much are you getting for them?” he asked.

I told him how much I was expecting, and he started flexing the DVD.

“Okay, well I’ll be get half of that won’t I?”

I eagerly agreed and he snapped the disc in two. I don’t know how long I’d be holding my breath, but I could suddenly breath again.

So things went on and soon all the cartridges, or evidence as I’d now looked at them as, had been posted around the country.

Everything was back to normal, and I’d learnt my lesson.

George passed me while I was stacking shelves, and just said “A crate of mobile phone covers are outside the stock room door.”

I didn’t like the implication, or instruction, but he’d wandered off before I could reply. Later on I managed to talk to him about it.

“Look, it was a one off, I’m not doing it again.” said I.

“Don’t be so uptight. I’ve already logged them as missing, so they’re as good as gone, you just need to put them on eBay.”

“No, I don’t want to go through that again. It was bad enough the first time.”

“Didn’t I cover for you last time? At least do this one for me?”

“You forget that you got half of the money? It’s not like it was a favour.”

“You weren’t the one that had to take any of the risk, all you had to do was flog them. I had to account for them and keep the regional manager from asking questions. We’re a team, and we can make plenty. I’ll tell you what can go missing, and you get rid of them”

“If it’s so easy, why don’t you do it?”

“I’m the one marking it as missing. Don’t you think it would be suspicious if the manager reported stock missing only for the profits to appear in his own bank account?”

“And they won’t be suspicious if it lands in my bank?”

“No, because they’re not listed as stolen. As far as the regional manager is concerned, they haven’t even arrived at the store. Now stop whining and get rid of them.”

It didn’t feel great, but slowly the dollar signs appeared in my eyes again and I was seeing it as profit. Like he said, it wasn’t stealing if they’re already marked as gone.

Unsurprisingly it didn’t stop there, there were about four more random crates that I had to make go missing. I suppose ‘had to’ is a bit strong, but you get my point.

We were making a nice profit, but then I got caught. Well, more like spotted. One of my colleagues saw me and must have assumed I was going to sell them, so asked for half the money.

There wasn’t much I could do, so I gave my colleague his half, and my manager his half and told him that people were starting to notice and I wanted no more to do with it.

He thought for a few moments before agreeing. I wouldn’t tell him who had spotted me despite his questioning, I don’t like dropping people into potential trouble, I just wanted it to all stop. To tell the truth I was slightly relieved I had the excuse to pack it all in. I should have guessed what was going to happen.

Leaving from work that day, I spotted the police. They had John in the back of their car, and had his boot open and were rooting through all kinds of potential stock items. Poor John was looking bewildered and he looked on at all the things they found in his car.

My manager was leaning against the wall looking on.

“What’s going on?” it was a stupid question but I had to ask it.

“It seems John was stealing from the company. Our records show crates have been going missing for a couple of months, and we’ve found proof that he’s the thief. It’s really quite shameful.”

I tried to assassinate him with a stare before walking off. Glancing behind me I could see him surveying the scene with a proud malicious smile.

It wasn’t until John was about to be sentenced for a likely jail term that I heard that his wife was expecting their first born, and whilst I may have been able to ignore a lot, it’s gone too far and the truth must come out.

So here it is. My confession.

Yours Regretfully,


One Response to “Opportune Criminal”

  1. You get a ‘good performance’ for this