Alan Hass sighed. The room was dark except for a lone lamp lighting the desk. Picking up his pencil he brought his eyes to focus on the miniscule numbers in his ledger. For the first time in two generations he was recording figures in a column called "loss to employee theft."
Employees in American business are stealing an estimated 8'/2 to 10 billion dollars every year from the businesses that employ them. This theft is happening in two ways: theft of cash and merchandise, amounting to approximately 4 billion dollars annually, and white collar or "founta in pen" theft, such as bribery, kickbacks, padded expense accounts, theft of time, and loss of corporate secrets amounting to the remaining 41/2 to 6 billion dollars.
In retail stores, employee theft of merchandise alone is equal to five percent of the total yearly American retail sales, which means that a store's own employees are stealing three times as much as shoplifters.
What is the motivation behind employee theft? One industrial psychologist from New York suggested that it is job enrichment. Calling most retail jobs "unspeakably repetitive and boring," he maintains that "When the average retail employee becomes dissatisfied with his job, if he doesn't quit, he starts stealing from his employer. He gets back at the system. In a sense, the intellectual and physical challenges provided by opportunities to steal represent a significant enrichment of the individual's job. He can take matters into his own hands, make decisions, face challenges.
"The dishonest worker is enriching his own job in a manner that is very satisfactory (for him). This enrichment is costing management, on the average, $1.50per day perworker. At this rate management can avoid reorganizing jobs and raising wages."
While "job enrichment" (and greed) may be the basic motivations for employee theft, the solution is not, as this psychologist suggests. to encourage theft in a controlled manner. Why do people find their jobs "unspeakably repetitive and boring?" If we areto continue to live in the world, garbage will have to be emptied, floors scrubbed, letters typed, merchandise counted. Who will do it? And most important, how will theyfind satisfaction in their work without becoming dishonest?
"My job here is very simple. I work in the warehouse above the store. basically restocking the shelves and taking inventory of certain lines of merchandise. To most people it is boring work, but to me with Knowledge even simple actions have become a learning process. For example, the repetitive tasks of my job remind me of the natural ebb and flow of my breath and help me to meditate on the life force within me. So, instead of draining me, myjob is actually inspiring me with energy. At the end of the day I feel so good that I am able to be an active member in a number of social service projects of Divine Light Mission."
This answer was given by a retail worker in a large mid-western department store. The personnel director seems to agree that meditation helps her employees. Explaining why she had hired ten premies in the last year, she said, "The premies enjoy their work – but its not because they like our store, they like helping people and they like life. There is just something about them. They have found something thatstabilizesthem from the inside … quite unrelated to how they live or what they are doing. They say it is called Knowledge."
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A person may spend his life searching the whole world over for something which will give him peace. Yet he will die in despair if he fails to understand that the source of peace and truth is to be found right inside himself. Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge teaches us how to meditate on the source of peace and love inside us. It is not the sort of knowledge we can find in libraries, for it is a direct experience of something within us, not a theory. This meditation is shown to people by close disciples of Guru Maharaj Ji known as mahatmas. It is revealed free of charge to those who come with an open heart. For further information, call your local Divine Light Mission chapter, or write:
Box 532, 511 16th Street
Denver, Colorado 80201 US
or: 72 Grove Vale
London, SE22, UK.