Employment Pre-screening: Going Too Far?

As many of you know, I’ve been on the job hunt for a while now. And in the course of that hunt, I’ve seen some interesting things. Like one company who wanted me to take a personality profile quiz when I submitted my application. Another one stated that by applying for this job, I give the company the right to pull my credit profile both before I get the job and at any time after I get the job. So if I fall on hard times and lose my credit rating, does that make me ineligible for a job? I don’t have one, therefore I can’t get one? Or if I have a job and my credit rating slips, am I no longer qualified for the job?

Employers can’t discriminate on gender, race, disability, religion or sexual orientation, but can they discriminate against you based on some computerized personality screening or your credit profile? Whether I think people are all just sheep and do what they are told, or if I think people are basically good or bad or if most supervisors care about their people – does any of this have any bearing on my skills and qualifications? Are companies doing this just because they can do this and get away with it? What’s wrong with the interview process that companies think they have to pre-screen applicants with computerized quizzes?

You’re asked to be honest, and so I was (screw the questions) but do they really think that someone is going to click ‘Strongly Agree’ with the statement: I have never been angry with anyone. Really? Never lost your temper? With anyone? Ever? Seriously? Have you ever driven over the legal speed limit? Well, since I got a speeding ticket once, I can’t say that I’ve never gone over the speed limit, now can I? What’s the matter, doesn’t the background check tell them enough?

Probably my favorite question of the day is: It is OK to sell illegal drugs to your coworkers if they can afford it. Do you: strongly agree/agree/uncertain/disagree/strongly disagree ?

No, I’m not making this up. I just wasted 30 minutes of my life taking a 100 question assessment, where about 75% of it was about illegal drug use in the workplace and stealing from your employer.

No wonder people can’t get jobs. The pre-employment is unbelievable!

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Missed the Mark

It’s been a few days since I last wrote, well, nearly a week.  As you might recall from previous posts on the job interview and the waiting, I was very excited and nervous all last week.  Until Friday when I got the email saying nicely that they offered the job to someone else and it was accepted.  So, I was heartbroken on Friday.  I thought I had done everything right.  I thought it was the right school.  But apparently not.  It’s taken me a few days to lick my wounds.

I’ve got one more shot at teaching for the fall semester- I got a phone call from one of the schools where I applied for a lectureship. I have a phone interview on Monday. I don’t have high hopes, I didn’t have high hopes for it when I sent the applications in, but it’s a shot at least.  Take what you can get, right?  I have to go back and find out what research they do at the school because apparently that’s a high component these days.  Really?  I wanted to give up on research (for the most part) for teaching.  Maybe I need to be looking at high school.  I don’t know anymore.  Still in career crisis here.

I’m really running out of options.  I don’t even know how to find appropriate jobs at this point.  It’s too late for the school year, and the thought of working for another company turns my stomach, even if the pay would be good.  I don’t want to leave my friends here but I know that as a professional scientist, I will probably have to move again.  It’s the bane of the highly educated.  You can’t find a job in your field just anywhere.  If I lived in a larger city, then there might be more opportunities for me, but I’ve found in the past that isn’t necessarily true.  You just have to go where you have to go.

That’s where things stand at the moment.  I’m still indecisive about my occupation, and I’m still indecisive about future, and I’m still unemployed.  One more shot left on the horizon before the sunset of university options.  (Not entirely, there’s a couple possibilities for spring semester.) At least I’ve got something to look forward to next week.

PS: I will reply to your comments soon.  Thanks for reading. 🙂

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Security Clearance

Security Clearance. A death knell for any mentally ill person seeking a job requiring one.

How many good jobs have I had to pass over because I can’t obtain and maintain a security clearance? Several. I just passed another one today. It eliminates any job related to the Department of Defense (DoD) and many Department of Energy (DOE) jobs which are places I could find work. Eliminate Boeing, Lockheed Martin, or any of the other companies with big DoD research projects. Reject some of the government labs, like Sandia or Los Alamos National Lab. I can’t even work in a simple position if it has anything to do with defense.

The mentally ill do have stability issues and are a security risk for projects requiring high level security clearances. I understand that. I’m just frustrated is all. Frustrated that I was born with this genetic pre-disposition that blossomed into something that taxes me daily.  Frustrated that on top of all that it limits my employability.  Even if I had never been diagnosed, it would probably come out in the mental health exams.  It’s a necessary discrimination.

But what would happen if companies found a loophole such that they could discriminate against you legally?  Disability discrimination cases are rarely won.  If I had told my last employer about my bipolar, I probably would have been out of a job sooner than now.  As it is, given that my FMLA ran out and they couldn’t find a place for me that I was qualified for when I returned, it’s nearly disability discrimination. I was discriminated against by my co-workers while my arm was injured, but I didn’t know that there was a statue of limitations on disability claims.  At this point, I have no legal recourse; I was told as much by a lawyer.  I was laid off from a previous job because of health reasons (I was recovering from a severe mania) and sued them unsuccessfully.  Oh yes, companies are tricky, and if they can get away with it, they will.  It’s why they employ such expensive lawyers.

But I digress.  My point was simply to express my frustration in the job hunt.  A job hunt that is already difficult enough with my background and education level, soon to be made more difficult by my age. It’s discouraging to be disqualified for jobs because of my mental health.

 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

HR

Aargh!!!!!!!!!!!!

My paycheck went back to full pay. Good, right? Wrong. They took all of my vacation time to do it. Not a single day for the rest of the year? I think I will lose my mind!!

Fortunately, (hopefully) they can reverse it – or at least some of it – I am waiting to hear back from HR. I need some vacation time or I will not survive the year. I still have doctor’s appointments and what happens if I need some time for my house or other emergency? (Or time for job interviews.) I don’t need my full paycheck that badly – I need time off more. I’ll bargain for half of the time (I get 4 weeks total) back.

Worse yet, they reorganized my group and now I don’t show up on the Org chart! What does that mean? Do I still have a job? Do they just don’t know what to do with me? Or are they really planning to get rid of me? Apparently I have an office with a name tag. At least that’s a good sign. It’s all craziness.

I’m beyond words right now. A little bit angry, but mostly scared. I don’t know what’s going on and that is scary. I wish I had some reassurance but I don’t know where I could get it from. My supervisor acts like I don’t exist. He ignores emails and phone calls. So now what do I do?