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  1. #1
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    Default Need some expert advice - stricken from list

    Tested for a large local fire department recently, finished top 10 on the final eligibility list, pretty much a walk-on for a job when the next batch of hires came on.

    After passing the written/physical, I went in and filled out pre-employment paperwork and agreed to take the polygraph test

    Took the polygraph, and several weeks later recieved a letter saying: due to information recieved since initial application, you have been stricken from the list. (the problem was not a data mismatch, the intial application was very short).

    During the orientation in the beginning of the testing process, the civil service commission stated offenses that would automatically eliminate candidates from eligibility of employement. I carefully listened and documented every word, and none of the problems I had fell under any of the criteria they mentioned.

    That being said, what is d/q'ing me is information I submitted during the polygraph. I don't plan to get too in depth, but several things happened to me in the past. One involved two misdemeanor arrests (theft at age of 17), (drinking at age of 19). Supervision on both, but polygraph examiner said they are considered convictions anyhow. Currently Age 23, with no problems recently (since arrest at age of 19). Tried mirijuana 5 times in high school. Was fired from 2 jobs in high school, but they were typical highschool jobs. One was for the theft at age 17, and the other was for not showing up for a store visit I had to do. I have had 4 other jobs with nothing but positive experience since. 3 of them I am currently working.

    I recieved the letter and thought long and hard thinking of how I messed up. I did find out that some people that I know that took the same test I did, passed, that had done worse acts than I in the past. One even had problems that should have automatically D/Q'ed him, but didn't.

    Anyway, one ff I spoke with said there is a way to dispute this with the city civil service commission. I figured what is done is done, but with other candidates sneaking by that should be eliminated, does this give me a chance to subpoena their decision some how and have a chance to fight for a job?

    Any advice is appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Mike


  2. #2
    Forum Member polecat's Avatar
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    Im sorry to say pal, but i think your chances of getting hired with this dept. are nil. With hundreds of candidates vying for a handful of jobs, the city can afford to be selective. Unfortunately your past is catching up with you,and having a theft and drug conviction will certainly not help. However, dont be discouraged and just keep submitting your name elsewhere. I dont imagine many depts. use a polygraph to screen their applicants. You"re going to need all the help you can get, so i suggest you enhance your chances by taking every course you can ,to demonstrate how serious you truly are. Good luck dude.

  3. #3
    Disillusioned Subscriber Steamer's Avatar
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    Appeal it to the civil service commission. It sounds like you've got an explanation, so maybe they'll be symapthetic. I doubt it, but I'm not the one you have to convince.

    It may be a waste of time, but you'll never know until you try.
    Steve Gallagher
    IACOJ BOT
    ----------------------------
    "I don't apologize for anything. When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

  4. #4
    Forum Member OlieCan's Avatar
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    Do whatever you can, but keep in mind, even if you can get in on a technicality, if they don't like you, good luck finishing your probationary year.

    Just keep applying to other departments and you'll get on one eventually. The things in your past aren't that long ago in the past, so, that could be a factor as well. To them you are a 23 year old who has been smoking pot and stealing in the last 6 years. I don't know what to say about the other canidates, but, just keep on tryin, thats all you can do.

  5. #5
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    Here’s how the background investigator / polygrapher sees it:

    1. Two misdemeanor arrests (theft)
    2. Underage drinking
    3. Fired from two jobs (theft)
    4. Experimental Marijuana usage

    While you have done well to make up for your past indiscretions, in the eyes of the department you presented too much of a risk. The best thing I can encourage you to do is to keep on the straight and narrow. Time is your best friend. Any future infractions show a continued path of poor choices.

    Keep your chin up. Be persistent and do not give them any more reasons to pass you over.

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

  6. #6
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    I don't know if I'd fight that one man. Like a OlieCan said even if you do get hired by fighting it you probably won't last long. Word will probably get out and you'll be fired for something. It's probably easier getting Dq'ed from the hiring process rather than the job. I am not sure if I'd take that risk. Just keep applying.

  7. #7
    Forum Member polecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCLepore View Post
    Here’s how the background investigator / polygrapher sees it:

    1. Two misdemeanor arrests (theft)
    2. Underage drinking
    3. Fired from two jobs (theft)
    4. Experimental Marijuana usage

    While you have done well to make up for your past indiscretions, in the eyes of the department you presented too much of a risk. The best thing I can encourage you to do is to keep on the straight and narrow. Time is your best friend. Any future infractions show a continued path of poor choices.

    Keep your chin up. Be persistent and do not give them any more reasons to pass you over.

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com
    come on chief, would you hire this guy? theres thousands of young men and women whose life long ambition is ,a rewarding career in the fire service,and unfortunately for many their dream will never be realized,simply due to the astronomical number of applicants. These are persons who took responsibility for their actions at an early age, knowing that If they messed up, It could easily come back to haunt them. Just visit th Jr. F.F. forum to hear how keen these kids are. This aspiring firefighter would have stood a better chance of getting hired ,If he had instead 'deflowered' the fire chiefs 16 yr. daughter, rather then comit the untolerable crime of theft. No room for thieves on the job chief.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FaustyOdin View Post
    Tested for a large local fire department recently, finished top 10 on the final eligibility list, pretty much a walk-on for a job when the next batch of hires came on.

    After passing the written/physical, I went in and filled out pre-employment paperwork and agreed to take the polygraph test

    Took the polygraph, and several weeks later recieved a letter saying: due to information recieved since initial application, you have been stricken from the list. (the problem was not a data mismatch, the intial application was very short).

    During the orientation in the beginning of the testing process, the civil service commission stated offenses that would automatically eliminate candidates from eligibility of employement. I carefully listened and documented every word, and none of the problems I had fell under any of the criteria they mentioned.

    That being said, what is d/q'ing me is information I submitted during the polygraph. I don't plan to get too in depth, but several things happened to me in the past. One involved two misdemeanor arrests (theft at age of 17), (drinking at age of 19). Supervision on both, but polygraph examiner said they are considered convictions anyhow. Currently Age 23, with no problems recently (since arrest at age of 19). Tried mirijuana 5 times in high school. Was fired from 2 jobs in high school, but they were typical highschool jobs. One was for the theft at age 17, and the other was for not showing up for a store visit I had to do. I have had 4 other jobs with nothing but positive experience since. 3 of them I am currently working.

    I recieved the letter and thought long and hard thinking of how I messed up. I did find out that some people that I know that took the same test I did, passed, that had done worse acts than I in the past. One even had problems that should have automatically D/Q'ed him, but didn't.

    Anyway, one ff I spoke with said there is a way to dispute this with the city civil service commission. I figured what is done is done, but with other candidates sneaking by that should be eliminated, does this give me a chance to subpoena their decision some how and have a chance to fight for a job?

    Any advice is appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Mike

    Too much of a risk. Too many people applying.. it's going to be a longshot for you

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by FaustyOdin View Post
    Tested for a large local fire department recently, finished top 10 on the final eligibility list, pretty much a walk-on for a job when the next batch of hires came on.

    After passing the written/physical, I went in and filled out pre-employment paperwork and agreed to take the polygraph test

    Took the polygraph, and several weeks later recieved a letter saying: due to information recieved since initial application, you have been stricken from the list. (the problem was not a data mismatch, the intial application was very short).

    During the orientation in the beginning of the testing process, the civil service commission stated offenses that would automatically eliminate candidates from eligibility of employement. I carefully listened and documented every word, and none of the problems I had fell under any of the criteria they mentioned.

    That being said, what is d/q'ing me is information I submitted during the polygraph. I don't plan to get too in depth, but several things happened to me in the past. One involved two misdemeanor arrests (theft at age of 17), (drinking at age of 19). Supervision on both, but polygraph examiner said they are considered convictions anyhow. Currently Age 23, with no problems recently (since arrest at age of 19). Tried mirijuana 5 times in high school. Was fired from 2 jobs in high school, but they were typical highschool jobs. One was for the theft at age 17, and the other was for not showing up for a store visit I had to do. I have had 4 other jobs with nothing but positive experience since. 3 of them I am currently working.

    I recieved the letter and thought long and hard thinking of how I messed up. I did find out that some people that I know that took the same test I did, passed, that had done worse acts than I in the past. One even had problems that should have automatically D/Q'ed him, but didn't.

    Anyway, one ff I spoke with said there is a way to dispute this with the city civil service commission. I figured what is done is done, but with other candidates sneaking by that should be eliminated, does this give me a chance to subpoena their decision some how and have a chance to fight for a job?

    Any advice is appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Mike

    Too much of a risk. Too many people applying.. it's going to be a longshot for you

  10. #10
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    About the smoking marijuana, I have a question about that. I tried it once seven years ago, and haven't tried it since, or even been around it. It was a big mistake that happened when I was in high school. A department that I want to test for is asking on the application about marijuana usage. I will tell them exactly what happened, but will this hurt my chances of being accepted, or will it eliminate me from any further testing. Like I said, seven years ago, and not since. Thanks for the input. Everything else I have been doing with the intention of joining the fire service, so I have been on very good behavior, maintained steady jobs and attended college.

    Mack

  11. #11
    Forum Member polecat's Avatar
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    You shouldn't have a problem admitting to experimenting with pot.Many firefighters have. Experimenting with any other drug is a problem though. Sounds like you're on the right track to get hired. Good luck "Bud".

  12. #12
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    On my polygraph I admitted to trying it two times nine years ago, and I passed. Just be honest like everyone says

  13. #13
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    thank you for the responses.

    I have consulted people about my past actions prior to all of this, and they have said the number one thing is time. I space in time between NOW, when you are applying, and THEN, when the incident happened. The theft was from one job, my first job, when I was 17. I am now close to the age of 23. I know there could be more time between now and then, but, 7 years = not bad right? Also, I would think it's safe to say 90% of people drink underage. Not that many get caught, but hey, I did, and it's an explainable circumstance, and alcohol abuse is pretty much non existant in my life other than that one occurance.

    For 8-10 full-time hires, there are less than 30 applicants being considered right now. As stated, being in the top 10 puts me in prime position for hire, granted I can explain my past, and focus in on the past 3-4 years of my life, which have been nothing but straight and narrow.

  14. #14
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    Background investigations are a very contentious subject on this board. I am usually the one who is accused of expecting candidates to be like Mother Theresa. I have a couple of thoughts:
    First of all background investigators have a general belief that if a candidate cops to smoking pot 5 times, the truth is probably closer to 20. Secondly, many people have tried it. Myself included. Is it a deal breaker, no. (This is not a green light to you young aspiring firefighters). Other things are considered such as number of times, transporting, and selling.
    In this young man’s case, while I am seeing only one side of a story I am not so quick to condemn. Since many of his mistakes occurred as a young man, I believe that time will be his ally. As I said in an earlier post any future infractions are magnified.

    I would not waste my time protesting as the decision has been made. It doesn’t matter how many candidates are on the list. The testing process is a marathon, not a sprint. In this case you did not finish the race.

    The good news for you is that you performed well in the exam. This is often the hardest part. You have proven you can be successful in a very competitive arena. I encourage you to get involved in a department that has a volunteer/paid combination. Let the firefighters get to know you and your work ethic. Once they get to know you, they can be more liberal with their background. As it stands now you are a faceless piece of paper. It’s different if you have the firefighters telling the chief that they want to hire you. He will be more apt to “take a chance” on someone he knows.

    Paul Lepore

  15. #15
    Forum Member JayDudley's Avatar
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    As a former Background investigator let me say this...I only investigated and turned in my results to the Chief. He made the final decesion. Given the story of your history I would have recomended not to hire. Like Chief Lepore has stated if you say you tried smoking a joint 5 times its alot more. I to have experimented with it and I still got the job and retired. I have the 60's what do you have. Time is your healer. Keep up the testing and your day will come.
    Good Luck,
    Jay Dudley, Retired Fire
    Respectfully,
    Jay Dudley
    Retired Fire
    Background Investigator
    IACOJ-Member
    Lifetime Member CSFA
    IAFF Alumni Member

  16. #16
    Forum Member polecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCLepore View Post
    Background investigations are a very contentious subject on this board. I am usually the one who is accused of expecting candidates to be like Mother Theresa. I have a couple of thoughts:
    First of all background investigators have a general belief that if a candidate cops to smoking pot 5 times, the truth is probably closer to 20. Secondly, many people have tried it. Myself included. Is it a deal breaker, no. (This is not a green light to you young aspiring firefighters). Other things are considered such as number of times, transporting, and selling.
    In this young man’s case, while I am seeing only one side of a story I am not so quick to condemn. Since many of his mistakes occurred as a young man, I believe that time will be his ally. As I said in an earlier post any future infractions are magnified.

    I would not waste my time protesting as the decision has been made. It doesn’t matter how many candidates are on the list. The testing process is a marathon, not a sprint. In this case you did not finish the race.

    The good news for you is that you performed well in the exam. This is often the hardest part. You have proven you can be successful in a very competitive arena. I encourage you to get involved in a department that has a volunteer/paid combination. Let the firefighters get to know you and your work ethic. Once they get to know you, they can be more liberal with their background. As it stands now you are a faceless piece of paper. It’s different if you have the firefighters telling the chief that they want to hire you. He will be more apt to “take a chance” on someone he knows.

    Paul Lepore
    Chief ,you still haven't answered my question, if was up to you ,would you hire this guy? I couldn't care less if he smoked pot 500 times in the past. Hell ,I just started my days off and am planning to roll one up as soon as I finish pecking. This less then exemplary, sticky fingered guy, was caught twice,so how many times do you suppose he got away with it.using your formula?

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    I hope your post about smoking pot is a joke. Before I answer your question, I will wait for you to answer mine.

  18. #18
    Forum Member polecat's Avatar
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    chief, with all do respect, what i do on my own time is really my own business don't you think? But if you must know,yes i was serious. Incidentally,I've only missed one shift in my career,I stepped on a nail 24 years ago. True story. time to go chief, haven't burned a dube since after my last post to you this morning,a good 8 hrs. ago. Thats pretty good for me.

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    Polecat, what you do in your own time, especially drug use, can have an effect on your job. That's why pleanty of departments have in place a no smoking policy. In my opinion, and I know they are like a** holes everyone’s got one and they all stink, if you were serious about your job and advancing in it you would not be smoking pot on your days off. So either you are full of it and just trying to come across as a tough guy or you are actually doing that. In which case you have no place in the fire service. Like it has been said many times before there are thousands of people praying they get a shot at getting on the job, they are all keeping their records clean. Then there is you, openly admitting to smoking dope on your days off. It is only a matter of time before you get caught by someone on your department or don't show up. I just hope that you don't hurt or kill anyone that actually cares about this job and takes it as seriously as it is. You are the kind of person that ruins the good name of a fire department. So if you are trying to be a tough guy, why? And if you are serious about smoking weed on your day off why? It really isn't worth it.

  20. #20
    Forum Member polecat's Avatar
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    Default special K

    O.M.G.! That was some rant, and i got to tell you i loved every minute of it. Don't get me wrong bro, i don't condon marijuana use,although smoke it on a regular basis,usually late at night. I find it helps me relax. I'm sure it has detrimental effects. My wife thinks i have a terrible memory, but surprising enough, i'm quite good at crosswards. I'm wondering,are you also as hard on the guy at home pickling his liver,showing up for work occasionaly hung?

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