58

I started a new job recently and I noticed one day that my American flag sticker had been removed from my truck's window. I am heavily suspicious that it may have occurred while I was at work, and would further indulge in saying I believe it was someone from my building.

How would I go about handling this situation? My first guess would be going to the security desk and ask if the cameras caught anything. Since I am a contractor, I don't know if I should report it to my company's HR department, or the company I'm currently working for's HR department.

Additionally, would it be wise to purchase another sticker, and should I inform my site's manager? It would be worth noting that the incident occurred at least a week before the election.

97

Well ... that truly sucks.

Frankly, there's not much to be gained by complaining. You have no evidence that this happened at work, and won't be making any friends by reporting it.

If I were you, I would document that it happened, and just buy a new sticker. Keep a close eye on it and see if it happens again, and more importantly, if it happens at work.

If it does, go to HR, explain the situation, and show them the photos of when it happened the first time around. This way you actually have a case to present to them.

  • 1
    @mattbrennan - I would simply take pictures. Do it on company property so that they can tell that's where you noticed it. Then buy a new sticker and make sure to check it's still there at the end of each workday. If it disappears .. you'll know, and can go to HR right away – AndreiROM Nov 9 '16 at 15:51
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    Part of the question states "should report it to MY companies HR department, or the company I'm currently working for's HR department". Your answer should also specify which HR should be told if it happens again. – David Starkey Nov 9 '16 at 17:19
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    It is worth noting that even if you knew it happened while you were at work, that doesn't implicate the people in your company unless you park in a place that only employees have access to. Could it be a visiting guest? A nearby company? Some random people walking by who have nothing to do with your company? Seems unlikely that the OP can really tie this back to co-workers unless there was video evidence implicating a specific person – Kevin Wells Nov 9 '16 at 18:48
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    @Kevin Wells the important point, in my opinion ,is not who perpetrated this vandalism (minor as it is) but where it happened. If this happened on a company maintained parking lot, I think that company should be informed even if it was done by some random guy off the street. – Michael J. Nov 9 '16 at 20:59
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    @AndreiROM Checking at the end of each workday only works if you also check at the beginning. ;) – jpmc26 Nov 10 '16 at 23:17
90

If I were the security manager, and you showed up to report a missing $2 sticker, I'd hand you $2 and send you on your way.

For all you know, it could have been dumb kids in your neighborhood, or anywhere you parked your vehicle. You can replace the sticker, or not. But don't expect anyone to go on a witchhunt over it. Slashed tires, broken windshields, or similar are on a whole different level.

"Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" -- Richard Carlson

  • 2
    @MattBrennan No specific idea, but comments are not guaranteed to be permanent on any SE site. They can always be deleted for whatever reason. Any critical information should go into answers/questions, and any lengthy discussions should be held in chat. – zibadawa timmy Nov 10 '16 at 16:02
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    If, as a security manager, you tell "Have $2, move along", I'd feel you don't care enough for security. He's not crying about the 2 bucks the sticker costs, but the fact of not feeling secure at your premises. It's not the sticker - it's the fact they did it. – mgarciaisaia Nov 10 '16 at 18:01
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    @mgarciaisaia I used to work for a company, with a name i wouldn't even have to finish for you to recognize, that provides in-home consumer entertainment. I supported a fraud department. Know what? They'd turn cases over to the FBI. The FBI doesn't even bother with cases less than $100 grand. In short, one can't chase after everything. – Xavier J Nov 10 '16 at 18:22
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    The tension wasn't within your workspace, it was in the parking lot. You can't prove that your sticker actually disappeared on the premises, nor point to a possible suspect, nor give any allusion to a motive other than you breathing. If it was all that bad, you could have (a) called the non-emergency number for the local police, (b) waited until the next morning for them to actually show up, (c) got a police report that they'd throw in the round file (d) spent an hour filing an insurance claim, and (e) wrote your local member of Congress, and Mr. Obama. I'm done, before this is deleted too. – Xavier J Nov 10 '16 at 19:35
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    @mgarciaisaia I think the not feeling secure line is a bit overblow, unless you assume that everybody who does something as minor as peeling a sticker will be involved also in more serious attacks. To put an example, if I forgot a book outside my car in the parking lot and found later that somebody had taken it(which is indeed a crime), I would not take that as a sign that the same person would assault and rob me in the same parking lot... In fact, I would say that it is not "a bit overblown", but rather quite a lot overblown. Try to use some common sense. – SJuan76 Nov 11 '16 at 13:42
27

I am heavily suspicious that it may have occurred while I was at work

Suspicious is one thing, proof is an altogether different thing. I am not condoning vandalism, but unless you have proof that it was done at work then involving HR is the wrong thing to do as it establishes a baseline of

Something bad happened to me, I don't know who perpetrated it but I am blaming my coworkers even though I have no proof.

At most I would document it in a physical notebook somewhere, replace the sticker and keep an eye out for it being removed again while you are at work. At that point you have actual evidence you can present to HR.

15

How would I go about handling this situation?

Report it to Security, Building Management and HR of the location where you have been working. Don't expect much - there's very little they can do.

They might have security video that could be reviewed, and if it shows the identity of the person who peeled off your sticker, you could choose to go to the police.

Unfortunately, the fact that you don't really know when or where it occurred makes it very unlikely for you to get any justice.

Additionally, would it be wise to purchase another sticker, and should I inform my sites manager?

Yes. Wait a bit then get your sticker, but inform your site manager now.

This sort of vandalism tends to be a drive-by or walk-by thing. Hopefully, it won't happen again.

11

If you have a strong feeling that if you get a new sticker and somebody will remove it again, it might be worth installing a video registrator (aka dashcam) and perhaps not too obviously, so that if it happens again, the offender wouldn't see it and get scared off. If you happen to catch the sticker stealer on camera like this, you may have a very strong case to present to HR, but that's up to you.

Or perhaps you can install a fake dashcam which will spook the potential offenders and prevent them from taking down your sticker.

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    This is what I was going to write: replace the sticker + set up a camera. Until YOU have it recorded, you have nothing. No evidence on where it happened. – Agent_L Nov 10 '16 at 13:10
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    Thats a great suggestion. I will be buying one promptly in addition to the steps Andreil suggested. – Matt Brennan Nov 10 '16 at 13:35
  • Keep in mind that this might mean you spend a bunch of money on a camera, only to record a face you don't know. Making it obvious so people don't try might be more useful than hiding it in the hopes you know the person who did it. – Erik Nov 11 '16 at 8:02
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    I just looked up the prices, they seem to be in the range between 50 and 100 usd. This particular issue aside, it's still a very good investment, in case somebody pulls insurance fraud on you after an incident on the road. Wikipedia article describes its benefits. Additionally, I think you could still report the person to the police, although I doubt it would be seriously investigated, but if the quality is really good and the person is easily identifiable, who knows, maybe they'll get fined and their employer will find out about this. – user1306322 Nov 11 '16 at 8:54
  • I am unsure of OPs resources, but an old smartphone and laptop might do the trick (assuming you needed extra storage or advanced features). I have used this combo in the past as remote surveillance. Power might be the only issue. – Anaksunaman Nov 11 '16 at 12:45
3

In times of high political tension, it's best to let it go. There are some people feeling very hurt and scared, and the sources of their pain are rather attached to the flag. You, I'm sure have your own reasons for displaying the flag, and it doesn't matter at this stage whether those reasons match some other people's. Some of the people feeling hurt are your colleagues, even your friends. You still need to get on with them. I suggest that you replace it soon (as it obviously means a lot to you) but not immediately as that could be seen as provocative.

I have also seen a situation where a car was thought to have been damaged (expensive paint damage) in the work car park. The driver turned out to have been wrong and to have missed the fact that the damage had happened earlier and elsewhere. Despite making only quiet enquiries they ended up fairly embarassed. If they had made a fuss and then turned out to be wrong, smoothing things over would have been hard.

protected by Jane S Nov 11 '16 at 11:05

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