Nobody pays attention to the lunch ladies in the school cafeteria, a low skilled job with fewer hours offered than most people need to make a living. Lunch ladies, who tend to be older women, are more or less invisible. Ah, the opportunity…
Enter the lunch ladies of New Canaan, Connecticut — 61 and 67 year old sisters, who are accused of having spirited away nearly half a million dollars over four years from lunch money handed over by the kids. The ladies were unmasked when a new software program was installed to track daily cash receipts in the middle school and high school. To be fair, at this point the sisters are merely accused of wrongdoing. They haven’t been tried and convicted yet.
The New Canaan lunch ladies join a long list of successful scammers that nobody thought important enough to watch, or were assumed to be people who’d never steal. In 1996 the treasurer for the national Episcopal Church stole 1.5M right out from under everyone’s eyes, and it apparently wasn’t all that hard. Since then, a long list of clergy, administrative people, and ordinary churchgoers involved in the Sunday collection have been nailed as a result of greater scrutiny. “But who would steal from the church?”, people sometimes ask. Turns out a lot of people, if given the opportunity. Ditto for stealing children’s lunch money.
The half million bucks is apparently gone, and all because nobody was looking.