The Job Thief
It had been just over six years since that first day on the "job". Steve knew that it was eventually going to catch up with him. But to have it come full circle was so ironic, it wasn't. How did a very simple plan, by a very simple man, get completely and utterly out of hand? Let's find out.....
Reflections On The Past
Steve Lomacks was at his wits end. No amount of counseling was going to change his spiraling life, at least that's what he thought. His ex-wife had recently moved out of town, taking his daughter with her. She had been unfaithful, and then it just got out of hand in a hurry. He agreed they needed some space.
He decided he needed some things for his new apartment. He went into the big box store looking to get just the essentials. Without money, all he'd be able to take was what he could conceal. This was his very first attempt at ever leaving a store with merchandise without paying, but he was desperate. As Steve looked around, he was sure nobody was looking his way.
Coming around the corner, Carla saw the man looking a little suspicious. He was decently attired and clean-shaven. But wondered why he was looking around so much. She walked up and it startled him. She asked Steve if he needed any help, and instead of just saying No" and walking away he decided to say "Yes, I am the new hire." And with that, it all started.
Carla was friendly, but firm. She was a company-policy-first type of employee. But she also knew the red tape that was surrounding her at all times. This wasn't the first time that she wasn't told about a new-hire, and it surely wasn't going to be the last. It had taken her 15 years to get into management, and she wasn't about to complain to her managers about being out of the loop.
After Carla accepted Steve's hand and welcomed him aboard, Steve started to plot what to do next. After being taken back into the store's break room and shown the warehouse area where all of the merchandise was, Steve began to realize what was in front of him. He didn't even realize that he had on the same color scheme as Carla; tan pants and blue shirt.
Reflections That Will Last
The fact that Steve didn't get a paycheck never bothered him. Why should it? He was in control of his own pay. As inventory specialist, he was in control of every piece of merchandise that came in and went out. When he needed a new set of linens, he just chose which kind, and deleted it out of the inventory. Some days he'd take more, some days less. It depended on how much he felt he'd earned that day. If he had an interaction with a customer that made him feel crappy, he'd take more. When his day went by fast, with no issues, he'd take less. Some days, he wouldn't take anything. But those days were rare.
Nobody questioned it, the company was too big to care. More inventory went into the trash, then what was being taken by Steve, so he didn't feel like it mattered. He tried to justify it any way he could. Anything to clear ones conscience, and now it was going to be tested.
Steve Lomax, an IT professional from one of the regional distribution centers, kept getting e-mails from payroll asking if he'd accepted his raise. He believed that he was not getting a raise since his yearly review said that he was average. And even though other people who were average would get a raise, he made too much already to get one. So Steve responded back saying that he accepted his raise and went about his day.
With payroll having mixed up Steve Lomacks and Steve Lomax, the opportunity was in place for Lomacks to do the unthinkable. And it didn't stop there. After "adjusting" the inventory to the tune of over $200,000 in merchandise within 3 years, he had enough to fill 2 small houses. He was a frequent seller of merchandise online, and had become a family man again, marrying 6 months into his "employment".
Lomacks was well-liked by most of the real employees. He even won employee of the month twice. What a nightmare it was for HR when those occurred. They always sent the award to the IT department, and then it would be sent out to Lomacks's store with the note "Not Me" on it. After four years in the inventory department, Lomacks was promoted to Chief Officer Loss Prevention. He was assigned to a position that sought to prevent the very crimes he was committing, and they fixed the payroll issue. He was now getting a check, it was all legitimate now.
Reflections In The Glass
It was a cold December morning. The frost was all over the windows. The night before, the sporting goods area lost $800 in merchandise due to an improper refund. There was some suspicion that the employee might be in on it, but that was to be investigated. But right now, there was someone walking in who looked very suspicious, just as Steve had looked on his first visit.
As Mr. Lomacks approached the scene, he heard the girl say that she was just hired. His instincts told him that wasn't the case. But in order to prove it, he ended up between a rock and a very hard place. After questioning by Mr. Lomacks, she was allowed to leave. But she wasn't going to let it go. She was desperate, and decided to continue with the lie. If only to work there for enough time to get some sorely needed items. She actually brought a lawsuit against the company claiming discrimination. Steve took the stand in the trial and realized that he had to either admit that he had pulled the same scam to get his job, or let this girl get away with the same thing he did. What he chose to do was indicative of the person he had become.
He told the truth, ended up losing his job, but the company decided not to press charges. They felt that he had done enough for the company that his "compensation" was equal to his work for the company.
His past transgressions had caught up with him. He figured it would happen eventually. He really thought he wouldn't last more than a week. But he was grateful that he could just move on with his life.
He became a motivational speaker, volunteering his time helping people who were in similar situations as he was. Not only did Steve redeem himself with others, he found out who he really was.