Monday, August 3, 2009

Criminal, Schriminal!

I have been very grumpy lately. The cause?? Criminal background checks.

Someone on high from somewhere has dropped the hammer on every federal and state agency with whom we work and mandated that background checks must be done. Well, that’s not news to us—we’ve always done them. The problem is….EVERY agency wants a DIFFERENT background check. We currently do FOUR (count them, 4!) different background checks on every employee to satisfy ourselves, TDFPS, and whoever else is in the mix.

The latest grump-maker is Dallas County, with whom we have an agreement every year to accept referrals from their truancy courts. WELL, it seems that they don’t like our background checks and want yet ANOTHER one for those employees who would be working with their teens. THEY PAY US NOTHING FOR WORKING WITH THESE KIDS. And worst than that, the young woman with whom we have been dealing is one who can only repeat like a robot what the requirements are—that are due TODAY, by the way.

Thank goodness I know people in high places (that is a joke) and called Ron Stretcher, who is over all the truancy courts. We now have a reprieve until he can figure an easier way for us to do these checks.

Now, to date, here are the people who have been involved in trying to solve this issue: Keri, STAR program manager; Regina Levine, Parents with Promise manager; Alex Appiah, V.P. Programs; Judy Marshall, V.P. Internal Affairs, and little ole me!

And they had been trying to solve this issue for two weeks!!!

The other villain in this story is the company that the TDFPS STAR program uses to do their background checks. We submitted 15 employees back in June to be checked, and as of Wed., had not heard back any results—in spite of several phone calls and emails. So, we couldn’t even prove to the County that these folks have been cleared—until I emailed the Division Head of STAR and demanded that this be fixed.

We were talking in Leadership Retreat yesterday about things that rob our passion. Well, let me tell you, THIS IS IT!!!!

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE??? Why can’t they get their stuff together and use ONE background check for everyone? I guess that would be WAY too simple.

Thank you for listening to me vent. It was a VERY testy week, and I have become the shrew whose phone calls and emails the state and county are trying to valiantly avoid. BUT THEY WILL NEVER GET RID OF ME! And we will prevail (somehow!).

I hope I have a better week this week!

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