I was released from prison on March 19, 2012 after serving every last day of 10 years 2 months 12 days for my sex crimes. By May 2012 I was enrolled in an I.T. course at the local technical college. I earned my CompTIA A+ and Network+ certifications. That was not enough to overcome my felony record. Every and I do mean EVERY employer I’ve ever applied to in the I.T. or computer repair industry for a job has shunned me because of my record. There are many jobs I can’t even apply for due to the statutory restrictions set forth in TN Code Annotated 40-39-211 (Residence and Work Restrictions).
In Sept. 2015 I took that same course again so that I could renew my Network+ certification and finish the course. I graduated with honors in April 2017 and was inducted into the National Technical Honor Society. Do any of you think all that did any good? Nope.
I had been contacted by an I.T. staffing agency’s head hunter about a job as a desktop support technician for Caterpillar (a tractor company) in Corinth, MS. This was almost 2 years ago, I think. I told them up front about my felony sex offense from April 2002. I was told the background check only went back seven years. I was offered the job. I was told I had it if I wanted it. I was given the web link to start the on-boarding paperwork. I came across a question about having ever been convicted of a felony. I called the recruiter and asked how to answer that. She said answer “Yes” I did. She called her supervisor to ask if I still had the job and guess what? The offer was rescinded even though I told them about my felony and its nature and even after I was told I HAD THE JOB IF I WANTED IT. What’s right about that?
I have a minimum activity business license and do computer repair from my home. I have 2 business customers, but I am in a small rural town that is slowly but surely dying. I don’t have the means to live anywhere besides with my retired parents. The business is just too sporadic for me to make a living.
When is enough ever enough? I’m not the same person I was in 2002. I get lists of “felon friendly” employers, but they are nothing of the sort. I don’t know what idiot compiles those lists, but they are NOT felon friendly and even if they are “felon friendly” that doesn’t mean “sex offender friendly”. Why isn’t there a list of sex offender-friendly employers by state? Because they don’t in all likelihood exist. If there are any, the jobs would probably the ones where you get worked into the ground like a rented mule with a joke for a paycheck (min. wage or maybe 25-50 cents above) and are expected to put in daily overtime for the foreseeable future. I can’t hold up to that. I went to school so as not to have to rely on such slave wage jobs. I haven’t found one felon-friendly employer who will hire registrants for white-collar I.T. or computer repair jobs.
I’m sick of it just like Daniel Silverman.
I know this sounds hateful and un-Christian, but it’s to the point that I wish every last person who so rabidly supports these types of discriminatory policies and laws would end up convicted of a predatory sexual offense themselves or maybe their husbands, wives, or children just so they can see what it’s like. Nothing cures problems like this better than a stout, unrelenting dose of empathy. They need to feel the full sting of life on the registry as a convicted sex felon. That’s the only way I see this travesty stopping is when it lands on the front doorsteps of every idiot that supports these laws and policies that stomp us down over and over again.