Question of Atheist Scruples – trust in the workplace

You think you are a trusted employee. But after a theft, you are asked to submit to a lie detector test. Do you?

The point of a polygraph machine is to measure physiological changes. It’s not catching lies so much as it’s measuring reaction based on previously established baselines for heart rate and other things. Via Live Science:

When you’re taking a polygraph test, the machine first registers the baseline of your vital signs. Examiners then trick you into lying by asking you a series of “control” questions that are only distantly related to the issue they’re investigating, such as “Did you ever lie to get out of trouble?” or “Have you ever committed a crime?” Most examinees will answer “no” to such questions they’re trying to come across as honest but examiners assume that the answer to at least one control question will really be “yes” (after all, you’ve probably lied at some point or another, and jay-walked). As soon as the examinee tells such a white lie, it puts a blip on the polygraph machine that serves as a signature of that examinee’s lies.

Must be a pretty big theft to be bringing in experts. I’d probably wind up admitting to bringing a pen home and maybe not paying for a bit of personal photocopying (yet), but whatever kind of big ticket thing went out the door.. wasn’t me…

But now I’m reminded of my Walmart days. Fuck, I hated that job. (Meeting the Man there is the highlight of the years of long service.) Well, more I hated it after I got booted out of Electronics into Fashion. Why was I moved? I suspect it was (partly) because of this:

The video games were kept in cabinets for obvious theft reasons — although personal DVD players weren’t and many empty boxes were found in Infants’ Wear, a popular spot for people to hide their thieving because many days/nights nobody would be working in there. I digress…

I’d opened the Playstation cabinet (I think it was) to get a system for a guy and (yes, this was against store policy) handed it to him while I locked the case, probably because someone else needed into another one, but I don’t remember anymore. The game area was always busy.

He wandered off and I, Honest Minion, assumed he took it to the till to pay for it. Most people would. I find out later that he actually did a runner. Huh. How ’bout that.

I get called into a meeting with my assistant manager a few days later, having already forgotten that happened, and he asks me if I know why I’m there. I say I don’t know. He reminds me. “Oh, that,” I said. I guess I wasn’t contrite enough. I didn’t grovel enough or flog myself or kiss his boots and beg for mercy.

Shit went missing there all the time. There wasn’t proof that I was in cahoots with the dude. I honestly assumed he’d gone to pay for the thing.

Anyway, back to the question. I’d probably be annoyed to be wired up but hopefully everyone else would also be getting questioned, that all the suspicion wouldn’t be centered on me. That’s all I got, really.

Pop culture stress and theft — Sliding Doors did a neat thing as a movie, featuring a scene where Gwyneth Paltrow’s character gets fired for “stealing a bottle of wine” she intended to replace. The movie is set so that the audience can watch two futures unfold, one where she catches the train home after getting sacked, thus catching her boyfriend in bed with another woman and one where she misses the train and has no idea what’s going on without her knowledge. I thought it was pretty well done.

The from The IT Crowd:

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Canadian Atheist Basically ordinary Library employee Avid book lover Ditto for movies Wanna-be writer Procrastinator
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