At one point several years ago I had a coworker with long, and very thick auburn hair. She worked in the reception area under my supervision. She was very personable, and everyone liked her. She often made us laugh. She had a second job as a caretaker for an elderly lady, and would often tell us how much this lady trusted her to handle her affairs. We admired our fellow coworker so much for all the sweet and helpful things she did for this lady, far above and beyond what she was paid to do.
Then came a time when our coworker began to act a bit strangely, like something was bothering her. She started complaining of bad headaches, and one day shocked us by saying that she had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain aneurysm that could burst at any time, but she didn't want any of her family (children and husband) to know about it, so they wouldn't worry. We were heartbroken for her, and mystified by her determination to keep such a huge thing from the people who loved her.
Not long after that she came in with her long hair cut short and dyed in a dark color that didn't suit her well. She told us that she had cut her hair because the weight of it was adding to the headaches. That seemed plausible.
Soon after we had an incident one morning where she suddenly announced that $300 cash had been stolen from her purse in the reception desk drawer. We had all talked often about how insecure our offices were, and also about one employee who always seemed to be in the area when money turned up missing. However, this incident occurred very early in the morning, shortly after we had opened, and none of us had seen the suspicious co-worker in the reception area.
The receptionist who claimed her cash had been stolen was very agitated and upset and pointed a finger at another employee that she was not on great terms with as being a likely suspect. Due to the amount of the cash involved, our Executive Director called in the police, who questioned several employees, but were unable to come up with any suspicion or evidence concrete enough to file charges. I was dumbfounded that anyone would be dumb enough to leave that much cash in their purse at work to begin with!
Just a few days later our receptionist didn't show up for work, and we learned that she had been arrested for forgery and embezzling funds from the senior lady she had been caring for! We later found out that their never was an aneurysm, and the haircut/color had been an attempt to alter her appearance as she considered fleeing. Additionally the "missing" money from her purse had never existed, but was rather a story she created to explain what had happened to cash belonging to the senior lady that had been in her possession.
"Oh, what a tangled web we weave....", and the saddest part of it was how much I had liked her when I initially interviewed her. Imagine the embarrassment of her family in the small community where we resided. I don't have to tell you how much I loathe anyone who takes advantage of children, the aged, the infirm, or anyone who is in a vulnerable position.
I have learned from this and other experiences, that appearances and first impressions can be very deceiving, and that I am not always a good judge of character. I am more careful about who I trust nowadays, but I still haven't abandoned my belief that most people are inherently good... there's just a few rotten apples in the bunch!~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are tangled and tower.
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