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· Registered
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, new to the forum...

I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on background checks. I'll be upfront and honest, I do have a sorted past. Mainly DUI's (one was a felon), driving under suspension charges, and a couple of marijuana charges, the last one was over 9 years ago. Since then, I've changed my lifestyle, cleaned my life up and stayed away from any sort of trouble. I'm a clean person now and can pass any sort of drug test.

Been job searching for some time now, and can't find anything, because of the background checks. So I'm wandering when employers will be seeing my history as just that: history! Yes, that is who I was, but that's not who I am now. Nowadays the closest I come to breaking the law is driving 5 mph over the speed limit when I'm running late.

Been working in professional kitchens since the early 90's. Tons of experience, wider range of skills than most other Executive Chefs out there. Getting a little frustrated at not being able to find a better job.

Any thoughts?



· Registered
252 Posts
What sorts of places are you applying? I've spent most of my career working at free standing restaurants and have never had one of them give me a background check. The one country club I worked for did backgrounds and drug tests though.

· Registered
515 Posts
I think the reason a lot of us with tainted records find our calling in this occupation is because it's the only one that'll take us in. Various dining and pay grades are what segregate the commited and not (and recidivism). It's kind of an unspoken rule that the more corporate and structured the harsher the background checks, drug tests, etc. because the statistics speak for themselves. Why wouldn't you want a workforce with better lifestyle stats? All this being said there are exceptions to everything. If your talented enough or related enough people will bend rules. In as little as one and a half to seven years you can pay a lawyer to appeal to have your record expunged (assuming you don't live in AZ) under your claimed pretense of repentance. Be a boutique chef if that's all your allowed to do and create your own menu of three star fare. There's a ton of opportunity, the morning sous at one of the highest acclaimed restaurants I've worked for was an illegal Guadalajaran who started out as a dishwasher after they picked him up outside of a Home Depot one day. You just have to want it bad enough.

· Registered
470 Posts
I like to do background checks. Doesnt mean I won't hire a person because theyvarent squeeking clean but it does add some serious conversation and pits you to the test. Best to be honest and dont clam up or get nerves, it just shows what your like under pressure. Weed and DUI is very common. Be assertive bring in your own record and explain it upfront( if being asked). Thats all advice I got, dont drink and drive. Multiple arrests for the same thing kinda tells me you are not the brightest, non-offence but really thats what Im going to think when I see that.

I personaly dont like drunk drivers and will hold it against you.

Get it pardoned. End of problem.

Dropping the " Im better than most" attitude will help as well.
On the other hand your definitely the best unemployed cook I know of.....

· Premium Member
2,390 Posts
Several things. 

It's your sordid past that bothers you. You'll eventually get it sorted out, though. 

     From your post I'll assume you have a job. You state wanting to get a better one. How does your current employer see your history? 

What makes you assume people have done background checks? 

Because we are not in a live chat, I'll continue and you'll correct me later. 

     So let's say you are currently employed, have held the job for a few years but would like to move up, have been applying for jobs, getting rejected and for whatever reason you believe it's your nine year old background.

     You shower, dress well, are punctual for the interview. Your resume is updated and well crafted. (I have no idea how to do that, but I know you're supposed to)  You don't have bad breath, halitosis, psoriasis or some other disagreeable affliction. 

You give a firm handshake and look the interviewer in the eye. You're polite and answer the questions thoughtfully. 

In short, the only reason you aren't getting the job is because someone you interviewed with has called you and told you directly it was because of your background and they know that because they did a background check. 

     If that's the case, I would check with the various enforcement agencies about your record and your states' Labor Department to find out what the statute of limitations is on your misdemeanors and single felony. A bankruptcy is relevant for seven years. I would be interested to know what is coming up in the background check and why, after nine years. A felony may stick around for a much longer period of time but it was a driving one, not assault or bank robbery. What can you get expunged from the record? What do you have to tell an employer about if they don't ask?

     So now let us imagine it is not the background check. Your past has nothing to do with it. What else could it be?

Brace yourself, get some one to sit down with you and be brutally honest. You laugh too loud at the oddest times? You have halitosis, psoriasis, bad breath? You tell sexist and racist jokes? Your cooking sucks?   You dress like a slob? You are always late? You won't apply at any place that would actually hire you because you think you are too good to work there? You can not do scheduling or food costing? 

I have no idea. I wrote all of the above before giving you a chance to answer "What makes you assume people have done background checks?

Oh, and By the way, you have my complete sympathy. Looking for a job Sucks.                                                 
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