A theft in the company and I seem to be the prime suspect - can anyone help? (sorry,long)(17 Posts)
A long story so thank you to anyone who reads to the end and has a helpful suggestion.
I work part-time in a small fashion retail shop where the maximum number of people working on any day is 3 and the total number of staff employed in the shop is 6.
Two weeks ago my manager asked me where a particular item of stock had been put as she couldn't find it - in addition, the item had been 'moved' on the till from a 'holding' location (unable to sell but in stock) into an 'in stock' location. (hope this makes sense). To add to the confusion, the item in question had supposedly been 'moved' by me (on the till) as it was registered as having been moved whilst my name was logged into the till.
Now, as far as I was aware, the item in question had sold out some weeks previously and I was unaware that any of these items had come back into stock. I would like to make it very clear at this point that I did not process this transaction!
The issue is, that MY log in was used to move the stock item which has gone missing from the shop and stock room.
Although the company have not openly accused me of theft, there is no doubt that I am under suspicion.
I am told that the till is unable to be accessed by anyone (for example, head office) and only persons in the branch may have access to the till.
Now, I fully admit to logging into the till, I had processed a transaction earlier in the day. However, I had not logged out of the system since I have never done so and have never been told to do so. When I received my till training I was informed of my password (a standard universal password) and was told by the person who trained me on the till 'you can change your password if you like but nobody seems to bother'. I therefore retained the standard password. I would like to add at this point that there are sadly no security cameras in the shop - if there were, it would be simple to look back on who was using the till at the time this transaction took place.
I was told of the stock 'loss' on the following Monday by the branch manager, and three days later received a phone call from Head office telling me they were investigating the matter. I was fairly blase about the incident since it had nothing to do with me and as far as I was aware the item did not exist (I thought we had sold out as I mentioned earlier).
The following day I received a letter from Head Office asking me to attend an interview to discuss the stock loss and I had a right to bring a 'union representative or a colleague'. Of course I couldn't bring a colleague since there are only 6 staff anyway, and I don't belong to a Union.
The meeting went ahead and the conversation was recorded.
I am devastated. I have a full time job (for which I had to have CRB check) and this part-time job was taken to help fund a single parent family of 3 teenagers!
I have previously worked in fashion retail and restaurant management for a total of 15 years and this incident has caused me so much distress. I have contacted my union (for my full time job) who are sadly unable to help, CAB (who were quite helpful) and the national shopworker's union (who can't help on this occasion since I am not a member).
Can anyone help me any further? Sorry for such a long post but I am quite distraught.
What was the outcome of the meeting?
Hi Premlin, Sorry that you are so upset My last retail job had tills where it was easy to forget to log off after each transaction.
Did the discontinued stock definitely come back into the store or just on the system - who physically saw it?
Did the next transaction after continue to be on your code and was it you who put it through or did someone else?
Can you get a printout of who sold what that day?
They are going to look into statements given by all 3 members of staff working on that day (apparently everyone gave the same answer - 'it wasn't me!'.
Thanks for reading the whole story!
Hi jamielondon that is a good point, I have no idea if anyone actually saw the discontinued item. Unfortunately the manager was on holiday for a few days. If an item arrives on a delivery it is scanned in so I presume this is what had happened on a previous day.
It is interesting that you ask what was the next item to be put through- I will ask Head Office on Monday to look at the transactions - thank you!! (They were quick to print out a list of transactions done under my log-in).
ACAS are good
Have you got a free representation unit or a law centre near you?
Thanks skibummum I called ACAS who were unable to help at this point. I don't really want to think about a representative yet ......... argh!! Thank you for your comment.x
Premlin, also check with HO exactly when the item was delivered to the store and scanned in by whom/time - what did they do with it?
Can you think of, or show other instances where people stay logged in yet others put a sale through. It won't help specifically in your issue but it may hi-light that problems can occur.
One other point has anyone checked to see if the item in question is actually still in the store?
Make sure you have someone with you as a witness to what gets said.
Is there any CCTV footage that can confirm that someone may have used your til whilst your back was turned?
jamielondon another good point, I will investigate who scanned the item in and when. Perhaps they might recall what was done with it.
Certainly other people remain logged on to the till and this is a point that I have brought up with the investigation team.
The item is not in store, the manager says she has looked everywhere.
longdistance sadly no cctv in the store. If only!!
It sounds like you really have to do some detective work to show that people often forget to log out and the problems it can cause. Fight your corner to show you are innocent and without CCTV the company will surely have to have really strong evidence to accuse you of theft.
Does your till system say the person's name who is logged in? This also makes it easier for someone to do a dodgy transaction knowing they will implicate someone else.
yes, till log in name is displayed. I have been quite firm about the fact that my till training did not cover at any point that it is absolutely important to log out and in fact quite often one person will remain logged in to the system for the duration of the working day.
Thank you for your helpful suggestions.
My last company had tills that displayed the name but when you are busy serving a customer all you are concerned about is putting the transaction through, rather than logging out and back in again. However at a different branch the till logged you out 10 seconds after the transaction had been completed.
. Have you had any feedback from the meeting/ any indication of what will happen next?
Also is the store looking to get rid of staff/ aresales low etc, where they could just be looking for an excuse to try and get rid of you?
It will definitely be worth you contacting ACAS 08457 47 47 47 and run your situation by them for some advice.
Hello again. I have since received a letter from Head Office informing me that no further action will be taken as there is insufficient evidence. Presumably they will now reinforce till security and install cameras since other items have gone missing from stock in the last few months - they have put it down to shoplifters but now I just don't know. I'm very cross that this situation has caused so much anguish and yet there is still no explaination.
Brilliant news Prelim I am really pleased! What a relief for you but I agree that it is unfair you have been put through all of this with no real explanation. It could well of been shoplifters but just out of curiosity could the offending item been of particular interest to any of the other staff? Anyway at least you can move on from this and decide whether to stay in this job....Good Luck to you!!
Thank you Jamielondon for your very helpful advice. I almost feel I'd like to move jobs but if I do they will always say 'ooh, I'm sure it was prelim that was to blame for the incident'. Tricky. Also I need the money
No worries premlim, just glad it all worked out for you
I agree that you need to stay with the company until the dust settles and move on when you feel an appropriate amount of time has passed. In the mean time don't forget to log out and press the company to get CCTV!!
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