When you are working with someone who is being dishonest it’s difficult to know what to do. Our Basildon Polygraph Examiner dealt with this issue this week.
Q: Can a lie detector test establish whether someone I am working with, who is also a friend, is stealing from the store I manage?
I’ve recently taken over as the manager of a well-known retail store. I’m responsible for the running of the shop and the employees. I also need to do the stock taking and over the last few weeks, the stock has been down. It started off with a little bit of costume jewellery here and there but has now gone to some of the more expensive items.
My issue is that my best friend got me my job and I’m a little torn. She’s worked in the store for at least 5 years but when the manager left I was promoted. She seemed a little jealous of my promotion but we still spend a lot of time together outside of work, so I thought she was over it.
Any missing stock has to be explained to head office by me and at the moment it’s looking as though I don’t have a handle on shoplifters or my own staff.
Claire has a young daughter and her shifts at the shop work around her daughter’s school schedule. I know she found it difficult to find a job that allowed her such flexibility. I also know she’s struggling to make ends meet.
I’ve mentioned the stock that’s going missing to her but she just says we have to be more vigilant for shoplifters. Would a lie detector help me?
I’m thinking of getting her to take a test privately and then let her off with an official warning. I appreciate this might damage my friendship but it’s taken me years to get to where I am and although I love my friend, I love my job too.
H. A., Basildon
Response from Basildon Polygraph Examiner
What a dilemma to find yourself in. Perhaps the first step should be to ask your friend if she is upset about your promotion. If you are really good friends she might open up to you. If she does you can then ask her whether she is taking the stock.
Presumably you don’t have cameras in the store. You might want to consider asking your company to install them. Mirrors work but cameras are better.
It’s possible she might be honest about her feelings regarding the promotion but not about the stealing. If that’s the case a lie detector test will help. However, you might have to use some leverage to get her to take one. This could include threatening to report her to your employers. This threat alone may cause her to confess. Naturally you run the risk of ruining your friendship but when you consider your job is on the line, you have to question Claire’s motives. Is she trying to get rid of you so that she gets your job? If that’s the case, she’s not that good a friend is she?
Greater London/Home Counties Polygraph Service
To discuss your issue further please call our free helpline on 0800 368 8277. Mention to our customer service representative that the Basildon Polygraph Examiner suggested you call.
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Hopefully you’ll resolve your issue without our help but you know where we are if you need us.