CIA employees are under a great deal of pressure. These are the people who are cracking foreign intelligence. These are also the people who work directly with the White House and the President of the United States.
So these employees need to vent once in a while. Well, actually, more like on a daily basis to be able to handle the pressure. Now some people would suggest working out daily to release that tension. Some even suggest meditation and time spent in nature but these CIA employees have no time for any of that.
Rather than going for the healthy option, these agents opted for a sugar rush. What better way to get your mood swings going than with a sugar rush? But there’s more to this story because rather than buying the snacks from the vending machine, these CIA contractors decided to steal more than $3,000 worth of snacks.
This is according to official documents obtained by BuzzFeed News. Now, I’m not judging on the amount of cash spent on these snacks. People are allowed to binge under pressure. Hell, I’ve binged when I was perfectly fine so there!
I won’t even judge on the fact that they stole from a vending machine. Those machines are bastards. I’ve lost count of the money and the snacks I have lost out on because a vending machine would get my chocolate bar stuck. (And yet, I still do use these bastards when I’m desperate.)
What is puzzling is how these CIA employees could risk a great job for a snack. Not just a great job but a well-paying job. I mean, I know I Snickers bar is bloody food porn in our mouth on a Wednesday afternoon, but is it worth our job?
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Instead, the operation involved the “unplugging” of a cable connecting the machines to an electronic payment system called FreedomPay. The employees then used “unfunded FreedomPay cards” to buy snacks without having to pay. Genius.
After a while, suspicions arose about the thefts. As a result, the OIG installed “surveillance cameras at several key vending locations where a high occurrence of thefts were taking place.” This is, again, according to what the report says.
The report reads how soon after the cameras showed evidence of CIA personnel stealing from the machine. “Video footage recovered from the surveillance cameras captured numerous perpetrators engaged in the FreedomPay theft scheme, all of whom were readily identifiable as Agency contract personnel.” I guess low blood sugar makes you unaware of cameras nearby.
It seems that the “theft scheme” started with one “masterminded” employee. The latter and “his knowledge of computer networks” made this scheme possible. “The employee admitted to successfully testing the vending hack, before sharing the technique with several colleagues,” as good colleagues would do.
It is estimated that these CIA employees stole around $3,314.40 worth of food from the machine. Forget the stealing part of the story for just a second because that’s a lot of snacks. That’s a lot of sugar and cholesterol and mood swings.
Let’s hope these people have learned their lesson — no snack is worth losing your job over. None whatsoever. No sir! Although, nothing says "take me" like a crispy chocolate wafer on a Tuesday afternoon….