Before the past week ended, I saw a strange pile of documents on my table. When I examined the documents, I discovered that it was meant for another colleague. Although the responsibility was not mine, I was familiar with the work attached to it. It was a pending liquidation report. I knew the nature and history of the pending liquidation report because months ago, the Finance Department sought my assistance in resolving the problem involved.
Here’s the story behind the pending liquidation report
Last year, our office conducted a Christmas party for our core group of employee volunteers. Part of the little incentive, we provided gift certificates for everyone. All the gift certificates were disbursed. I thought… Apparently, there was a set of gift certificates that remains unliquidated. It was declared as disbursed.Records however relate otherwise. There was no record that the gift certificate was received by the intended recipient.
I tried to perform the role of the mediator. I asked the Finance Department possible alternatives to address the issues attached to the liquidation report. The most feasible thing to undertake, I was asked to produce a document that will be certified and approved by our Department Manager. The document will declare that our Department Manager can attest to the issuance of the gift certificate to the target recipient. The recipient back then was a colleague-volunteer, who unfortunately, already left the company.
Solution was finally found. I relayed the most awaited solution to my colleague. I remember, our Department Manager was present when I discussed everything to my colleague.
Months passed. All the while, I thought that my colleague was able to resolve the situation.
I was surprised to discover that my colleague did not take action. Nothing has been done with the pending liquidation report. I was beginning to feel pissed off. I made some means to help him close the pending report. Sadly, nothing has been done.
I kept wondering why did my colleague choose not to do it. At that point, all I could think was because he tries to distance himself from the dirty work. He apparently involved another colleague in the disbursement of the gift certificates. He is probably fighting for the belief that the colleague he assigned should be responsible in cleaning the mess. Problem is, the colleague he assigned already left the company.
And so I thought that everything that was happening around me was a mere product of laziness and refusal of someone to do the job.
The Finance Department started complaining to me. I found out that my colleague has been habitually lousy in submitting liquidation reports. They don’t anymore want to transact with my colleague. I knew at that time, it was my time to get myself in the picture.
I finally produced the certification needed. I produced the much awaited document certifying that my Department Head can attest that the missing gift certificate was indeed disbursed.
When I handed the document to my Department Head, I sensed his reluctance to sign the certificate.
I’m sooo dead. Why did I choose to play the role of the mediator?
My Department Head wants to establish that the the recipient indeed received the gift certificate.
I took my last resort. I searched for the colleague who was the intended recipient of the gift certificate.
And so I verified. To the last minute, I was 100% sure that the intended colleague recipient was able to take home the gift certificate.
Nothing was received.
The intended recipient did not receive the gift certificate.
She wasn’t even aware that she was entitled with the gift certificate.
I was shocked. This can’t be.
I was trying to convince myself that everything was just a mistake. As I was gathering more facts and starting to connect all the details, everything pointed to one conclusion.
The gift certificates were stolen.
My colleague and the colleague he assigned to distribute it connived to keep the unclaimed gift certificates to themselves.
Months ago, I was able to witness a murder committed right before my eyes. I became a witness to the act of a heartless criminal. I thought that was my worst.
When I discovered another crime unfolded right before my eyes, a form or stealing within my immediate environment, I thought I will already be immune. It should mean nothing.
My emotions jumbled. At first, I felt sad. I felt disappointed. I later felt frustrated. The frustration turned to self-pity and as much as I don’t want to admit it, I’m starting to feel that familiar sting of depression again.
My emotions maybe selfish and unreasonable. One thing I can never deny though, my emotions has always been real and honest.
The depression brought about by my tardiness suspension dawned on me again.
As much as I don’t want to deny it, the crime committed by my colleague and another colleague, gave me reasons why my tardiness suspension was just too harsh and cruel.
My two colleagues who kept the gift certificates for themselves were able to get away from it.
When I presented my evidences to my Department Head, he finally reached a resolution. He agreed to pay for the lost and undocumented gift certificates. He handed me the money and silently, I was able to finally close the liquidation report. Case closed. Criminals are freed.
I have all the evidences yet at the end of the day, nothing happened with the criminals and offenders?
While me? The only mistake I made was the fact that I failed to report to work on time. I paid so much for all those tardiness.
My salary suffered from all the deductions.
I got a bad record in my 201 file.
I got a two-day suspension.
I lost the performance bonus incentive.
I lost the promotional opportunity.
The tears and emotional burden
the dwindling self esteem
Between stealing and coming to late for work, who deserves the greater punishment?
It never happened that way.
It will never happen under the right way.