Thursday, November 15, 2007

On the issue of Marrucinus...

What is an employer's most villainous enemy? It's employees.
Why do I say so? We steal from work. Or, at least a majority of us do.

As Vault reports, 60% of employees have admitted to stealing little things such as post-its and tape from work; 2% of those people admitted stealing more ostentatious (and less inconspicable) things such as furniture, computers, and printers. As one man puports, he has always seen the amount of missing items lost go up when it was around back-to-school time.

Some graphs and statistics:

This small-scale stealing is relatable to the stealing of Marrucinus in the house of Catullus. After being invited to his house and cracking a few jokes, he "tollis lintea neglegentiorum" (Catullus 12, Line 3: "lift the napkins of the careless"), as in... plainly put, he stole them. Catullus describes this act as "sordida" (dirty) and "invenusta" (uncharming). I would assume Marrucinus did this just for the same reason employees steal from the stockrooms of their employers: they think they won't get caught and, besides, the things stolen are of little monetary value! However, Catullus overlooks this "price tag" and states that these napkins are of emotional value; they were a gift to him brought by Fabullus and Veranius from Spain. Of course, he demands them back.

As the last graph represents, none who admitted to stealing from work were actually caught.

But what are the consequences?

  • For Catullus, the price of stealing is the capital punishment of getting three hundred nasty verses shot at the stealer.
  • For real, modern life, the costs of being caught can be the same as being caught for shop-lifting.

Oh, Happy Day.