Friday, February 09, 2007

i stretched back and i hiccuped and looked back on my busy day eleven hours in the tin pan god there's got to be a better way

Imagine, for a moment.

You are the former employee of a Fortune 50 company. Your employment ended six years ago.

Happily working at a new job, minding your own business, you suddenly find yourself in need of a US Government security clearance. Said clearance requires street addresses and phone numbers and contact names of all former places of employment, including verification address, job location, and supervisor name and address.

The actual location of your Fortune 50 job is no more. What do you put? What do you put for phone number? A non-existent number?

Your supervisor dropped off the face of the planet. You heard he might have moved to Montana to become a rancher. This story is anecdotal.

And as it happens, your former Fortune 50 company just merged with another huge company (Fortune 10? 20? Let's just say, the monopoly that was broken up in the 1980s seems to be back again). As in, a month ago. And closed the HR department. And the HR department for the monopoly doesn't have former other company employee information for verification purposes. And the outsourced company that handles the automated system for employment verification only has employee information back five years. And you end up calling the Office of the Executive Assistant to the President of the Monopoly asking for information and even she, although incredibly nice, had no information.

And if you don't fill out this information, you lose your job.

What would you do?


Anonymous chris said...

Ummmm, I think you should put the last valid contact information that you have. Maybe attach a note explaining that the company has been acquired/merged.

I'm currently having a similar (but different) problem because the company I used to work for was sold, and trying to find out any HR information is dang near impossible.

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Stacey said...

I had that same problem. Are you using the web based system? I was told to put the last valid address of the company. Not the new merged stuff. They will at least be able to verify that the company existed. Usually, some type of interview will be required and you can explain it - if they even have questions

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Stacey said...

ps... I was told that they can verify through your tax returns/w-2's if need be. Supposedly, it's easier to send a letter and get a reply :)

4:45 PM  
Blogger Zardra said...

I'd say last valid contact. This is the government we're talking about; they can be serious about being literal. You worked for a company, so you should list that company, not whatever company ate it.

My company just got eaten by a bigger tech company, and I still haven't even figured out how to put it on my resume.

6:37 PM  
Blogger dragon knitter said...

i agree with everyone else. last valid contact you had. i had to get clearance for being able to enter the "protected" area of a nuclear power plant, and they made me go back 10 years. in my case, the "company" didn't even exist any more, and the owner had died! (it was a mom & pop restaurant). i got my clearance.

11:07 PM  
Blogger Becca said...

I know nothing about this, but couldn't you just put down the information that was correct at the time of your employment at megacorp and let the g-men figure it out?

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Marie said...

I just went through this for my American passport. The government wanted me to prove my identity for the last ten years. The place I worked for no longer existed, and I only had an unverifiable number for my boss. I gave passport control the information I had, an explanation, and a list of secondary references like tax docs and co-worker names for backup. It worked.

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Jasmin said...

I know this sounds stalker-y, but have you tried Googling your ex-boss to find their contact info?

Two of my three last bosses were from failed companies, and (at the least) I found thier e-mail addresses by doing that.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Karida said...

well on the plus side, the former boss that is now merged and all super-conglomo is at least a place the feds will have heard of, let's call them "smell south." it's not like you're telling them that you used to work for some crazy out of business ice cream shop.

9:56 PM  

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