Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Sister T... The workplace kleptomaniac

Websters dictionary defines kleptomania as an obsessive impulse to steal regardless of economic need, usually arising from an unconscious symbolic value associated with the stolen item.

My supervisor, Sister T (the name has been changed to protect the guilty) is a kleptomaniac of sorts. In a nutshell, she likes to steal (lift, borrow, and not return... whatever) ink pens. It doesn't matter what color, brand, or value...

Just as long as it has ink. Ink pens are her passion, you see...

If there's a need for her signature on paperwork, we know that we will most definitely hear her speak four dreadful words...

"You got a pen?"

We look at her. She's looking at the paperwork and her hand is extended towards us. She is unaware of the look of horror on our faces...

In our minds we scream "Hell no! If I give you my pen, I won't get it back!" But we reluctantly relinquish our ink pens. It's either that, or receive a questionable performance review at the end of the year...

The smart employees always have a cheap throw-away ink pen available. But when you're not so bright, or caught completely off guard, what can you do??

Sister T bragged to a coworker (name withheld) that she had lifted an ink pen from her mother-in-law. Sister T was especially happy with that particular ink pen. It was the best writing pen
she'd ever stolen. She mentioned that it had belong to her mother-in-law, and that she received so many compliments on her nice pen.

So as you can see, family isn't even safe from her klepto ways...

And it's only going to get worse as she gets older. Right now, it's only ink pens. Next thing you know, it'll be paperclips, a calculator, a lunch bag, or God forbid, a wallet or purse.

(By the way, a co-supervisor was frantically searching for her calculator. She even sent out a serious e-mail about her lost property. I wonder?... Hmmm...)

I am writing this commentary because Sister T did something odd and completely bizzare. I was sitting in her office, and she was signing some paperwork, and she looked at me, a smile lighting her face and said...

"I don't know who I stole this ink pen from? You want it?"

"No thank you," I replied quietly. I immediately looked down at the floor.

At first thought, I would have jumped at the chance to get an ink pen from her. She has lifted so many from me, you see. But this ink pen was different: It was a bright neon green retractable pen. The type that looked like it would glow brightly in the dark. Very, very unique indeed.

There was no way I would've been caught with such a unique ink pen.

No, I didn't want the owner of that pen to see me with it, and go around whispering "You need to watch your ink pens around Ladylee..."

"She's a kleptomaniac... Just like Sister T!!"

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