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Background check = Stressed!!

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  • Background check = Stressed!!

    I applied for a department, and I'm worried I'll be disqualified because of a part of my background.. My question is my background really as bad as I think it is? I'm telling the complete truth on my application, I'm just worried the truth will get my disqualified.

    The thing I'm concerned (stressed) about it is my past employment history, which doesn't involve any full-time professional positions, just little part-time gigs while I was in high school. I quit my first job because I was afraid I was going to get fired for leaving a shift a few minutes early (after I made sure it was ok with a co-worker). The manager found out the next day and said he wanted to talk sometime and took me off the schedule for that week, so I quit because I couldn't tell my parents I was fired from my first job.

    I walked away from a movie theatre part-time job because the pay was way too low, I hardly got any hours, and when I did I had to work till 2am (sometimes on school nights), and the management was terrible.

    I also walked away from a grocery store part-time job because I had to be at an appointment for which my manager wouldn't let me take off work for. And every time I needed a day off for school or an extracurricular activity, it was very hard to get approved.

    I had other jobs other than the ones I mentioned which I'm not worried about and I should receive good references from them. I've also been gainfully employed with a company for the past 2 years, I'm also a regularly scheduled volunteer firefighter. I have TCFP Basic FF, EMT-B, I'm in paramedic school right now. I've also been a good standing explorer with this department for 3 years. The rest of my background is fine, any illegal stuff was along the lines of teepeeing houses when I was in high school. And I have NEVER used drugs, driven drunk, or done anything worthy of a felony.

    Is my employment history bad enough that it will prevent me from ever getting hired?

  • #2
    It depends. You said this stuff happened when you were in high school. How long ago was this? Did you graduate this past June? It might be of some concern. Was it 5-10 years ago, probably not a concern.

    Assuming everything above is correct, they movie theater would probably be of no concern to them. The grocery store would probably not be a concern, but they might want to know about the appointment (i.e. why couldn't you schedule it at another time). The first job incident, might ask you a couple questions about. Depending on policy, shift trades (covering shifts) may be okay, or may not.

    Personally, I'd be concerned about how the employers might be violating child labor laws. Most states limit how late a minor can work on a school night and they have certain hours (normal school hours) they aren't allowed to schedule you. But that's not the BGI's concern.


    • #3

      As a former Background Investigator the truth is what gets you to pass a background. If you are caught in even one lie your done. The saying goes...if you've lied once you've lied twice. There are times when what you have done in the past we have all done. So lay it out on the line and answer all questions correctly and if there is no major infractions i.e. arrests, tickets etc. you'll be surprised how well you will do.
      Jay Dudley
      Retired Fire
      Background Investigator
      Lifetime Member CSFA
      IAFF Alumni Member


      • #4
        Few people aren't stressed about their background investigations, regardless of their history. Your situation isn't bad. If your investigator asks you about this, and he may not, depending on how long ago this was, just lay it out like you did here and answer his questions honestly without sounding too defensive. I know guys who've gotten on with much worse in their backgrounds.


        • #5
          Just like everyone else has pointed out, it depends on how long ago these incidents were. It sounds like you have a couple of years of solid employment and have earned a good reputation as a reserve/explorer.
          Could these incidents hurt you? ABSOLUTELY.

          Time is your best friend. LEEP YOUR CURRENT JOB AND MAKE SURE YOU ARE THE MODEL EMPLOYEE. You can now make the case that these poor choices occurred when you were young and immature and that they are a part of your past. Doing it again shows a pattern.......

          Good job on the rest of the clean background. Not too many people can say that they have NEVER done drugs.....
          Paul Lepore
          Division Chief
          Paul Lepore
          Battalion Chief


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