Technically, I am in-between jobs. As of Thursday, I am no longer a contractor, and as of tomorrow, I will be a full employee. And it’s about time.
But not without a thrillride, first.
See, on Tuesday, the manager responsible for my conversion got a call from Human Resources, and the message was to walk me out the door immediately. They got the results of my background check and did not like what they saw. That caught him by surprise, so he called my manager and told him the news. My manager threw the time-out signal. He remembered a conversation he and I (fortuitously) had in passing last week about how there’s another guy with my name in this state who’s apparently a criminal. So they immediately grabbed a conference room and phoned the HR staff again to discuss his conversation with me.
Shortly thereafter, he pulled me into the room for a chat, and HR agreed to have the background-check vendor send me a copy of the results. The determination that day was to keep me on as a contractor until a formal dispute could be launched and everything discovered once and for all.
So, Wednesday, that’s what I did. I reviewed the background check and found four notes regarding the criminal record of a man with my name, my exact birthdate, in Baxter county (where College Station is), who apparently has a major problem with drinking and driving and is currently serving the last of his 7 years in state prison for his third conviction. Coincidentally, he’s been in jail during the entirety of my time as a contractor. So I brought all this up to the HR rep, and he prompted me to call the vendor to begin the dispute process.
I explained to the vendor’s operator that I was not this guy, that I’ve had difficulties before with his name, birthdate, and felony record screwing me over, and that I have never been to Baxter county, so she took down some extra info like my driver license number and my biometric info (weight, height, eye color, hair color) and said she’d forward the info to the researchers for reevaluation. They’d let me know in three business days. After the call, it became a sit-and-wait game.
Luckily, they did their work quickly (because it really should’ve been a no-brainer) because they contacted me the next day to announce the other guy’s record has been expunged from mine, and that there’d be a note attached to my record (should they have to do another check on me in the future) stating what happened. I also got a call from HR telling me the head of security reexamined my case and gave me the green light to conversion, that the company apologizes for any potentially embarrassing (read legally-actionable) inconveniences, and that Monday would be my first day as a fully-badged employee with all the rights, duties, and responsibilities thereof.
And it’s about time.
I kinda feel like celebrating, but with the roller-coaster of this past week, I think I’ll hold off until I get my first paycheck. Just to be on the safe side.