Moral of the Story

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
Does crime pay? Maybe, but things can go wrong.

Submitted: January 21, 2015

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Submitted: January 21, 2015



The Moral of the story...

There was nothing much in it to begin with. It all started off by accident, really. I was punching in a sale, and got my fingers muddled up pressing the keys. Somehow or other I fooled the computer and it gave the customer too much discount. The computer's not supposed to let you do that, see, but maybe it's not as clever as it thinks it is.

Anyhow, I got to thinking afterwards about how I did it, and maybe played with it a little, and I figured out which keys to press to scramble the computer's little brain, so to speak. Just for fun really, to see if I was cleverer than the computer. But then my mate Charlie from the pub came in to buy some stuff, and I thought, why shouldn't Charlie have a discount, he's a good bloke after all and if anyone deserves a discount it's Charlie, not these rich blokes that spend thousands and don't notice the difference.

So as I say, there wasn't much in it - just giving a bit of discount to a mate here and there. If they don't want you to do that, they should get a better computer, shouldn't they? Well, OK, Charlie did buy quite a lot of stuff, and sold it on, and cut me in a bit on the profit. You know what it's like when the missus wants something - maybe a new oven because the old one's driving her round the bend, or maybe a bit of jewellery she's set her heart on - you just have to find the money somehow, don't you, if you want any peace at home? It wasn't a lot, and what do they expect if they don't pay you enough to live on?

Well, there it was. I was happy, Charlie was happy and the missus was happy, and it could've gone on forever. And so it would've, if that bloke Tony who worked at the next counter had've minded his own business.  But he's got his nose into everything, he has, and one day his nose just happened to be leaning over my shoulder when I was doing a sale for Charlie.
"25% discount?" he says, "How'd you make it do that?"
I wasn't going to tell him, but he caught me down the pub later, and he wouldn't let it go. You know what it's like after a couple of beers. Ok, Tony's not a bad bloke, why don't I just tell him, I thought. So I did.

And of course, he had to try it out, didn't he, so he got one of his mates in as a customer, and gave it a go. But Tony's greedy, see, and he had to go giving his customer 80%, which isn't reasonable, is it? And next thing we knew Tony's computer's grassed to another computer upstairs, and that computer's snitched to the management, and we had the management sniffing around wanting to know who and why and whatever. I thought they were going to fire Tony there and then, but he can talk his way out of anything. Even I don't know when he's lying, and that's a fact, he does it so innocent-like. It was a mistake, he said, and he didn't know how it happened, and  yes, he should've noticed, but he didn't, and he's sorry, and yes, he'll be more careful in future.

So they found the customer and got the money back off him, and it all died down. And Tony'd learnt his lesson, he kept it to 25% like I did. Things went well for us for a long time after that. Tony's missus bought a new dishwasher, and I took mine for a weekend in Paris, all romantic-like. Yes, that was a good year.

But Tony can't just leave a thing like it is, he's always got to try to go one better. He made pals with one of those computer whizz-kids upstairs, and took him down the pub a few times. Darryn, that was the kid's name, bit of a wimpy bloke if you ask me, but he's got brains, or so Tony says. So Tony bent Darryn's ear about how Tony's computer grassed to the one upstairs, and asked him can't he stop it doing that, if he's so clever. Darryn said, well, I could make it let you have 30% before it grasses, that would be easy. At least, he didn't say it quite like that, he used a lot of words Tony and me don't understand, but that's what he meant. So Tony said why can't you make it 80% then, and we can all make money on it. But Darryn said something about selling below cost and affecting the trading reports. He said a lot of other stuff, too, but that was just to show how clever he was. Well, they argued for a bit, and in the end they agreed on 40%.

So we were making an extra 15%, Tony and me, but it's wasn't as good as you would think, because we had to give Darryn half of that 15% for fixing the computer. Still, we did well. The missus and I had a holiday on one of those Greek islands in the summer, and very nice it was, too. Lying about in the sun and drinking ouzo - it beats going down to Bournemouth, I tell you.

It was all well and good for a while, then we had another little glitch. Darryn couldn't have fixed the computer as good as he said he did, or maybe it was just bad luck. It was a Monday morning, if I remember rightly, that one of the bosses from up the top floor came sniffing around. He knew something was wrong, but he just didn't know what. He was the finance manager or some such thing, and he was in a right state, ranting and raving and carrying on. Down he came into the sales office, all posh suit and briefcase, asking questions and annoying everybody. Then he went after Darryn, and the pair of them disappeared off into a spare office with a pile of printouts. You could see Darryn wasn't happy, and Tony and me weren't too happy either.

We didn't see Darryn all day. Come 5:30 Tony and I'd had enough, and we stopped by the pub on the way home to cheer ourselves up. We were on our second pint when in walked Darryn. Would you believe, the little twirp was smirking all over his face. He bought his pint, and off he went over into the corner like he hadn't seen us. We weren't having that, coz we knew he'd seen us, he just didn't want to talk to us. And we wanted to know why, see. So we walked over and acted like we're surprised to see him, and he couldn't just walk off, now, could he?

Well, as you may have noticed, Tony's pretty good at wheedling secrets out of people. And the kid's got no head for alcohol, none at all, so by the end of the evening we had the story out of him. The manager bloke, Mr Falkner, he's nobody's fool, it seems, and he had it all worked out. He accused Darryn straight out of fiddling the computer. Of course Darryn denied it, but this Mr Falkner earbashed him for half a day, and in the end Darryn admitted it, like the right Charlie he is. Now comes the interesting bit. Once he'd got the truth out of Darryn, Mr Falkner did a right turn-around, and suddenly he was Darryn's mate and he stopped shouting. You see, it turned out that Mr Falkner'd had a good scam in mind for a long time, and all he needed was a computer boffin who could give him a hand with it. So the two of them put their heads together, and they worked it all out, and Darryn was going to be rich.

It worked, too. Next thing you know, Darryn's driving a flash car, and Mr Falkner's bought a big house in Hampshire, and they've got it made. Don't ask me what the scam was, because I didn't understand a word of it.  But it's their scam, see, and Tony and I didn't  get to see a penny of it. Well, just a bit on the side, then, for keeping our mouths shut, but it wasn't much.

But they got too clever, didn't they. A while later a bunch of blokes came down with smarter suits and bigger briefcases than Mr Falkner's.  Auditors, they were. They pulled everything apart and before you know it, Mr Falkner's been nabbed by the rozzers to assist with their enquiries, like. Then the rozzers came for Darryn. And those kind of blokes have got no loyalty to a mate, have they, and they snitched, and so the rozzers came for me and Tony too. So there you have it. It'll be a long time before Mr Falkner sees daylight, I tell you, and Darryn'll be there for a good while, too. Me and Tony got six months, which is bad enough.

Some blokes'll bore you for hours with all the bad stuff that happened to them in porridge, but I'm not like that. Just let me tell you that I suffered, I really did. The missus suffered too; you wouldn't believe how bitchy some of those women can be when you're on a downer. And you think everything will be fine when you get out, but it's not. Who's going to give you a job when you've been in the slammer? Nobody, that's who. And the missus is upset coz now the washing machine's broken down, and how am I supposed to buy her a new one on my job seeker's allowance?

So I've learnt my lesson, and learnt it good. And I'm telling you this, Jerry, because a wise man learns from the other bloke's mistakes, and I want you to learn from mine. So what I'm saying is, this little scheme we've got for juggling with the benefits system stays strictly between you and me. Nobody else, not even your best mate. Too many cooks spoil the broth, Jerry, and don't you ever forget it.


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