So everyone realizes that virtually every Human Resources person worth their salt at almost any decent-sized organization in this country checks the internet as a means of doing a background check on potential future employees, right? I mean this is something I talk about with my high schoolers. Putting pics of yourself doing beer bongs, smoking out of real bongs, taking off your clothes or being absolutely SMASHED out of you mind on the internet is a bad idea. (Note: I am not naive enough to pretend that my students don’t/will not “party” at some point — especially before they are of legal age to do so — so I warn them about this. However, if you want to debate the “I should be wagging my finger at these kids, not teaching them how to avoid paying the price if they should behave this way” aspect of things, that’s for a different blog post. This one here is zipping off in a different direction.)
And since the internet seems to have a better memory than even the most keen elephant, it’s more important than ever not to do stupid things when you are young that might jeopardize you future ability to be hired for a job even as much as a decade or two later after you have engaged in the stupidness.
Now trust me, I have done stupid things before. Lots of them. But (thankfully) they were before the age of digital cameras/ cell phones with video and YouTube/FaceBook/MySpace and so on. I mean even if those rumors are true about me and the mastodon in the taxidermist’s off back in 1987, there are NO photos to prove it. (And I am not saying they are true, BTW — it’s pure conjecture and there’s no proof!)
So essentially, it’s more important than ever for young folks to try and make sure they don’t do anything that is going to automatically show up as a “top hit” on google when a potential employer decides to do a little “unofficial online bg check” on ya.
And if I could think of one sure way to cause any future employers to NEVER EVER WANT TO DARE HIRE ME, it would probably be because they’d be scared that if they brought me on board, I’d end up getting them embroiled in an expensive, potentially calamitous, possibly frivolous lawsuit. I mean you just don’t want to be young and start looking for jobs in this day and age with the monkey of a, “WARNING: Hire me and I might sue you for absolutely no legitimate reason” sign on your back.
But that doesn’t seem to have stopped this young lady. Meet Trina Thompson, 27, a recent college graduate who is suing the college from which she just graduated because she can’t find a job and feels as if, in some way, it is the college’s fault.
Now I don’t know if Trina is gonna win or not — the college certainly seems to think these allegations are without merit — but doesn’t Trina realize that she just ID’d herself as a person who, if you do hire her, is one of those folks who might slip on a banana peel somewhere in your office and end up trying to bring down your entire business… even if she was the one who ate the original banana in the first place and failed to discard of it properly?
Trina, Trina, Trina, I am not sure what they taught you in college but you do seem to have one thing going for you: your sense of how the real world works appears woefully deficient. You just identified yourself as one of those “suer” types… and folks in HR work long hours not so much to find”great rock star employees” as much as to avoid hiring human train wrecks that are going to do real damage to their business.
And guess which category your top hit on google just put you in?