Sunday, May 22, 2011

Background Checks and Other Evil

Good afternoon dear reader(s)!

Today is Sunday.  Tomorrow I should have been starting another job that I had to get in order to be able to possibly pay back the loans I have taken in order to pay my bills and late fees from not paying bills earlier, but I am unable to start as scheduled tomorrow because the results of my pre-employment background check are not in.  Now I am having to figure out when my first paycheck will be should I even be able to start at all this week, and whether it will be in enough time to make it.

You see, a few months ago I quit a full-time job that I could not stand under the belief that certain payments I was receiving that were in fact gifts but still payments that were to be made to me for a certain amount of time on a monthly basis, coupled with the money I would be receiving part-time for working at a non-profit organization that I love, would be enough money to carry me through until I found a second part-time, or full-time job to supplement the part-time job for the good organization.  However, the gift money is coming to me less than regularly due to hardships elsewhere in the world and therefore the money that I have relied on to pay bills has either not been to me in time enough to avoid late fees and owing more, or just has not come at all.  I realize this is entirely my fault for relying upon money that I didn't earn in the first place, but it most certainly does not change the suckage factor of the situation, or that I was not living beyond what I thought was my means to bring it upon myself.

A couple weeks ago though, I was offered the full-time job that I know I would be able to stand doing.  I was saved.  It looked like I would make it after all.  I even twirled around in the street and threw my beret into the air.  The offer was contingent upon a background check and drug screen.  No problem.  I work for a non-profit organization that serves children.  I passed their background check just fine.  And even though my credit sucks, I was also offered a job by a bank that I turned down in favor of this job.  I passed their background check just fine as well.  Both of these other jobs required that I be fingerprinted, and that those fingerprints be sent to the FBI.  This job, has no such requirement.  And since the only drugs I do are caffeine and alcohol (when someone buys me a drink lately, as I can't afford to myself), I have absolutely no fear about the drug screen.  I was to start tomorrow.  My hopes were pinned on this fact.  Nope.  Results are not back yet.

Is this investigation really necessary?  The FBI and CIA both screen their potential employees more than any private investigation firm probably ever has, and yet, somehow classified and secret information still makes its way to our enemies.  Have you ever heard of Robert Hanssen?  My point is, these background checks do not work.  If a criminal is going to attempt criminal behavior, no simple background check is going to stop them.  If the FBI can't stop it in their own ranks, I doubt a pre-employment screening is going to.  It is my opinion that the companies who provide these services to prospective employers are in fact scamming those companies based on an irrational fear of potential litigation.  This slows the hiring process to a point where a large company that may have a very real need to fill a position, must plan months in advance to fill that position.  Meanwhile, they run the risk that the candidates they want to hire are going to be picked off by a company that can bring them on board faster.  The employer should see the money they waste on these ineffective checks for what they are.  They are a scam.  Even if some criminal employee exposed a company to the risk of litigation by doing something dishonest, chances are whatever damages would be awarded would be far less than what is budgeted for these screenings.  Maybe I'm just saying this because I want to start work already, but I really don't think so.  I am wondering if, because I have said this, I am blowing my opportunity to get hired as the investigation firm will uncover this blog-type-thing in the vast pile of muck filled tubes that is the interwebs, and decide that because I talked bad about their process I am not employable.  It is a risk I must take.  I owe it to my reader(s) to express the truth as I see it, because I am chalk-full o' integrity.  And nuts.

So I have decided that I will start my own background investigation firm.  I will exclusively investigate the backgrounds, credit ratings, and other information of other background investigation firms.  I will offer my services to companies who are considering contracting with a background investigation firm to investigate potential employees, so they can be protected from litigation should a potential employee decide to sue the company for hiring an unethical background investigation firm to investigate the ethics of their potential employees.  With the corporate mindset the way it is today, I figure this is a billion dollar idea.  I am waiting for the Napster guy or Justin Timberlake (as the Napster guy) to contact me so we can get this baby off the ground.  I will call it "The Background Company".  If he tells me to get rid of the "The" and just go with "Background Company", I will do so as it may be cleaner.

Well my dear reader(s), I should get going.  I have a lot of prep work to do if I am going to start looking into backgrounds.  If I knew where my camera was, I would post a picture of me looking into the background so you can see how good I am at it.  It might come off a little artsy, especially when the other people in it are looking into the foreground, but if that's what it takes to properly market my idea, then so be it.  

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