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Thread: Advice for a Kid Accused of Stealing?

  1. #1
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    Advice for a Kid Accused of Stealing?

    My 14 year old is a caddie this summer. It is an excellent Summer job and great for someone like him who has really good people skills. Success as a caddie has very much to do with schmoozing and "playing favorites" by the guests and caddie masters. So far he has been very much a favorite. The caddie masters assign him more loops, players special request him he gets excellent tips, etc. There is also an amazing full ride scholarship opportunity. He loves it loves it loves it. He shows up early even when he's not assigned, he sticks around and cleans golf clubs for tips. He has been very successful and it's been fantastic for him - it's his world right now.

    Today, he showed up for his assigned loop and before he started, one of the caddie masters took him aside and accused him of stealing from the concession stand. Caddie's are allowed to take water and goldfish from the concession stand for free, but I guess he thinks he took something else. Sebastian was shocked to be accused. He said he didn't take anything and the guy said that "someone" said he looked suspicious. That's the entire body of evidence against him. Sebastian said, "How did I look suspicious?" and he said, "Don't talk back, if you ever steal again you are fired." It was all very stern and harsh and angry.

    He's so so upset to be accused. I'm upset for him. I'm also concerned about the ramifications for this job that he loves so very much and that could literally be life changing. I won't be surprised if he stops getting assigned if the caddie master thinks he's a thief. Even if he shows up early when he's not assigned to try to get a loop, it's at the caddie master's discretion. He went from being admired and respected to being a suspected thief.

    My advice to him was to show up early like normal tomorrow even though he's not assigned and say to the guy, "Hi Dillon, I just want you to know that I really love and value this job and I wouldn't want to do anything to put it at risk. I feel terrible that I'm suspected of stealing, and going forward I'm going to stay away from the concession stand altogether so that I won't be at risk of being accused again." My idea is that it's non-confrontational, while maintaining his innocence and showing respect for his job. I was thinking that staying silent sucks because it's like accepting the guilt, but that arguing about his innocence is combative and puts the caddie master on the defensive.

    Any thoughts or advice?

  2. #2
    Shrieking Violet Sprockey's Avatar
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    How heartbreaking for your son.

    I like your idea and suggestion to address him tomorrow!
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    Wishes reality was like comic books tpatt100's Avatar
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    How did I look suspicious?" and he said, "Don't talk back, if you ever steal again you are fired." It was all very stern and harsh and angry.
    I would say "f$ck you with the no talking back bullshit. You are not my parent and I have a right to defend myself from baseless accusations".
    Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them.


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    Shrieking Violet Sprockey's Avatar
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    There seem to be a lot of potential rewards and benefits to this gig, plus he loves it.
    I would suggest he swallow his pride just this once to see if he can get past it.

    But yeah, the guy sounds like an asshole.
    Sadly, we run into a lot of them in our careers
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    Wishes reality was like comic books tpatt100's Avatar
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    Yeah but this part bugs me:

    I feel terrible that I'm suspected of stealing, and going forward I'm going to stay away from the concession stand altogether so that I won't be at risk of being accused again.
    Having to change your behavior to avoid being suspected of doing something he didn't do in the first place would make me very uncomfortable. I had somebody do something similar to me when I was in high school and from that day forward I never felt comfortable working there so I got a different job.
    Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them.


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    Full Sponsor TapToTalk's Avatar
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    I agree with tpatt. It comes off a bit like groveling.

    Another approach would be to go to the caddie master, tell him the "I like this job and would never do anything to put it at risk." Then put it on the caddie master, "what can I do better?". Let the caddie master explain what behavior he expects. If the guy gives an asshole answer, then he might consider resigning. Working for an asshole who can decide to fire you for stealing with no proof is not an excellent summer job.

    Is this a country club or a public course? Is the caddie master responding to some asshole member?

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    Moderator Shaena's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TapToTalk View Post
    I agree with tpatt. It comes off a bit like groveling.

    Another approach would be to go to the caddie master, tell him the "I like this job and would never do anything to put it at risk." Then put it on the caddie master, "what can I do better?". Let the caddie master explain what behavior he expects. If the guy gives an asshole answer, then he might consider resigning. Working for an asshole who can decide to fire you for stealing with no proof is not an excellent summer job.

    Is this a country club or a public course? Is the caddie master responding to some asshole member?
    I like this. No one should have to feel this way at any job, and certainly not a 14 year old.

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    Non-praying member Mamapalooza's Avatar
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    Are there cameras at the concession? I wouldn't think avoiding the concession is a solution because that's not the problem. The problem is someone may have stolen something and a hot headed caddie master jumped to conclusions on no evidence at all. He didn't answer "how did I look suspicious" because he doesn't have an answer and instead pulled a power trip. Eff that.

    I'd tell my kid to tell the caddie master he wants to resolve the issue and remove suspicion and if they can't then go to a supervisor, in writing. Something stinks.
    "Wherever in the world much poverty is found, much religion is found also"

  9. #9
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    Thank you guys for the input. Interesting shared perspective from the guys. I'll mention your thoughts to him as well. I hate hate hate the idea of him losing this amazing opportunity because of *one* guy. The guy has previously like him too, his tone didn't change until the theft accusation. It's a country club. Sebastian can't figure out who it might have been - his clients all seem to really like him and show it in their tips. He wonders if it could have been the person working the concession stand. I'll make it clear to him that he is not required to take this crap so long as he understands the ramifications and leave it to him to decide. He loves it so so much, and this is the first bad experience he's had. I just hate this for him.

  10. #10
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    The staying away from the concession station came from Sebastian - he immediately told me he was never going near the concession stand again. I agree, he shouldn't have to do that. Somehow in my mind telling the caddie master that he would stay away from the concessions was a passive aggressive FU translated to: "I love this job and I'm not going to give you a single other chance to screw me over with baseless accusations" - but often the idea I have in my mind when saying these things doesn't translate at all, lol. The thing that sucks in escalating it is that even if he doesn't get technically fired they can just never assign him another loop, or almost none which would cut off any chances for the scholarship, etc. My older son did this job last summer and he's much different in his social skills and doesn't relate well to people. He tried, but it just never clicked. He was almost never assigned. They work entirely on tips, not hourly or anything. It's not a typical employment situation.

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