Situation regarding theft and my job


Hoping for an answer on this one guys;

I work at a camp for kids in the summer and I am the head of my particular age group of kids with a few staff members working under me. At the camp we provide the kids with drink boxes at the end of the day, and the staff are not supposed to take them. With that said, as you can imagine, staff members often take drink boxes when they are not supposed to, I was aware this had been going and have taken measures to put an end to it, I’ve told the staff under me that it is not permitted on a few occasions, I even went to my boss for clarification regarding this issue and my boss announced to the entire staff that the drinks are for the kids and not the staff. Even with these clear announcements, some within our staff are simply not heeding these words.

Now I’m concerned as to what else I’m obliged to do here; even though it is a policy that the staff is not supposed to take these drinks, my boss doesn’t seem to make a really big deal out of it, staff members routinely take and consume these drinks in the same area as my boss (whether or not they are seen, who knows) with no consequence, and yet I’m getting stressed out trying to enforce this policy with the people in my group. For some background, I’m a scrupulous person, and I have issues with social anxiety which makes it hard for me to muster up the willpower to really get on my staff over this. And for the record, this is not a situation where staff members are ignorant of the rule, it is well known, and I have made it known both directly by telling my staff, and indirectly through my boss.

So I’m basically asking what you guys think of this situation, what my moral obligation or culpability is in the wrongdoing of my staff members is here, and maybe some advice on how to handle this for someone who is shy/scrupulous/socially anxious. I intend to speak with one of my bosses about this a second time, hoping that they will really get the point across, but beyond this, what else should I be doing?


OSHA is really big into heat stress right now. What steps are being taken to prevent heat injury for staff? Is there any chance that staff are not being properly hydrated, especially the staff living otherwise indoor, sedentary lives? This is leading up to maybe they’re thirsty and need to be watered more.


You should talk to your boss and ask not only what the policy is, but also what the consequences are for breaking it and how you and the other supervisors are to enforce the policy and consequences. The boss should bring all supervisors together and clearly spell out how the policy should be implemented-- including what authority you have in this situation for those who break the rules.

So, in absence of the boss having actual consequences and a procedure for you and the others to address violations fairly and consistently, in my opinion you have no obligation beyond what you have already done.


Well, I don’t think my higher ups consider such a thing worthy of a specific procedure, it’s just a simple “drinks are for the kids, not the staff” sorta thing; there’s no actual specific punishment that I know of, and furthermore I’m not authorized to punish my co-workers (who are just one level below me, we’re nearly on equal footing even though I’m their superior), so the most I can do is tell them to stop and maybe report them which will likely result in my boss simply telling them to stop (who knows if that will work). To put it in perspective, I think my bosses see it as an annoyance rather than a serious offense, they seem to care more about you being late to work than this whole drink taking thing.

I’m just aware of the Catechism where it talks about how we can cooperate with the sins of others:

1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:

  • by participating directly and voluntarily in them;

  • by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;

  • by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;

  • by protecting evil-doers.

The third bullet point there seems to be what concerns me; I feel like I have an obligation to hinder my staff from doing this since I am their immediate superior, and I have taken some steps to hinder this from going on (telling my boss who in turn told the staff, telling members of my staff directly on 2 occasions, handling drink distribution myself, and even hiding the drinks to try and prevent them from even thinking about taking any), but I feel I’m not doing enough, but like I said, it is extremely hard for me get confrontational in these situations; I want to do the right thing, I want to speak up, but I so often freeze up with anxiety over this. Like today I saw a staff member going to where the drinks were, I suspected he might take one so I followed after him discreetly (and saw he had one in his hand trying to hide it), I intended to say something but I just froze up :o, the situation left me extremely frustrated and wondering if I had sinned there by not acting even though I wanted to >.<


OK then, you have no obligation, moral or otherwise, to do or say anything beyond what you have already done.

You are not cooperating with the sins of others. You are, in this regard, being scrupulous.

No. You already said you have no authority to do so.

Your boss has a policy that he fails to enforce and staff drink the juice boxes in front of him. This is not stealing.

You need counseling for your anxiety and compulsion.

You are not the juice box police. Your boss has made that clear. Do not think of this again.

closed #6

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