Saturday, July 31, 2021

Social Media Background Checks -- What The F***?!?!?!?

Yeah, life has been extremely busy lately. I recently got to have my first international travel experience (more on that in a separate post, maybe after I get some pictures off my phone) that I would never have been able to predict happening even a couple months back. I've also been trying to do mindset work since it seems my former manager and countless others who discuss mindset work may have a point though I'm probably going to remain some level of cynic until I'm dead. Trying to get rid of all my cynicsm might be akin to asking for miracles and no mere human can do that. The best I can do is "be more like my family members."

My boyfriend, who I love if he loves me though he's not actually TOLD me "I love you" (so I'm playing my hand very close to my chest though if he didn't love me, I'd be curious to see how he treats a woman he DOES love; he's been better to me than any other guy I've dated), isn't a man without baggage. I had to warn him about not taking my ex's side in the divorce or trying to brand me as "lazy" when I simply happen to be selective when it comes to what I'm going to do for work. He also seems to ignore his own good fortune at having friends in high places to help him in the working world while I don't have that privilege nor do I have a STEM background or (what seems to be critical in my field) experience or interest in the paperwork part of litigation. Some people get that I work in a niche area, am not your typical attorney and appreciate those things about me while others insist that I conform to be just like every other boring person and that I apologize for not being from a T1 law school, working in a big law firm or wanting to do any of that stuff.

Apparently one such form of shaming creatives/non-conformists comes in the form of "social media background checks." Per my boyfriend and online research he showed me, companies that can pay viable wages employ third party companies to monitor anything you write online then screen you out if you have any opinion whatsoever on a subject that doesn't march in lockstep with the rest of the social conformists or maybe the woke scolds depending on what industry you wish to work in. This post is specifically for you cretins along with those who employ you :)

His stance was "accommmodate these jerks by stifling your creative voice." He's not the first person to say that & ironically I'm not sure any employer has even bothered talking to me long enough to go on such fishing expeditions (if you're an attorney, you definitely know about the use of this term from law school or trial practice work). You apparently have to give consent for this to happen and some companies do have a provision that says you will be permitted to get all the information from such reports. Such reports also omit information based on protected categories (which technically, stuff about your significant other would qualify since that would presume your sexual orientation and an employer can't discriminate based on that in many localities if not the entire US; I do know it's not allowed in NYC).

Apparently these reports include political and religious rants, complaints about previous jobs or bosses (what if your boss was Harvey Weinstein and he'd touched you or made an indecent advance towards you?), participation in activities and so forth.

Is anyone else hearing of this and thinking "this is ripe for abuse and discrimination against someone"? I definitely think it is and would say to some company who interviewed me, went through this process and then rejected me "why would I want to work for you when you are bigots/have no respect for creativity or one's creative voice/enable the Harvey Weinsteins of the world/act like you are Jesus Christ when I'm sure we'd find worse on you if we did a similar search?"

I have maybe near certainty that employers in liberal regions or in the entertainment field would never have an issue with the ANTIFA protester or rioter who destroyed some small business or harassed someone on the street if it wasn't a minority owned business or a minority they'd harassed unless that person was wearing a MAGA hat or supported Trump in some form. Trump supporter seems to cancel out any form of minority status in Leftist Land. Just ask Candace Ownes, Larry Elder or countless black conservatives, independents and anyone else who's not a registered Democrat or speaks against those sacred cows.

I would also question if this employer actually knows what attorneys do and anything about the attorney ethics rules? The attorney ethics rules expect an attorney to report slimeballs & speak out against them, not cover up for them or enable them to harm more people. Attorneys also aren't supposed to be bowing to government corruption or enabling criminality though plenty seem to be completely clueless about the text of the US Constitution, various laws and the state ethics rules for attorneys. I've had to block and wade through those idiots, whom I'd never hire as MY lawyer. You probably wouldn't want to either.

The irony is I've had praise for my blog, my podcast episodes and so forth from industry contacts, propsective clients and even some attorneys. People will tell me "your blog is so funny" or "your comments on this topic resonated with me" or "I think you're exactly right on that point." Those are the people I want to work for, the people who think my storytelling, my humor, my entire essence are wonderful things that deserve to be valued and praised. People who think I shouldn't have to be a starving artist and cede my brain or be a stuffy old boring lawyer and cede my creativity. That's the audience I want. You notice no race, sexual orientation or any other form of identity politics is part of that equation? That's because I've gotten such praise from people of all stripes and in various corners.

The question is why is it that I can't find anyone in that audience who has the ability to hire me for a stable job that would pay within market rates? How come only the boring, hating jerks are in leadership roles in the fields I rock at instead of people who aren't envying others, crushing them emotionally or asking them to dim their light? I have wondered for years why I'm not meeting the ones who value me, respect my time/humor/resourcefulness/creativity/basic essence and only meet the jerks. This feels like a mindset thing, hence my doing that sort of work so I can attract the group I want.

But stuff like that social media background check requirement? That just sets me further back or makes me say "I don't want to work with you." I think many others are probably more equipped emotionally to tolerate or settle for bureaucratic nonsense that I just won't. Not having anyone to back you is a big, fat problem and I love that when I've brought up class factors and economics having to be resolved if you truly want "diversity and inclusion" or truly live by it, people have agreed with me.

In all fairness, diversity of mind and perspective should also be included and not doing so screams "we were lying when we said we cared about diversity and inclusion." That ethic isn't just for minorities and if you want to get more of them in the doors, you have to address class factors, the impact of living in a bad neighborhood or a dysfunctional family where you had to do things on your own or didn't even have the resources to turn to if you wanted to get out of that environment. That stuff affects your psyche, your thought process and how you approach the world. Some people own it and know it's their issue but not everybody has that self-awareness and telling them "get over it" or "do this" isn't effective. You must show them BY EXAMPLE why their particular belief is wrong. Here are some Cracked articles for references: "The 5 Stupidest Habits You Develop Growing Up Poor" & "5 Reasons Why the Middle Class Doesn't Understand Poverty"

I also took a quiz recently called "The 4 Tendencies" and guess which one I got? The Rebel!!! Not a big surprise considering I'm an attorney who's a natural redhead so contrariness is kind of how we roll. However, the thing to know about rebels is that issuing commands at them is how you get them NOT to do something. They view commands as "fuck you and the horse you rode in on, you authoritarian cretin." You have to use LOGIC and REASON with rebels. I have to decide to do something on my time and by my choice, not be bullied or forced into something. Trying that makes rebels resist all that much harder. You'd think the US government would get that and certainly some other governments in the Western world where certainly other rebellious types exist. But that's a whole other story.

I view such checks as an authoritarian effort to bully me into conformity and kiss butt to someone who's most likely not worth my emotional investment or the disturbance to my mental peace, work-life balance and the like. I don't think mental peace or work-life balance is something that only the rich can aspire to or get to have. Shocking, right?? I believe everyone should have standards for themselves since nobody else is going to care about them or have to deal with the repercussions of violating them. You know, I may even end up saying that very loudly to someone at some point and they'll either think I'm exactly right or incredibily intelligent and after considering my points think I've got a valid point. If you're such a screener, yep I'm calling you out and you can tell that employer I said it since I probably will say that or ask probing questions to anyone saying it's part of their process.

Now to await the presence of people who'll read this and say "right on!"