I worked in retail for about ten years. Most of it was in management and part of working management consists in customer care, balancing the cash, maintaining inventory, keeping inventory losses at a minimum and depositing the sales in the bank. Two of the companies I worked for were in poor neighborhoods and had very heavy losses from shoplifting. Our corporate office tied our hands on many levels in preventing these thefts, but still sent in loss prevention teams from time to time to interview staff. A few times I was actually assaulted by shop lifters who were caught in the act, and corporate refused to prosecute. Loss prevention has a conception that losses are mainly internal. While this could be true generally, at both these locations it was not.
We (management members) watched films and listened to seminars advising how easy it is for a trusted individual to suddenly become a thief. In fact in our neighborhood a young manager at a fast food restaurant was sent to prison for stealing a deposit. A year later the bank found the lost deposit wedged in their drop and the man was released from prison and consequently sued. We never lost a deposit, but if we had, how long will a couple thousand last? It wouldn't even pay for a good attorney! Will a few dollars replace the harm the deed caused?
While being interviewed one on one with the head of loss prevention, I was told adamantly by this man that everyone is a thief. The only difference he said in who and who isn't is in the "window of opportunity". I was just as adamant in my opinion that not everyone would throw away their good character over a few dollars. I told the man that my children may not inherit a lot of worldly goods from me, but they must live with whatever reputation I have. I could not leave this earth knowing I left a bad name for my children to try to clean up! Now my children's friends recognize me as someone that waited on them at either the doctor's office or the different places I worked. I even taught some of their children in headstart and have them run to give me a hug. They were good experiences.
Sorry, for going on and on. This is a tender subject for me, as our entire staff was fired on inventory day because of a poor inventory. I went out and found another management position within the week with their competitor, but left retail as soon as I could find a suitable position in another line of work.
1. How do you feel about shopping somewhere and paying more because of inventory losses due to shoplifting when the store refuses to prosecute?
2. Do you believe everyone is a potential thief?
This post linked to Thursday Two Questions. Thanks for listening to me rant! Take care, stay healthy and God bless.