Theft

  1. A couple of months ago i posted about my old job at the nursing home and the conditions. i quit that job after much debate and i've been happy ever since.

    in the months before i quit though there was a lot going on with theft. i remember countless mornings going home and sharing the details of what was told to me by other nurses to my husband. as far as what i was told, the only things that were missing were 5 bucks from a new resident and employee lunches. during my first month of employment, my stethoscope and bloop pressure kit were stolen. i had written my names on both in permanent marker but they were never found. in january, i had forgotten my purse after working a double shift and it was stolen. i called my bank to cancel my bank card and cancelled all of my credit cards. the next morning, my purse was found on top of the employee lockers in one of the break rooms. it had been gone through but i didn't have cash on me, i never carry cash, i always use credit or my bank card for any purchases. after that i bought a lock and got a locker for my things.

    i then was put on the PM shift and worked nocs about twice a week because we were short. on one evening, there were 4 aids for 99 residents and i was scheduled to split 2 halls with another cna while the other 2 split the other 2 halls. on the other 2 halls, there is a laundry room and the laundry staff are there until midnight.

    that night before i left home, i called my husband to come pick me up and he sent a cab for me which took me to his job until he got off work 2 hours later. i was told by a nurse and friend of mine that the woman who works in the laundry room had her wallet stolen and in it was 600 dollars. she called the police as soon as she noticed it was missing. i also talked to her the night after that, we talked often and she told me as well as well as the police (or so she said) that she saw one of the student aids in the laundry room while she was passing out the laundry. when she got back from passing out the laundry, she noticed "her purse was open, jacket was tossed to the side, and her wallet was missing".

    a week or two after that, i quit and heard nothing more until today.

    this woman, we'll call her mary whose wallet and money were stolen, looked up the place of where my husband worked and called him. she told him that she was in the process of suing us because she "knows" that i took her wallet and money. she said that if we wanted to settle out of court, that she would be more than happy to do so. my husband immediately called me and gave me her phone number.

    i called her immediately to ask her about her accusation and she said "the administrator, (fake name) janet, came up with a list of possible suspects on the dates that things were missing those last two months, she then began a process of elimination, called me into her office to explain all of this to me and she showed me your name on the top of the list and so i called your husband. my wallet was found not long after the incident (destination where found) and the cops are fingerprinting it and as soon as they get back in touch with me, i'm suing"

    i told her that i did not ever take anything from anyone. we had a good conversation with my husband on 3 way and she then said that she hurt her back that night and has not been working as much as she'd like to and asked me if i was there during a lockdown. i have no idea about this "lockdown" so i asked what she was talking about and she said that the office was broken into, someone tried to get in with a key and broke their key on the door lock and the maintenance guy had to replace all the locks in the building. after that, a residents daughter went to visit her and her purse was stolen.

    as soon as she reported it stolen, the administrator put the entire building on lockdown until they found that purse. they never found it and i wasn't employed any longer. but i am at the top of this administrators list for all these offenses including the theft of my own purse!

    i asked mary how my name even got on this list and she said "i don't know. that place is wacky and janet is doing something. she's gone around questioning all of the nurses and aids and they're all talking about you and accusing you of doing all these things".

    i am very hurt by this and have been crushed by it all day. i know it shouldn't affect my decision for wanting to further my career in the nursing field but i am at a stand still. employment has been extremely hard to come by. i'm still unemployed and only had one call for an interview with a temp agency. they said they were going to verify my references, my old job was one of them, and they never got back with me and won't return my phone calls for employment.

    i've applied at every hospital here in the town where i live and nursing homes. i even spoke with a woman who works directly with the only two nursing homes here in town, got an application from her, returned it and nothing. no phone calls, no return on phone calls, nothing.

    i went to unemployment and they said that my story and the story that my former employer gave them were two completely different stories and ever since i got this phone call from mary today, i am on a mission to at least get to the bottom of it. i know that if there even was such a list, nothing will probably be found and my name is being dragged through the mud and i just feel like a real idiot for even quitting in the first place.

    i should've known when i took this job, that my instinct told me to refuse and i didn't. i went into it naively (sp) and now i regret it more than anything. the whole experience was a nightmare when i realized how little they cared about their employees. they wanted me to work double shifts all the time with no rest eventhough they told us "do not come to work if you're too tired to work. do not put the lives of your residents in jeopardy. mistakes happen when you're burned out etc... just talk to us and let us know and we'll work something out." and regardless of how many times i went to them and spoke to them about how i felt burned out and just not able to cope, they ignored me and told me to keep working.

    i know for a fact, my husband and family and anyone who knows me knows that i am not a thief. never have been nor will i ever be no matter how much of a financial struggle i am in. nothing is worth losing my family, home, etc.. over. especially not over theft.

    im at a loss.
    thanks for reading.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   renerian
    Are considering a lawsuit for reputation damage since it is not true to stop the rumor mill?

    Sounds like a mess.

    renerian
  4. by   Katnip
    I agree with Renarian. I'd start looking into the legal aspects of this.
  5. by   canoehead
    Have someone make a call to your former work place as if they are checking your references and find out what they say. You can base your decision on that.

    As far as someone threatening to sue you, I would say "Go ahead, I welcome the chance to make you look like a fool in court." Then no more comments, they can speak to your lawyer.
  6. by   FutureNurse2005
    how do you know that she really had $600 in her purse? who actually carries that kind of cash on them...and to work? Something smells funny to me to be honest! My gut is telling me that she lied about all of it and she may be the one doing all the stealing and obviously trying to blame someone else!
    Get a lawyer! Good luck!
  7. by   Erin RN
    I think that having someone call to check your references is a good idea..see what is said. I know in my state past employers can only answer generic questions but not go into detail. If the admin is indeed badmouthing you, I would absolutely look into my legal options..just based on principle alone. I would not speak with the gal threatening to sue you again, at the point that she said she was going to sue you should have told her she can speak with your lawyer or you would see her in court. For 600.00 she would have to go the small claims route and no attys are even allowed in there. She has absolutely no proof and the burden is on her so it would be highly unlikely she would win. I agree, "what a mess"..Erin
  8. by   MandyInMS
    What a mess indeed!!! geeeeeez..I agree with canoehead..get someone to call and pretend to check your reference..and record it...if someone was badmouthing me affecting any potential employment, giving me a bad name with no justification/proof their A$$ would be MINE to say the least.........best of luck to you (((hugzzzz)))
  9. by   pgrsctrn2be
    I didn't think past employers could give any information other than start date and end date of employment and maybe wage scale.
    YOu really need to check into what is being said about you and put a stop to it fast.
    I agree with the poster that said she was probably lying about having the money to begin with and was stealing herself
    We had something like this happen at a nursing home I once worked in and it was the person who claimed to have lost the most that was behind the thefts.
  10. by   RedSox33RN
    I'm sorry this is happening to you. I would definitely contact and talk to an attorney. Document EVERYTHING you have said and done so far - an attorney will ask for that - including as many names, dates, times, etc. that you can remember.

    I also agree - don't speak to anyone else about it AT ALL. No one, not even the police - until you have retained counsel. It sounds like you are being made the scapegoat.
  11. by   purplemania
    Even if the administrator had a list of employees who worked that day (possible suspects), the list should not have been shared with anyone. Talk to a lawyer.
  12. by   nialloh
    This is slander and deformation of character at it's worst. You are being threatened with a lawsuit and is affecting your ability to work. What you need is proof. As the other posters said, get someone to call for a reference and record it. If they say you stole anything, that's it, they belong to you. And if anyone calls you again, record the conversation (if it is legal in your state). Seeing a lawyer is a very good idea.

    I think what happened is you quit and weren't there to defend yourself. You are an easy target, and lets them look like they are doing something. :angryfire

    I wish you all the best and hope all works out.

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