Thou Shalt Not Steal
First and foremost, let me tell you that I am not attempting to be the "Tim Tebow of Loss Prevention"; however, I am proud of my faith and spirituality. In all things we do, there is a greater cause. We rarely realize this in the beginning. It keeps our enthusiasm and effort at a normal level of expected acceptance. What if you knew the higher purpose of your endeavors? Some may choose not to take on such tasks while others would be elated to know the exact effect on their efforts. This article was written to help Loss Prevention professionals understand that our field has a "Greater Good".
Are we just breaking cases and having fun doing so or is Loss Prevention part of a greater cause? Everyone in the Loss Prevention field holds this commandment near and dear to their heart. Some have done so for many years and may not have even realized it. There are few professions that give the opportunity to uphold such a prestigious and righteous commandment. No matter what religion you are part of, this commandment effects Loss Prevention professionals and their employers in many positive ways. Although it has always been against the law to steal, we never think of preventing it as part of a higher calling or a greater cause. We are in fact a very important part of a greater cause. The Ten Commandments are basic laws provided by God to help us all treat one another with honor and respect.
One of my first cases involved a very large, 400lb male shoplifter that proclaimed God had given him permission to take whatever he needed. Ironically, he stole and bandana, a tube of caulk and some Dexitrim diet pills. Being a very young LP professional at the time, I thought it very odd but failed to share the Ten Commandments with him. My personal thoughts were, "If he wanted you to have it, you would not be going to jail." I prevailed by getting yet another apprehension which always pleased the boss. This was a clear case of the Commandments working in my favor.
You do not have to be a devoutly religious LP professional to have this commandment work in your favor. It is almost automatic for us. Just think of all the cases you have dealt with. You were serving your employer and enforcing a higher law. The higher law being one that trumps any state or federal statute. We drive to work pondering how we are going to uphold this commandment. We stay up at night figuring out how to handle cases because this commandment is important to us. This commandment puts food on our tables, pays our rent and helps keep costs down for consumers.
I often wondered where the joy of breaking a big case came from. Now I know. It lies in protecting, enforcing and living by this commandment. It is an internal joy that is a direct result of doing what is right. The next time you break a big case, think about this and see where the real joy comes from.
If this article moves you, share it with your peers. Keep doing your job and know that you are not just breaking a case or just doing your job. You are contributing to a greater cause and you were chosen to do so. This cause is not just to reduce theft for your employer. Such a commandment was not created to increase your employer's profit. Your employer benefits from this as a latent effect of one of God's commandments.