Last Updated Apr 26, 2010 8:00 AM EDT
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You might want to know what you can do to get yourself out of this situation. First, stop blaming your employer for underpaying you. If you were worth more money you could find another job that paid more.
Second, stop stealing. Yes, by exaggerating the problems with the computers, what you are doing is stealing from your company. As I said previously, they could choose to press charges on this and you could end up in jail. The smaller the amount of money we're talking about here, the less likely this is, but don't count on it not happening.
Third, it's time to confess and offer restitution. Your boss does not want to deal with the hassle of figuring out that you're doing this, documenting the problem, getting approval from his managers and HR to fire you, and finally firing you. Honestly, bosses hate this type of thing. By going to your boss and confessing, admitting you were wrong, and offering to pay what you owe, you may be able to resign, secure a positive reference and put this behind you. There's a small possibility that your boss would even be willing to keep you on board.
Fourth, accept that even if you do these things, the company has every right to fire and prosecute you. But, by admitting your thievery, you lower these chances. If they figure it out on their own, I can almost guarantee an extremely unpleasant outcome for you. Because of this, you probably want to get your resume together and start looking for a new job. But, understand that even if you get a new job, you may not escape this.
The business world seems really big, but it's not. You will run into people who know you and people who know people you know everywhere you go. With a story of being fired for stealing attached to your name, your new employer could terminate you for this, even though their company wasn't directly affected.
The sooner you stop and confess, the smaller the impact on your career, and the less likely it is to ruin you.
Photo by Graham G-man Simpson, Flickr cc 2.0