Thursday March 8, 2007

Standard
So…where should I start…
 
Well, yesterday I received a call for a job I had applied for. A part time secretarial position. It was for the Racine County Opportunity Center – part of the city’s Human Services Department. The job sounded ideal. It was the field (even tho the position was only secretarial) I am most interested in and care most about, they have a daycare ON SITE, flexible hours…and I am plenty qualified. I realized that this being a place that is based in social services, has a daycare on premises, and deals with developmentally disabled people that my background check would be a HUGE determining factor. So, I decided to send an email to the hiring staff prior to my scheduled interview. This is what I said:
 

Dear Mr. X,

I am writing to this email address as this is to whom I submitted my resume.  I spoke with (and excuse me if I am spelling this incorrectly) G. this morning regarding testing and interview for the part time receptionist position at the Racine County Opportunity Center. I was very happy to receive the call. However, I must get something out of the way prior to Friday as to not waste anyone’s time or energy. I am not sure if you are the person to whom I should send this. If not, I truly apologize and hope you can direct me to the correct email.

I have worked in Human Resources in the past, so I kind of know how things work as far as background checks. I know that many times CCAP and other sites are checked prior to interviews. And I wanted to explain something that is on my history before being dismissed automatically. I also want to let you know of this in case it will automatically disqualify me for the position – in which case I would rather know prior to Friday.

A little over a year ago I was falsely accused of child abuse by my husband’s ex-wife. I was charged with a felony. My attorney explained to me that in most cases in Racine County, when juries hear the words “child abuse” and “step mother” they convict the person without even listening to the case. I have a 2 year old daughter and was terrified of going to jail or having a felony on my record. I had not even had a speeding ticket prior to this. I had never been in any trouble my entire life. I live the life of a typical housewife and mother. I also was planning a career in the social work field before this happened. My attorney suggested it was best to take the DA’s plea offer of Misdemeanor Battery. I did this. I regret it with all of my heart and likely will for the rest of my life. I am on probation and going to court Friday March 16, 2007 to request that my probation end early (as of that date which would be six months). My probation officer and others are even testifying on my behalf. The judge originally left the length of probation open; so my chances are good for early release.

I have obviously made a very complicated and long story very short. I can certainly provide any details you may wish. I just want to make it clear that I am innocent of any charges and the entire case was a misuse of justice. The accuser even came forward with a letter stating that her accusations were unfounded and basically recanted. Unfortunately, the DA did not find interest in this.

I do not know if writing to you about this is appropriate or not. This is my first time dealing with this in this situation. I would just hate for someone to base a decision solely by what it says on CCAP and I would also hate to waste someone’s time if I could never be a candidate for this position in the first place.

I hope you understand why I am writing to you today and I genuinely thank you for your time.

Respectfully,

Me

 

Well, I did receive a response this morning:

Good morning Heather,  I checked HFS 12 for an answer to your questions.  Your misd A battery conviction does not de facto prohibit you from being hired.  It does, however complicate your application process.  HFS 12 requires RCOC to make every effort to obtain a copy of the criminal complaint and judgement of conviction.  Rcoc must then ascertain to what extent this could have a negative effect on your job performance and on RCOC  being responsible for those cliets entrusted to our care.  As to whether or not you should come for your interview, that is your call.  Your application would take longer for RCOC to process and time is of the essence in filling this position.  Whatever your decision, I wish you all good things.  Enjoy the day. 

I thought his response was very considerate. Especially since he took the time to look it up and explain it to me and did so very quickly. I then responded to him one last time:

Dear Mr. X,

I completely understand what you are telling me. I have expected that this will greatly influence my professional life for likely the rest of my life. Not something that has been easy to accept. I do have a copy of the criminal complaint and it is just full of statements made by the accuser – who later recanted in writing. Needless to say, the complaint is simply full of horrible lies. Does not make me look good to a person who is unaware of how the system works or who does not know me. The judgment of conviction I do not have, just what I printed out from CCAP. I can ask my attorney about this however. He has been very helpful and is even working for free to get me off of probation. I am sure he could help me obtain this if that is legal.  

I think it is clear that unless I am the only applicant, my chances for this job would be nearly impossible. This is very sad, because it is exactly the field I was meant to work in – social services that is.

You have been understanding and I so appreciate your timely response. Perhaps it is in everyone’s best interest for me to step back at this point. I would hate to be the subject of more poking and prodding and judgment. I would also hate to waste time for you and your employees. 

Thank you again. I appreciate your time.

Sincerely,

Needless to say, I will not be going to the interview.

How does this effect me? Well, it makes me feel like scum of the earth. It humbles me in a way that is far beyond humbling. I mean, I never EVER thought I would be in a position like this. It is truly making me see that my goals, hopes and dreams really may just be impossible. It makes me realize that I may never be able to work in an environment and field for which I truly enjoy, have interest in, and care about. It also makes me realize that my life truly will be affected by this forever. FOREVER. That is a hard pill to swallow, it really is.

It is all very depressing. I wonder when I can start to get over this and not feel so defeated by this over and over again.

 

On another subject…

Cassidy is not feeling well. I believe her seasonal allergies are back. She takes a medication for it – zyrtec, the same I take. So I gave it to her for the first time last night. Last season we thought it may be keeping her up at night so I started giving it to her during the day. But I forgot yesterday and gave it to her before bed. She was literally up every hour. It was horrible. Plus her nose is all runny, she keeps sneezing, she has a cough and her eyes are watery. On top of that – diarrhea. Sorry, but it is true. THANK GOD she is potty trained. My poor baby. She is taking an early nap today (right now). I really need to shower and take a nap myself. I don’t think I got more than 3 full hours of sleep last night. So…talk at ya later 🙂

Thanks for listening.

 

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About Heather Rayne

I am a mom, wife, writer, volunteer, eater of food, lover of animals and avid TV enthusiast. I am opinionated, honest, compassionate and sensitive. I can also be difficult, hard headed and emotional. I consider myself to have a great sense of humor and am very attracted to that in others. I am striving to live an authentic life. I am attempting to learn how to find happiness in the now. I always have hope to be a better person. That being said - I can be vulgar, negative and even a little bitchy at times. I say what I mean and my filter is often dysfunctional. With me, what you see is what you get. I have strong opinions and am quick to speak my mind. This can cause problems from time to time but I do not ever intend to hurt or offend anyone. With that - be warned. I do hope you enjoy my site. Thanks for visiting and have a swell day.

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