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Monday, June 12, 2017

American Companies Need to Hire Ex-Offenders- WTF?

According to one report I listened to on the radio the economy is doing so well that companies are actually considering hiring ex offenders.  Some employers are saying that they’re actually looking to overlook some people’s prison records because they desperately need workers.

Seriously, WTF?

Now I have nothing against ex-offenders finding work, in fact I worked with a job readiness program that helped ex-offenders get job ready and find employment.  But I’ve been looking for work since October of 2008 and have had no luck.

I’m a guy with no record, a college degree and years of experience as a publisher and a writer. I have an A+ Certification and years of experience fixing computers. But I haven’t been able to get most of these companies to even give me a phone call let alone an interview.

And now the media is telling me that companies need to hire ex-offenders FIRST.

Someone in Human Resources at most of these American companies needs to get their head examined.

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, many people like myself were still searching for that job to get back on our feet. And after almost nine years I’m still looking for that job that will help me get that break. These days when I apply for jobs companies just send me e-mails telling me I’m not right for them.

But an ex-offender is perfectly fine.

Seriously WTF?

In a series of YouTube Videos I did I had to ask if it was skills or narrative that employers were looking for. And after listening to that radio report it’s clear to me that it’s all about narrative these days when you go out to apply for work. Tell an employer the story they want to hear and they’ll hire you. Skills don’t seem to matter to them.

And the story employers want to hear now is that a person is an ex-offender. Or a Single mother trying to take care of their kids. Or a baby daddy trying to make his child support payments. Or a big mouth with a bad attitude. I thought companies were supposed to go out looking for our best and brightest to work for them, but it seems you have to tell HR people sad stories that present you as a victim to get hired these days at most companies.

Damn. Just Damn.

I’ve had my fair share of hard times since October of 2008 and even before then. But when I go to interview with employers I don’t want to be anyone’s charity case. I don’t want to get a job based on someone’s pity, I want to earn it based on my skills and what I have to offer. I’m looking to be an asset at a company not a liability.

The way I see it if American companies are so desperate for people then why aren’t they looking for many of us 20 million unemployed people who have been out of work since 2008? Or why aren’t they looking for many of the recent college graduates who finish degrees but haven’t been able to find full-time work. If employers really wanted to make America great again they’d be looking to hire that glut of our best and brightest and giving them full-time work, not trying to scrape the bottom of the barrel first.


  1. Shawn,

    Based on what you've written about your work issues in the past, I can tell, as an employer, you have an attitude problem. During your stint in CUNY, you seemed to have an issue with almost everyone there. You were paranoid and assumed that all your colleagues and higher-ups wanted was to kick you out - which makes no sense at all.

    You never really explained why you were let go - now this is a huge red flag. You did claim that you were caught sleeping on the job, when you really weren't - I'll give you that. But you wouldn't be simply let go unless there really was an issue.

    But all that's in the past. So let me give you some advice moving forward. Let go of the paranoia, and be more genial to others. Also posting every single one of your rants in this blog and YouTube isn't helping - employers look up potential employees these days. Either use this blog solely as a place to talk about your writing, or delete it completely.

    1. I agree. He seems to assume that because he doesn't have a criminal record, he is more "deserving" of employment when really, it takes more than a clean resume to get work. Alot of factors employers consider, such as, an approachable personality and other things.

  2. I do not have an attitude problem. I am a professional and I have a problem with employers who don't lead or take responsibility. I detailed this about my experience at CUNY.

    I wasn't paranoid. Most Black men are on edge because they know that they can be fired for any reason- A woman having a bad day or a boss having an argument with his wife. Any day can be your last when you are a Black man and your entire life can be upended because some Black woman or some White man or nonblack man or woman is having a bad day.

    It can take years for a Black man to find a job and everything he's worked for can be lost due to something trivial.

    You can be as genial as you want to people, but when you are a Black man it won't be seen that way.

    The blog isn't going anywhere. I'm transparent on this blog and on YouTube. If employers are gonna judge based on content then that shows how shallow they are.

    It's clear to me that employers would have a double standard if they'd get upset over an opinion on a blog but would consider an ex-offender for employment. An ex-offender who could possibly put their safety and business at risk. Opinions are dangerous, but felons are fine. That's really backwards when you think about it.

  3. Fair enough, Shawn. If I may ask, how have you been supporting yourself all this while? If the book sales are enough to sustain a lifestyle, maybe that's the route you should stick with.