July 17, 2010

Thank You, Lord, For Allowing Me to Serve as a Warning to Others

Did you ever make a mistake, and think that you took care of it - and that you could move on with your life, after amends were made?

Like in the news, when I see professional athletes and celebrities committing crimes and getting off with a slap, and then they go on with their lives - it all looks so easy.

And those celebrities and athletes? Money and fame can cause problems, and it can make other problems go away. 

Doesn't happen to me, my naive friends.

Here's my tale of crime, restitution, and my stupid thinking that I could put this behind me.

This story is embarrassing, and fills me with shame still. Nobody in my family (except The Mister) knows that this happened - and I wonder what they're thinking of me when they read it now.

In May of 2004, The Boy and I moved to KY. We settled into our apartment. The only thing we needed was an alternate sleeping arrangement for The Boy. He had been sleeping in an 'awesome, cool, every kid wants one like it loft bed'. ..which he detested.

The day after we moved in, we dumped said bed and went to the store to purchase a new mattress, box springs and frame. Your standard twin set up, sans headboard.

By standard, I mean cheap.

I spent $200 or so on the whole thing...and I'm still paying for it today.

Here's where the bad stuff starts.

I wrote a check for the mattress set. It bounced. Now, I know the merchant had my current address (even though the check was from out of state). He did not have a phone number yet - because the phone hadn't been connected.


Did the merchant attempt to send me a letter, telling me that my check was returned for nonsufficient funds? NOPE.


By nonsufficient, I found out later, I mean that I had written a check that was SEVEN WHOLE DOLLARS over my balance when said check was processed.


Did the bank send me a notice telling me that said check bounced? MAYBE...but I never got it. It would have been sent to my previous address - and that post office hadn't received the forwarding post card yet. 


I never got that notice. And, as a direct deposit went into the account just a day or two after we moved, I did not notice the NSF charge, nor the impact the check had on my balance.


My bad.


Anyway, life went on. At no point did the merchant contact me about the check. Nobody contacted me.


Forward head to October of 2005 - OVER ONE YEAR SINCE I WROTE THE CHECK. The bedding was broken in, if not already broken (too much bed jumping). 

Apparently, someone HAD been looking for me - and had my address. Yet, they never showed up with that notice to appear in court.


I guess the merchant figured he'd let the law handle my check (as was his right).


So, here it is, October, 2005, and I am involved with a crazy man - a man who will not leave my home. I begin putting empty boxes outside, so he can pack up his crap and move out.


Being crazy and all, HE CALLS THE POLICE and tells them that I am destroying his property (in an attempt to get me arrested).


Guess what? He got his wish, sort of. 


Both of us left wearing matching bracelets. He, for trespassing (and later, assault of corrections officials); me, for that bad check charge (theft by deception).

It hurt to sit in the back of a police car when you are handcuffed - you have to sit sideways or your arms hit the seat. I was embarrassed, I was scared. I had never been handcuffed before; it hurt. This was my first and only arrest.

Jail is scary. I was not put in a cell, thank God. I got to sit in the booking area with metal chairs, and was told not to talk to the men. On the way to jail, the officer who arrested me (who was very nice to me) told me what would happen when I got to jail, and how it was in my interest to be polite, obedient, and how it was best not to look at anyone seated in the booking area).


Thankfully, I was able to get my bail processed relatively quickly (I was there maybe an hour, though it seemed like forever).


I had to post bail and promise to come to court - which I did.


I pled guilty.

I paid restitution and a fine.


Since it took the law so long to find me (like I was living in the underbelly of the criminal world), I was not eligible to get my conviction expunged from my record.

I thought it was over.


Justice was served.


Wrong.


Since I got laid off in 2007, there have been THREE employers who made job offers that were rescinded once they found out about my misdemeanor conviction...




WHICH I ADMIT TO ON EACH AND EVERY JOB APPLICATION, IN THE APPROPRIATE BOX.


Oh, one of the employers? I was working at the client site for a whole week before THEIR report came back. Imagine my shame when I was escorted from their property.


And those companies who reject me? Are they telling me that NOT ONE SINGLE EMPLOYEE  has ever broken a law?

I did not lie to them. I admitted that I did a bad thing, and that they would find it on a report. I paid the penalty.


That one conviction is my scarlet letter.


How much longer do I have to pay for my indiscretion? For my carelessness? 


How much longer for dumb luck and a serious of unfortunate events?


Apparently, five years isn't enough, as I received THAT phone call on Friday at 4:45 pm:


"Sorry, June, but your background check revealed something that results in you not meeting our hiring criteria. We're going to have to rescind our offer."


10 comments:

  1. I guess with the economy today, and so many people looking for jobs, only 'perfect' people will get them.

    Your situation is a good example of what can follow you throughout your life. I am sorry this happened to you. Can you get your record expunged?

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  2. That is terrible. I am so sorry. I would have thought your recent job/references (heck. any of your references) as a tax consultant would be enough to keep them from over reacting.

    Perhaps you can accidentally leave the company's email address on your blog and all your bloggy friends can bombard them with lamentations on your behalf.

    I hope things turn around soon.

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  3. I am so so sorry. We'll get 'em next time! Love, The Gorgeous One

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  4. Un-freaking-believable! I am so sorry this happened.....

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  5. I am so sorry this is happening to you. That is awful. I wish you all the luck in the world and I will send out positive blessings for you to find a job. Honesty has got to account for something, right? I wish there was something I could do for you!

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  6. That is wrong. Could you maybe put a copy of this post with your next resume?

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  7. OMFG. That could've happened to ANYONE.

    There are people out there who have done much worse, on purpose, and are not haunted by it in any way.

    I'm sorry about this whole situation. How frustrating!

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  8. Oh June I'm sorry. That does suck. All for a bounced check - it seems soo silly. People are out there with MUCH worse records and they get hired. Sad.

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  9. Oh My God. This is horrible. This is just so so wrong that this happened. Do you bring it up in an interview and tell the entire story so you can explain it ... so they don't just assume the worst?

    I hate that a good person who got into a weird situation ONE TIME is being punished for it years later. Meanwhile, you hear about real criminals who seem to skate by without having any consquences.

    This makes me sick to my stomach.

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  10. I'm so sorry this all happened. I 'm with Jenners, can you say at the job interview " a check bounced by accident that I NEVER knew about?"

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Thanks for stopping by. I love your comments...I get all warm inside just reading them!