Comments Appreciated…Past Conviction Haunts Me in the Present

I was working for a directory assistance comany as a “valued” employee. After just 7 months with the comany I had received a promotion to the training dept. and after 2 1/2 years in the dept was being promoted to trainer.
While everything was being reviewed by the company higher ups there was a question about a conviction I had received many years ago. One that they knew I had, it had been placed on my intial application and had been discussed in the interview. They called me into the HR office and explained that they felt “the conviction would prevent me from properly performing any duties required for any position in the training dept.” despite the fact that I had been receiving company awards and other “high praise” while having been working in the dept for 2 and a half years. They offered me the option of steppping down to a starter position or being told to leave the company. I chose the step down because I needed the job.
Almost 2 years later, after having received many many many awards for employee of the month, excellent reports, company perfomance based contests and more I was let go.
Thier reasoning for this was that they had decided to let several of the time senior persons in this position go since “we were not showing any sign of attempting to be promotoed” and “new hires were able to do the same job for less pay.”
The letting go was done in January and it is now June and I am still trying to find ANY job, I am even willing to work part time minimum wage just to get some income coming in untill I can find a full time job.
Almost every employer I am interviewing with is being very polite while telling me that the single conviction on an otherwise spotless record is the reason they don’t want to hire me. I respect the honesty.
The most frustration thing about this experience is that it is a U.C.M.J. article 80 conviction. I know that this probbly means nothing to just about everyone reading it so the simple explanation is that article 80 is called the “no crime” article because outside of the military whatever the person was convicted for would outside of the military be cause for nothing more than a light slap on the wrist about the same as a traffic ticket would hold. There is no civillan equivalent to this so the states will find what they think is the best fit for a conviction and place that on the record. In my case Intent towards internet activity became actually doing the activity and got me a civillan felony on the record.
7 years after the “felony” conviction and I still can’t find anyone to “take a chance” on someone that prior to and after the “event” my personal and professional records have been both spotless and exemplary with documented records the size of mount Everest supporting this last statement, it’s not just a big head and large ego saying this.

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2 Responses to “Comments Appreciated…Past Conviction Haunts Me in the Present”

  • Jim Marsh Says:

    I was a court reporter in the Army. What most personnel never understood was that an Article 15 all the way up to a general court martial is a federal conviction and would follow you the rest of your life. You are allowed to reject any Article 15 or Summary Court Martial. This forces them to go to a Special Court Martial. Most rejected Article 15s would be dismissed long before getting to that stage simply because the offense was not worth the effort, but most personnel did not realize this. It is not the offense you were convicted of that is giving you this rejection, but that it is a Federal Conviction. Unfortunately for you, most employers rate a Federal Conviction worse simply out of ignorance.

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  • barry60x Says:

    Relax. At the current rate of criminalization, there will be more people with records than without. I think what you are encountering is more a symptom of a weak job market than a reaction to a remote conviction. The company you wrote about should be soundly punished for the way they treated you. I recommend payback.

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