What the F*$% is wrong with people?!

As you all know, I am a small business owner. I recently had to let an employee go because of economic reasons. I really considered this guy a friend. Actually, I only hired him because we were friends, and I needed some time off from the grind (I was getting burned out). We really got along good, hung out together, laughed and joked around alot. Even when things got tight, I tried to hold onto him as long as possible, because I didn't want to put him out, and I knew he needed the work.

Now that he is gone, I have discovered that he was stealing from me. I'm not talking $10 from the register every now and then, either. That I could live with. As an employer, you actually expect a little bit of employee theft...it's just human nature, unfortunately.

This "friend" was lifting merchandise off the shelves and going the next town over and selling it to another business. I am sort of friends with this other business owner and talked to him today and he informed me that my good buddy was bringing in "stacks" of DVDs and videogames and selling them. I don't blame this business owner because my "friend" ran him a line of bullshit about how he had all this store credit and was just trading off his personal collection.

I feel sick to my stomach every time I think about it! I am also mad at myself for not seeing it. It seems very obvious now, of course, but I really feel betrayed. While my family and I made sacrifices and worked long days, trying to keep our business afloat, this ass was leaning back, all grinning and fucking two-faced lying, leeching off us and our good will! What's wrong with people?! I was always honest and good to him, never paid him a day late or a dollar short, and my wife was always making lunch for us and sending food and treats home for his kids, and all the while he was sucking us dry!

All the signs were there, which is what makes me so furious. He was good, though. I'll give him that. He was really good at fixing the register and always with a quick explanation if I noticed inventory missing or the register not balancing out just right.

He got me for thousands in inventory, probably. Now it's going to take me at least a couple months to dig out of the hole. What's worse is the fact that this is the third time. We have been stolen from, robbed and burglarized three times in as many years, and it is just so frustrating, because every time we get built up and business is good and things are going great, someone either throws a block through one of the windows and helps themselves to as much as they can run off with before the police arrive, or they are stealing money from the till or swiping inventory. No wonder small businesses go under every day. You have to fucking beat the thieves off with a stick!

He told me once, when I questioned him about some discrepencies in inventory and sales, that he would never steal from me, that he would never do something like that to a friend! Ha! Jokes on me, I guess.

There's nothing worse than a friend who stabs you in the back! Nothing!

If anyone here on MOS is thinking about opening their own business, let me tell you this -- and it is from very bitter experience -- NEVER TRUST ANYONE! EVER! I think I have finally learned that lesson. I will never make that mistake again.
 

MCTFB

Member
Sorry to hear about your business. Anyways, this guy stole from you because he probably envied you and your success and he felt he could get away with it. In his own self-pity he justified his actions because he was the poor proletariat just trying to get by on a low-wage (I am assuming this guys is not getting more than 10 bucks an hour).

Being in a position of power, especially when money is concerned, will always get you a lot of fake friends but very few true ones and that is just the sacrifice you have to make sometimes as a business owner.

Unless someone is of equal social standing as you, they will almost always envy you in some way or else they will be the bandwagon type of friend who will only be your friend when times are good. This is hard for overachievers to understand because they have confidence in themselves and don't think of life as a zero sum game where the only way to move up in life is to bring someone else down.

Don't mix friendship with business if you can help it because if the business fails, the friendship usually does as well and if the friendship fails, then so does the business. If you are going to go into business, make sure it is a family member you can trust or else someone who has a high reputation in the past.

And yah don't trust anybody period. I mean, just think about how many guys out there will fuck their best friend's wife on a moments notice and then put that into perspective if you would ever trust them with a fistful of dollars. Most people in this world whether they want to believe it or not are only friends out of convenience and will only like you if you have something good going on in your life, so be careful about who you consider a friend and be extra careful if you bring them into your business venture.

I am part-owner of a small business as well, so I can sort of see where you are coming from here.
 
Thanks for the advice. It is really upsetting, because this is the second "friend" who I hired because he needed a job. I caught the first one stealing from the register, and had to let him go. The sad thing is, I would have been able to keep the second one on if he had not been selling my inventory on the sly, because my business is very successful, but the constant drain on my resources made me have to tighten my belt. I was paying both of them a good salary, by the way. In just a couple months, we will be moving to a high traffic area with a big new building and I anticipate a great increase in business...maybe enough to put me over the top for good! I would have gladly carried either one with me over the top, if they had only been as loyal to me as I was to them. For all you whiners out there who "never get a break", I say shut the fuck up. Cause even if someone gave you a break, you'd probably just stab them in the back anyway. Yes, I am getting that bitter about humanity.
 

joeym

Member
Kong,
I've been "lurking" here for awhile but never posted. I have some good advise for you so here goes my 1st post:

You are way too trusting of people. When it comes to a cash business you have to be very,very careful. Part of your problems with theft are your own fault for not being diligent enough. This is your and your family's livelihood, so you need to take some precautions.

1) Install an alarm system - invest some money in a decent alarm system - a loud alarm that also directly notifies police will help deter some of the break-ins. If necessary, install some of those metal roll-up door that you see on all stores in urban areas.
2) Do you have good cash register(s)? If not get ones that you can program different categories of sales, so you can rectify sales to inventory. Regardless of who is in the store (you, managers, employees) cash out at least 2X per day. The cash in the till should exactly match the X subtotal (during business day) or Z total (end of day) each time.
3) Each morning review your reciepts. Make sure your actual cash matches your register readings. Don't stop there. Review the actual journal of sales - look for strange ring-ups like NoSales, voids, refunds, very large/very small ringups, anything out of the ordinary sale.
4) Keep on top of your inventory and deposits - at least weekly. That way you'll catch discrepancies more quickly.
5) This is probably the most important for you - INVEST IN A GOOD VIDEO SURVIELLANCE SYSTEM. Make sure all portions of the store are covered, including the stock room and any employee break areas. Make sure one camera shows a close-up of the register(s) (and another on the entrance/exit). Make it clear to employees that they are always being taped, and that you review the tapes (even if you don't).

If you follow these steps, you'll come close to zero theft.
 
Thanks, joeym!

Yes, I know I am way too trusting. It is just my personality. I hate to be a suspicious miser, but I guess I am going to have to learn to be one.

I do have an alarm system. I changed the passwords to it last night, in case my friend made copies of his keys before giving them back to me.

My register is actually a PC with a POS system installed on it, but I have always been kind of loose with inventory, because we do alot of trade ins and such...but I am going to get a tight inventory going in the next couple months.

Before I hire anyone else outside the family, I will have cameras installed. I have always put this off due to expense, but I see now that theft is more expensive than cameras.

Thanks for the good advice.
 

austin316

Banned
this is one of the situations where love (in this case friendship) blinds all, do you think you would have noticed had he not been your friend? i mean its happened to my dad before where hes been screwed over by a supposed friend and never noticed because he believed he was his true mate and wouldnt do it.
 

joeym

Member
Don't look at it as being a suspicious miser. Look at it as being a good businessman. And looking out for your own well-being and that of your family.

Perhaps you should avoid hiring friends in the future - keep things at your store strictly business. And don't drag your feet on the video system - I've personally seen them pay off in other ways as well such as theft (not by employees, but by "customers"). They also act as deterents.

Good luck in your future endeavors. Don't let a few incidents make you jaded or question your faith in human nature. I'm not preaching or telling you how to run your business. I've enjoyed all your input to this forum, and think you're one of the best posters. So I'm just trying to help you out with some advice and encouragement.
 
You know, people are pathetic. I've found that as an honest person who doesn't steal, I take it for granted that others are honest too. I've been screwed over myself several times. I really don't understand people; it never ceases to amaze me how people justify their actions and how they would rather lie/cheat/steal for something than work for it and earn it.

For what it's worth, you can look yourself in the mirror and know you've earned what you have and your family can be proud of you as a husband and father; that guy must feel really empty to know that he's just a thief and, unless he changes, will never be the man you are.

Best of luck with your new location Kong.
 
I still say you fuck that guy up tho. Stealing from another man is one of them things that just aint right in my book. *shrugs*
 
Kong Sir, I hear you with open ears. I also am way too damn trusting of people, not that I let people fuck me around, but once in a while something fucking slips outta place.

My supposed good freind stole 25 out of my wallet a few weeks ago (I was drunk in this case, having consumed 26 Canadian ales, not to be mistaken for the bland unpotent American brew). Anyway the bastard slimed away and bought blow with it from another fellow I know well.

Disgusting creatures roam this earth gentlemen, We must be wary of that...
 
you guys got it easy, and got stolen from only by a friend. I have two brothers, 17 and 14 years older than me. The one thats 14 years older, managed to get over $30,000 from the other brother, and fuck up his credit. And he took $200 from me, which i had marked on the back, and caught him, and which he totally plays off like he still didnt do it and acts like im crazy. This was a year or so a go so im over it but still, your case isnt as bad as mine.
 
Thanks for the support, guys, it helps...except you, Bebox ;) You didn't help at all.

The first time I was burglarized, I lost 40 G and had to file Chapter 13 to keep the biz open. The second time I was burglarized, I only lost about 2 G because I had a better security system. There is really no telling how much my first employee snuck from the till, nor will I ever know how much inventory the second snuck off the shelves over the course of the last 12 months. My business does 15 G a month, so there is alot of inventory moving in and out. Let's not even go into shoplifting...!

It is so sad, too, because instead of working to put this business over the top, and reaping the benefits of it, they both chose to rob me instead. In the short term, they may have gotten a little bling-bling, but that's nothing compared to how much they could have gotten if they had been loyal friends instead.
 
kong1971 said:
Thanks for the support, guys, it helps...except you, Bebox ;) You didn't help at all.
.

thats not a nice thing to say you jackass.... its not like im some counselor or something

:)
 
I find that remark racist and offensive, you dumb pollock! ;)

You obviously don't know how hard it is to compete with the big boys like Wal-Mart, Target, Circuit City, Hollywood Video, Blockbuster, Sun Coast, Game Zone, Gamestop and EB. Most of my money goes toward getting the new releases that little dumb shits like you cream in their britches over!

Wait...what are we doing? Let's not fight anymore! I love you, man--sniff! We're weiner-stretchin' brothers! We're sposed to stick together!
 

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