Some of you saw the other day via my Facebook page and Twitter feed that I posted a very simple comment of I’m so mad right now I don’t even want to talk about it. I intended to write about this yesterday, however time was a little tight with everything else I was trying to accomplish and I just didn’t get to it.
Most of you know that I’ve been sending out resumes daily and have had a couple responses for interviews. There was one that I interviewed for last week that they offered me a permanent position. Well that is what I was so mad about the other day when I found out that I didn’t pass the background check. Why? My panhandling incident from a couple weeks ago. While I thought it was nothing more than the equivalent of a speeding ticket, and it is, they processed me like it was an arrest. So now I have an arrest on my record and failure to disclose it and provide explanation prior to them running the background eliminated me from getting the position. Now this position I didn’t think would be a good long term fit anyway, but beggars (literally) can’t be choosers. Had I have known it was going it was processed as such, I would’ve disclosed it and provided explanation. By that point the perspective employer had check my references, had a 3 hour interview and had a good idea of my character. When I was informed of the results I laid it all on the line. While they appreciated my candor it was too late.
So, what am I going to do about it. For starters I am going to fight the ticket. My grounds? Discrimination. There are conflicting ordinances in the city that are blatantly discriminatory towards the panhandler. While panhandling has been deemed legal under the first amendment through a couple of different lawsuits against the city they have enacted an ordinance outlining aggressive panhandling. This states where you can and can’t panhandle as well as how you may go about doing it. The problem is it is open to the individuals interpretation and the way it was interpreted in my case obviously did not go my way. The conflicting ordinance comes from the department of revenue and is actually referenced in the aggressive panhandling ordinance as an exemption to it. It states that a registered charity within the state of Illinois can do everything the individual can’t in all the locations the individual can’t as long as they register with the city and sign a waiver of liability against injury.
So what is my next step. I am going to the court date to fight the ticket. I also want to have some ammunition ready for when I go that will back up my discrimination opinion. If anyone knows of a nonprofit that is registered with Illinois that would like some fundraising done, let me know. I will panhandle for funds, they take all the proceeds. My only requirement is that I have to do it in the same location where I got in trouble. I also need to make sure I am able to register with the city on your behalf. I will do this until the police will undoubtedly try to do the same thing again. However because I will be registered they won’t be able to interpret it any other way. At that point I have proof that the ordinance that I was originally accused of breaking is discriminatory regardless of how it was interpreted in the original situation. It’s win/win for both parties.
Lastly, I had an open house interview on my birthday. It went pretty well and I aced their written skills assessment. I got a phone call yesterday letting me know out of the 30 people at the open house I am one of 10 being considered for 5 open positions. I went through a 45 minute phone interview and they are bringing me back for another in person interview with the hiring team just after Christmas. I am definitely going to disclose what happened. However I want to get to the point where they make an offer before I do. I don’t want to hide anything, however I don’t want to give any information before needed either. I feel horrible even having to think this way.
So I may as well use this to start promoting myself. If anyone has any computer problems they need solved feel free to leave a comment here,
dm @chihomelessguy on twitter or
message on Facebook Chi Homelessguy. I guarantee the work and if you aren’t satisfied when I’m done you don’t pay. I’m also willing to work for much less than I should charge because of the circumstances I am in. Below is an ad for my services. Anyone mentioning they saw it here will get a $25 discount as long as you are in the city of Chicago.
If anyone reading this finds it in their heart they would like to help me, it can be done by http://www.gofundme.com/58fd60