I worked at a store with a long history of loss prevention issues. Loss prevention, for those of you who don’t speak corporate jargon, is theft. Technically it’s the loss of any merchandise and/or profit, but generally it means theft. Most theft in retail is perpetrated by employees. Which is why Wal-Mart has cameras above the registers. It’s not to watch the customers. For as long as I can remember, even before I worked there, every so often the staff would change completely and overnight. This was because the store kept having these massive theft schemes enacted by the staff. While I worked there theft was minimized a lot. It wasn’t because I was there, as far as I know, but it did decrease significantly for the entire time I worked there with only minor spikes. Sometimes it was external, sometimes it was internal. Sometimes the persons responsible were caught, but mostly they weren’t. Many of the internal thieves came close to getting caught but escaped detection and had sense enough to quit the job. So they were able to repeat the process at some other location. I never really felt that bad about internal theft. The company was structured in such a way that the staff had an adversarial opinion of management, and the owners, at best. It was hard to feel bad about them taking a hit when they were such dicks.
I actually met the owner of the company once. Looked him in the eye. Shook his hand. He had the emptiest eyes I’ve ever seen on another human. He looked right at me while somehow never actually looking at me. Like he was seeing through my head to a point somewhere on the horizon. He wasn’t a human in the way I understand humans to be. He felt like something else. Like a monster. You know how a serial killer looks in a photograph? like there’s something wrong in them that you can’t quite place, but you feel it? That’s what meeting this dude was like. Like he didn’t value other people at all. Before that I at least had some feeling of stewardship in regards to the property of the store. After that I didn’t really anymore, and kind of hoped he would die in a horrific way.
That said, I certainly did feel betrayed when the actions of others would endanger the jobs of people I liked and my own. There were occasions when I did use the loss prevention team as a means to protect myself and others.