Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Running for Office

In this season to decide whom the country wants to choose for it’s latest CEO, we interview for the job of president of the United States of America.

Now I don’t normally get involved with the politics but just want to post some observations.

It is not an easy job. It is not a new job. Generals and business manipulators and small time politicians who want to become embedded in history books have filled the job. Some have had famous family names while others were complete unknowns.

But this job has the strangest application of any job on earth. It is called “running for office”.

Now I don’t know about you, but I never had to run for office. I had to go to the Personnel Department (now called Human Resources) and fill out an application for a published job. It was the usual form with name, address, phone, and age. It may have even had hair color and height. There were questions about military service and level of education and even what faith followed. There was a question about having a police record, but they never check those. I didn’t have to pee in a cup or answer any drug questions luckily. There have been many changes on the applications now with all the laws passed since then.

Have you ever been arrested?
An employer can't actually legally ask you about your arrest record, but they can ask if you've ever been convicted of a crime.
Depending on the state, a conviction record shouldn't automatically disqualify you for employment unless it substantially relates to your job. For example, if you've been convicted of statutory rape and you're applying for a teaching position, you will probably not get the job

Are you married?
Although the interviewer may ask you this question to see how much time you'd be able to commit to your job, it's illegal because it reveals your marital status and can also reveal your sexual orientation.

Do you have children?
Again, the employer may ask you this question to see your available time commitment with the company, but this question is inappropriate.
However, they are allowed to ask you directly if you have other responsibilities or commitments that will be conflicting to your work schedule.

What country are you from?
If you have an accent, this may seem like an innocent question, but keep in mind that it's illegal because it involves your national origin.
Employers can't legally inquire about your nationality, but they can ask if you're authorized to work in a certain country.

Is English your first language?
It's not the employer’s lawful right to know if a language is your first language or not. In order to find out language proficiency, employers can ask you what other languages you read, speak or write fluently.

Do you have any outstanding debt?
Employers have to have permission before asking about your credit history and, like a criminal background history, they can't disqualify you from employment unless it directly affects your ability to perform the position you're interviewing for.
Similarly, they can't ask you how well you balance your personal finances.

Do you socially drink?
Employers cannot ask about your drinking, or even legal drug use, habits because these inquiries are protected under the American Disability Act.
For example, if you're a recovering alcoholic, treatment of alcoholism is protected under this act and you don't have to disclose any disability information before landing an official job offer.

How long have you been working?
This question allows employers to guess your age, which is unlawful. Similarly, they can't ask you what year you graduated from high school or college or even your birthday.
However, they can ask you how long you've been working in a certain industry.

What religious holidays do you practice?
Employers may want to ask you this to see if your lifestyle interferes with work schedules, but this question reveals your religion and that's illegal.
They can ask you if you're available to work on Sundays.

While all these new rules are true when selecting an employee, the top job has to be chosen by the public. It is the only job where you can leave your present job and go across the country eating and talking and raising money and making promises. During the “stumping” process public servants paid for by tax dollars protect the candidate.

This is the only job where everything about the applicant must be scrutinized. Old high school pictures, tax records, former marriages, the children, the wife are all open for investigation. Then the personal questions come up.

What do you feel about abortions? What about women’s rights? What about immigration? What about national debt? What about gun control? What about war on drugs? What about education? What about farm subsidies? What about welfare? What about social security? What about terrorism?

So the “candidates” for the top office in the country with more power than any other individual on the planet will decide their "platform" agreed to by delegates from all 50 states. Now normally these are groups who agree with the candidate no matter what they say, so they are called “parties”. One is Dumbo and the other is Eeyore but they have their own ideas and separate presentations and the public must decide between them.

The person who's name is on the ballot may sign the checks but it is the people surrounding him/her who make the rules and keep the train rolling.

Enjoy the race. It is not the Olympics but it is fascinating to watch. There may be a winner and there may be a loser. The power may shift and names will be forgotten and whatever the new will settle in and make rules that will decide your life so when you are in the voting booth, think carefully.

This is going to be the next four years.


TripleG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TripleG said...

The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.