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    Default another background investigation q.

    Please help me determine if there is no hope.

    I was a dumb teenager. Experimented with marijuana (twice?) and alcohol (twice?). Assisted in the theft of lawn ornaments (couple nights). I wasn't the main person doing this, I was more along for the car ride though I did steal a few objects. Felt guilty and returned items. I certainly don't consider myself a "thief", I think that experience taught me valuable moral lessons that my family failed at teaching me. There are several members within my immediate family in prison for a reason. This same family didn't teach me about the use of credit cards. Started running up credit cards at 17. Got a judgement. Filed for bankruptcy a year and a half ago. Currently working on clearing my debt. I also flew through part-time employment, something like 20 jobs before I even hit 20 years old. You name a nationwide chain, I've likely worked there. Fired once. Dropped out of high school, but mainly because it was my senior year and my mom was shipping out to Iraq. I had to live with family in another state. I figure dropping out can look bad. I obtained my high school diploma upon arriving home.


    22 going on 23 now.

    One year ago I was a arrested on citation infractions. This has been my only arrest. I don't know what to call them. I wasn't even charged with a misdemeanor. Obstructing the highway and I think, disorderly conduct. I was at a protest for animal rights. I don't care about animals, I eat meat and I don't care if someone wears fur. I was an interested passerby. Gawker? Wrong time, wrong place. The charges were thrown out in court. Not because I had a lawyer which I guess happens with folks getting duis (bs might I say), but because I shouldn't of been arrested in the first place.

    I held steady employment with a security company for about a year and half, before earning the opportunity to work for a federal program. Right now I'm taking some classes before starting paramedic courses. I also vol.




    I already figure that my best hope would be 28-30 years old before I get hired on with a career department. Thats ok. I'll work on private ambulances and keep my employment steady, financials in good order, and my nose clean. Thats fine by me for a few years.

    But I wonder if that is being too optimistic.



    Please be brutally honest. I'm not sensitive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by atlasd View Post
    Experimented with marijuana (twice?).

    There are several members within my immediate family in prison for a reason.

    Got a judgement. Filed for bankruptcy a year and a half ago.

    I also flew through part-time employment, something like 20 jobs before I even hit 20 years old.

    Fired once.

    Dropped out of high school

    One year ago I was a arrested on citation infractions
    All of the above is going to set you WAY WAY back. Remember, there a going to be hundreds of people who didn't do any of the above.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    All of the above is going to set you WAY WAY back. Remember, there a going to be hundreds of people who didn't do any of the above.
    "There are several members within my immediate family in prison for a reason."

    Why would that have any bearing on his chances of being hired as a FF'er? He has no control over what other members of his family do.

    "I also flew through part-time employment, something like 20 jobs before I even hit 20 years old."

    Again, I don't understand why this would also be a problem.....as long as he wasn't fired from any of those jobs for stealing or lying or something bad like that.

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    "I also flew through part-time employment, something like 20 jobs before I even hit 20 years old."

    A lot of things can be inferred by this fact. Lack of loyalty to a job, easy loss of interest in things, unspoken problems with coworkers, even if they didn't happen, etc. etc. A psychologist could come up with a ton of problems from all of these statements. So there would be no chance of getting hired on a dept that has a psych test and interview, as long as the truth is told and the background investigator didn't epically fail.

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    You don't understand why the inability to hold a steady job for more than a day/week/month might reflect negatively on a candidate for a job? I have personally seen this bomb people out of background.

    One's family being locked up doesn't reflect well on the candidate either. It goes to show how well, or how not-so-well the person was raised and this individuals own statements clearly reflect that (he admits it).
    Last edited by nmfire; 12-26-2009 at 12:06 PM.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    You don't understand why the inability to hold a steady job for more than a day/week/month might reflect negatively on a candidate for a job? I have personally seen this bomb people out of background.

    One's family being locked up doesn't reflect well on the candidate either. It goes to show how well, or how not-so-well the person was raised and this individuals own statements clearly reflect that (he admits it).
    Alot of things can be inferred by this fact. Maybe he just likes interviews?
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky2 View Post
    "I also flew through part-time employment, something like 20 jobs before I even hit 20 years old."

    A lot of things can be inferred by this fact. Lack of loyalty to a job, easy loss of interest in things, unspoken problems with coworkers, even if they didn't happen, etc. etc. A psychologist could come up with a ton of problems from all of these statements. So there would be no chance of getting hired on a dept that has a psych test and interview, as long as the truth is told and the background investigator didn't epically fail.
    When I was a teenager I was just trying to get some money in my pocket. Having grown up some I've found that I have no interest working a job unless it is personally fulfilling or atleast something I like to do. Flipping burgers is neither. I have no chance right now and I know that, after having only a couple stable jobs since being a teen. But I wonder if down the road if 8 years of stable employment will be enough to look past my teenage years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    You don't understand why the inability to hold a steady job for more than a day/week/month might reflect negatively on a candidate for a job? I have personally seen this bomb people out of background.

    One's family being locked up doesn't reflect well on the candidate either. It goes to show how well, or how not-so-well the person was raised and this individuals own statements clearly reflect that (he admits it).
    I don't want to say that my family history is an excuse because it clearly is not. But I only learned what was right/wrong when I was a teenager was by ****ing up. My entire family have histories of major crime. Isn't there some leeway in hiring in proven adversity? I'm certainly not my family.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CALFFBOU View Post
    atlasd- Overall I donít think it looks good for you. At 200 applicants for 1 job- the other 199 people will not have the background you do. All the explaining and justifications you do wonít help.

    You have a history of bad decision making and drugs. Even before the age of 18, you will be asked about it. If you are in California, forget about it. You donít have a chance here.

    Sorry- Not everyone is cut out to be a Professional Firefighter.
    Why is that? I've read that California is stricter on background checks numerous times on this forum.

    Doesn't everyone have a history of bad decision making and drugs before 18. Teenagers obviously make bad decisions. In my parts, teenagers are more likely to experiment with marijuana than score a beer from the liquor store. Having had so many jobs is definitely not normal. But lawn ornaments, experimenting with marijuana... is pretty typical teenager mischief.

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    Quote Originally Posted by atlasd View Post
    Why is that? I've read that California is stricter on background checks numerous times on this forum.

    Doesn't everyone have a history of bad decision making and drugs before 18. Teenagers obviously make bad decisions. In my parts, teenagers are more likely to experiment with marijuana than score a beer from the liquor store. Having had so many jobs is definitely not normal. But lawn ornaments, experimenting with marijuana... is pretty typical teenager mischief.
    Sir-

    YES- The California BG process might be rougher depending on the agency. But, other states can be just as strict. I wouldnít take the process lightly where ever you apply.

    YES- Everyone has make mistakes in their lives and bad decisions. Its how we grow and learn.

    NO- Not everyone as tried drugs before the age of 18. I did not because I knew then I wanted to be a FF.

    ME- I started as an Explorer at age 16, PCF at 18 and Paid FF at 20. If you have a plan, play the game right and donít break the law, things can work out.

    Please do not paint the hiring process with a broad brush. I am not trying to be a jerk, just giving you an honest answer to your questions. I donít think you have a good shot no matter where you apply. Sometimes we donít like to hear the real answers, but thatís the way it is.

    Sorry, not everyone can be a Professional Firefighter.

    Bou

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    No not all teenagers do drugs and drink and commit crimes. That is why I can have the job I have right now. If I was you, I would not have the nice stable job I have now. I would have been dropped from the application process by a computer before a human even looked at it.

    The key to this whole mess is that there will be HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of other people applying for the same job you are. And of them, there will be hundreds if not thousands who do no have the bad history you do. It doesn't matter if you claim to have corrected yourself now.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    No not all teenagers do drugs and drink and commit crimes. That is why I can have the job I have right now. If I was you, I would not have the nice stable job I have now. I would have been dropped from the application process by a computer before a human even looked at it.

    The key to this whole mess is that there will be HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of other people applying for the same job you are. And of them, there will be hundreds if not thousands who do no have the bad history you do. It doesn't matter if you claim to have corrected yourself now.
    What he is trying to say is- Sorry, not everyone can be a Professional Firefighter.

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    In my experience I would say that California is much stricter than many parts of the country. It may be in part to the number of candidates who apply for the position that there are people on the list with cleaner backgrounds.

    No Fire Chief wants to hire someone who is going to land his department on the front page of the newspaper for making a poor decision. If Joe the plumber (sorry, I couldnít help the reference) chooses to steal something and gets caught, nobody cares. If Joe the firefighter steals something itís front page news.

    One area of concern in your post is the fact that you feel it is your family's fault for not teaching you about credit cards. THIS IS YOUR RSPONSIBILITY!

    Secondly, are you kidding me "All teenagers do drugs?"


    In your case I see a couple of issues, albeit they may not be deal breakers. I will break them down for you.

    Bankruptcy Ė this is a big one not only because of the financial implications, but it shows the way a person handles responsibility. A person signs his or her name and promises to pay the money back. When he doesnít itís bad news. While a bankruptcy may legally absolve a person from responsibility, morally and ethically it does not.
    If there are extenuating circumstances such as the loss of a job, a medical illness or some other catastrophic event a bankruptcy can be overlooked.

    The next big issue is the multiple jobs. Again this points to a question of responsibility. A poor work history demonstrates a lack of commitment, and may be an indicator of difficulty getting along with others and potential problems with authority.

    Drug use Ė while not condones, smoking marijuana is not uncommon in todayís entry-level candidate. Excessive use, sale, or transporting drugs is a red flag.

    Your family Ė you are NOT responsible for their actions, nor will this count against you.

    The loitering one is no big deal.

    So, each of these issues is not a deal breaker. When they are combined they show a pattern. You have a very good plan. Complete medic school and establish a good work history with the SAME ambulance company. Resist the temptation to go to another company. Be their TOP employee, do not call in sick and make sure you are a TEAM player. Get involved and be a good coworker.

    Once this is done (I like your time frame), you can say that your past is behind you and you are a changed person.

    Good luck to you,
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Last edited by paulLepore; 12-26-2009 at 09:09 PM.

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    This same family didn't teach me about the use of credit cards. Started running up credit cards at 17. Got a judgement. Filed for bankruptcy a year and a half ago. Currently working on clearing my debt.
    Seems like a troll ..... bankruptcy clears away debt (and judgments for sure) .. mostly for people under 75 K ... he aint making that at his jobs ... TROLL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by owenscott View Post
    Seems like a troll ..... bankruptcy clears away debt (and judgments for sure) .. mostly for people under 75 K ... he aint making that at his jobs ... TROLL.
    Bankruptcy does clear away debt, but even after having your debt cleared people are able to pay back credit companies. Bankruptcy only clears the legal liability so to clear judgements and ease wage garnishments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulLepore View Post
    Secondly, are you kidding me "All teenagers do drugs?"


    In your case I see a couple of issues, albeit they may not be deal breakers. I will break them down for you.

    Bankruptcy – this is a big one not only because of the financial implications, but it shows the way a person handles responsibility. A person signs his or her name and promises to pay the money back. When he doesn’t it’s bad news. While a bankruptcy may legally absolve a person from responsibility, morally and ethically it does not.
    If there are extenuating circumstances such as the loss of a job, a medical illness or some other catastrophic event a bankruptcy can be overlooked.

    Drug use – while not condones, smoking marijuana is not uncommon in today’s entry-level candidate. Excessive use, sale, or transporting drugs is a red flag.

    So, each of these issues is not a deal breaker. When they are combined they show a pattern. You have a very good plan. Complete medic school and establish a good work history with the SAME ambulance company. Resist the temptation to go to another company. Be their TOP employee, do not call in sick and make sure you are a TEAM player. Get involved and be a good coworker.

    Once this is done (I like your time frame), you can say that your past is behind you and you are a changed person.

    Good luck to you,
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    Thanks, I appreciate your response.

    Drugs: I didn't exactly mean that all teenagers use DRUGS persay, but basically what you mentioned - that smoking marijuana isn't uncommon. I didn't use excessively and definitely not sell or transport.

    Bankruptcy: My filing is somewhat complicated because it didn't technically go all the way through but according to records, I have. I filed but my debt is still active. Either way I plan to pay off the debt as much as I can until I'm cleared.

    I'll not throw in the towl quite yet.

    Again, thanks chief.
    Last edited by atlasd; 12-27-2009 at 12:24 AM. Reason: misspelling

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    Kids;

    If you are reading this thread, and have dreams of someday becoming a career FF, please heed the following advice:

    1. Do not do drugs. Ever.
    2. Do not drink alcohol if you are under age.
    3. Do not get involved in stupid behavior that, if caught, will get you arrested.
    4. DO keep yourself in top physical condition.
    5. DO get good grades in school.
    6. DO participate in civic activities that prove you can contribute to society.

    If you want the job bad enough, 1-6 should be no problem whatsoever.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    Kids;

    If you are reading this thread, and have dreams of someday becoming a career FF, please heed the following advice:

    1. Do not do drugs. Ever.
    2. Do not drink alcohol if you are under age.
    3. Do not get involved in stupid behavior that, if caught, will get you arrested.
    4. DO keep yourself in top physical condition.
    5. DO get good grades in school.
    6. DO participate in civic activities that prove you can contribute to society.

    If you want the job bad enough, 1-6 should be no problem whatsoever.
    Bingo! I pretty much did all of that except get the best grades I could of. I found high school super boring and a waste of time.

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    Sounds like your plan is the right idea.
    Keep a steady job, get lots of training, and when you're 28-30 you can tell the oral board, "I made some mistakes when I was young, and have spent the last 10 years making myself a better person."
    PERSONALLY SPEAKING, I would much rather work with a guy that has done a variety of things in his life, had some hardships and fought through them, as opposed to some 20 year old that went straight from high school to the fire service. I respect people that have seen some things, maybe have a broader view of life.

    Just my PERSONAL OPINION, but I'll take a 30 year old with some battle scars over a squeaky clean 20 year old any day.
    The key is to find a dept that feels the same way. They are out there, trust me.

    Keep your nose clean, do the right thing, and start testing now if you want. You may get lucky, and just think how good you'll be at testing in 10 years!

    Good Luck.

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