1958 Loss Prevention.

Comic Vote

If you aren’t familiar with the term “loss prevention” it’s corporate speak for theft prevention, although it technically covers all monetary losses regardless of cause. Essentially Thomas is asking if Wes is a thief. Of course if Reggie had seen something suspicious he would’ve told someone already. It’s not wise to go around accusing people of being thieves unless you can slam dunk it. Certainly part of why he didn’t tell everyone about Wes from the start. His source has yet to be revealed, but that’s a whole other thing. Whatever everyone else thinks of Reggie Thomas trusts him to stick to his moral code. Reggie might do some underhanded things, but there are lines he will always refuse to cross. As an overseer of a person whose credibility is in question Reggie is a good choice. That said, it’s mean in some ways for Thomas to put this on Reggie since he obviously would know that they are friendly, if not friends outright. He’s poured poison in Reggie’s ear. For good or ill.


I don’t see the reason for Thomas going all “Hey guys there’s a rumour Wes is a thief, just keep an eye on him” instead of keeping it to himself and risking more losses. Unless he plans on Wes stealing something so he can get him fired, in which case, telling everyone makes more sense so they can catch him easier. Real smart for the “one that runs the store from the shadows”.

It’s probably got more to do with the risk of slander, libel, and defamation. Accusing someone of theft at a job is very damaging, and the backlash on it if you’re wrong is basically termination in most places.

In fairness, Thomas put this on Reggie during Wes’ first day. He didn’t say it as explicitly, but made it clear that Wes was, shall we say, not a trustworthy individual. Not Thomas’ fault that Reggie forgot almost immediately.

He didn’t exactly say why, however, and doing it in this way is mean, like Jackie says. He could have been more explicit, but waited until after they were friendly to clarify what he meant.

I run stock control in our shop, and IT products rate our biggest losses. I know our area is crime prone (things like headphones and portable speakers are found unboxed at least twice a week), but with the little amount of staff in that area (particularly now with summer on full heat where people want air conditioners and other coolers and make for an easy sale), it is difficult to regulate and patrol it.

That being said, salespeople are more concerned about the money they make (or don’t make), than they are about the money that is literally walking out the door. A direct loss of one unit means they have to sell like 10 to make even. And all losses are recorded and reported.

Didnt thomas tell reggie way back when wes was hired to keep an eye on him? That he was the kind of trouble that could get a whole store fired?

For good or ill, well it is Thomas.
Its not that Tomas is so much smarter than all the other characters,… Ok, Tommy-boy is Totally awesome. And I do not foresee him making any large errrors. It just doesnt seem like the kind of thing he’s up for. Sure a mis-step, and dropped bottle of shampoo, a watch battery that died, but not him making a major mistake. He analyzes too much, as much as he has his feelings in the loop, his brain is more aware.
He’s my fav ?? Character. Of course, Jo is adorbs! and I vote for her to be Queen of the May, and her super powers to become canon.

I didn’t know that a whole team of staff could be fired over having one thief in the midst. Of course, even if it was true, I still wouldn’t believe it. It sounds too drastic and counterproductive for the company.

It happened seven times at least in just one store in my town. Maybe one or two employees were spared and a temporary team was shipped in until locals could be hired. I got hired after a handful of people were fired but not the entire team. Which started almost a decade of it not happening again.

That exact same thing happened to my partner a number of years ago. He worked for a store that I’m not going to name, which sold, among other things, movies and video games. Stuff was going missing and money was disapppearing from the registers in a way that only staff could have been doing it. It was pretty clear who was stealing, but upper management cleaned house. *Literally* everyone was let go. The company just sent in staff from other area stores and hired new people for any positions they couldn’t fill internally.

I was *furious* (it also was a very bad time for either of us to lose our jobs, for we were both poor college students) because my partner 100% was not one of the people stealing (IIRC, one of the store managers vouched for him to upper management.) But, as my partner explained it, the company didn’t care. It was “easier” and cheaper for them just to clean house than take the risk that there was additional employee(s) taking part in the theft who they hadn’t caught.

Plus, this was a “trendy” store in a mall in an area where there were lots of college and high school students willing to work for low pay. They didn’t have any trouble re-staffing the store in incredibly short order. It was especially infuriating because my partner was one of their best employees and made more sales than almost anyone else, as well as being willing to work unpopular shifts. But the company didn’t care; they were going with whatever the flat numbers said was most profitable for them. (Additionally, cleaning house like that also means that you can get rid of senior employees making more money. If you bring in new people, you can start them at the lowest pay grade.)

SIGH. But yes, it is definitely a thing, and one of the reasons why I hate a lot of the business model. I DO NOT think you should value profit over people. To my mind, if someone is stealing and you can prove it, absolutely fire them. But to fire dozens of innocent people, some of whom depend on that job to live and/or support families, just because it might be more profitable in the long run…that’s flat-out evil. :(

I’ve shopped at a few places with plainclothes loss prevention officers. They’re usually pretty obvious, it’s amazing they catch anyone in the act.

You know, this brings up memories from working at a large grocery store.

I worked there during college to make a little extra dough, and worked weekend nights to make even more. One day, someone started stealing cereal. Whole boxes of it. We would stock and face the shelf (for those of you not aware, facing is bringing all the products to the front of the shelf so the customer thinks the shelf is always full), come back ten minutes later and four or five boxes would be gone. We started checking the register because one time we knew there was no one in the store but staff. Sure enough, these boxes were going missing.

So they checked the security feed and did a little spying and sure enough, we caught one of the guys who stocks shelves putting the cereal in his pile of cardboard to conceal it, then taking it into the back and sneaking it into his locker. I waited for him to be fired, but for three whole weeks, no one said anything. A couple of my coworkers were getting a little upset – I didn’t really care, although I watched my stuff and my back around the thief. Then one day someone called corporate anonymously, and I found out why store management didn’t want to fire this guy right away.

Store management was attempting to basically invent a way to fire him without mentioning theft. Because as soon as corporate caught wind of it, they fired the guy, then four other employees that were in the same shift with the guy, and then both managers that worked with the guy. Not because they reported it after weeks of it happening, but because – as the corporate rep told me – they didn’t trust ANYONE who had contact with the guy. As if his thieving was a disease and now everyone who knew him might have caught it. It could have happened like 2 minutes ago and they would have still fired all those people.

So I realized early in the corporate world that if someone is not reporting a thief/liar/incompetent person at work, it’s because they are afraid the higher ups are going to fire everyone around that person. And they’d be mostly right – I work in IT as a Director, and one costly mistake costs an entire team their job. Just because executive level leadership always believes that incompetence is infectious and there’s no saving a team that didn’t self-monitor and cover up the guilty person’s mistake.

That really stinks. It sounds like your store had decent managers who were trying to look out for their staff because they knew what was likely to happen.

I don’t know that anyone actually reported anyone at my partner’s job (see my post above), but rather that so much stock was going missing from the storeroom and so much money from the registers that it was showing up in the weekly reports. But yeah, the mentality was exactly the same. Anyone who had any contact with the person/people who were stealing (and it was a relatively small store with a small staff, so that was everyone) was summarily let go.

Can I just say that I HATE that kind of mentality? For example, I teach college English. I sometimes have students who plagiarize their papers, which is against class, department, and school rules. When that happens, I deal with the student individually (what happens depends on the circumstances and the amount of plagiarism – I personally tend to give a student a “second chance” if it is the first time they have done it). I DO NOT target all of that students’ friends in the class, assuming that their friends must be “infected” with that violation of academic integrity.

What is the take-away from this, IMHO, INSANE corporate mentality anyways? That you should cover up anything your co-workers are doing wrong? That you need to be constantly vigilant because someone doing something you know nothing about could cause you to lose your job? (My partner didn’t know about the theft from his store until the 11th hour.)

You know, more and more I agree with Marx – in the corporate world, workers are seen as disposable and interchangeable and profit is what matters above anything else.

Hmm. For what it’s worth- I like small businesses, + small, mom-and-pop businesses, myself. I usually can find the ones where the owners/shops’ bosses aren’t out to chisel the customers for lots + lots of money.
I like the small businesses, where the owners run that shop, because that type of work is “the love of their life”…and things like that.

Unfeeling, profit above all else corporatism may be obviously evil, but Marxism is insidiously evil- with thousands or millions starving or otherwise deprived because there was no incentive to work harder (or perhaps at all) or innovate or try to improve. You’ll get your same government mandated share of what little was (or was not) produced. Look at the famines in Russia and China, and the Trabant in Berlin. A lack of respect always hurts a company, it’s just a question of when it shows up, and if they recognize it. The people let go by these companies told their similarly employed friends and acquantances, and probably no qualified people they talked to went there. Eventually you go through the people who want to work there and are left with the ones who’ll work there but don’t want to. How long will they last? Capitalism is the worst form of economy-except for all the others.

There is a sign that I’ve seen in a few retail stores.
It says:
“The coworker who steals from your store…did…and will…steal from you.”

I was a regular reader years ago, and I just came back. I bought one of the “Hipsters Ruined Irony” shirts from you, and I’m wondering if it’s possible to order another one? I wore that shirt so much through college, it wore out completely. I’d love to get a new one if possible.

I honestly don’t remember ever selling those shirts. I’m pretty sure the old store is nonfunctional now. I haven’t been paid from there or even logged in in years. It might be possible to set up something with a new service, but it would take a while.

Though I can’t think of any particular evidence to this. Wes does not seem to want to be part of the team. In my mind he is the type of person who pushes his own self interest to the forefront at every turn. I believe that were he in a position to help someone, he might go for maximizing chaos for his own amusement instead. This picture of Wes that is building in my head is I am beginning to believe is in a large percentage, built upon memories of a fellow I used to work with.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.