Thursdays are a busy day for us and most of the "liberry" staff is present at one time or another during the day. This is partially due to Thursday being Story Hour day, with a high kid population, but Thursdays tend to be pretty busy all around.
Today we had Mrs's.
A, B, C, Mrs. H and me in house all at the same time. This only leaves
out Mrs. J, who's out for a few days with a bum shoulder, and Miss E,
who only works weekends. Mrs. H took off shortly after I arrived,
leaving the rest of us standing around the circulation desk to shoot the
breeze until such a time as it struck us as necessary to find something
productive to do.
"Hey, you wanna take this to the
post office?" Mrs. A asked Mrs. B, handing her a letter. Mrs. B said
sure, as we also had several interlibrary loan packages to go out too.
Mrs. A decided it would be good to see if we actually had any money in
petty cash to pay for such a venture. She took out our petty cash
envelope from its place by the cashbox and began counting through it,
tallying up the receipts with what was supposed to be in there. The rest
of us continued to converse until Mrs. A announced that the bag had
come up short. Real short. Real short to the tune of $80 short.
Now, we've been very careful about keeping track of money since our laptop theft incident with The Amazing Bladder Boy and Jimmy the "Anonymous" Snitch.
The petty cash had come up short around then too and we wondered if
they, or another unscrupulous patron (take your pick, really) might have
had something to do with it. We'd even toyed with the notion that The Untalented Mr. Ripley
might have returned to rob us again or that at some point in the past
he might have managed to sneak himself a door key and was now using it.
No one's seen him around, though.
Since we've been
doing a daily drawer count and have been far more careful about our
receipts, we've not had much problem with money turning up missing.
Sure, we might come up a dollar or so behind some days, but other days
we come out a dollar ahead and such occurrences are usually due to
someone not writing down copier or printing charges. (Mrs. A admits she
is the worst at remembering to do this.)
One of the
ways we've been more careful with money that I wasn't even aware of
until today has been to hide the petty cash bag in a safe place
elsewhere in the library. However, for the past week it has been tucked
away in its former home down by the cash box. Why was it there? Cause
when I returned from a trip to the post office last Friday, that's where I put it as no one thought to tell me it didn't live there anymore.
just unzipped the bag and took the twenties," Mrs. A said. "There were
five or six twenties in there and now there's only one."
Something about this didn't gel with my memory, though.
a second," I said. "There weren't five or six twenties in there when I
went to the post office last week. I can't swear to it but I'm pretty
sure there were only three or four." I explained that I rememberd this
because I had to use practically all the twenties that were there to pay
for shipping the ILLs and buy a roll of stamps. A roll of stamps is $37
and even at library rate the 10 or so packages would have come to...
Well, we didn't know off hand, so we decided to consult the receipt...
...only the receipt wasn't in the petty cash bag.
A figured that this solved the mystery. She thought I'd just forgotten
to put the receipt in the bag at the post office and that accounted for
the missing $80. This sort of thing has been known to happen. Trouble
with this theory is, I had NOT forgotten to put the receipt in the bag.
I'm the guy who had to stand in the post office for ten minutes while
the new guy at the desk slowly weighed and put postage on each of the
ILL packages then sold me a roll of stamps. I had the petty cash bag
with me, had to take money out of it to pay for everything and I put the
receipt right in there when it was handed to me. Plus, the total of my
post office purchase was not $80 but more like $65, if memory serves.
The receipt for the envelopes I had bought at Dollar General immediately
after leaving the post office was still in the petty cash bag, but
nothing from the post office.
Even with the missing
receipt accounting for $65, there was still around $15 missing and
unaccounted for. And I'm not convinced that $15 or $20 or whatever
wasn't missing from the bag before last Friday. Like I said, I don't
think there were that many $20 bills in the bag when I had it at the
post office. However, I may be remembering wrong and I can't prove it
either way. This doesn't make a lot of sense to me from any angle,
though, because the petty cash bag had been in safe hiding before it was
placed in my hands then.
The whole situation made me
very angry. It's not like Mrs. A or Mrs. C suspect me of taking the
money, though I couldn't blame them if they did. I am, after all, the
poor starving spouse of a med-student who's been known to mention how
short money tends to get. (Of course, the reason I mention this is so
that I might get a few more hours of work thrown my way.) What made me
angry, though was that the thing took place on my watch to some degree
and I was the guy who brought the bag back and unknowingly put it by the
cash box. It just looks bad to me, even if no one else seems to think
so. Whether I'm at fault or not, I always feel like I'm the guy who
screwed this up and who has fingers pointing at him.
A's new theory is that whoever took the $15 to $20 that is genuinely
missing probably grabbed it quickly and managed to snag the receipt from
the post office as well. I don't know if I can go along with this
theory. If the one receipt is gone, who's to say there aren't $15 worth
of receipts gone also, accouting for the amount that seems to be
missing. I know I put that post office receipt in the bag. I just
don't know how it could have gone missing unless someone took it out.
Then again, why would anyone remove receipts from the bag?
a few months ago we were so loose with the money rules that everyone on
staff was able to put IOU's for lunch money in there and pay up a
couple days later. Or even wait til payday. I fear such days are behind