Am I a schmuck for thinking this?

I’m a massage therapist, self-employed, I rent a room at a local massage studio. For the most part, the eight of us who work there manage to work and play nice together, but we do have two troublemakers.

OK, so one of my coworkers"Anna", is what the owner has termed a “problem child”. She will screw anyone over at any opportunity. She is unprofessional in the extreme, frequently arrives late to work on a client, is always having to borrow sheets or massage oil, or other supplies. One of the girls had a package dropped off at the office, and Anna spotted it on the desk, grabbed it and started shaking it, asking, “What do you have here?” She did the same with some books I had brought in, snatching them up and flipping through them without asking me first if she could look at them. When it comes to other people’s belongings, she generally behaves like a grabby four-year-old. Anna hasn’t actually stolen anything from anyone yet, but most of us make sure our valuables are kept out of her sight because we wouldn’t put it past her. She regularly poaches clients, flip side, if she decides she wants to go home early, she will dump a client, usually on me. She has asked me to take a client for her while the client was standing there at the counter, and once when the client was actually on the freaking table. If anyone gets angry at her (the owner has been called many, many times because of her unprofessional shenanegins), she gets pissed off and says, “Are you giving me attitude about this?”

So, the other day, Anna tells me the following story.

Seems she had a largish amount of cash in her purse, money that was intended for her room rent, which was hidden in her room. After she had finished with a client, collected payment and got her out the door, she got her purse so she could fill in a deposit slip and take the money to the bank. The money was gone. She was making a big show of the fact that she was now using her bra as “my new bank”.

My thought while she was telling me her tale of woe was that she probably blew her money on something else, maybe went out drinking, maybe picked up a bag of weed, and concocted the story about her money having been stolen so that the owner would cut her some slack on being late with the room rent.

Am I wrong in thinking this? I mean, sure, in all likelihood, Anna was telling the truth, but she has proven herself to be such an untrustworthy and irresponsible person that she leaves great room for doubt. Should I just assume that she was telling the truth, or is her history such that it’s a more likely assumption that she did, in fact, blow her money and made up the story so that the owner would let her have an extra week to pay her rent?

I have developed a tendency (blame five years of working in the casinos) to assume the worst about people, and I don’t want to be thinking badly of someone who is in genuinely unfortunate circumstances through no fault of her own. I also am thinking that I need to come up with a better hiding place for my own purse, just in case a less-than-honest client decides to go a-rummaging.

I can’t blame you for being suspicious in this case; I would be too. Aside from taking all due precautions with your valuables and/or money, I wouldn’t let my suspicions change my behaviour towards her.

Someone needs to bring “Anna” her own personal can of whoop-ass.

I wouldn’t believe her for a second.

I agree with serious lark - what difference does it make to you if she’s lying or not? I just wouldn’t trust her with anything important, if you feel she’s untrustworthy.

Oh, I’ve had money stolen from my wallet at work, too - don’t take anything to work that you can’t afford to lose, is my rule.

Why think worse of someone than you have to? Bad things are done to untrustworthy people, by other untrustworthy people, just as much as anyone else. So be sympathetic. On the other hand if the request for symapthy blossems into requests for money seeing as how she was so unfortunate, that would be the time to take her untrustworthiness into account. And flee.

None, or at least it shouldn’t, I guess.

I’m basically kind of bugged at myself for simply assuming that she was lying about having the money stolen. It’s nothing to me, really.

And, if she asks, no I won’t loan her any.

Also, I’m not giving her any more free massages, since she bitches and whines if I ask her to return the favor.

[sub]no, I didn’t mention it in the OP, but I just wanted to get that off my chest.[/sub]

Is she lying? Oh, probably. I’d file it under “who give a rats ass?” myself.

This is one of those “if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck” tales.

You know that ‘gut-feeling’ you’ve got right now?
It’s there for a REASON!