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"faithful in what is least..."


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My husband just called me at home and asked me if I wanted to hear something funny (odd). He told me that Missy (our bartender) which we adore was not behind the bar when he walked in from outside and there were customers sitting at the bar talking, drinking a cold beer, and watching TV. He said that he walked behind the bar then around the corner into the back room (kitchen area) and caught her with her blouse up stuffing something into her jeans. ( First you must understand that she is our approximate 15th bartender in the last 12 months.

Every bartender prior to her was dismissed for out and out stealing---some brazen acts of theft, others very sneaky. He has been exhausted trying to stay afloat and working so many hours without a day off. When we hired her (she came recommended as a good person with no prior experience) 6 months ago she won us over with her eager attitude, hard work and johnny on the spot work ethics. She worked hard and diligently and won our trust. We have even given her the combo to the safe and her own door key so Rick does not have to be there 24 hrs a day. She has encouraged Rick to go home and rest and she will lock up and that he was going to have to learn to trust someone or he will end up killing himself from exhaustion. Any way when he caught her she looked embarrassed and said "I'm sorry. Would'nt you know I would get caught doing something so stupid." He said she was stuffing red beer cozies into her pants for a customer that Rick had just had a disagreement with. (Beer cozies are things you put around cans or bottles to keep them cold longer) Since we just had our 1 year anniversary Friday Budwiser had given us a couple of dozen for promotional gifts.) Rick said that he told her "Why would you do something so stupid when you know all you had to do was ask and you could have had all of them. They were free--they didn't cost me anything." When he related this incident to me it just does not set right. I keep recalling to mind the scripture about faithful in what is least faithful in what is much. I definitely do not want to fire her over something so silly. Mainly because we live in a rural area and all the customers LOVE her and she has been such a relief to us. We already have experienced what is out there and with the bar being in a rural setting it would be hard to get someone to drive that distance. At least we have been able to have a day off her and there and have used her on Mondays and Tuesdays when the work pace is slow so we could not really be hurt by her stealing too much. Isn't it a shame when you have to start looking at things that way? Which person is going to steal less. Others have told us it is the nature of the beast (mostly cash she deals with) and you have to expect some theft. Are we really being to innocent in believing someone will be honest. I think if she is stealing cozies then she has or will steal something else and she just has not been caught. I would love to turn the bar into a resturant with a bar and hire nothing but sisters but we are not able to get it at the point yet. Still one elder encouraged me by saying that the Isrealites had to step out into that sea bed then Jehovah dried the waters. I keep hearing from the alochol board that once your food reaches 40% of sales it can be reclassified as a resturant. Is it foolish to still keep her on? How should we approach this? I could cry thinking about having to hire someone else. Besides she is an excellent cleaner, and organizer and keeps herself busy when things are slow by cleaning. Her motto "If you've got time to lean you've got time to clean" Without her it means I will need to be there so will take time away from service. Help!

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Well, you have had her on board for 6 months and love her and having her there has been beneficial to your business, your husband, and yourself.

Accept that this might have been just an honest lapse in judgment. She obviously likes the guy who had a difference with your husband, and wanted to give him one of these cooler thingies but thought your husband would disapprove.

Sit down and explain that trust is essential, as is keeping the doors of communication wide open. Something "stupid" like this make you two feel uncomfortable, but your willing to overlook it if she can just be frank and open as she has been up to this point.

Every establishment I ever worked for would have a 3 strikes and your out policy if it wasn't something major. Treat this as her first strike and move on.

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Well, you have had her on board for 6 months and love her and having her there has been beneficial to your business, your husband, and yourself.

Accept that this might have been just an honest lapse in judgment. She obviously likes the guy who had a difference with your husband, and wanted to give him one of these cooler thingies but thought your husband would disapprove.

Sit down and explain that trust is essential, as is keeping the doors of communication wide open. Something "stupid" like this make you two feel uncomfortable, but your willing to overlook it if she can just be frank and open as she has been up to this point.

Every establishment I ever worked for would have a 3 strikes and your out policy if it wasn't something major. Treat this as her first strike and move on.

Good advice Bob. In the past we had a restaurant and taking things was always a problem. But good help is hard to find so you have to weigh the cost.:peace:

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  • 2 months later...

Update: Our security cameras have shown her to be giving away drinks to her girlfriends, the man she is dating and to his friends. These are customers that have been regular since we bought the establishment just over one year ago. It really hurts to realize that she is doing this and then lying boldly to our face about it. We have had some customers report that she is giving away drinks and also drinking on the job. You can see her clearly filling her "ice tea" glass with beer and then putting the lid back on it--the container is non-transparent in an attempt to cover up her drinking. My husband wants to call the ABLE Comm. (Alcoholic Beverages Board) and report her to the agent that oversees our area. This will ensure that she loses her liquor license and can not tend bar at any other place without it. She also would run the charge card then write the charge on the book to reconcile the cash register but not ring the charge into the register. She would then remove cash totaling the charge from the register. This action ensures the cash drawer balances so she can remove cash sales. This was done twice the same night on two separate charges totaling $75.00. So the 115.00 she made in tips (giving away drinks so she will improve her tips) the 75.00 she stole from the register and the base hourly wage of $4.00 hour she made $214.00 for 6 hrs of tending bar---just over $35.00 an hour! We still have to pay taxes on the alcohol she gave away ---at a rate of 23% on hard liquor and 14% on beer. This makes our experience 100% batting average for bartenders that steal/scam. I had no idea it would be so hard to find someone who would not steal especially when prior to employment they are told that there are security cameras and that they will be prosecuted if caught stealing. So

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I'm sorry to hear that she's been lying to you .... :nope:
Grumpy and I owned a restaurant along with another brother and sister. We shared all the costs to run the business, and our sons worked there when they were teens. My friend and I worked sometimes 12 hrs a day, and we didn't take a paycheck. The other employees were relatives of the other partner. We all worked so hard and put so much effort into making it a success. We all lost our shirts. Mostly because the people working for us were stealing us blind. It could have been a really nice place for the employees and the owners to make a pretty good living, but when it ended up we lost all of our savings and then some. The taxes were terrible and when I talked to the lady who handled that department, she told me that they, the govt., knew that everyone in the restaurant business were out to cheat the state of their fair share. She felt that dishonesty was part of the game. Personally, I would never go into the restaurant business again. It's too easy to lose everything.

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My husband handled the situation. He recorded to DVD the blatant acts of giving away liiquor and the on the job drinking and sneaking the beer into her "ice tea" mug where you could not tell it was beer. He did not want to fire her because that would alienate many of the customers who quite liked her because it would come down to a he said she said situation. Rick called ABLE Commission and spoke to the agent that controls are area and told him what was happening. The agent said that with taped proof of her actions we could fight it if she tried to claim unemployment. He said that we could get in trouble for revealing to perspective employers should any call for a reference that she was a thief. So he came in on a sting, caught her drinking and took away her liquor license where she can no longer work as a bartender. Rick said he felt good about that because she could not go to work for someone else as a bartender and steal from them. It is aggravating to think that we checked all references on 7 bartenders in a 4 month time frame prior to their hiring and not one previous employer told us they were stealing from them. Not one. I did call several back and told them point blank that so and so was caught stealing and only then did they mention that they were stolen from also. These laws that protect the thieves are remarkable. You can not tell people that call for a reference for fear you may be sued for slander. Even with it on tape you run risks of being reported and losing time and money trying to fight it. But she's gone. Gone. Gone. Gone like a freight train, gone like yesterday, gone like a solgier in the civil war bang-bang. She's gone. (That's my nod to Montgomery-Gentry) You tube it if you don't know who MONTGOMERY-GENTRY is. This way she saves face to her friends --even though some know because they were the recipents of free drinks. But we can look like the good guys since she will have had her license pulled on her own accord. Now it's back to 7 days a week 14 hours a day until we can find someone else--who I am sure will be a cookie cutter of all the rest.

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