I want to believe that the latest corporate idiocy–some hiring managers asking for Facebook passwords from prospective hires for the purpose of “background screening” them–is some sort of urban legend. Having worked in the corporate world for quite a while, I have to concede a better-than-even chance that this is actually taking place.
The problem that almost anyone with a brain and twelve seconds to think about that issue (which excludes 75% of all corporate mid-rank managers I’ve ever worked with) has already pointed out is that even if the candidates willingly surrender their Facebook password, the hiring manager leaves the company open to slam-dunk discrimination lawsuits. If you go through a candidate’s Facebook page and read that she is gay, and you don’t hire her–can you prove that you didn’t pass her over because of her sexual orientation? How about a candidate’s religion or marital status?
Obviously, this is a bad idea all around from a legal perspective. But there’s another aspect, one that immediately occurred to this former IT monkey and network administrator before he even considered the discrimination angle:
Do you, as a hiring manager, want to hire people who are willing to surrender the password to their private information at the mere prospect of a paycheck? if they let you snoop around in their lives just because you may hire them, what do you think they’ll do with your confidential corporate information–your trade secrets, your network passwords, your financial information–when they have a more concrete incentive?
Of course, the employee pool these days is made up to a fair degree of people who have been conditioned to walk through metal detectors, wear see-through backpacks, and submit without question to the school resource officer and his friendly Constitutional expert Rover, so I imagine that most job candidates fresh out of college wouldn’t even blink at such a request. But I’m a pessimist when it comes to stuff like that, which has the advantage that a.) you’re right more often than the optimist, and b.) you can only be surprised positively.
The only way I can explain the people who regularly surface trying to pay at WalMart with fake $1,000,000 bills is mental disability or illness. The alternative is too unpleasant to contemplate—that our educational system produces people who think that your neighborhood Wally World can break a million-dollar bill on a $500 purchase and hand you nine hundred ninety-nine grand in change.
When your vocational activities include driving around in a box van and stealing city storm grates to sell for scrap metal, it’s probably safe to say that your educational choices in life were somewhat less than optimal. But they’re lucky to have plied their trade in Massachusetts, where the chance of them doing any prison time is slim.
Here’s a quick political quiz: You read a story about some scruffy small-caliber criminals stealing public storm grates for scrap.
If you talk about punishment and complain about the lenient criminal justice system, you’re a Conservative.
If you talk about bad vocational opportunities and rehabilitation, you’re a Liberal.
If you talk about the evils of capitalism that force people to steal metal for scrap, you’re a Socialist.
If you say “PUBLIC storm grates?”, you’re a Libertarian.
Arizona State senator Lori Klein (R) is a pro-gun politician. She carries a purple-framed Ruger LCP in her purse. During an interview with an Arizona Republic reporter, she took it out of her purse and aimed the loaded pistol at the reporter’s chest to show off the red dot of the Ruger’s laser sight. When the reporter objected, she said that he wasn’t in danger because "she didn’t have her hand on the trigger."
I don’t need to tell my responsible gun-owning friends that this is monumental gun safety fail. It violates one of the cardinal rules of gun handling, which are:
RULE I: All guns are always loaded.
RULE II: Never let the muzzle cover anything you’re not willing to destroy.
RULE III: Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
RULE IV: Be sure of your target, and what’s behind it.
Senator Klein needs a serious refresher in safe gun handling, and shouldn’t be handling firearms until she has internalized those rules. You don’t point a loaded gun at anyone outside of legitimate defense of your life, ever. There are no exceptions to this rule, or any of the other ones on the list.
For those readers waiting to jump in and claim this incident as evidence that the majority of gun owners are yahoos like Senator Klein: none of my gun-owning friends would ever think about pointing their loaded guns at someone without emergency, and none of them would tolerate that kind of action from someone else. If you showed up at the range or the Northeast Bloggershoot, for example, proceeded to point your loaded gun at people intentionally or accidentally, and then shrugged it off with "My finger wasn’t on the trigger," getting ejected and asked not to return would be the most gentle thing that could happen to you.
Presented with minimal comment:
Spotted in the parking lot of the West Lebanon WallyWorld today. The word to the left of TAKE BACK AMERICA is, of course, AMERICAN’S.
A little boy gets shot accidentally by local apprentice hoodlums at a Boston playground. The apprentice hoodlums were riding dirtbikes while they were committing the crime.
The brave city officials of Boston take immediate and bold steps to crack down on…dirtbikes. I kid you not.
In all fairness, they already cracked down on guns, shooting people is already illegal in Boston, and cracking down on violent apprentice hoodlums is too difficult and dangerous.
Massachusetts: Blaming Inanimate Objects For Social Problems Since The Great Depression.
Now we’re frisking the adult diapers of 95-year-old women in the name of safety.
Feel safer yet, America?
Tam says it best (as always):
Seriously, have we reached a point where we, as a nation, are so pants-pissingly scared of a bunch of self-immolating neolithic goatherds that we are willing to inflict any indignity on any citizen at any time rather than expose ourselves to the slightest bit of risk?
Some people say that this is the new Normal. It isn’t. This is the new baseline. With the TSA expanding this sort of nonsense from airports to train stations and even highway traffic, expect this kind of thing to become so common as to be unremarkable. If this kind of thing doesn’t result in a public outcry, a Congressional investigation, a few firings and high-level resignations, some tarring & feathering, or just a good old-fashioned ass-kicking, those people know that there’s nothing the American public won’t tolerate to be kept safe from the Boogeyman of the Decade.
And remember: these people are virtually unfireable, and impossible to sue. The old lady who got her Depends tossed by some blue-gloved airport crossing guard with a badge can sue the TSA at best…and if she wins the lawsuit, we all get to pony up the settlement.
This kind of nonsense is unworthy of a free society. But then again we’re not free anymore. Not only are we letting them wrap the chain around us tighter every year, we help them forge the links, and complain when they make the chain too loose. Children afraid of the dark, no more, asking for Daddy Government to get rid of the monsters under the bed.