Friday, May 15, 2009

On Temptation

My brother has been here in the US for several days when we heard the bad news.

One of his office staff didn't come in to the office one day but left a confession letter. She stated that she stole the missing cash (a lump sum of a little over P50k was missing) and that she was very very sorry. The auditors would later find out that this girl has been skimming from their funds for a long time.

Her parents, equally apologetic, said that their daughter has not come home and they have yet to hear from her.

Now, the question is, what to do?

My uncle, who heads the enterprise, was reluctant about filing a police blotter. Kawawa raw and the parents promised to sell some things in order to generate the cash to pay for their daughter's theft anyway. If not for my Mom's persistence, a complaint (police blotter) would not have been filed. Mom hates to be the bad guy but really, if you don't prosecute these offenses, what kind of message are you sending out to the rest of the company?

Brother, not surprisingly, was much affected by this because he feels responsible. I couldn't resist pointing out that command resposibility aside, he was really partly to blame becase he was too trustful of his employees and could've implemented stricter procedures, especially when it came to handling cash.

Bro tells me that he trusted this girl because:
1. she's religious (Christian), very active with Singles for Christ
2. been with them for years
3. is a cousin of my brother's secretary (so at the very least, there's a hiya factor involved)
4. her monthly salary isn't small and the amounts she's being trusted with isn't that much larger than her salary (salary at P2ok, stolen lump sum was at P50k)

To which I replied:
1. Aren't Christians supposed to be forgiven anything so long as they repent? I don't want to get into a religious discussion  but I'm just pointing out that a person's religious beliefs does not necessarily prevent them from sinning.
2.  Oo nga, she's been stealing for years too.
3. Poor secretary, am sure she's really embarassed. Sa totoo lang, I'm just trying to stop myself from commenting on her (the one who stole) friendster page na "ikaw ba yung magnanakaw?".
4. A person's income doesn't really matter when they're in a bind. We once had an employee who stole P200k in cash, she earned a monthly salary of P50k and was in her mid 50s (i.e. it would be difficult for her to find a new job if she got fired). The thing is, the people who steal don't really expect to be caught - well, except for this girl who left a confession letter, haha! She probably did not expect to be prosecuted.

If it were up to me, cash / money matters should always be treated seriously. Because so long as everybody knows that you're vigilant when it comes to the accounts, nobody would even dare contemplate stealing from you. So when you're being lax, you're actually tempting people to steal, in a way, diba? 

If people are in a bind (translation: kapit sa patalim) and you make it so easy to steal from you, who wouldn't be tempted ?

Dad and I talked about this when shoti left for California and I tell my Dad that I hope that this serves as a lesson. Bro should be more attentive and not be so lazy in checking up on the accounts because this "lesson" didn't come cheap. Besides, he wouldn't want to tempt another person into stealing, would he ?

Ewan ko nga why brother is so trusting. Maybe it's because I'm not and he's sort of the yin to my yang. You can't blame me for being skeptical because I've suspected and actually proven theft a couple of times in my professional life. Hindi nakakatuwa.

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