Just one of the many messed-up things that employers have to face on a daily basis.
The following story was submitted to us by one of our readers.
It was Usha’s* first day of work with our company. We were very eager to hire her. She seemed like someone who had a good head on her shoulders.
We even flew her from one state to another for training. Once she was done with training, she was given her laptop and she flew back home.
She was to return to our main office in Mumbai two weeks later to begin her work with us under contract. Meanwhile, she had promised to get started on some work.
She delivered on her promise and got the work done.
Employee theft consequences: Total change of attitude
But after a few days upon her return back home, there was a total change.
She stopped contacting us. Her last message to the company was that she was no longer interested in joining us and she wanted us to pay her a salary for the work she had done.
Her demeanour soured. She threatened not to return the laptop if we didn’t pay her.
She also insisted that we pay her for her travel to Mumbai but the company had already covered her expenses. We even paid her for the few days of work she had done.
Yet, she refused to return the laptop—a brand new MacBook.
We tried to get our financial and legal consultants to retrieve it with a legal warning. But she did not show any signs of remorse or fear of the legal system.
She fired back with more threats. After months and months of back and forth, we decided it would be best for us to let it go. There was too much paperwork involved and too many resources being channelled to this one case.
There was no point in fighting the case further over ONE laptop.
Lesson learnt after the employee stole the laptop
Since that day, the company implemented a new system for staff to sign a form issued by HR before taking any property that belongs to the company, acknowledging that the item rightfully belongs to the company.
It was a costly lesson to the company but one that they have learnt from.
What would you do if someone stole from your company? Let us know in the comments!
Before you think about stealing stuff from your office, read this article – you could go to jail!
Read that and more corporate life stories: