I’m sitting in an IT office surrounded by computers and monitors and peripherals &c. when she comes in. She looks like an extra The Maltese Falcon, all skirtsuit, scarf, and sweater. The only thing that she is missing is the hat. She starts rifling through the items in the office, building a computer more/less right in front of me. When I ask what it’s for, she says that she needed a new one at home and she thought that no one would notice. I ask if she’s joking and she laughs. Like how could I conclude that she isn’t serious about this? After another minute or so of telling her to cut it out, I duck out of the office, flag down her supervisor and explain. She is fired on the spot. With much incredulity, she looks at me, heart-broken and in utter disbelief. I suspect that she might fly into a rage and start trashing the place but she is escorted out of the building before anything unsavory can happen.
I go back to work.
Minutes later, another woman comes into my off (the IT office), struggling to fight back tears. She is tall and thick-boned, casually dressed and very pretty aside from the tears. The woman pulls herself together just enough to explain that she heard about the other woman (that was just fired) and how could I do such a thing. It is flabbergasting to me that this would be someone’s first response. I explain what happened, terse as I can. She was stealing from the company, after all. And stealing in a big way. How did that make me at fault? I try calming her down but she seems only to get more worked up by the minute. And I start to wonder if it wouldn’t have been cheaper for us to just let the first woman take the computer in the first place.