Once upon a time I attended a seminar and the presenter opened with an anecdote. A long-serving barmaid used to arrive at work every morning with a plastic flower in a vase of water that she placed at her station. Every night she’d take it home. The pub landlord puzzled forever over stock losses. The punchline revealed the vodka in the going-home vase.
Sometimes those you trust most turn to bite the hand that feeds them. So it was for Logeswaran Shanmunathan who has run his Select & Save in Birmingham for the last six years. For all that time he knew a fellow Sri Lankan and, for the last three years, employed the guy on a part-time basis.
The losses were regular, adding up to more than £10K over a year. It went missing in lumps of £250 at a time.
Eventually Loges caught the thief on camera and followed him into the loo where he was transferring cash into his wallet. “He thought the money in my till was my profit,” he says.
But being a decent sort he came to an arrangement for the staff to pay him back in installments. Never happened.
When Loges rang the police they said they couldn’t pursue it because Loges had taken the law into his own hands. The harsh lesson is that he should have rung them on the spot and then something would have been done. As it is, the staff member and his family fled to Canada and probably won’t come back.