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Old 09-20-2010, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by The Saint View Post
trash? thats crazy, if its trash why would they care? who do you work for Attila the Hun?

Its principle I suppose.
I doubt the company in question really cares about trash being "stolen", but rather the people who take it in the first place.
Old 09-20-2010, 11:49 AM
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I used to nab a chick fila nugget every once in a while when I worked there
Old 09-20-2010, 12:25 PM
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I used to nab a chick fila nugget every once in a while when I worked there
oh man there ya go admitting to the crime
Old 09-20-2010, 12:27 PM
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at 7-11 in fla when i lived down there they had a lot of stuff that would go to the exp dates and they normally had a few days a safety left
our official rule was mark it down and toss it
But the boss would let us take the stuff at the end of the exp's we just had to log it
Old 09-20-2010, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by DakotaS View Post
Its principle I suppose.
I doubt the company in question really cares about trash being "stolen", but rather the people who take it in the first place.
Well there is also the issue of employee theft. I have seen employees toss something new in the trash only to come back that night and dig it out of the dumpster.
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Old 09-20-2010, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Averageguy209 View Post
oh man there ya go admitting to the crime

At least he is honest.
Old 09-20-2010, 04:43 PM
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Of course it is stealing. The only exception is where your employer might give you permission.

You: "Do you mind if I take home this leftover wiring from the job?"
Employer: "Yeah go ahead."

Theft of office supplies is so universal that pre-employment polygraph tests often ask if you have ever stolen from an employer except for office supplies. Don't know anyone, myself included, that hasn't walked off with the random ink pen or notepad.

Some employees actually have permission to use company assets as a perk of the job. One example is someone who works in a food establishment who is allowed to eat all they want for free. Or you could have someone who is given a business asset who gets to use it for personal use as well. In either case, somewhere along the line permission was given, either explicit or implicit. (Implicit permission can be a moral hazard and is a whole 'nother ball game.)

One place I worked was an access control and security gate company. As an employee I could take home anything that was put out back for the recyclers to pick up. There was all kinds of valuable stuff. AC and DC motors, metal tubing, metal equipment housings, wiring, keypads, card readers, power supplies, bearings, gears, chain, steel cables, small wheels. All stuff considered surplus, prototype or obsolete and not worth restocking. I stopped bringing surplus stuff home when my wife threatened to surplus me if I didn't.

Dumpster diving is a different matter. Technically once it hits the dumpster it stops belonging to the company and starts belonging to the trash collector, so you are still stealing and people have been fined for it. (Mostly for going thru celebrity trash.) However it is so rare that anyone objects most people consider it fair game. We even have stores in LA that announce their schedule for throwing out dated items and clubs that specialize in scavenging garbage. I regularly set things on the curb in the hope that it will get picked up by someone who can find a use for it before the trashman shows up.

My moral test is whether this is something I would get in trouble for doing if the company CEO found out. In this way I let company policy define what is stealing and what is a perk.
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Old 09-20-2010, 05:48 PM
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You make a good point. There are both absolute and societal definitions of lying and stealing. The absolute definition is pretty easy. The societal definition is the one that society in general lives by and expects you are living by as well.

100 people with similar experience submit a resume for an opening at XYZ Corp. If you are honest, you probably won't get the job. Or even an interview. Why? Because many of the others will have tweaked and massaged theirs to sound better. You won't even get past the automated resume filtration system to speak with a human being. On other words, in their corporate hiring policy there is an implicit requirement to lie on your resume. It is understood that you are exaggerating and all the initial screening does is discover if you know the right keywords to trigger the next step in the process.

If you really do know your stuff, you'll get a chance to show them eventually. But front line supervisors have little input in hiring policies. Those are typically defined by bureaucrats with no knowledge of the actual job itself but who are looking for certain amount of experience and certain certifications. You may not actually interview with someone who knows anything at all about the job until the 2nd or 3rd time around.

I learned this lesson well in high school chemistry lab. My partner and I were always getting Bs and Cs on our lab results even though we were scrupulously following procedure. Other students who I knew to be less rigorous were getting As. I was too naive to figure it out until we switched lab partners. There was no mystery about what we were trying to achieve and seems that some of the A lab students tended to bias their measurements in favor of the expected results. Looked like 4.57 grams of filtrate to me but somehow my partner got 4.59 grams and my, oh my, how that smoothed the curve out in our graph (5.00 was ideal). Do that a hundred times and you got an A instead of a B or a C.

Which also explains why there is so much more junk science out there than there used to be. Makes it really easy to turn vague correlations into certainty. Truth shouldn't be thought of as subjective but there you have it. Absolute Truth isn't often rewarded.
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Old 09-20-2010, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by survivalistmomma View Post
When I was a teen, I worked at a Big Boy's restaurant. After being there a couple years, they were having such a severe problem with inventory walking out the door, that they required us to take a lie detector test for continued employment.

I ran the register, and employees were coming to me asking me to ring up york peppermint patties by the hundreds, and paying for them.... but the jar was not going down. They were paying for ones they had snitched through the years. They wanted to clear their conscience before the test.

I talked to the manager and she said let them do it, as long as it was candy. At twenty five cents each, and years worth of snitching, they sold hundreds of dollars in peppermint patties that week.

Fountain drinks, tea and coffee were free to employees while working, so at least that wasn't an issue.

A few people quit rather than take the test. It was found out that two managers were taking home steaks, shrimp, and pies. If one of them had been doing it, it might have gone unnoticed, but they didn't know each other was doing it.

Be sure your sin will find you out.
I know in Massachusetts it's illegal to administer a lie detector in order to obtain or keep employment. What state are you in?
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Old 09-20-2010, 06:27 PM
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Stealing "time" from an employer is a difficult concept to pin down.

Let's say I am paid $25/hour to take phone calls. The calls can occasionally be extremely stressful. The employer also has criteria for productivity, an average employee should average 4 calls per hour. However productivity isn't a determinant of your pay. That is set by a union and taking 3.5 calls per hour won't get you laid off before someone who takes 5 calls per hour, that is all seniority. If I take 4.5 calls per hour and manage about 5 minutes of R&R time during that same hour, have I "stolen" those 5 minutes?

Suppose that by not taking a minute between calls to get my head back on straight, I begin to burn out and the quality of each individual call starts to drop as well as the overall productivity. Over time I might even start taking additional sick leave and personal time off. By not taking those brief brain-breaks, am I not stealing productivity from my employer?

You will find employers lined up on both sides of this issue but most front line workers for large employers are considered completely interchangeable and expendable. It is too much bother to differentiate by merit (or in a union shop it is not permitted) since you are nothing but a data set in an accounting program. Burning out employees is part of the plan.

How tolerant of brain-breaks an employer is usually depends on whether you are salaried, commissioned or hourly.
Old 09-20-2010, 07:10 PM
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Without permission, or a written policy taking something is a no-no.......even from the trash.
Old 09-20-2010, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by HaroldWayneHamlin View Post
...
You hve a cold and are walking by a co workers desk who has gone to the bath room, etc. you hafe to sneeze so you take a kleenex out of their box and cover you muoth and nose.

...

You take more knapkens at a fast food place than you need or should, that is stealing.

...
I put Kleenex on my desk in plain sight so a person that has a cold does grab one and NOT cough all over me making me sick. If I don't want it used I put it in a drawer or cabinet out of sight.

Napkins at a Fast-Food place are consumables and sure I always grab a handful when I eat. I like having some extras in the truck for the next time I go there and the forget the Napkins. If you take the entire Napkin-Holder full of Napkins that's a different story, but a couple of extras are OK.

Then there's the sticky note stealers - ARRRGHHH!!! I don't mind someone taking a single note for use but taking my entire pad is inexcusable.

These are consumables and meant to be used not hoarded.

Stealing is taking something of value without asking. I have stuff stolen all the time in my latest job of retailing. Some people will take anything. I had a bag and the shoulder strap is missing; some one decided they wanted it and took it.

Our Governments & Banks are no better than thieves. THEY take without asking. So how do you expect citizens to behave when they see the countries leaders stealing? The people just don't care anymore.


Old 09-20-2010, 09:14 PM
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Funny,while I was reading this thread I was fishing around in my pocket looking for something and I find a roll of electrical tape from work,now I am feeling all guilty,hopefully it will make it back in my pocket when I go back to work tomorrow.
Old 09-20-2010, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Mule Skinner View Post
Back in the dim distant past when there were no personal computers, only mainframes, the only way to get computer time was to use the one machine your employer had. In my case I had work to do on it, which I did, but I also wanted to do personal experiments in things that never occurred in work. So I used it.

I was stealing computer time, but also improving my skills on that machine, which worked to my employer's benefit eventually.
This reminds me of a case that should be familiar to many computer geeks and gamers...I'm a little fuzzy on the details, so forgive me if I get things wrong. Anyways;
Back in the day, Apogee software was a fair sized game developer. A few employees wanted to branch out on their own, developing their own brand (iD software) and style of games. They worked on thier games on their own time, but utelized company equipment, and so when they started trying to market their game ( I THINK it was Commander Keen, but I'm not sure), Apogee filed suit. I'm not sure on the findings, but it makes sense to me. Your intelectual property is yours (unless you sign a contract that any ideas related to your field are company property while employed, as I've heard is sometimes the case) but using someone elses equipment, even when they aren't using it, is stealing. Not so much of the use of resource, such as wearing out bits and tools, or power for computer equipment, but because of the risk of damage to said equipment. What if you make a mistake, and end up breaking something?
Old 09-20-2010, 11:55 PM
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This issue seems to be a one way street. No one is outraged when companies steal from employees. Are all employees payed the right wage for the duties that they perform? Are all employees treated equal and fair? Who decides the proper wage or fairness and is it level across the board? Companies for the most part are out to make the largest possible profit at all costs and treatment of employees seems to be a minor concern. It does not seem that unfair that an underpaid employee takes a few supplies when the company profits from unfair wage practices.

Yes stealing is stealing, but stealing is also human and happens all of the time on many levels.
Old 09-21-2010, 05:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilt View Post
This issue seems to be a one way street. No one is outraged when companies steal from employees. Are all employees payed the right wage for the duties that they perform? Are all employees treated equal and fair? Who decides the proper wage or fairness and is it level across the board? Companies for the most part are out to make the largest possible profit at all costs and treatment of employees seems to be a minor concern. It does not seem that unfair that an underpaid employee takes a few supplies when the company profits from unfair wage practices.

Yes stealing is stealing, but stealing is also human and happens all of the time on many levels.
Yeah this is a good point and reminds me of a story of a guy that came into the shop a number of years ago and was discussing the issue of theft at the plant he was a foreman at.

He said that he addressed the theft issue with the owners of the company and he told them "either you pay these guys a decent wage for the work they are doing or they will get it anyway".

Once they raised the wage level a bit stuff like tools and other items stopped disappearing.
Old 09-21-2010, 05:43 AM
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if you take something without permission yes it is stealing.
when we clean abandoned apartments we are expected to put everything in the trash.
but if people leave usable stuff it is OK with our bosses if we keep it or take it to a charity. It would go in the dumpster anyways.
our case is somewhat unique. some stores or businesses have policies that an employee may not take anything from the trash because it is too easy for somebody to fudge the system by taking something from a shelf and claiming it was in the trash.
if you have to ask yourself if you are stealing, you probably are.
Old 09-21-2010, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ecnal View Post
I know in Massachusetts it's illegal to administer a lie detector in order to obtain or keep employment. What state are you in?
That was in PA... and many years ago. LOL. I was 17yo. Even back then, they were not allowed to fire you based on the result. They had to have evidence or other reasons for firing you. The result of the test would cast suspicion and give cause for more investigation. I think they would quickly drum up other "reasons" if you failed bad enough.

Everyone passed, because those who were worried about it, either quit on their own, or were ratted out by multiple witnesses. One of the questions was, "Have you ever seen anyone else remove stock from the store?"

The process brought in the regional supervisors, and the employees made the point to them that no one had keys to the back door except managers. Employees always came and went by the front door. Before it was over, they had two managers nailed solid. They never even got to their turn at the test.

The mangers tried the, "It was out of date," defence. They had never logged it and had it signed by another manager. So that didn't wash.

Yes, they have changed the laws since then, and they can not require a lie detector test.
Old 09-21-2010, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilt View Post
This issue seems to be a one way street. No one is outraged when companies steal from employees. Are all employees payed the right wage for the duties that they perform? Are all employees treated equal and fair? Who decides the proper wage or fairness and is it level across the board? Companies for the most part are out to make the largest possible profit at all costs and treatment of employees seems to be a minor concern. It does not seem that unfair that an underpaid employee takes a few supplies when the company profits from unfair wage practices.

Yes stealing is stealing, but stealing is also human and happens all of the time on many levels.
When the job is offered, and the job is accepted, they are done under stated terms. If the employee is actually "stole" from, there has been a break in his contract and he has legal recourse.

Quote:
It does not seem that unfair that an underpaid employee takes a few supplies when the company profits from unfair wage practices.
Did he actually negotiate that in his agreement to take the job? No. He did not agree to work for x dollars an hour plus what he feels he is owed to lift from the premises.

It is stealing.
Old 09-21-2010, 11:09 AM
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A lot of people have mentioned screwing off on the computer as stealing time. I wonder how many companies have too many employees due to the time lost on un-official computer usage. We could probably lay off at least one person where I work. Everyone has internet but only a small number actually need it to do their work.

How about company cell phones. We make employees that go over on minutes or text pay that back.

Does anyone "cheat" on their taxes, personal or business. Is that considered stealing? It is your money that you worked for.
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