A self-service pump for diesel fuel. To the right, a credit card payment terminal. At a Preem petrol station in Avesta, Dalarna, Sweden. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Okay so we looked at the bill for our latest troublesome employee’s fuel card for his van it was unusually high. We checked the van’s mileage.
We then checked all the petrol purchases for that van. This took us about a week.
His purchases were 6 times more than our other oven cleaning vans – which were the same make and model. His mileage was 1400 miles more than it should have been for the mileage for the jobs we was driving to. He had filled up the van three times on a Sunday (we don’t work on Sundays) at a garage that is 15 miles away from where he lives, with about an hour and half between refills. He lived right next door to a Tesco store where he could use the fuel cards. He was also filling up miles from where he was working in the day. He was going out of his way to drive to petrol stations to fill up.
We decide that we are going to give him the boot. But we needed to get him into the office to go through the proper dismissal process.
Anyway we got him in. We took all his stuff off him. We interviewed him, he only said “that van uses a lot of petrol”, and the “the contract does not say I can’t use the van for personal use”!
I sacked him. We then took him home.
The next day I drove the van he had been using. The fuel gauge said the tank was empty! He had only filled it up the day before – even though we cancelled the cards for that vehicle, he still managed to use them to get fuel. But he had filled up and then driven home to siphon off the fuel; that was the reason it took him so long to get to the office for me to sack him!
So, luckily, in the end we managed to deduct from his wages the fuel costs but we missed the last payment. We delayed his pay day. I think his intention was to get paid and then leave to go onto to the next employer so it was lucky we noticed the fuel payments going out of our bank account.
In all it sort of all worked out, and next time I’ll insist on my gut reaction – we should have got rid of him in the first week when he was being late etc.
The week after he left we received on his phone a text message: ‘please ensure that you bring id to your interview’.
I texted them back saying I sacked the person who’s phone this was as he had stolen petrol. Their
reply to me was can you give a reference for him! Really unbelievable. It was a national cleaning company. Perhaps they didn’t think it mattered.