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The last archemedianThe Last Archimedean again. The stupidity of some people is mind-boggling.

We recently hired a new employee whom I'll call Idiot. He's trained up as a cashier, and finally put on register last Monday [4/29].

We have cameras in the ceiling directly over every register. They can see everything. It's helped us in the past when customers have complained. All our employees know this: it's part of training.

For five straight days, Idiot's register comes up exactly $40 short. Management reviews the tapes. Twice a day, when a customer paid with a $20 bill, Idiot would slip the bill into his pants pocket instead of the register before giving the customer their change.

Got a call today [Sunday 5/5] from my managers asking if I could pick up a few extra shifts over the next few weeks. Idiot has been fired for stealing $200 in his first [and last] week on the register.

May all your coworkers be honest...

--The Last Archimedean



I guess greed can overrule things like "common sense".

Idiot indeed.


We had something similar, although slightly more devious in the undertaking. We had Goth Boy, who work on our customer service desk 8:30-12:30 on Saturdays. The next CSD staff were in at 10, so for an hour and a half he had the place to himself. To this day we have no idea how long he got away with it, but Goth Boy used to carry out return transactions without actually having a customer return something. He'd select random items behind the desk (returns from the day before), and pocket the total 'refund'. He was caught because he processed a return on a dress valued at £70. Now as some of you many recall, I work in a store known for it's "disposable fashion", and the highest price I have ever seen for a dress is £25. Our coats are only £35, so I have no idea how he thought he'd get away with that.

Queer "Attack My Flying Monkeys" Geek


That would mean that Idiot was born with common sense. Obviously, she wasn't if she refused to believe that cameras were watching her every move at the register.

Bored at the Bookstore

Stealing from the registers under the camera's eye? Yup, Idiot would qualify as what we romance readers call certain idiot heroines... "TSTL" - Too Stupid To Live.


We recently had an employee who came up with an ingenious plan. She would ring out the customer and those who would pay with cash, she would pocket the money and then void off the receipt. If it was a credit card sale, she would process it as usual.

We would have never caught her had a customer not called in thinking she was overcharged and didn't get a receipt.


My motto is, "I'm smart enough to know I'm too stupid to get away with a crime."
And then there's that funny little thing that my parents instilled in me, no Bible or anything involved, called 'morals.' strange huh?

The Singing Library Clerk

My brother once told a female coworker about a dream he had with her in it. Nothing sexual. Just her behind a floating desk blathering on. She sued him and the store for sexual harassment over that dream.

The lawsuit got dropped and she got fired when they found video footage of her stealing from the cash register. More than that, they found out she's lost jobs in the past for the exact same thing.

Sales Agent Guy

Calling him an idiot seems like an understatement. Seriously, Big Brother is watching, and he does it anyway? Was he this dumb in any other ways?

The Last Archimedean

S.A.G., no he wasn't [as near as I could tell.] He was smart, just greedy.

Believe me, I could use some extra $$$ myself, but robbing the till when we have videocameras covering the area isn't the way to get it.

Slave of Arch

We once had an employee steal a customer's bag or something at the register..
I have no idea who it was, but they were fired after the surveillance tapes were watched.
I work in a relatively small town and a few local shop owners knew the story -- I was visiting one of my favorite places when the owner told me the story.


There was a bit on World's Dumbest Criminals where the cashier knocked something off the counter so the little old lady customer would pick it up, and when she bent over, he pulled a handful of cash out of the purse she'd left on the counter, COUNTED IT, and then hid it.

Too stupid to live indeed...


I always advocate intelligence in any criminal endeavors you engage in. Just a little bit of planning makes a world of difference! I'm also convinced that I wouldn't be able to get away with anything and eventually be found out, plus I'm bad at lying.


We had a girl steal $60 from her register within her first week of work. Knowing there were cameras watching and knowing exactly where they were, she left her drawer open after a transaction, took three twenties out of her drawer, set them on the counter, turned her body to block the view of the drawer from the camera and pocketed the money. One second they were there, next they were gone. When she was confronted about it the next day, she was told she could pay it back out of her paycheck (payday was the next week, IIRC) or they could call the cops. The first words out of her mouth were, ", am I fired, then?"

TSTL, indeed.

NC Tony

Techtyger: I remember that. I saw that episode too. There's a reason that show is called "The World's DUMBEST Criminals". I never feel sorry for criminals who are so stupid they sabotage themselves.


Melpomene, that reminds me of something a fairly creepy guy who stopped by the gas station where I worked one time told me he'd do:

At the full serve, when customers asked to get their oil checked, he'd wipe the dipstick down to look like they were down. Then, when he went to top them up, he'd take the cap off, but only pretend to puncture the seal. He'd act out topping it up, put the cap back on (as we all do, so the garbage bags don't get gross), and toss it in the garbage.

After the customer left, he'd fish the oil jug back out of the garbage, put it back onto the shelf, and do a cash return for the oil and pocket it. he claimed he'd never been caught.

I can see it working, but I'd never be so dishonest as to try it myself. Also I like to think that I wouldn't be so stupid as to tell some random stranger off the street all about it.

Larry Berry

Even without the cameras, he was still stupid. Stealing the $20, even if they don't catch him on camera, his drawers came up short. When it happens every single time, you're going to get fired. Losing a paying job to get $200.


I have a tale of a smart criminal at my old store.

We sold wine, beer, and kegs. The customer would put down a "keg deposit" to cover the actual keg and the tap, and get it back when they returned the items. We'd return the keg to the manufacturer for recycling and get a little break in return.

In addition, every six months the local park rangers would do a "round up" in the local vacation cabins and collect kegs from underage drinkers. They'd bring the used kegs to us but refused to take any money for them.

One manager decided to scam the system. Every few weeks, he'd ring up a "keg deposit return" and pocket the $40. Since the store didn't do "empty keg inventory," and the kegs from the park rangers always kind of rounded things out, he got away with this for almost fifteen years. He got about $20,000 out of the company in total.

If one Assistant Manager hadn't been on the ball, he probably would have gotten away with it all the way up to retirement. Smart.

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