Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I 've been thinking alot lately, about honesty, and stealing, and perspective. I can't get the Great Cheese Caper out of my mind. I lay awake at night thinking about it. I think about it in the shower, doing laundry, making dinner, it's all I can think of. I guess that I'm confused. I made a mistake on January 26th. A big one, but a mistake none the less. I will probably be punished for this by losing my PSW license, a fine, and probation. Here's what confuses me.
My sister, Posh, works for a large company and makes about $250,000 a year. She travels, all over the world, and has a pretty good gig. She steals from her work place on a regular basis. She gave KC a memory stick for the computer, emblazened with the name of her work place. KC tells me that these are worth up to $100. Posh spends that on coffee every week. $100 is a drop in a very large bucket for her.
Here's what confuses me. If Posh knew about my arrest, she would cluck her tongue and lecture me about honesty and being accountable for my actions. She would. She prides herself on her honesty and considers stealing to be a sin. (I guess that it is, if you know your commandments). So...I'm a theif, and she isn't?
I guess that it's all in the perspective. People 'borrow' from there workplaces all of the time. Hubby tells me about co workers that have redone whole rooms in their houses with materials taken from the job site. When I worked at the grocery store (same chain that is charging me), coworkers punched in early and punched out late on their time cards. Is this theft? How many times have we taken pens, office supplies, whatever, from work? Who among us is NOT guilty?
I will go to court on April 3rd to be judged for my transgressions....I DID put the items in my cart. I AM guilty of that. I did not mean to leave without paying.
I wonder who the judge will be? I wonder what his/her perspective will be on this issue. Will he/she be understanding, or will he/she also want to make an example of me?
I wonder if the judge will also be a 'borrower' and will see things as they are? I wonder if when the judge signs his/her name on the documents before her, it will be a pen 'borrowed' from someone else.
I wonder.

29 comments:

captain corky said...

I'm sorry that this is eating you up so much. You know in your heart that you didn't steal the food. That's enough for me.

I can't believe that this place can even afford to take you to court for a block of fucking cheese! These bastards are making me angry. I want to blow up there store.

Biddie said...

Corky - You always make me smile! I wish that this wasn't eating me up so much.
Part of the reason that this place (Zehrs) can afford to take me to court is because they sent me a bill for $325 for my theft, and the time that the security guards had to work. Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't they there already? They weren't called in because of me. Anyway, I'm not paying it. They can suck my ass. I don't HAVE $325, or a job. Can't get blood from a stone.
While the idea of blowing up Zehrs is a wonderful one, I can imagine the trouble that we would be in. I mean they freaked out over some cheeese.....

Heidi the Hick said...

Does your court date interfere with the trip out east?

You know you have to go in there and tell them it was a mistake.

About the 'borrowing' thing: that irritates me. With us owning a business, I've gotten very greedy and selfish, I admit. If we buy something for the studio, and it's no longer useful at work, I take it home. We paid for it. However, I refuse to let anything from my home go to work. Take and no give. It's not really the same as borrowing but I'll admit, there's a loading bay full of stuff from the previous tenant and I've got my eye on a filing cabinet...

Gardenia said...

Biddie! I missed this during my travels - and computerlessness. What happened? email me if you wish - healingtreeart@aol.com

Gosh, I KNOW - I had the Sheriff knocking on my door the day after my firing, wanting "County Property" - I had a bank card and a safety deposit key - the card had space for 3 signatures, one of them mine, which I had full authority to get a safe deposit box for the County (for off-site computer & tape backup) - - anyway I put those in a Walmart bag with four ink pens and wondered what in the hell they were going to do to me next. As I moved, I found a cheap briefcase I sometimes carried - I marched it down to HR and made them give me a receipt. The new Clerk had turned my office upside down and taken things, I had, have no way of knowing what could be missing.

Yet, new Clerk can steal the website I designed, as well as all the previous to me Chief Deputy's files, and all the confidential personnel files and that's fine.

Really - this so called "honesty" thing all depends on who is in favor at the time at the company/corporation, etc. My mother and I had long talks - she was the first female non-food manager way back in a grocery store - she had to fight tooth & nail to keep her position while the male employees stole the store blind.

All we can do, Biddie, is stand up for ourselves, and not look at others, because their day to fall will come too - today's favorite is tomorrow's pariah.....

I too have walked out of grocery with something stuck way in back of cart - luckily I found it and went back before getting nabbed -
stuff happens. Thinking of you.

Biddie said...

Heidi - If I go to trial, which will happen if I plead NOT guilty, then yes, court will interfere with my trip out east. I think that what I am hoping for is a conditional discharge...I plead guilty, and it is registered as guilty, but I will have NO criminal record, and if I keep my nose (or cart) clean for a certain time period, usually a year, then it is stricken from my record altogether. I know that I SHOULD stand up and scream from the roof tops, but it is TOO much for me. I want to see my sister, and TMOC, and it may not happen because of cheese, seeds and pens forgotten on the bottom of my cart. I am still debating how to handle it....
As far as the filing cabinet goes, I think that after 60 or 90 days, you can dispose of the previous tenants belongings. How long have you waited?

Gardenia - You had to return 4 pens? The sherrif really came to your door? Good grief. I guess you're lucky that they didn't hand cuff you as well.
I agree with you whole hearted ly about the honesty thing. It seems to depend on who is 'in charge' or what the circumstances are.
I got a letter from the grocery store demanding payment of $325. For theft. I didn't actually TAKE anything. I will more than likely be fined when I go to court, also. It all seems so excessive to me. I would have gladly paid for the items, (which I offered to do), and even being banned from the store would have been fine...I'm banned now anyway. Like i want to go back. Most of the staff worked with me at the other location. How humilitating. They want me to write a letter after 6 months, asking to be forgiven , and then I will be allowed back in the store. Then I have to carry the letter with me in case I am stopped by the same security guard. Yeah, right.
I just feel so overwhelmed.

ldbug said...

For cheese? Seriously? That is just ridiculous! I'm hoping the judge will think the exact same thing and throw the whole thing out! It wasn't intentional, you offered to pay, they're just a bunch of jerks. I hope it goes your way!

Stinkypaw said...

I think we all are guilty of "borrowing" stuff from the office.

I think there's a difference with a pad of Post-It and your kids' school supplies for the year - I've seen that! For having worked in security (shop lifting) it is really up to the owner of the store to decide how far they will go (law suit or not). Some say "theft" is just that, agreed but I also believe that to err is human...

Hope this whole mess goes your way and that you get a lenient judge - your "thinking about it all the time" is punishment enough...

her indoors said...

wish this was all over for you, i too think it is such a sodding waste of time, if you were going to steal you would have taken goods of a high value the sodding moroons!
you offered to pay them they are just so pathetic
go on ask the judge if he has ever taken something home from work for his use i dare you lol
chin up girl x

Biddie said...

ldbug - I had cheese and pens and some cucumber seeds. I also bought chicken breasts and a whole pile of other stuff. The little stuff had fallen behind on the bottom basket. I am hoping and praying that it goes away...I just think that this could have been resolved with out the court system.

Biddie said...

stinkypaw - I understand the need for security and for prosecuting criminals. I just think that maybe this is one of those cases that could've been settled with out the court system. I hope that the judge will see my remorse for making such a stupid mistake. Trust me, I check EVERY inch my cart now!

her indoors - If the judge doesn't find in my favour, I just mught ask him! I think that I'll let the judge make his decision 1st tho!

Tod said...

I'm sorry it is affecting you so much. I can't beleive the supermarket is sending you invoices. Surely that is harrassment!

Biddie said...

Tod - Zehrs may have sent me an invoice, but I am not paying it. I think that I am being punished enough for a simple mistake. I do. This could affect my whole future, and if I am found guilty, I will NEVER be able to work in my chosen feild. That is HUGE. I went back to school at 34, and graduated 2nd in my class, with honours. Even though I can't work now, it is my dream to work with Alzheimers patients...I don't want to give it up.
Maybe all of the postive thoughts of my blog friends will somehow influence the powers that be.....
Hey, a girl can dream.

mjd said...

Biddie,
I am sorry that this has happened. This is incredible. Surely, there will be somebody in the Canadian system of justice that will right this wrong. You have to go court, and the store is charging you $325? That ought to cover the cost for a year's supply of cheese.

I am sorry to show my ignorance. What do the letters PSW stand for, Public Social Worker?

FOUR DINNERS said...

throw camembert at the judge.

DJ Andi said...

I am in amazement that it has actually come to this. I too would probably be in turmoil wondering what will happen. You can worry about it now, but it is not going to change the outcome. Try to just let go for now.

I understand your situation, but I think pleading guilty let's the store win. You know, it's different if you run out of the store with stuff you know you didn't pay for. You offered to pay for it and they just wouldn't allow it. These kind of things drive me crazy. I suppose that's what Wynona Ryder was thinking when she put merchandise in her "personal bag" not a shopping cart that shows everyone and their brother what you "INTEND" to purchase. That's what stores get for cutting costs and not unloading carts themselves. I think the store is responsible to make sure everything in cart has been entered by the cashier. And to bill you for security services? GET REAL!!!

Good luck girlie...we're all behind you whatever you decide. You know you did not steal that stuff and that is what matters. I wish you had someone in the field of law that could counsel you.

Biddie said...

mjd - PSW stands for Pesonal Support Worker, and I had no idea what they stood for until I took the course. I only knew that I wanted to ba nurse, but could afford neither the time nor the money to do so. A PSW was the next best thing. I would be working with peiple, and making good money, hopefully making a difference in the process.
I am not working, now due to my mental health issues, but I do plan on working someday - sooner rather than later. I think that the store charging me $325 is completely unfair, and I have NO intention of paying it. They can drag me (kicking and screaming) to small claims court, but since I don't work, there is no way to collect money from me.

Biddie said...

4D - PLEASE don't tempt me. I'm trying to stay OUT of trouble here.
dj andi - I am beside myself over this. (that's a weird saying?!?) I can't believe that it has gone this far.
I know that pleading guilty would be letting the store win, but a trial will go on for months. And months. I can't imagine what that will do to my health - mental and otherwise. I just don't feel up for it. I feel defeated, already, and I haven't even gone before the judge.
I go to get finger printed in a couple of weeks, and I am mortified. I would rather die, that's how I feel about this whole thing.
Thanks for the support. It means a lot to me.

CindyDianne said...

Biddie - you will not get punished. I just know it. You will keep you license.

Try not to worry.

Biddie said...

Cindydianne - From your lips to God's ears....

CindyDianne said...

Exactly.

dilling said...

sweetie, I wish I could do something for you...I know good lawyers(even with good hearts!) but they are not licensed to practice up here. Lordy. What a fiasco. And for honesty and stealing from the company? I have considered myself an honest person for a good long while, but sometimes when working for less than honest and whole heartedly greedy employers, I have helped myself to a free coffee (or three) a day or office supplies. When I worked for honest people with great hearts(like those lawyers?), the urge just isn't there. Go figure.

dilling said...

how long were in the line? can you just fucking say(pardon my french and is that french?)that they took so effing long to ring you through that you forgot there was cheese in the bottom of the effing cart? Okay, I worked in a fucking(pardon) grocery store, and PEOPLE FUCKING FORGET that there is stuff in the bottom of the cart...hell, I have taken a twelve pack of Sprite from the bottom of a cart in the round up section of a parking lot MORE THAN ONCE. Can I come be a witness??? Since I can't be a frickin' witness here in my Hood for assault, drug dealing and prostitution? I can't believe that I have the problems that I do in my neighbourhood and they want to take you to court for a fucking block of cheese...Pardon again.

dilling said...

and, sorry, I am talking too much..that whole free coffee thing? Let's make it perfectly clear, it is not office coffee. I have been a barista for several small companies who have screwed people and one LARGE WELL KNOWN COMPANY CLOTHED IN GREEN APRONS that was,is, and shall remain a greedy, greedy corporation who won't fucking donate two-day-old pastries and coffee beans over ten days old to food banks...they would rather throw it in the garbage.

Biddie said...

Dilling - I sent you an email explaining. When I worked at the same grocery chain, I stopped people all of the time. No biggie. If I didn't stop people, then it was MY fault, not the fault of the shopper.

dilling said...

biddie, I never got an email....damn yahoo.

dilling said...

biddie...hours later, your mail arrives! gonna go read it now.

Biddie said...

Dilling - YAY! Sometimes it takes awhile for Heidi's emails to arrive, too. Good things come to those who wait!

Gardenia said...

This is as insane as what I went through. It is harrassment. The cart things go both ways - I have gotten to my car and had the carryout forget something under that little seat thing and I get home without it - do I sue, jees no!

These people you are dealing with are nuttier than a bunch of blooming fruitcakes - a note of apology? Something is not right about this - and its not on your part. Why would they think you would write a letter to go on record? Don't do it.

Well, try not to think about it - I know its hard probably thinking about who will be knocking on the door, what will be in that phone call or mail...........

Biddie said...

Gardenia - I think that the letter would be too much for me. I haven't admitted to any wrong doing, I have proclaimed my innocence, and yet they want me to write a letter begging forgivness?
You raised a good point, too. I have gotten home from the grocery store with whole bags missing from my order, because the cashier forgot to load it into my cart. I have never sued, never asked for a letter of apology.
I am trying not to dwell on it now. I have another month + until the court date, and I don't want to drive myself crazy(er).