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Probation period extended after I discovered a theft

(212 Posts)
flixer Mon 14-Oct-19 23:24:18

Long time lurker, seldom poster, name changed for obvious reasons... I really need some hand holding tonight.

I took a finance role 3 months ago. As part of my role, I found out that a staff member took the company card while out on a post-run and made an unauthorised purchase, a gift to a leaving member of staff. This was only picked up when I saw the bank statements. It was a director who had given her the card.

I informed the manager discretely. However, my interaction with said member of staff specially when dealing with finance things became a little strained.

Today I had my probation meeting... and my probation was extended on basis on my interaction with her!

I don't even have words... Manager said he cannot have conflict within the team....

PurpleWithRed Mon 14-Oct-19 23:28:19

What do you mean by “became a little strained” - what did your new employers expect you to do? Did the director ask her to buy the gift?

mauvaisereputation Mon 14-Oct-19 23:29:22

Depends how you treated the staff member really.... It sounds like management have accepted that she didn't act dishonestly buying the gift.

Elieza Mon 14-Oct-19 23:44:19

I don’t get it.
You found an irregularity
You told your boss. She said it’s fine the gift was for a laddie leaving and the boss approved the spend.
Why is there now an issue with the member of staff?
And more worryingly, it looks like they dont like disharmony. That’s fair enough. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they find something youve done wrong and sack you for it.
Watch your back. Look for another job. Be as nice as ninepins to everyone while secretly job hunting.

BumbleBeee69 Mon 14-Oct-19 23:48:13

Wow.. that's not right atall OP. There are some great HR people on here who will likely be along to clarify, but that sounds all wrong. Maybe I'm wrong but I wouldn't want a long term position with a company who shoots the whistle blower... bizarre flowers

Namechangeforthiscancershit Mon 14-Oct-19 23:48:50

Well they have said what the problem is, and you admit yourself that relations with the employee have been difficult. If the employee is still there then the directors obviously don't have any problem with what she did. Though you call it theft in the title so not entirely clear.

They don't need a reason to let you go in the first 2 years anyway so I would be looking for something else anyway and a fresh start.

Lhastingsmua Mon 14-Oct-19 23:54:16

It is still theft if the purchase was authorised by the director?

IsobelRae23 Mon 14-Oct-19 23:57:16

Was she told to buy it by someone senior, and you are the one calling it theft?

SpaceCadet4000 Tue 15-Oct-19 00:09:53

I'd be worried about the integrity of a finance department who would prefer to avoid conflict than deal with potential misuse of company funds.

But like others I'm a bit confused about the theft part if the director gave her the card?

In my workplace, I suppose if the gift wasn't bought within the guidelines we have it might be an issue.... but it wouldn't be theft!

Doyoureallyneedtoask Tue 15-Oct-19 00:20:39

I am assuming the director gave the ''thief' the credit card to pay for something else originally? The 'thief' then used the card to buy a leaving gift which was unauthorised. You found out and informed management who asked the 'thief' who explained what had happened and the management didn't have an issue with it?

In the meantime, relations became strained between you and the 'thief' and they continue to be strained. The management do not like the atmosphere and appear to have placed any 'blame' for the strained relationship on your shoulders.

How did you handle the matter with the 'thief' and why are matters still strained after the use/misuse of the credit card was cleared up? What language and tone did you use? Were you accusatory? Or did the 'thief' see it as a slight that you went to management about the discretionary spending?

If your probation was extended, I would look for another role tbh as the management clearly see the issues to be of your making. To be fair, I can't see what other option you had at the time. Have you spoken to management?

cabbageking Tue 15-Oct-19 00:30:06

Who reported the conflict?

If she did then she has noticed something tangible?
If she did not then it must obvious to someone else?

Do you think your behaviour changed towards her? and if so are you able to overcome your feelings? If not you will be here again at the end of your new probation period

HUZZAH212 Tue 15-Oct-19 00:43:38

I'm confused - so had the director given her the card and asked her to buy the gift? Did it turn out it was all above board and they viewed it as you sticking in your beak? Or had she took it upon herself to spend the money on the card and buy a gift without being told to?

DonKeyshot Tue 15-Oct-19 00:54:20

When you discovered what you believed to be a "theft" it appears you didn't ask your colleague why she'd used the card and took your accusation straight to her manager.

It's easy to understand why your colleague would feel aggrieved and, even if you apologised profusely to her (which I sincerely hope you did), it's equally easy to understand why this incident has caused some disharmony in the team.

Whatever, it seems to me your card has been well and truly marked and, as advised above, I suggest you be as helpful and charming as possible while searching for another job.

Needless to say, if you have cause to suspect any other staff member(s) of theft have a "discreet" word with them before blowing the whistle.

oabiti Tue 15-Oct-19 01:13:20

You say you picked the discrepancy up. But it sounds like it had already been 'okayed' and you took it upon yourself to go straight to management.

It seems like a very far-fetched thing to do, on your part; especially when said discrepancy was for a card for a colleague.

For all you know, colleague could have already paid the shortfall.

flixer Tue 15-Oct-19 01:41:12

So a director gave the lady the company card to post some letters which she did. She then used the card to pop into a shop and buy a leaving gift for another staff member who was leaving. No manager/director authorised the purchase. She made the purchase and did not tell anyone.

I informed management who confirmed to me that it was not authorised and that they would deal with the issue.

In the meantime, she must have found out that I told on her as I deal with the bank transactions.

I was completely shocked to have my probation extended on that basis.

Wilmalovescake Tue 15-Oct-19 01:52:15

It sounds completely shitty.
All you’ve done is be honest.

Sadly I am also awake at 2am mulling over my future in a company where honesty really doesn’t seem to be the best policy, so I feel your anger! Seems truth doesn’t always pay. If you need the job I guess you just keep your head down now, avoid this woman until you’re through your probation and start job hunting. Eventually they will lose a trustworthy employee because of this.

Slappadabass Tue 15-Oct-19 01:57:08

So your probation has been extended for doing the job correctly? The member of staff should not have been told who reported the matter either, surely that's breaking confidentiality rules and that's what's caused the conflict, not you.
Is there anyone above the manager you could speak to about this?

Monty27 Tue 15-Oct-19 02:03:25

OP I can imagine you have opened a can of worms.
I guess there's now an investigation going on because you questioned something. I suspect it's not going well behind closed doors.

Hesafriendfromwork Tue 15-Oct-19 02:05:48

I am confused as to how you would know why she was given the card? And knew it wasnt authorised. The director could have emailed her and asked her to that. She could have called the director while out etc.

Surely you just br g an irregularity up and point it out, it's not your job to make the judgement call.

Not sure I like the sound of this place though. They should jot have confirmed this to you either way. Your manager should have taken the line of 'I cant say why this happened. I need to investigate. Thank you for bringing this to my attention'. As a manager I would have added that it's not for you to decide whether it was theft.

So I am not sure I would be comfortable with you labelling is as theft. But they shoildnt have confirmed it to you either. Theres obviously something going on that you arent aware of because, she is still there.

But you still havent explained what you mean by 'a little strained'. Rightly or wrongly. It appears that they hold you responsible for at least part of this.

Monty27 Tue 15-Oct-19 02:09:16

OP you've been there for 3 months. Do you do management's expense and budget accounts too?
Do you know procedure on how to report anomalies?
How large is the organisation?

Beautiful3 Tue 15-Oct-19 02:49:00

That's not right OP. Hiw can they do that? It literally makes no sense.

OhTheRoses Tue 15-Oct-19 03:24:58

What's the context op? Small company, large company? Family owned/public. Relationship between gift purchaser and director/shareholders/principals? Gift purchasers length of service and overall standing in company? Did you know all that as a new employee?

I think you may have missed a cue or two here. It may have been more appropriate to discuss your finding in the first instance with your manager rather than the gift giver's manager.

I am sorry you are upset but let's look at a scenario. Gift giver is generally well regarded as someone who cares and catches the plates, thinks of others and makes sure leaving gifts/appropriate gestures are not forgotten. She's also the wife/sister/lover of someone v senior or involved with the company.

Every day's a school day op and I suspect you have misread this one.

Monty27 Tue 15-Oct-19 03:40:19

To put things even more briefly OP, have you been apprised of your exact role and status? confused

Tippety Tue 15-Oct-19 04:13:23

It sounds like you did you job, the manager should have dealt with it sensitively, and if it was actually authorised it shouldn't have been a big deal. I'd look for another job to be honest, do you want to work in a finance department where you're not sure what to flag? Sounds ridiculous.

daisychain01 Tue 15-Oct-19 04:29:37

Extending your probation is somewhat a red herring. If they didn't like you, provided they weren't discriminatory towards you , they could just serve notice on you (at least 1 week statutory) and say it isn't working out goodbye.

You need to decide if you want to carry on working in a place where you are made to feel uncomfortable highlighting a transaction you don't like the look of.

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