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Admin with a criminal background

By sidvail ·
I am the Network Admin for a local Electronic Supply company in Alaska. I have both the A+ and Network+ certifications along with a CNSE from Fluke Networks, trained in their network analyzers. My network is only 24 stations with an NT4.0 Server. I took this job over about 4 years ago, along with other duties in the company. I really like computers and networking. I do not however, have much experience with other NOS' other than NT4.0. And having moved into this job gradually, I learned it through problem solving as they occured. The certs followed.

I would like to make this my vocation, and pick up some more certs - namely MCSE. My problem though is that I have a criminal background. That has not been an issue where I work now - as I moved into the job slowly, proving my competence and reliability a piece at a time.

My question is this: With my criminal background (homicide - spent 19 years in prison)will I be hired? If I obtained more certs, and pursued Networking as an occupation, would I be taken seriously? I don't see myself moving into a head position at IBM or Exxon - but I do wonder how badly my past will hurt my chances of working in the IT field.

Any and all comments and advise is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Sid

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Working for God?

by Bucky Kaufman (MCSD) In reply to Working for God...

re:
They are not steeped in poverty, although they don't waste money like many corporations.
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That's not my experience. While there's a lot of big, corporate-style churches around - the VAST majority here in North Texas (the buckle of the bible-belt) have only about a hundred members and rarely more than a PC or two.

re:
You probably meant well, but I found your comment un-informed and condecending.
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I often find people get offended when I discuss the "business" of religion. Get over it.

Churches are, unquestionably, a fine possible source for employment for ex-cons with tech skills in older technologies.

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Learning from mistakes

by a.d.e.p.t In reply to Working for God?

re:
I often find people get offended when I discuss the "business" of religion. Get over it.
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If you find yourself so often offending others, why continue? Grow up.

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That's not what the man said.

by deepsand In reply to Learning from mistakes

That others may take offense at one's remarks is not the same as being offensive.

That you may take offense at his observations does not confer on you the right to ask, let alone demand, that he desist from stating such.

As authority for making this statement I refer you to Amendment No. 1 of the U.S. Constitution.

And, as for "growing up," your implication that the one to whom you are replying is "juvenile" is a conclusion based on facts not in evidence.

The difference between intelligence and stupidity is that stupidity knows no limitations.

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Capitalism vs. Christianity

by Bucky Kaufman (MCSD) In reply to Learning from mistakes

That you think I can control others emotions is quite a compliment, however undeserved. My words may be the catalyist, but their own soul is the cause.

I think, when Christianity mixes up with Capitalism, the particpants suffer from an internal conflict. Greed and gluttony, cornerstones of Capitalism, are mortal sins. Lying and not paying your taxes are against Christian ethics, too.

Yet capitalism, as it's practiced in the US, refers to lying as "puffery" and uses it in marketing all the time.

Capitlaists also find themselves in a position of decieving their associates, and their associates expect it, in matters such as true cost, and profit margins.

Most notably, Capitalism (as it's practiced in the US) allows you to kill people who try to take your capital - a very non-Christian value.

I think that's why so many truley devoted Christians choose to take a vow of poverty... and why so many Muslims refer to the US as the "Great Satan".

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Oh, how wrong you are!

by dcurry In reply to It's about you now, not b ...

<soapbox rant>
Simply-Living,

Oh, how mistaken you and SO many others are!

I myself am a convicted felon (car theft - 2.5 yrs) and I am still fighting against the stigmata 15+ years later. I AM a successful Network and Systems Admin/IT Manager. And I am willing to bet a decent steak dinner that I had to work even harder to get here, than most of us. I do not have the certs, because I do not believe in them.

I really feel for sidvail, but I have to tell you (and the others) something you are assuming and not implementing. The stigma of being a felon (violent, drug or other) will ALWAYS have an impact on your eligibility for employment. No matter what we (former felons) do, we will always be given third or fourth consideration, if any consideration, at all. We have paid our time for our crime(s), but we can not do as so many people say. We can not just 'let it go', because the general public will not. If either sidvail or I showed up, and showed your employer we could do that same quality job, as well, or even better, for the same compensation, would he/she consider it? What about for half of your salary? If you were the employer, would you consider either of us?

Fortunately, for me, I have been able to get my record expunged. This is a drastic process, but with the change in the economy, I felt it was necessary. I am trying to get reclassified as a Top Secret Clearance holder. I am competing with people who come from foreign lands, are willing and able to work for half of my salary, have varied certs and degrees, but CAN NOT do the job at 1/10th as well as I. So, I have to go after jobs that are government related, or in some other way restricted to nationals and citizens.

I met A LOT of prision preachers in my time. ALL of them told me how great it was going to be, on the outside. How there was all sorts of help and support. But that help and support came at too high a price, for me. I was not/am not willing to lose my self identity jsut to work as a 'bag boy' in the local grocery. I 'broke the cycle' through much hard work, grovelling and redundant proof, time and time again.

With all due respect unto you and your ideals, before espoucing the greatness of your beliefs, I invite you to walk in my shoes (or sidvails) for a while. THEN tell me if the stigma remains after the debt to society is paid. And then tell me what I (and others) have to do, to finish paying off that debt.

I am a combat veteran.
I volunteered to defend my country
your beliefs
your way of life.
I made a mistake, and paid for it.
again
and again.
when and where is that forgiveness from the society of superior morals?

Sincerely,

Daniel Curry

</soapbox rant>

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Go for it

by OfficeTrouble In reply to Oh, how wrong you are!

You work hard and you will get everything you worked for...............

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She was just trying to help

by sleepydutchie In reply to Oh, how wrong you are!

Take some kind advice when it's offered. she was not "espoucing the greatness" of her beleifs. she was offering the help you claim not to have found! I live with the cosequences of my actions, as do we all.
You seem to have done okay, if you're an it manager???
its not our fault you stole a car. Its nobody's fault but my own I have a drug conviction. I manage 1 pc in a church running win95 - we live with our choices :)

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Absolutely

by avickery In reply to She was just trying to he ...

I agree with sleepydutchie completely. Being a covicted felon does not mean that your life has to end: You life with your choices and move on. While it is true that there will be some things that you CANNOT do, there are more things that you CAN do. For instance, there are more small businesses in the United States than there are large corporations. Many of these small businesses with 50-100 computers need a competent full time network admin, and without an HR dept to block you many people simply slip in under the Radar. It is my belief that one should not advertise the fact that they are a convicted felon. If people find out, then you can explain, or move on, but it really is none of their business.

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in agreement

by dcurry In reply to Absolutely

I agree with you. If a person was convicted of a crime NOT related to the job function, then it is none of their business. But I have worked at those small companies, where I slipped in under the radar. Someone else within the company was stealing hardware. All of us were fingerprinted. My record came up. Although I was innocent of stealing from them, I was terminated, and escorted out of the building by a deputy sherif because I did not volunteer potentially damning information that had no bearing on my ability to do the work. And this was a company that had 'strong chrstian values and morals'

D

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Let us not forget, though.....

by keithphelps In reply to Absolutely

Let us not forget, though, that when each and every application asks if you have been convicted of a felony, you can't just leave it as "none of their business" and "not advertise the fact that [you] are a convicted felon." I am a convicted felon also (for forging prescriptions), and I refuse to lie on an application when they ask me that. However, if I don't get to speak with management as I turn in that application to explain my situation right then, and rely on someone thumbing through the stack and picking apps by virtue of the information contained on that app, the likelyhood of my ever getting a phone call to come in for an interview for further consideration is almost nil. But I must add that I did have it happen at my current job. They called me in and spoke with me, asking first thing what the felony was, and then decided to give me a chance. Unfortunately, I am not working in IT at the moment. I am working while attending school for IT. I have already done some IT work, and am simply going for a degree and certification, but I can definitely empathize with the person that wrote this question, and those who've answered it that have been in these shoes. No one ever forgets what you have done. It's only hopefull that you find a job where they are willing to give you a shot at having integrity and character now. My last job was in IT, and they eventually (against the advice of a one or two people in the company) gave me full access to everything on the system. The people that opposed were worried about my having access to credit card numbers from our database of mail orders. The funny thing was, the thought of using someone else's credit card had never entered my mind. And until the day that I left that company it never did. I am not a thief. I just had a problem with pain killers, made my own script pad on the computer, and filled them out. You can find the job you're looking for, but it will be difficult. I wish you well as you attempt to rise to the occasion and make it happen for you. I know it's easier said than done, but just keep trying, and eventually you will make it happen.

Keith Phelps

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