When does it become stealing?

May 22, 2007 9:00am CST
For example, if you work in an office. Is it stealing to take an office pen home with you? If you forget to bring it back the next day. If you only return it when it is empty. If it never comes back. If it happens to 2, 5, 20 or 100 pens. Is it stealing if you need a stamp but don't have any money or the correct money but pay the next day or next week or forget completely. Or if this happens once a month, once a week, every day. Is it stealing to make a personal phone call on the office phone - for how long or how often? Do you only consider it stealing if actual money is involved? In which case what about transferring funds from the office account to one of your own or a friends?Either give you feeling about any of the above or give examples of what might/might not be considered stealing in other types of work environment.
1 person likes this
5 responses
@el_jeffo (751)
• Philippines
23 May 07
It's stealing if, no matter how small, you net the other party a loss. In fact, it can be considered stealing as long as you don't get the other party's permission before you take his/her items. Even if you only want to borrow, you should still let the other person know.
2 people like this
24 May 07
Thanks everybody, sorry I did not add separate comments. I hope you do not mind. What an honest lot we are here on MyLot. I thought more people would consider things a perk of the job. Since so many people seem to only obey the traffic rules when it suits them I thought they would all be 'borrowing' from work too.
1 person likes this
@charms88 (7545)
• Philippines
22 May 07
Way back when I was still working in the office, I was the one responsible for handling out office materials. Anyone who requested for anything must signed their names. Pens, calculator, envelope, stapler, etc everything must be marked down properly. No one was allowed to bring anything out of the office. We have a very strict security in the office. I am also responsible for transferring money and no, I didn't transfer it to my personal account but to the proper designated account. Money laundering is considered a serious crime.
@beaniegdi (1966)
22 May 07
I think some people consider taking little bits and pieces home from work as one of the perks of the job.I know that years ago before cctv that more stock went missing from shops that was taken by the staff than was taken by shoplifters. I once did an assignment at college on white collar crime and it seems that we are all capable of commiting crime and most people do commit crimes. Depending on what you do in life depends on the sort of crime you would commit, so some one on benefits might defraud by earning on the quiet and a business man might fiddle his taxes and the guy at the office goes home with office stationary. Apparently it is part of the inner desire to be better and do better than other people,so if we take something home from work it somehow helps satisfy that need. It is more complex than just wanting a free pen.
@hookfan (447)
22 May 07
Stealing is taking office supplies - it's not yours, it belongs to the company, therefore it is stealing. If it is given to you by the company then it is yours. Otherwise it is on loan to you. If the pen runs out of ink while you are working well that cannot be helped. I would often take work home with me and would have a special box for everything so all that went home, came back again.
@repzkoopz (1895)
• Philippines
22 May 07
as long as you get something without permission from the owner, it can be considered stealing. whether you have the intention to return it or not, the fact that you took it is a fact that you stole it.
2 people like this