How to react to theft at work?
June 12, 2010 8:13 AM Subscribe
How to react to theft of my personal property at work?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (24 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Three weeks ago I started a new job. This morning I took off my earrings before going into a meeting. I put them down in front of my computer screen aligned with the center of my keyboard, making a mental note that I'd done it so I wouldn't forget them.
45 minutes later I got back to my desk and the earrings were gone.
I looked for them, and told most of the department that they were lost and had anyone seen them, with no luck. Retraced my steps, no luck. Asked reception if they'd been handed in, no luck.
The earrings look valuable, but aren't; they do have a lot of sentimental value for me and I explained this.
It is theoretically possible that I didn't leave them where I thought I left them, and/or that I really did lose them. I just don't think so. I think somebody stole them.
It's an open-plan office inhabited by mostly men in their 20s, one or two women in the same age range, and some older men. There is zero chance that, say, a child wandered through the space and took them to play with, or anything innocent like that.
Now I know that I could have avoided this by securing the earrings before I left my desk, and I am in general very diligent about security and have rarely had anything stolen from me in my life. However it's my policy to err far enough on the side of trust amongst colleagues that I would leave my non-valuable earrings on my desk. I would also say that I have always done this and never had anything stolen at work before.
What worries me about this is not only the loss of the earrings themselves, but what it implies about the people around me. I suppose I could look at this as a salutary reminder that in the workplace, I am not safe and I am not among friends; but I also wonder where the limits of my personal safety actually are now. I understand that if an adult steals, it's a sign that they are capable of much worse.
Now for my questions:
Has anybody here had an experience similar to this? If so:
- did you get the item back, and if so, how?
- what happened next? Did it happen again and/or did anything more sinister happen?
- if you had to deal with the situation again, what would you do the same and what would you do differently? Is there any specific thing you did that definitely made the situation better or worse?