Author Topic: Should he stay or should he go now? Weirdness update p2  (Read 15767 times)

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Sweettooth

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Should he stay or should he go now? Weirdness update p2
« on: October 29, 2013, 05:41:45 PM »
About six weeks ago my company hired a new guy, let's call him Bruce, and they put him in the empty office next to me. On his very first day, he came to chat in my office and noticed my pink company-logo ball cap and pink hard hat sitting on my bookshelf, and he went on and on about how his wife would LOVE them, she's obsessed with anything pink, she would love those hats, etc. Then about two weeks ago, he mentioned them again--he just couldn't get over it, his wife would love them, etc. I figured he was hinting for me to give one of them to him and that was not happening, so I just bean-dipped him.

Last week I took a day off and on Thursday morning I realized something was slightly off on my bookshelf--both my ball cap and my hard hat were missing. Things had been moved into their spots from other shelves, like to cover the empty spaces, and the safety glasses I kept underneath the hard hat were on a different shelf. I'm an accountant, I can add 2+2, so I stuck my head in Bruce's office and said, "Have you seen my hard hat and ball cap? They're both missing." He said, "No, no." I said, "Well, did you see anyone going in or out of my office yesterday?" He said, kind of quickly, "No, no. It must have been the cleaning people. At my last job stuff went missing all the time."

Hmmm. We've never had so much as a sandwich go missing, and I keep other things in my office that would have far more monetary value than a ball cap. I emailed my two next closest office neighbors to ask if they'd seen anyone with my hats (without mentioning Bruce at all), and one emailed me back immediately to tell me Bruce had mentioned to HER a couple of weeks ago how much his wife would love my pink ball cap. I did a little more asking around and found two MORE people he'd said that to! (A master criminal mind, he is not.) I made sure to mention in his hearing that if they weren't back on my desk by the first thing Friday morning, I was going to HR. They weren't, so I went, and HR was very nice about it but of course since there's no proof there's nothing they can do. Except, of course, order me a new hard hat. :)

My boss and Bruce's boss both agree that he took them--it certainly wasn't the cleaning people, and everyone else who would want or need a hard hat already has one--but again, there's nothing they can do without proof. And really I don't want them to do anything; I don't particularly want to know whether he's garden-variety weird or get-revenge-on-your-coworker weird, so I'm letting it go. I find it telling that he hasn't spoken to me since Thursday when I asked him about the hats--not goodbye, hello, nothing, and he was quite the Chatty Cathy before this.

I'm not upset about the hats; I'm getting a replacement hard hat and never wore the other one. But it makes me feel super-uncomfortable to have him around! I find it so creepy that he came into my office while I was away and took something just because he wanted it, and then lied about it. Everyone in our office got along so well before this happened, and now I just feel uncomfortable and weirded out.

So if you've made it this far, on to my question: there are empty offices on the other end of the hallway. Should I insist that he be moved down there? If he were to be moved his projects partner would have to be moved as well, so that complicates it a bit. Am I being too dramatic? What would you do?
« Last Edit: October 30, 2013, 12:38:24 PM by Sweettooth »

VorFemme

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Re: Should he stay or should he go now?
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2013, 05:47:03 PM »
Start locking your office up when you won't be there.  Just in case his wife wants a pair of pink whatevers....
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Sweettooth

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Re: Should he stay or should he go now?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2013, 05:51:30 PM »
Ugh, I knew I left something out: my office does lock, but it's routine for others to unlock the door of someone who's out to leave them stuff to sign or review, or to look for files. My office was open the whole day that I was out.

lady_disdain

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Re: Should he stay or should he go now?
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2013, 05:52:31 PM »
If he is that brazen, would the length of the hallway really make a difference?

White Lotus

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Re: Should he stay or should he go now?
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2013, 05:56:53 PM »
I'd make him move.  And never, ever, work with him.  And maybe try to grab a picture of Wife in the cap or hard hat.  This makes me uncomfortable in the extreme.  I might even start looking for another job, this feels so awful to me.
Because it isn't the hats.  I bet if he'd asked and found out who ordered them, went to that person and asked to BUY one of each and a tee shirt to boot, he'd have had no problem getting them.  But no, he had to steal them, and violate your personal space to do so.  I don't want to be anywhere around someone like that, and I don't want you to be, either.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Should he stay or should he go now?
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2013, 05:57:11 PM »
Ugh, I knew I left something out: my office does lock, but it's routine for others to unlock the door of someone who's out to leave them stuff to sign or review, or to look for files. My office was open the whole day that I was out.

Start locking your door, and tell others to leave it locked.

Wulfie

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Re: Should he stay or should he go now?
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2013, 05:58:54 PM »
Why were you PA about mentioning it in his hearing rather than simply going to him and telling him that you know he took them and if they were not returned you would go to HR?  Be upfront and tell him that A) nothing has ever gone missing there before he started and B) he has told you and others that his wife would like those two specific items that were stolen. Tell him that if they are not returned that you are going to ask that he be moved away from your office and flat out tell him that you no longer trust him to not steal other items from you or your coworkers.  He probably thinks he can get away with it.

Sweettooth

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Re: Should he stay or should he go now?
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2013, 06:14:55 PM »
Wulfie, my boss told me I can't accuse him directly nor tell anyone that it was him (although a lot of people figured it out!); since we have no solid proof that he did it he could claim defamation of character. I don't know how much of a legal leg he'd have to stand on really. I did tell him that it was definitely not the cleaning people, and I told him Friday morning that I was going to HR to report the theft. I was hoping he say, "Oh, no need, I took them as a joke," but no luck there.

And White Lotus, I would LOVE to meet his wife! I'd ask her how she likes that adorable pink hard hat (I'd bet cash money he didn't tell her he stole it) and then say how weird it was that mine just disappeared.  >:D

Yvaine

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Re: Should he stay or should he go now?
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2013, 06:24:53 PM »
I bet if he'd asked and found out who ordered them, went to that person and asked to BUY one of each and a tee shirt to boot, he'd have had no problem getting them. 

That's what's so weird! All the hinting and the sneaking and the stealing, when he works there now too and could presumably order the exact same thing.

Carotte

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Re: Should he stay or should he go now?
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2013, 06:34:24 PM »
I have to ask, if he stay will there be trouble? or, you, know, double if he stays...
 ;D

What a nice case of professional Darwinism, not even 2 months on the job and his boss know he's not a fair player.
Dis he not think he could just, you know, ask for it? (not to get yours of course, to  get his own.)

Nemesis

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Re: Should he stay or should he go now?
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2013, 06:40:18 PM »
Why were you PA about mentioning it in his hearing rather than simply going to him and telling him that you know he took them and if they were not returned you would go to HR?  Be upfront and tell him that A) nothing has ever gone missing there before he started and B) he has told you and others that his wife would like those two specific items that were stolen. Tell him that if they are not returned that you are going to ask that he be moved away from your office and flat out tell him that you no longer trust him to not steal other items from you or your coworkers.  He probably thinks he can get away with it.
1. She does not know, For a fact, that he took them. It is a suspicion based on his interest in them. But he never told anyone that he was going to take them. Therefore she cannot directly confront him.

2. Saying that this never happened before he joined and flat out accusing him is a terrible idea given that she had already asked him about it and he denied knowledge of it. Direct accusation, after his denial, and without any concrete evidence IS defamation. Insisting that he return something she thinks he had stolen despite his denials is extremely hostile. I believe OP lives in a country where one is innocent unless proven otherwise. Without proof or a confession, she has no ground to stand on.

3. He is not going to get away with it. At this point, at least 5 people in the office know that he is possibly a thief (OP, her boss, her two neighbours and the HR personnel). No one is going to trust him after this.

veronaz

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Re: Should he stay or should he go now?
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2013, 06:54:47 PM »
I'd make him move.  And never, ever, work with him.  And maybe try to grab a picture of Wife in the cap or hard hat.  This makes me uncomfortable in the extreme.  I might even start looking for another job, this feels so awful to me.
Because it isn't the hats.  I bet if he'd asked and found out who ordered them, went to that person and asked to BUY one of each and a tee shirt to boot, he'd have had no problem getting them.  But no, he had to steal them, and violate your personal space to do so.  I don't want to be anywhere around someone like that, and I don't want you to be, either.

OP cannot "make" him move - what authority does she have to do that?
She cannot just stop working with him - they both work there, and OP doesn't determine her own work assignments (I assume the boss does).
Moving him to another office won't solve anything.
Looking for another job is extreme.  There are workplace thieves at other places.

The evidence points to him, but there is no proof.  (I don't think the cleaning people took the items either, but OP does not know that.)

OP - Wow, sorry this happened.  You did the right thing reporting everything to HR.  I'd ask that a lock be installed on my office door, and lock it everytime you leave your office (even to go to restroom.)  Not sure they will go along with this because soon others will want locks, but you can still ask.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2013, 08:14:17 PM by veronaz »

LazyDaisy

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Re: Should he stay or should he go now?
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2013, 06:55:53 PM »
Wulfie, my boss told me I can't accuse him directly nor tell anyone that it was him (although a lot of people figured it out!); since we have no solid proof that he did it he could claim defamation of character. I don't know how much of a legal leg he'd have to stand on really. I did tell him that it was definitely not the cleaning people, and I told him Friday morning that I was going to HR to report the theft. I was hoping he say, "Oh, no need, I took them as a joke," but no luck there.

And White Lotus, I would LOVE to meet his wife! I'd ask her how she likes that adorable pink hard hat (I'd bet cash money he didn't tell her he stole it) and then say how weird it was that mine just disappeared.  >:D
With this information, I doubt that your employer will allow him to be moved even if you insist. It is, in essence, the same as proclaiming him guilty if he is suddenly moved away from your office. It sounds as if your only recourse is to lock your office, let others know that due to the sudden onset of thefts that no one is to unlock it for others, and have as little interaction with him as you can.
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blarg314

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Re: Should he stay or should he go now?
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2013, 08:32:24 PM »

I think I would ask your employer for a cabinet or something in your office that does lock. That way you have a place to keep anything valuable when you're not there.

If things continue to disappear, I'd go for a motion triggered webcam when you're away.

Library Dragon

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Re: Should he stay or should he go now?
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2013, 08:42:53 PM »
I was thinking a motion activated camera.  Yes, the evil Dragon would bait the trap with a really cute pink item that you casually show others so that he notices it (not directly to him of course). Leave the item out and camera ready the next time you're out.

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