History Main / StealingFromTheTill

17th Aug '17 7:21:21 PM Luigifan
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It can be as minor as stealing pens to as major as budgeting an entire chunk of the company to fund your own private island. How acceptable the crime depends on, of course, [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality narrative focus]] and the relative power difference between the thief and the victim. If you work at a horrible, soul-sucking job, then it's "okay" to take money out of petty cash to help cover the bills, but your boss wiring money to an off-shore account is not. Large scale schemes to defraud people are almost always seen as a worse crime than other kinds of theft not just because of the number of people ripped off but because of the breach in trust.

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It can be as minor as stealing pens to as major as budgeting an entire chunk of the company to fund your own private island. How acceptable the crime is perceived as depends on, of course, [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality narrative focus]] and the relative power difference between the thief and the victim. If you work at a horrible, soul-sucking job, then it's "okay" to take money out of petty cash to help cover the bills, but your boss wiring money to an off-shore account is not. Large scale Large-scale schemes to defraud people are almost always seen as a worse crime than other kinds of theft theft, not just because of the number of people ripped off off, but because of the breach in trust.



* In ''Film/{{Casino}}'' the mafia bankrolls a Casino in order to fleece it. The skimmers take offence about their own operation being in turn skimmed off the top.

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* In ''Film/{{Casino}}'' ''Film/{{Casino}}'', the mafia bankrolls a Casino in order to fleece it. The skimmers take offence about their own operation being in turn skimmed off the top.



* The first half-hour or so of ''Film/{{Psycho}}'' follows Marion Crane as she steals from her place of employment and escapes to the Bates Motel. [[ItWasHisSled Then she meets Mother]].

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* The first half-hour or so of ''Film/{{Psycho}}'' follows Marion Crane as she steals from her place of employment and escapes to the Bates Motel. [[ItWasHisSled Then she meets Mother]].Mother.]]



* After waking up from coma, Durant in ''[[Film/DarkmanIITheReturnOfDurant Darkman II]]'' soon finds out that one of his men has used his absence to take a piece of his organization's earnings for himself, and has him killed by putting him in a golf cart that drives off from a building.

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* After waking up from a coma, Durant in ''[[Film/DarkmanIITheReturnOfDurant Darkman II]]'' soon finds out that one of his men has used his absence to take a piece of his organization's earnings for himself, and has him killed by putting him in a golf cart that drives off from a building.



** However, played straight in other Discworld books with Nobby of the Watch. It's said that if you need petty cash in the Watch you go and [[ShakeSomeoneObjectsFall shake Nobby until he gives it back.]] In ''Discworld/MakingMoney'', when Moist von Lipwig learns that the City Watch also serve as bank security, he reflects that the money might be safe, but the coffee and pens almost certainly aren't.

to:

** However, played straight in other Discworld books with Nobby of the Watch. It's said that if you need petty cash in the Watch Watch, you go and [[ShakeSomeoneObjectsFall shake Nobby until he gives it back.]] In ''Discworld/MakingMoney'', when Moist von Lipwig learns that the City Watch also serve as bank security, he reflects that the money might be safe, but the coffee and pens almost certainly aren't.



* ''Literature/DeathOnTheNile'' has this as a possible motive for [[spoiler: Andrew Pennington, who was stealing from the victim. It's also implied that Simon Doyle was doing the same thing to his previous employers, which is why he was "out of a job" when the book started.]]
* In Creator/AnthonyBourdain's memoir ''Kitchen Confidential'', this is one of the many problems that restaurant managers have to deal with. Bar staff are particularly prone to it, and Bourdain gives an anecdote about about a bar person who had ''his own till'' -- at the end of his shift he would take the whole lot home with him.
* In ''{{Literature/Banco}}'', Papillon can't resist a little criminal action even while doing honest work. He winds up running the executive's kitchen for an American oil firm and he embezzles from his department's budget. The high quality food eventually gets the executives to bring their wives along for meals, which only helps Papillon skim more money with less risk--he's already breaking the rules by feeding extra mouths and nobody is paying attention to the extra expenses.

to:

* ''Literature/DeathOnTheNile'' has this as a possible motive for [[spoiler: Andrew [[spoiler:Andrew Pennington, who was stealing from the victim. It's also implied that Simon Doyle was doing the same thing to his previous employers, which is why he was "out of a job" when the book started.]]
started]].
* In Creator/AnthonyBourdain's memoir ''Kitchen Confidential'', this is one of the many problems that restaurant managers have to deal with. Bar staff are particularly prone to it, and Bourdain gives an anecdote about about a bar person who had ''his own till'' -- at the end of his shift he would take the whole lot home with him.
* In ''{{Literature/Banco}}'', Papillon can't resist a little criminal action even while doing honest work. He winds up running the executive's kitchen for an American oil firm and he embezzles from his department's budget. The high quality high-quality food eventually gets the executives to bring their wives along for meals, which only helps Papillon skim more money with less risk--he's risk -- he's already breaking the rules by feeding extra mouths and nobody is paying attention to the extra expenses.



* Mr. Humphries is accused of doing this in ''Series/AreYouBeingServed,'' and asked to resign. [[spoiler: Fortunately, Mr. Harman finds that the till is faulty, and the missing pound notes were actually jammed into the back.]]

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* Mr. Humphries is accused of doing this in ''Series/AreYouBeingServed,'' and asked to resign. [[spoiler: Fortunately, [[spoiler:Fortunately, Mr. Harman finds that the till is faulty, and the missing pound notes were actually jammed into the back.]]



* On ''Series/{{Suits}}'' the official story is that Danial Hardman resigned as Managing Partner and went on an indefinite leave of absence so he would have time to care for his dying wife. The real story is that he embezzled money from clients' accounts--already an extreme violation of attorney ethics (seriously, do it ''once'', with an amount however small, and you're supposed to be ''[[GodzillaThreshold disbarred]]'')--and then, compounding the violation, tried to frame Louis for it. Some of the money went to pay for his wife's treatments but most of it was spent to fund his affair with one of the junior associates. When he tries to gain back control of the law firm, he leaks information that causes the firm to be sued, thus costing the partners millions. The kicker is that he was the one originally responsible for the serious ethical misconduct that caused the lawsuit.
* On ''Series/MadMen'' [[spoiler: Lane Pryce]] forges Don's signature on a company check. He insists that it is just a "13-day loan" that he will repay once the Christmas bonuses are given out. Then the bonuses are postponed till January. Then the bonuses are canceled altogether and he has no way of returning the money. [[spoiler: [[DrivenToSuicide He kills himself shortly after being found out by Don]].]]
* In ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', after a mind-altering event causes the Ferengi Grand Nagus to devote his vast personal fortune to charity, Rom signs on as the Nagus's top assistant...and embezzles money from the charity. Rom's generally more underhanded brother Quark expresses pride when he learns about this at the end of the episode.
* The murder plot in ''Series/{{Betrayal}}'' kicks off when powerful CorruptCorporateExecutive Thatcher Karsten suspects that his late wife's brother is stealing from the company. Before the accusation can proven or disproven the brother-in-law is murdered.

to:

* On ''Series/{{Suits}}'' ''Series/{{Suits}}'', the official story is that Danial Hardman resigned as Managing Partner and went on an indefinite leave of absence so he would have time to care for his dying wife. The real story is that he embezzled money from clients' accounts--already accounts -- already an extreme violation of attorney ethics (seriously, do it ''once'', with an amount however small, and you're supposed to be ''[[GodzillaThreshold disbarred]]'')--and disbarred]]'') -- and then, compounding the violation, tried to frame Louis for it. Some of the money went to pay for his wife's treatments treatments, but most of it was spent to fund his affair with one of the junior associates. When he tries to gain back control of the law firm, he leaks information that causes the firm to be sued, thus costing the partners millions. The kicker is that he was the one originally responsible for the serious ethical misconduct that caused the lawsuit.
* On ''Series/MadMen'' [[spoiler: Lane ''Series/MadMen'', [[spoiler:Lane Pryce]] forges Don's signature on a company check. He insists that it is just a "13-day loan" that he will repay once the Christmas bonuses are given out. Then the bonuses are postponed till January. Then the bonuses are canceled altogether and he has no way of returning the money. [[spoiler: [[DrivenToSuicide [[spoiler:[[DrivenToSuicide He kills himself shortly after being found out by Don]].]]
* In ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', after a mind-altering event causes the Ferengi Grand Nagus to devote his vast personal fortune to charity, Rom signs on as the Nagus's top assistant... and embezzles money from the charity. Rom's generally more underhanded brother Quark expresses pride when he learns about this at the end of the episode.
* The murder plot in ''Series/{{Betrayal}}'' kicks off when powerful CorruptCorporateExecutive Thatcher Karsten suspects that his late wife's brother is stealing from the company. Before the accusation can be proven or disproven disproven, the brother-in-law is murdered.



* Inverted on ''Series/HaltAndCatchFire'' when an employee is arrested for stealing money from the company's owner and putting it back into the company accounts. The company was going bankrupt and the owner refused to put more of his personal money into it so the employee stole the money in order to keep the company going.

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* Inverted on ''Series/HaltAndCatchFire'' when an employee is arrested for stealing money from the company's owner and putting it back into the company accounts. The company was going bankrupt and the owner refused to put more of his personal money into it it, so the employee stole the money in order to keep the company going.



* ''Series/MysteryDiners'' is a series where bosses ask the producers to spy on their employees using actors and hidden cameras to see why there are some issues believed to be caused by employees. Theft of money and goods from either the business or customers[[note]]One guy got caught stealing a customer's phone[[/note]] are common issues faced by these investigagors.

to:

* ''Series/MysteryDiners'' is a series where bosses ask the producers to spy on their employees using actors and hidden cameras to see why there are some issues believed to be caused by employees. Theft of money and goods from either the business or customers[[note]]One customers[[note]]one guy got caught stealing a customer's phone[[/note]] are common issues faced by these investigagors.



* ''Series/{{Ozarks}}''[='=] plot is kicked off by a money launderer doing this to a client... who happens to be ''the head of the second-largest Mexican drug cartel''. It ends [[MurderIsTheBestSolution exactly how you'd expect]].



** It's been alleged that something very similar happened with West End Games. According to the story the owner used West End as a slush fund to support his other business, bankrupting the company.

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** It's been alleged that something very similar happened with West End Games. According to the story story, the owner used West End as a slush fund to support his other business, bankrupting the company.



* Embezzlement at high levels of government often leads to [[EveryManHasHisPrice bribery]] at lower levels--the ruling thieves take so much that there isn't enough money to pay low-level civil servants a decent wage. As a result, they start to supplement their income by refusing to do anything unless you grease their palms and/or become a lot more willing to overlook or aid in illegal or immoral activities if the price is right.

to:

* Embezzlement at high levels of government often leads to [[EveryManHasHisPrice bribery]] at lower levels--the levels -- the ruling thieves take so much that there isn't enough money to pay low-level civil servants a decent wage. As a result, they start to supplement their income by refusing to do anything unless you grease their palms and/or become a lot more willing to overlook or aid in illegal or immoral activities if the price is right.



* When Enron collapsed, employees walked out with a lot of presumably valuable items--laptops, Blackberries, cell phones, etc.--despite the company's claims that they belonged to the bankruptcy courts.[[note]]We should note here that that was ''almost'' right, with a fine caveat: in US bankruptcy, when a debtor declares bankruptcy, all of his/her/its property at the time it declares (minus a few items for individuals) becomes property of an entity called the debtor's "bankruptcy estate," a legal entity separate from the debtor. The bankruptcy estate in a Chapter 7 liquidation case like Enron's is administered by a Chapter 7 trustee, who represents the interests of the debtor's unsecured creditors. In most of the US, the Chapter 7 trustee is a private local attorney (usually one who is also a CPA) appointed by the United States Trustee for that region; the United States Trustee Program is a part of the United States Department of Justice, serving under the federal Attorney General. Nobody can do anything with a Chapter 7 debtor's bankruptcy estate without the Chapter 7 trustee's say-so. Management was right that the stuff the employees stole didn't belong to the company, but it didn't belong to the court. That said, the trustee probably didn't care that much about the piddling equipment theft; it was ridiculously small fry compared to the massive assets Enron was sitting on. [[/note]] Presumably no one cared. (In fact, being screwed over by your employer is a not-uncommon motive for employee theft -- if you're just punching a timeclock and no one cares that management treats you like shit, what's a few toasters between coworkers?)
* This trope is the reason why those who work registers have to give customers receipts for any and every purchase - documenting any and all transactions makes sure that the amount of money in the drawer and the amount of money listed on the ledger at the end of the day match up. More generally, the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principal–agent_problem principal-agent problem]] is about how to get someone acting on your behalf to do what ''you'' want to do, not what he wants to do.
* As per the documentary ''The Price of Sex'' (about forced sex trafficking out of Eastern Europe), the documentarian Mimi Chakarova talked to a charity worker from her home country of Bulgaria (she's been living in the U.S. for many years) about the constant problems of sex trafficking (and the plight of those who were trafficked who escape and return home) in said country in spite of the millions upon millions of dollars other countries give to Bulgaria to combat the problem. Said charity worker said that basically the funds that are given actually go to line the pockets of politicians and heads of police in Bulgaria and enable them to live very well in a country where the majority of people live in abject poverty. {{Crapsack World}} indeed.
* Amongst lawyers, it's said that there is no quicker way to lose your license to practice law than to take money from your clients (or more specifically, their trust accounts[[note]]Bank accounts containing money the client pays in so that lawyers can get paid in an orderly fashion[[/note]]) without their knowledge or consent. Even if you didn't take that much, even if you pay the client back, or even if you pay the client back more than what you stole, it doesn't matter.[[note]]The only argument that could possibly get you out of it is "There was a mixup--I was trying to withdraw from my own account, but there was a typo/technical glitch and the money ended up coming out of the trust account instead." Even that is not especially likely to succeed, as you'd need to provide some evidence that's pretty hard to produce.[[/note]] Many an EvilLawyerJoke aside, it's the one behavior that the legal profession has zero tolerance for: whatever organization regulates the legal profession in your area ''will'' bring down the banhammer on you. As more than one law professor has said, "touch your client's money and you're done."

to:

* When Enron collapsed, employees walked out with a lot of presumably valuable items--laptops, items -- laptops, Blackberries, cell phones, etc.--despite etc. -- despite the company's claims that they belonged to the bankruptcy courts.[[note]]We should note here that that was ''almost'' right, with a fine caveat: in US bankruptcy, when a debtor declares bankruptcy, all of his/her/its property at the time it declares (minus a few items for individuals) becomes property of an entity called the debtor's "bankruptcy estate," a legal entity separate from the debtor. The bankruptcy estate in a Chapter 7 liquidation case like Enron's is administered by a Chapter 7 trustee, who represents the interests of the debtor's unsecured creditors. In most of the US, the Chapter 7 trustee is a private local attorney (usually one who is also a CPA) appointed by the United States Trustee for that region; the United States Trustee Program is a part of the United States Department of Justice, serving under the federal Attorney General. Nobody can do anything with a Chapter 7 debtor's bankruptcy estate without the Chapter 7 trustee's say-so. Management was right that the stuff the employees stole didn't belong to the company, but it didn't belong to the court. That said, the trustee probably didn't care that much about the piddling equipment theft; it was ridiculously small fry compared to the massive assets Enron was sitting on. [[/note]] Presumably no one cared. (In fact, being screwed over by your employer is a not-uncommon motive for employee theft -- if you're just punching a timeclock and no one cares that management treats you like shit, what's a few toasters between coworkers?)
* This trope is the reason why those who work registers have to give customers receipts for any and every purchase - -- documenting any and all transactions makes sure that the amount of money in the drawer and the amount of money listed on the ledger at the end of the day match up. More generally, the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principal–agent_problem principal-agent problem]] is about how to get someone acting on your behalf to do what ''you'' want to do, not what he wants to do.
* As per the documentary ''The Price of Sex'' (about [[SexSlave forced sex trafficking trafficking]] out of Eastern Europe), the documentarian Mimi Chakarova talked to a charity worker from her home country of Bulgaria (she's been living in the U.S. for many years) about the constant problems of sex trafficking (and the plight of those who were trafficked who escape and return home) in said country in spite of the millions upon millions of dollars other countries give to Bulgaria to combat the problem. Said charity worker said that basically the funds that are given actually go to line the pockets of politicians and heads of police in Bulgaria and enable them to live very well in a country where the majority of people live in abject poverty. {{Crapsack World}} indeed.
* Amongst lawyers, it's said that there is no quicker way to lose your license to practice law than to take money from your clients (or more specifically, their trust accounts[[note]]Bank accounts containing money the client pays in so that lawyers can get paid in an orderly fashion[[/note]]) without their knowledge or consent. Even if you didn't take that much, even if you pay the client back, or even if you pay the client back more than what you stole, it doesn't matter.[[note]]The only argument that could possibly get you out of it is "There was a mixup--I mixup -- I was trying to withdraw from my own account, but there was a typo/technical glitch and the money ended up coming out of the trust account instead." Even that is not especially likely to succeed, as you'd need to provide some evidence that's pretty hard to produce.[[/note]] Many an EvilLawyerJoke aside, it's the one behavior that the legal profession has zero tolerance for: whatever organization regulates the legal profession in your area ''will'' bring down the banhammer on you. As more than one law professor has said, "touch your client's money and you're done."
13th Aug '17 12:16:36 PM DaibhidC
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*** "Another day, another box of stolen pens."
*** "Bart, it's not about how many stocks you have, it's about how much copper wire you can get out of the building with!"

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*** ** Homer in "The Last Temptation of Homer": "Another day, another box of stolen pens."
*** ** In "I Am Furious (Yellow)", when the company making Bart's ''Angry Dad'' web animation goes bust, they explain "Bart, it's not about how many stocks you have, it's about how much copper wire you can get out of the building with!"
17th Jun '17 1:07:44 PM Rotpar
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Added DiffLines:

* In ''{{Literature/Banco}}'', Papillon can't resist a little criminal action even while doing honest work. He winds up running the executive's kitchen for an American oil firm and he embezzles from his department's budget. The high quality food eventually gets the executives to bring their wives along for meals, which only helps Papillon skim more money with less risk--he's already breaking the rules by feeding extra mouths and nobody is paying attention to the extra expenses.
18th Mar '17 2:14:50 PM nombretomado
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* In the commentary for the ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' episode "The Final Page," Creator/CobieSmulders and NeilPatrickHarris said that they both steal Christmas decorations from the sets of the [[ChristmasEpisode Christmas Episodes]].

to:

* In the commentary for the ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' episode "The Final Page," Creator/CobieSmulders and NeilPatrickHarris Creator/NeilPatrickHarris said that they both steal Christmas decorations from the sets of the [[ChristmasEpisode Christmas Episodes]].
8th Jan '17 7:16:40 AM Berrenta
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* Much of 1980s to 1990s 'zine culture was born from, raised on, and made of this trope. [[strike:Stealing]] ''[[NoExceptYes Reappropriating ]]'' one's employer's or schools materials were pretty much crucial to the low/no-budget publications until TheInternet became more widely available in the mid to late 1990s.

to:

* Much of 1980s to 1990s 'zine culture was born from, raised on, and made of this trope. [[strike:Stealing]] ''[[NoExceptYes Reappropriating ]]'' one's employer's or schools materials were pretty much crucial to the low/no-budget publications until TheInternet became more widely available in the mid to late 1990s.



** Since you don't pay for internet service at school? Surely.
** If you pay tuition, then you pay for the internet at school. And if you don't pay tuition and the school is public, you pay for the internet out of your taxes (or will, eventually, you hope). That's totally fair.
19th Dec '16 5:26:04 PM TheCuza
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Added DiffLines:

* On ''Series/CornerGas'', Wanda replaces the gas station's phone because the old one was starting to have terrible battery problems. However, she treats the instruction manual for the new phone as SeriousBusiness, particularly the part that says the phone ''must'' be fully charged before it is used for the first time, and prevents anyone from answering it.
-->'''Brent:''' ''[annoyed]'' So you replaced the phone that doesn't work with one we can't use. What'd ''that'' upgrade cost me?\\
'''Wanda:''' ''[shrugs]'' Whatever's missing from the till.
12th Oct '16 6:28:57 AM DaibhidC
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** However, played straight in other Discworld books with [[Discworld/GoingPostal Moist]], who skims Post Office money, and Nobby of the Watch. It's said that if you need petty cash in the Watch you go and [[ShakeSomeoneObjectsFall shake Nobby until he gives it back.]]

to:

** However, played straight in other Discworld books with [[Discworld/GoingPostal Moist]], who skims Post Office money, and Nobby of the Watch. It's said that if you need petty cash in the Watch you go and [[ShakeSomeoneObjectsFall shake Nobby until he gives it back.]]]] In ''Discworld/MakingMoney'', when Moist von Lipwig learns that the City Watch also serve as bank security, he reflects that the money might be safe, but the coffee and pens almost certainly aren't.
** ''Discworld/FeetOfClay'' features a palace maid who takes home food and candles, and is quite clear that this isn't stealing, it's ''perks''. Commander Vimes agrees with her.
4th Oct '16 3:17:29 PM res20stupid
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Series/MysteryDiners'' is a series where bosses ask the producers to spy on their employees using actors and hidden cameras to see why there are some issues believed to be caused by employees. Theft of money and goods from either the business or customers[[note]]One guy got caught stealing a customer's phone[[/note]] are common issues faced by these investigagors.
31st Aug '16 3:48:14 PM outlander2012
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Added DiffLines:

* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', [[TheDragon Arl Rendon Howe]] is helping himself to silver from the royal treasury (seemingly uncaring of the fact that Ferelden's army is desperately underfunded and trying to fight a CivilWar with their own people, one triggered primarily by his and Loghain's brutality and incompetence, while simultaneously trying to fight off the [[AlwaysChaoticEvil darkspawn horde]] moving up from the south. One of the Warden's side missions involves swiping said silver from a warehouse in Denerim before Howe can ship it to his private estate.
14th Aug '16 10:52:44 AM FordPrefect
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* This trope is the reason why those who work registers have to give customers receipts for any and every purchase - documenting any and all transactions makes sure that the amount of money in the drawer and the amount of money listed on the ledger at the end of the day match up. More generally, the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principal%E2%80%93agent_problem principal-agent problem]] is about how to get someone acting on your behalf to do what ''you'' want to do, not what he wants to do.

to:

* This trope is the reason why those who work registers have to give customers receipts for any and every purchase - documenting any and all transactions makes sure that the amount of money in the drawer and the amount of money listed on the ledger at the end of the day match up. More generally, the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principal%E2%80%93agent_problem org/wiki/Principal–agent_problem principal-agent problem]] is about how to get someone acting on your behalf to do what ''you'' want to do, not what he wants to do.
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