What you may not know about me is that I take care of the people working for me. I had a mentor who used to say “people make a choice each day they come to work, so you should always make it a good place for them to come by controlling the elements within your control.” I should be clear, this guy was a hard-ass, but he took care of people.
I believe in the same thing. I’ve brought treats, brought beer to entice people to participate in meetings, and fought battles for them.
I have also bought one guy sex.
Years ago, a guy worked for me that was about 30, had been out of the Navy for a few years, and took care of our telephone stuff. He had the mind and attitude of a 16 year old and also a sense of responsibility of a teenager. Clearly the Navy was good for him because I don’t think this guy knew how to dress himself coming out unless someone told him what, how and when. Structure was clearly what he needed in his life.
The two former Marines that worked on the network team could see this guy’s MO right away. And they constantly gave him shit about it all. He was an okay worker – required too much hand holding for my liking. And, I sat next to him in cubicle land, so I overheard WAY too much about his life as he told one of the former Marines.
When his coworkers learned he had never been to a strip club, they took him one night. They got him drunk and took him to the club where he was convinced one of the dancers had a thing for him and was going to get her number. They had to explain that she really only wanted his wallet, not anything else that was in his pants. I think they actually had to physically remove him from the place.
When he started dating online, he would ask absurd questions like, “if her profiles says 160lbs, is that fat?” I have to give it to the former Marine he was talking to; his response was perfect. “If you have to ask, you probably shouldn’t be dating…anyone.”
Through all of this, I learned too much – like he met a girl in California. I also learned he had flown down to spend the weekend with her & learned that sex was fun with her.
A couple weeks later, our purchasing guy got his corporate AMEX bill. On it was a whole series of mysterious charges. He brought it to me because he was so baffled. It was a corporate card – and he was also known to be a little too trusting with handing out the number to our staff members.
Four pages into the statement, I found a charge for a plane ticket. Guess where it was to? California. And guess who’s name was on it? Yep. Mr Former Navy Guy.
The rest of the statement started falling into place after that. Three dating site membership fees, a computer purchase, high speed internet setup fees, and a few other things similar.
Since we found Mr Former Navy Guy’s name on it, my purchasing guy sent him a message with me carbon copied asking about that specific charge. The guy denied it. After pointing out to him that the charge for the plane ticket had his name on it, the guy said “yeah, so….I was going to pay it back.”
At this point, I should mention that this guy has horrible credit. He could barely afford his apartment, and the only reason he had a car was because an ex-girlfriend signed the loan for him. Did I think he was really going to pay anything back? Nope.
Then, after being rather flippant about this situation, so he makes up some story about his daughter (who lives on the East Coast) unexpectedly traveling to California. Being a good dad who was desperate to see his daughter, he used any means possible to do it. That’s just what good dad’s do. He expected us to understand.
I mentioned he sat by me, right?
So, I should mention that I heard the days preceding how he was going to go to California to get laid.
And in the days after his return, I heard the same – about how he got laid. Visiting his daughter?
Give me a fucking break.
At this point, I had HR pulling together paperwork. He was out of there. I was done. In IT, if you can’t be trusted with the access to information, then you can’t work in IT especially if you used the info so blatantly inappropriately. It was pretty cut and dry really. And, his attitude about this was confirming it for me.
When I pulled him into the room with HR to fire him, he got defensive. No one told him NOT to use the card for personal use. Yeah, that was going to work.
Then it was a comment that he used the card by mistake – he was supposed to be using his mom’s credit card number; he mixed up the post-it notes in his planner.
Then he shifted tactics by saying he was sorry – wasn’t saying sorry going to fix this (and yes, those were his words). And, no, it wasn’t.
I knew we would never get him to pay the company back, I got to pay for it out of my budget. The network guys loved pointing out to me that, in essence, I bought him sex. And not just sex, but flew him to get it. I told them not to get ideas as they were going to have to get themselves laid as I was not paying for for any more booty calls.
Mr Former Navy guy couldn’t find another job and eventually left town in the middle of the night leaving all of his stuff behind as well as a pile of bills. He lived in the apartment complex where another employee also lived, so we learned that his mom had to come and clean out his stuff. Sounds like she settled at least that debt too. She made a comment that made us think he had stolen her credit card number without her consent. We also heard from his ex-girlfriend, the one who’s name was on the car, she was looking for him because he had stopped making payments. She didn’t have the money or the car, but she was responsible for the debt.
About a year later, I heard from this guy. Believe it or not, he was still unemployed and looking for me to provide a reference. My response to him was that we are not allowed to give reference. (Which technically is true – but is a rule we break for those who were not fired.) I couldn’t fathom what he thought I would say to a prospective employer.
“Yes, Mr Former Navy Guy worked for me. He did okay, just don’t trust him with credit card numbers or else you’ll be paying for him to get laid.”
I recently thought about this guy when his named showed up on a friend and former co-worker’s Facebook site. The curious part of me wants to find out how things are going for him. Mainly – did it all finally catch up with him. The other part wants to stay far, far away from him. (That’s the part winning.) But, to me, he will be forever remembered as the guy I bought sex for at work.