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Now I see it...Now I don't
By John Fernandes
John Fernandes, Director, Speedex Mentorship Solutions, Mangalore, is an expert on youth behaviour and a professional mentor who has focused on some very important issues and concerns with respect to youngsters at school, college, work place and in social environments.

March 28, 2013

An eye-opener for those who constantly keep losing things in school, at work or at home.

We live in this age where we believe in doing things fast and completing any of the given tasks before the set deadlines. Isn’t it very natural to keep forgetting to pick up some of our belongings i.e. wallets, laptops etc? It is very unusual to leave our mobile phones in an unknown territory because now they have become a part of our human bodies almost… but people still forget to take them along. And when they return, it is not to be found anywhere!! Well, forgetting to carry belongings is not a crime but what if, you realize that that precious belonging was stolen, and not forgotten or misplaced as you thought earlier.

Dear friends, the cases for things getting stolen at schools, hostels, work places etc are increasing alarmingly as we speak. Over the last few months, I have learnt of various situations, and mind you, they are not burglaries, not armed robberies, and they are not even done by known criminals. In fact, it is a son, daughter, best friend, hostel mate, peer, subordinate who is responsible for something you have just lost. Most of the time our first impression would be “I may have misplaced it”, “I may have miscounted” and forget about following it up. The other possibility is we would blame every other possible individual around, but for the actual culprit. And I am sure; each and every one of us may have started rethinking on our past experiences by now!!!

Well, let me bring some instances on your table.

One of my clients, an urban parent, kept miscounting the money in his wallet once every three days. He is a bank employee, and possibilities of him counting in excess on the previous day and denominations falling short the next morning are very remote. But it kept happening for more than a year. He has only one son who is currently pursuing his 11 grade in a prestigious institution. In course of time, the father realized that he could be the reason for his miscount. As and when he decided to monitor his movements and on constant observation, the culprit was caught red handed. Now instead of the wallet being kept out in the open, the banker started to lock it up inside his cupboard. And now, the denominations are well and truly accurate.

A hostel warden brought it to my knowledge that expensive electronic items, cell phones, laptops, cash, cards and sometimes books kept getting stolen from the rooms. It was obvious to know that the culprit had to be one among the students who resided in the hostel. But exactly who?? Was it the job of an individual or was there a group involved?? On keen observation it was identified that there was one particular girl, who constantly kept falling ill and would return to the hostel during class hours. The authorities kept a close eye on her for a period of time and when they managed to interrogate the girl, they busted up a host of stolen things and information about how she used to execute things.

One of my friends, who is a techie in a corporate in Bangalore, complained that her USB drive got stolen more than once at office. She also observed that two of the times, it got mysteriously misplaced just before a presentation and once it went missing from her laptop carrier after she had saved some crucial information from another source before she could prepare her presentation. She later found out that it was one of the members of a team who had done this only to ensure that she wouldn’t get a good appraisal from her bosses, and they would portray her as “irresponsible”.

These are only a few distinct ones that we should learn about and they will ensure that we look at things more carefully and ensure that we do not become the victim of such circumstances.

Apart from these we may also have come across these cases at some phase of our lives.

Loss of jewellery from our lockers

Loss of attractive or unique articles, antiques, original collections, photographs, gadgets etc

Loss of cash/ cheque leafs from your office drawers

Girls… instances of your favourite, expensive make-up articles, went missing from your bags during your intervals??

Boys… the cash that you collected from sponsorships/ coupons for your college event goes missing???

Vehicle keys and helmets gone missing

As mysterious as they seem, these situations should really be an eye- opener and a valuable lesson for all of us. Stealing has already become a menace, especially by the younger age- groups from 13 to 23, and this is no more a matter to neglect about. It is a serious issue that needs to be first of all, own up to, understand, and take corrective measures to put an end to this. The habit of stealing, is not chronic, yes it could be inherited from the people we know, who have also been successfully indulging in the con job. In many cases, especially in the case of school children, it starts as a necessity and then becomes an obsession. I know of many such people who consider stealing to be a challenge!! An activity to show their smartness, cunningness, and uncanny ability. There are many who are not after money, but only crave to steal unique antiques, coins, gems and so on. But it is no denying that it is a sickness, which follows the philosophy of “prevention is better than cure”. The only need of the hour is to diagnose it as soon as possible.

As a part of a prevention strategy let us consider these recommendations.

Let us ensure that our children pursue their education in those institutions which suits our spending power. For ex: everyone wants their child to be a part of an elite institute. Sometimes, the fee structure is beyond our reach, but still we are determined to admit our child, even if it comes to spending too much for comfort. Mind you, the expenditure does not stop here, the child is now under pressure from his classmates to “keep up” with their elite standard. And when you do not give them enough as pocket money for their daily subsistence and competitive luxuries, stealing would be the most prominent solution.

Most of us do not consider that our own people could be the reason for things getting stolen. We suspect every single person, but for the actual culprit. In such cases, it is always better to deny people the chance to steal. Try not to leave belongings back when you are away.

In addition to this, the new generation is also a victim of hacking, files getting copied from one laptop to many other laptops, which is also no lesser a issue than stealing. In fact, the consequences could be much more disastrous!! So kindly do not share your mobile phones, laptops, tablets with anybody, without your presence.

At office, we should be aware that it is a competitive atmosphere. Your things could be stolen, mutilated, misused as a result of conflict, jealously, and a host of other issues with regards to work place dynamics.

Dear friends, the act of stealing could be the result of a host of possibilities and reasons. And it could be stopped completely with our mere approach towards understanding it more deeply. Most of the times when we have someone with such a problem, it is advisable to correct him/ her before it becomes a habit. If it is not possible to get a solution, we need to seek professional help to get rid of this menace. But most of these situations could be avoided if only we are more educated, reasonable and careful about our people and things in daily life. So let us live safe and secure.

Let us be the shepherds of our own flock!!!



Comments on this article
Mervin Dsouza, belman/ abudhabiTuesday, April 02, 2013
Very informative article John...You are doing a excellent service to the society through your new venture. Wish you all success.
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Glany Fernandes, Mangalore / DubaiMonday, April 01, 2013
Very interesting topic you brought up Mr. John. Certain things which happens under our nose and we often ignore it. Being a youth, your write up will help many young minded people to come out from these situations and an alarm advice to grownups.
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Fr Stany D' Souza, BangaloreSunday, March 31, 2013
it is a timely comment on a teenage issue. As observed in the article it is quite rampant among youth and the remedy is to look after a flock well. Congrats John. continue to focus on contemporary youth issues
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Jeevan Vas, BangaloreSaturday, March 30, 2013
Hi Roshan , so worthy of reading this article, a realistic view of the possibilities.Wish you a great success for your venture “Speedex Mentorship Solutions”. Thank your social awareness. nice
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John Fernandes, MangaloreFriday, March 29, 2013
Thanks for your feed on this prominent disorder i.e. kleptomania.I have had a few such cases in the past where I was compelled to hide all my expensive articles when I had to deal with such people on consultations.
On a more serious note, we could do well to acknowledge such a disorder if and when one of our own people is a victim, and seek help to find a remedy for the same. It needs a cure, and very soon before it becomes a part of their lives.
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Good article dear John, if we take note of small small things in day today life, we can prevent tempting others to take advantage of us. Keep writing.
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Kiran Vas, Mangalore / qatarFriday, March 29, 2013
Its a great article John and good piece information to all. Mr JOhn as been doing a lot the society through his venture " SPEEDEX-MENTORSHIP SOLUTIONS". Wishing you all the success in your Venture and keep writing article like this.
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Hubert D'Souza, Bejai/MumbaiFriday, March 29, 2013
Good article John. Keep writing. All the best.
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Eric Coelho, Mangalore Friday, March 29, 2013
I wud consider losing thngs at ur work place/home/public place is part of life.Nowadays I c a lot of ppl losing their valuable personal belongings mainly due to “Absent mindedness” and “Lapses”. This is caused thru change n quality of life. Preoccupation, distraction, lack of concentration is the main cause for “Now I see..Now I don’t”. There r also cases of physical & mental stress that results in loss of memory and loss of attention. The present kids r prone to various unhealthy food habits, high end cell phones, internet & high end motor vehicles. What the Kids of today ask for has to be instantly placed in front of them (fast food) or else v are bound to lose the count of cash or even credit card from our wallet. Both parents & Kids have no time for each other. Parents r busy with career & as kids grow (de grow fast today like tech) de know that the parents r earning fr them giving rise to unqualified and indiscipline behavior of the kids. Kids are god’s gift to parents but do the parents really treat kids as god’s gift “No way”. Right from day one the child is born we start bringing them up as a commercial product thereby forgetting or ignoring the basic values of life. Do parents sit with their children and discuss what plans they hv for themselfs and fr their children. We shd learn 2 impress upon the mind of ur children by frequent instruction or repetition. Life is daily routine, there is nthing new other than we growing physically mentally & age.
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Fr Stephen Dsouza, Shirva/BelgiumFriday, March 29, 2013
An educative article dear John. Keep writing. God bless you.
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Ananth Prabhu, MangaloreThursday, March 28, 2013
Wonderful article. I was Johns Classmate in school and it gives me immense pleasure to read his articles. He is doing a wonderful service for the society. May the lord bless him with good health and happiness always
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Shankarnag, Kinnigoli / DubaiThursday, March 28, 2013
Theft & forgetting the belongings are happening from the centuries. Intentional as well as an accidental cases are common in our daily life. We tend to forget our belongings & upon repeated efforts to search we don’t find them because they are stolen by that time. All happens because of Study Load, Work Pressure, Family tension, Carelessness & Over confidence. Theft is the profession for few of us, I do not comment on that because they have to Survive on this earth. The more you safeguard your belongings the more difficult it becomes to steal!!
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Dr Urban D'Souza, Udyavar/MalaysiaThursday, March 28, 2013
Good piece of information John. Many a time this is a impulse control disorder called as Kleptomania. The characteristic features are inability of the person to resist his urge to steal and it is a type of psychiatric disorder. Many a time noted personalities too have this kind of problem.
Five symptoms are
1. Intense urge to steal
2.Feeling of relief, fear, or anxiety after stealing.
3. Lack of malice.
4. Compulsive stealing.
5. Lack of conduct disorder or manic episodes
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