Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Many big names have been in the news for less than proper reasons. Some celebraties, some politicians, some CEO's and the one thing they have in common is that they were tried and/or convicted of felonies. Some even spent some jail time to atone for their actions. However, upon their return to their respective workplaces they are for the most part re-welcomed back into their given society. Even the football player who is currently in jail for dog fights and animal cruelty is negotiating his contract to return to the field while he is in prison.

But what about the Jane Doe or Joe Schmoe? What happens to them when they receive a felony on their record? Can they just jump back into the workplace as if nothing has happened? I tell you from experience that no they can not.

You see, I have been unemployed for a few years now and that unemployment came about as a result of a bad choice and a vindictive person (or two). Ergo, at this moment I have a felony on my record. Hopefully within the next few months it will be removed and/or brought down to a misdemeanor, but in the meantime there it sits.

My resume is pretty impressive, if I do say so my self. I have 10 years experience as an Office Manager/Administrative Secretary and 10+ years as a Retail Manager. However, even at the Holiday Season I couldn't get hired by Target as a cart wrangler. I have managed a multi-million dollar retail store, but can't be trusted to bring in carts from the parking lot.

I have registered with every temp agency within a 50 mile radius and at more than 1 scored if not perfect then the highest score they have had. And yet, I can not be represented or placed because of my record. My record of work experience be damned.

I had an offer from an online retail company to become a buyer, but when I disclosed the felony the offer was rescinded.

Is this discrimination?

Should anyone ask the circumstances regarding the felony before passing judgement?

Should my side of the story be heard?

Do you know the repeat offender rate in not only the state of California but the country? In California our prison system is meant to hold approximately 83,000 and is holding 170.000. It has been esxtimated that 57% are repeat offenders and have been sentenced under the Third Strike Law. I will admit I voted for that law. I do however, look at it a little differently.

I have the grace of a fabulous support system in my sisters that has kept me and my family afloat during this trying time. Some of these others do not. I am fortunate enough to live with a sister who understands (mostly) the dire straits I am in and realizes (usually) that I am trying to pull rabbits (and rent money) out of my ass as best I can. But not everyone is as fortunate as I. And I am not as fortunate as some of those mentioned previously.

It truly is a display of life's "unfairness", that some can skip scot free and some will pay a heavy price.


  1. Sometimes it kills be at things that aren't fair. I happen to think you're awesome and hopefully something will work out for you. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts.

  2. THis post is spot on. I have often thought about the same thing, as to why others seem to forget about what a famous person has done/not done.

    I worry about a family member who made a bad, choice young in life...and I fear it will be a constant problem. It makes me so sad.

    Hugs to you...I hope things turn around. I understand your frustration and wish I had an just bites...I know.

  3. I've known people who got hit hard by bad luck, convicted (some of them for things they did not do), and it literally ruined the rest of their life.

    Society does not treat those with convictions well, unless of course they're famous, then it's okay.

    But the everyday person? Is it any wonder someone gets out of jail, and then immediately turns around and commits another crime, breaks parole/probation, and winds back up in jail? At least there, they have food to eat, and somewhere to sleep. In the outside world, they are turned away from jobs, from places to live, from everything. They are shunned, as if they are the only ones who have ever made a poor judgment or bad choice.

    My ex-father-in-law was once in a car accident in which the other driver was killed. The circumstances were questionable, and because both were politicians (ex-fil was/is an assistant fire chief, and the other guy was a city council member in a neighboring/rival city), ex-fil got railroaded into a conviction, lost his driver's license, and went through years of hell, including being sued for wrongful death by the widow. Which completely ignored the fact intersection was known to have a faulty light, the other guy was seen drinking at a bar earlier that night, and he wasn't wearing a seat belt...

    Anyway, if it weren't for the fact he already had a job, and they only gave him probation (though it's still a felony conviction), he'd have been pretty well screwed. And if some people had their way, he'd have been fired from his job as well.

    And if the conviction is for anything termed a sex crime? Forget about ever getting your life back... and let's not forget... peeing in a bush when drunk is termed a sex crime...

    American society's view of those with a criminal background is just wrong, and honestly, I think it falls under the category of double jeopardy and cruel and unusual punishment, two things supposedly forbidden by our Constitution.

  4. It isn't fair. But you are right that you are blessed.

    Martha Stewart said she wanted to do something to help women who were convicts. You might want to do some research and see what she is doing. If you can't find anything, help her come up with ways to help.

    I admire your courage to write about this. These are the things people don't like to talk about, let alone admit. I hope your conviction is overturned or at least reduced.

  5. I admire your courage to talk about this. You are right that it isn't fair, but that you are blessed. I hope that your conviction is overturned, so you can put it behind you.

  6. As a person that has hired some people that had a conviction on their record, I will admit it is hard to find a job. The reason they were hired is because we needed good workers, that would show up on time and every day. As long as they did that we were satisfied. Manufacturing is a bit easier to find a job because we do not handle money and work performance is not tied up with ethics. However, I would not have hired a person into purchasing that had a felony record.

    Ford Motor Company had a reputation for hiring those just out of prison. They were given mostly dirty jobs: foundry, glass rolling, bullard machines, forging, etc. To my knowledge nobody ever inquired as to their status. If they did the work assigned they earned a living.

  7. patfixer@charter.netApril 09, 2009 3:06 PM

    Unfair you say, I'm sure the punishment fit the crime, or so it seems.
    We have choices in this socieaty, and sometimes people make bad choices,that is why we havelaws. Sad to say people think they won't get caught, but when they do, there is a penalty and they don't like it. What would happen if we did not have laws, and let stealers or otherwise go free? Would they not do it again? That is why it pays to walk the straight and narrow. Only my opinion.