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Stealing from the Company

HR accused me of stealing from the company today. 

I think Triplet, the VP of HR, now believes she is Kyra Sedgwick, star of "The Closer".

Triplet sent me a message this morning informing me that very serious accusations have been brought against me and that we would need to meet and discuss at 5:00 p.m. today.

This is how she thinks she'll make me sweat.

I responded by saying: I can't make it at that time. But I'm free at 4:00.

I'm sure this infuriated her. She did not want to lose her strength of position by letting me set the time, so she informed me that I would have to accommodate her request.

I told her that she would have to take it up with Smithee, my boss, who has scheduled a budget meeting with me at that time.

She then sent a message to Smithee explaining to him the situation and how critical it was to meet with me at 5:00 today.   

Smithee responded.

Kyra met with me at 4:00 today.

We sat in the small HR conference room which coincidentally resembles an interrogation room. She sat across from me with an unopened Diet Dr. Pepper on the table in front of her. She stared at me without saying a word.

This is how she thinks she'll make me nervous.

"What am I doing here?" I finally ask.

After a dramatic Kyra pause, Triplet says: "Does this can of Diet Dr. Pepper look familiar?"

I examine it closely. "This particular can does not look familiar. However, I have consumed similar cans of Diet Dr. Pepper."

"Yes, I know," she said. "In fact, you've been seen leaving the building after work with an unopened can of Diet Dr. Pepper on multiple occasions."

I stared at her for a moment in disbelief. It's usually no surprise when I get called to HR. For example, I fully expected Triplet to call me in because I told someone Aho made fun of Mai Ding. I knew HR would call when it appeared Smithee had been murdered. I knew I would be sent to HR when I burned to death in the pretend fire during the fire drill. I expected trouble when I sold candy bars and cookies to compete with kids whose parent's work here.

This one was a surprise.

"Are you saying that if I walk out of the building with a can of Diet Dr. Pepper that got from a company fridge--I'm stealing from the company?"

"Let me clarify," she said. "You are stealing from the company if you walk out of the building with an unopened can of Diet Dr. Pepper that you got from a company fridge."

I just stared at her.

She explained further: "It's no different than the use of company office equipment. You can use a company pen on company property, but when you put it in your pocket and walk out of the building, technically, you've stolen from the company. Consumables are slightly different in that once you've initiated consumption, the product is fully depreciated and it becomes your property no matter where you are. Which is why it's not considered stealing if you leave the building with an opened can of Diet Dr. Pepper. I mean, who's going to drink it after you've opened it, right?"

There was a moment during her explanation that I thought I wouldn't have a response. But magically, as soon as she finished, I blurted out:

"What if I licked it?"

"What?" she asked with that familiar repulsive look on her face that indicates, I don't know where you're going with this but I know you're going to somehow make it make sense and win again.

"What if I licked it before I left the building?" I asked. "Who would want to drink it if I licked the top, right?"

She sighed. "Why would you lick the top?"

"It's personal," I said. "Can I go now?"

In her Kyra best effort, Triplet tried working multiple angles to discredit my lick the top of the can defense, but she fell short every time.

I was curious to know who turned me in, but she wouldn't expose the witness. Someone's out to get me. I'm feeling paranoid again...

Reader Comments (12)

I get calls from HR daily. Of all client groups to support, I get HR --go figure.

I would have thrown the can at her head (not really). Blair probably put her up to it to keep a close eye on you or to make you feel as though there's a set of eyes watching you at all times. Are they friends?

Nice defense though ("what if I lick the can?...") - FUCKING GREAT!

August 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTech Babe

I've always worked at companies small enough not to have a HR.
Bureaucracy sucks. :)

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFishy5

I have to tell my "evil" HR manager. She will laugh and laugh at this one! I mean, who gets close enough to you to notice that the top of the soda can ISN'T open?

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWinter

I agree with Tech Babe, I think it's Blair. I think she's been stalking you more than you've noticed. Since she can't really do anything about your relationships without proof (which you better damn make sure she never gets) she decides to go with the "artificial karma" approach and try to make you miserable.

August 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterZorro

Tech Babe; if Blair and HR teamed up, it would be the end of me...

Fishy5, consider yourself very lucky.

Winter, maybe my list of suspects should include those closest to me... Gladstone has turned me in before (when I told him "Kun" was not a racial slur)...

August 22, 2008 | Registered CommenterJason X

Zorro, if you're right, that could definitely result in misery down the road. I haven't been fucking with Blair enough lately to keep her in line. You have inspired me...

August 22, 2008 | Registered CommenterJason X

Hostile work environment anyone? Jeeze! You should sneak in a case, like a 48 pack... then walk out with it one day in front of her. Just to see what happens ;-)

August 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJustin Scott

I like the way you think, Justin. Sounds like you'd be fun at work.

August 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJason X

Wow. Out of all the inane shit... this is the best they can do to try to bust you??? You successfully made a human being up and this is the route they take? I'm going to go with Mulhausen or Fiona the cunt on this one. No one of actual intelligence would of done this because it wouldn't of been worth their time. This person is nit-picky and a control-freak and cares more about little details than they can control since they can't control you. My best friend used to be the personal assistant for a CEO of an oil and gas company and this guy would spend countless hours on stupid shit that he could control. Like the fact that the wrong light bulbs were bought for the waiting area and that the lighting was too yellow, but would wait till the last possible second to submit mandatory tax forms for the existence of the whole corporation.

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterM

M: That reminds me. I need to steal light bulbs from the bathrooms tomorrow.

September 14, 2009 | Registered CommenterJason X

I had her clarify this story for me last night since I couldn't remember all the details. Apparently the CEO she used to work for put off his SEC filing for his company's stock until the last possible second and decided to fuck around with lightbulbs instead. If they didn't meet their deadline there would be an E at the end of their stock option which is a giant red flag for brokers to not invest in your company.

September 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterM

(found via stumbleupon) If you have an office or a cubicle, I'd buy a bunch of the same drink and keep it under your desk, but make it a number not divisible by six. Something like nineteen cans. Continue carrying out cans from time to time, and if they get on you again then let them push it, and right when they're ready to do the damage part, reveal the stash under the desk.

April 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTWX

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