Bet Your Ass
October 18, 2011
We're down another board op.
Our eagle-eyed controller spotted $475 of 900 calls on the phone bill for last month; $410 for the month before that. All of the calls had been made on the overnight shift -- between 2a and 3a.
There was only one suspect. Leo. This $8-an-hour board op had been dialing up a tip line that, for $1.95 a minute, offered advice for betting on college basketball and NBA games.
"You getting rich?" I asked him, trying to break the ice.
"I'm already about a thousand in the hole," he admitted.
I hated to fire him. He'd never missed a shift in his two years with the company. Plus, he ran a tight board. But he saw no harm in running up the company's phone bill. When I suggested he might save his job if he reimbursed us for the 900 calls, he became downright belligerent.
"This company doesn't pay me enough," he shot back. "I can't believe they're so cheap they're going over phone bills."
Both of us knew it was a waste of time to argue ethics. He handed me his elevator pass card, shook my hand and started for the door.
"Good luck," I said.
"Man, I feel sorry for you having to work for these people," he said.
Not as much as I felt sorry for him.