October 1, 2018

Someone – On My Staff – Stole It


I teach almost every day; but I learn almost every day too. As I brainstormed about lessons worth sharing with you, that I have learned while running a therapeutic massage center, I stumbled upon a memory that stopped me in my tracks. Oh yeah,the day over $1500 in cash got stolen from my safe. That day officially sucked.

Imagine a big, heavy, black safe with a squeaky fold down panel. The little slot was just wide enough to allow the therapists enough room to drop their envelopes at the end of their shift. In the envelope were the credit card slips, checks and cash from their day with clients. We usually had +/-10 therapists working every day, so we had to do bookkeeping, every day. And it turns out I had a bad habit. I liked to keep cash in the safe for a ‘rainy day’. Well one day it rained.

It was a very normal afternoon. My lovely administrative assistant, Diane, was finishing up the receipts from the morning. She had recently graduated from St Mary’s College where she had studied Elementary Education. She was terrific with our clients and to this day has a warm and caring heart.

As she went to retrieve the remaining envelopes from earlier in the day, the phone rang. She rolled her chair back over the bumpy plastic mat to the phone/appointment book area and scheduled the next available session. We don’t know if it was a few minutes or a few hours til we both realized the door to the safe wasn’t locked. It was a quiet time of day. No deliveries had been made, no wandering clients behind the front desk. We both raised our eyebrows. She spun the dial to lock the door and we carried on as normal. Whoops. Honest mistake. No biggie.

Til the next morning.

I pulled the receipts from the previous day and noticed a white envelope with a rubber band around it was missing. The cash I stashed in the back of the safe was gone.

At first I questioned myself. Did I take that home? Did I have a big bill recently? Did I spend that cash on something? No. No. No. But it was gone.

So I asked Diane. She felt horrible. She was noticeably shaken, so I comforted her by saying, “Don’t worry, I’m sure it’ll turn up. I’m starting to think I’m the crazy one.”
But I wasn’t.
I asked employee after employee, they had no clues.
I finally exhausted all my logical answers & resigned myself to phoning in a police report. I couldn’t believe someone had stolen money from the safe. No one on my staff would be capable. Or so I thought.  If the culprit was one of my staff members, then I wanted to scare the bejesus out of them. I told the police I wasn’t hopeful to see the money, but I did want to send a message that it wasn’t okay.

The police interviewed everyone who worked that day. They came up with nothing. The police took finger prints from the safe. Of course, the only prints on the safe were from me and both my administrative assistants.
I was sad. I was angry. I was making myself cuckoo asking the question, ‘Did this really happen?’ Until about a month after the incident.

A letter arrived in the mail. It was not a normal looking piece of mail. The address on the front of the envelope was typed funny. The stamp had been taped on and there was no return address either. Did MacGyver send this note? Well, despite my initial impression of the Anthrax letters, I opened it.

It was a confession letter.

All typed, with no signature, it read something like, “I am so sorry but I did it. I went to my priest and he said I needed to write this letter and pay the money back.” It was actually a long letter, and I don’t remember all the details, but there it was in black and white. The guilty party was confessing! I wasn’t crazy. Someone in my office had stolen cash out of the safe and was now confessing. Anonymously, but at least there was the proof.

As you may have guessed, I never saw a penny of the money repaid to me.
I never knew who wrote the letter. But at that point, I didn’t really care.
I knew I had to forgive to get the lesson out of the situation and move on. And God knows, I no longer stashed ‘rainy day’ cash at work.

You’d think that was the end of the story, right?I had some closure. Well the Universe wasn’t done with me yet. I added my own fuel to the fire with my next decisions. But this is story is getting a little long…so I’ll save that lesson for next time.

If you’re super curious, you can read about the full ridiculousness on my website blog.

As I mentioned, in time I was able to forgive and move on. In fact, I feel like it’s a little wink from the Universe when I remember, at the end of the day, whoever it was, has to live with themselves. All I have to do is smile, shrug my shoulders and trust the Laws of Karma.


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