Someone threw a letter through the window of the principal’s office, in a nylon bag with a stone inside. Rows and rows of cramped handwriting, restless, denouncing the diversion of resources in the dining room. There was a meticulous description of the “private” storeroom where the products that never made it to the students were kept. And the huge number of servings that, each week, ended up in barrels to feed the administrator’s pigs. On eight pages it betrayed the tricks to make the numbers add up at the end of the month and even the names of those warned about possible inspections.
The anonymous person forced an urgent meeting. The surprise kitchen audit had confirmed what the incognito vigilante had said. On Thursday, a unanimous show of hands expelled those implicated in the embezzlement and new workers were appointed to their positions. From the chairs of the large space few believed that the stolen food would end up on the trays and that the students’ lunches would recover the ounces and flavors lost.
When Monday came the new kitchen staff already had their own embezzlement dynamics. They hid the sacks of beans and bottles of oil at a distant site undiscovered by the auditors. For at least three days they put the established quotas on the trays, but gradually they took away an ounce here, a gram there. The pigs in some distant sty started to grow fat again with the soup and rice so bland that many of the scholars wouldn’t eat it. Adulterating the accounts guaranteed that the embezzlement wouldn’t show up in the paperwork, while an informant – close to the principal – warned if there was going to be an inspection by the ministry. The anonymous accuser managed only that the thieves had new names and that the diversion of resources put the power in other hands.