I work with a High School band. Someone or different people have been stealing stuff from the guard room and band room.

Lotta suck out there.

Kids should have had their guard up after the first incident, no pun intended. I don’t know how many incidents there have been. The latest was a wallet and shoes.

I am going to share with them, and you, a story about stealing that might blow their minds, maybe you too 😦

I was a student advisor for the school’s SADD club, (student version of MADD.) As a fundraiser, but more as a convenience to the school staff, I ran a candy tray in the lounge.

(I almost called it the Teacher’s lounge. How elitist!)

I would put exactly $50 of product in that tray every day in the morning. Each item was 50 cents. The profit margin was a few pennies for many items, but for others it would be as much as 50%! 🙂

I’d stock up at Smart & Final, stuff mostly suggested by staff. (Why put out what people don’t want, just saying. I ran several businesses in my youth. Oh the stories keep coming!)

I’d put a box, unlocked, on the tray also. Inside, at the start of the day, would be a few small bills and a few dollars in quarters for people to make change if they had a larger bill, or only a dollar and they wanted just one item.

At the end of the day most, if not all, of the product would be gone. (At 50 cents an item, we undersold any store; people stocked up on their favorite snacks!) Minus the change to start the day, that money box CONSISTENTLY had about $35, give or take a few bucks!

Lotta suck out there. (That might be a working title for my book!)

Many theories floated around amongst the teachers as to who might be responsible. Subs, classified staff, campus visitors. The tray was clearly marked as an honor system store. I asked the principal if I could place a video camera, as there were several easy to hide locations, to catch culprit(s) in action. He didn’t allow that.

What made matters worse was the whole staff was aware of the situation. Next to the tray, each morning I would post a note with how much the money box was short the previous day. This is where it gets REALLY bad.

Because of the thievery against a student organization, many people would put in a dollar and take only 1 item. Some people put $5 and would take only 2 or 3 items. The stealing was WORSE than what I was able to measure!

I believe in Karma.

I had a great opportunity to steal thousands of dollars one Christmas when I was a struggling student in college. Instead, I returned a wallet I found in a Beverly Hills shopping center. It was stuffed with LARGE bills and more credit cards than I could count.

I have left or dropped my wallet several times since. It has always been returned to me, intact, everything – cash, cards – inside as it was.

I am not an angel when it comes to stealing. I stole change from my dad’s sock drawer to buy ice cream, when I was little. Also, I stole a roll of lifesavers from the store when I was 5 or 6 years old. I stole an American flag from a classroom when I was with a youth group traveling across the country, and staying at schools for rest.

I’ve used the Xerox machine at work for stuff not related to work. Yeah, that’s stealing, and I don’t do that anymore.

Once, during the time I was teaching catechism, (Read: A Good Place to Start), several of us teachers went out for breakfast. After breakfast, I took the container with the little jellies and emptied it, about 15 or so. One of the teachers asked me what I was doing. I said I was going to take them to my dad; he loved those little individual jellies. She said that was stealing. She was right. I put them all back, except 3. I didn’t use any during the meal, and we figured that was a reasonable number I might have used had I chosen to use them.

I don’t know if telling the kids that everybody steals will make them feel any better. Probably not, and maybe make them feel even worse. There are some realities we all deal with growing up and moving through life. I think it is best to be aware of the suck in life and deal with it.

So many more stories! Oh, hope you are enjoying these stories as much as I have telling them: D


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3 Responses to Stealing

  1. Jackie Kehoe says:

    Enjoying your blogs! 😊

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