I am feeling horrible and uncertain about what I should do. I am a cashier-store clerk at a Burlington Coat Factory near Orlando, Florida not far from Walt Disney World resorts. Because the store is near WDW, the area surrounding the store is mostly vacation rentals, and therefore nearly all our customers are tourists from out of state. Our store is new, and it gets a lot of sales volume. We get a lot of returns, too. Our store manager, Elvis, came up with the idea that since we have so many tourists from out of town, whenever we have merchandise refunds involving debit cards, we give the customer a receipt showing we have provided them with a cash refund and staple the refund receipt to the back of the original purchase receipt. We then tell the customer the refund will be credited back to their debit card in seven to ten business days. This way, the cash registers balance out correctly at the end of the day. We put the cash in a jar under our cashier’s counter. Sometimes, this amount can add up from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand each week, depending on how busy the store is on a given day. There are eight of us store employees, plus the store manager, who divvy up the cash equally each day. The customers rarely ever read the refund receipt, so they think the credit will go directly to their bank account in a week or so. Because we’re a tourist area, the customer is almost always long gone by the time they figure out the money has never been refunded. If they are local, which is rare, and they come back, we point out that they must have received the cash because the refund receipt shows that they were refunded in cash. The customer cannot do anything about it because we can argue that they were compensated and since the registers balance out, no one in the corporate offices will ever know what is going on in the store. The problem is, my conscience is eating me alive. My nerves are so bad that I can hardly eat or sleep anymore. I am scared if I go to the Polk County sheriff’s office and report it, then I’ll go to jail, and my coworkers will try to say I was the only one involved in doing it. My coworkers might even do something terrible to me, maybe even kill me. I know I deserve whatever happens, that what we’re doing is stealing from people, but I am scared and don’t know what I should do.
- 2 months ago
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