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L, good for you for taking a stand. And "amen" to everything you say.
From: L. [mailto:beantown_tw -at- yahoo -dot- com]
Sent: Friday, August 27, 2004 7:12 AM
Subject: Re: Previous employer contacts
It is interesting that this subject has arisen
precisely now. Just last night I sent an email
declining the opportunity to interview for a TW
position at a major pharmaceutical company in Boston
for these very reasons.
After a brief phone conversation, the interview was
scheduled, and they sent me an email containing a link
to an online application form located on the
"Application Station." (Apparently a commercial site
that provides these services to corporations.)
SSN was a required field to successfully complete the
online application. They also demanded to perform drug
testing, a full criminal records check, educational
achievement check, and several other things that I
can't quite recall at the moment BEFORE they would
even consider you to be an official "applicant." In
my letter declining the interview, I did tell them
that I would not have a problem submitting to these
checks before beginning work--when and if they
actually selected me as their candidate of choice.
While I don't have any skeletons in my closet, I am
quite tired of corporate America thinking that they
can OWN their employees. While I have no illusions
that my declining the interview will change their
policy, I DO hope that they were shocked to find out
that I needed them LESS than they needed me.
(Something I think employers lost track of long
I think we as individuals need to assert our right to
privacy by not giving in to these demands. I can sure
understand that the temptation would be great to give
in if I were unemployed and had mouths to feed at
home. Luckily, that's not the case for me. The only
tangible thing I've lost is the possibility of a
fairly sizable salary increase, and I am not even sure
While discussing the issue with my spouse, I mentioned
that I liken it to a pre-nuptual agreement. If you and
a company (or potential spouse) have found yourselves
to be compatible and want to protect yourselves
against potential problems, OK -- fine.
However, demanding these things together with a job
application is more like a "pre-date" (instead of
pre-nup) agreement where one has the right to demand
the return of the $$ for dinner and a movie if the
first date isn't a wild success. There's a bit of a
gamble everywhere you go these days; perhaps we should
as a society start to look back toward the PERSON
instead of the data sheet.
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