I filled out an application to a major store today. It asked a lot of weird questions. One that bothered me was, “are you on public assistance?” I asked a friend why they would ask that question, since it has nothing to do with how well a person can perform at their job and was told the government (state?) gives tax credits to companies when they get someone off assistance by giving them a job.

So, since I’m independent and don’t take handouts, I’m at a disadvantage in the job market.

I’m NOT happy right now.

About Maureen, Living in a Van

I'm a free-sleeper living in a van in the prettiest part of the world. I do this partly due to financial circumstances and partly because I love a good adventure.
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11 Responses to Application

  1. Ryu says:

    Ah! I forgot about that.

    Companies these days get all sorts of goodies if they hire an ex-con, minority, or if you are a victim in some way. Strength and independence are not virtues! Give them what they want to hear, just get the job. Once you’re in they won’t care about any of that.

  2. Sherry says:

    I am so much happier when I don’t dwell on politics, so I am woefully ignorant. Please pardon me if I offend with my naivete. I have a completely opposite feeling about public assistance. I have been rendered unable to work due to medical circumstances beyond my control. Am I ashamed? No. Have a been a model, tax-paying citizen from the ages of 14 to 46? Yes. Did I pay into this system all of those years? Yes. Did I have a choice? No. Well, I have a choice right now and you can bet your bottom dollar that I will seek and find any and all possible forms of assistance from the system that I have paid into. I did not mind that my taxes helped to support those who were less fortunate and now I am simply on the other side of the fence. It’s a natural progression and I feel no shame. Free medical care at the local Health Department? Yes. Free prescription from a big pharma that saves me $479,00 a month? Hell yes. I pay it forward any time I can. I accept all these available forms of assistance with joy and gratitude. Isn’t is amazing that we can have such diverse thoughts and realities?

    • Maureen says:

      Sherry, I wasn’t putting you down, believe me BUT it’s not fair that I have a strike against me because I have chosen not to take government money.

      The job should go to the person who is most qualified, don’t you think?

  3. Sherry says:

    The way I see it, you are mostly assuming that you have a strike against you. Do you really believe that when it comes down to who an HR person actually chooses for a position, that the criteria most important to them is some distant tax credit? I think they actually hire the best candidate for the job, the candidate that the supervisors who did the interviewing liked best. I get your point of view, though. I don’t think an employer should ask that question, they should simply get the tax credit if the candidate they choose happens to be on assistance. But really, for all we know, the person who asked you if you are on public assistance is simply biased and loathes people on the public dole. Maybe they hired someone who was on Welfare long ago and that employee turned out badly. Who really knows??? Since I am frequently paranoid, and truly the master of misconstruing someone’s comment as a personal insult or spinning it in my mind until a negative angle comes up, I have trained myself to remember that I don’t actually know what caused a person to ask a question, it’s all guesswork on my part. I want to understand your reluctance to take government money. Would you explain your philosophy to me? I need educating in this area!

  4. Sherry says:

    I should correct myself to say that now I realize you were filling out an application when the public assistance question came up. Maybe they are trying to hire people using a criteria that gives folks on public assistance an advantage over someone like you. So, let’s look at it from another perspective. The only thing companies really care about is making money. So, if they end up with 16 equally qualified candidates, they may let the tax credit sway the vote because it saves them money. They want the savings, the government wants them to hire the person on assistance to save themselves money, and the candidate who was in dire enough need to be on public assistance gets the job. My issue is this: You choose to not accept help from certain sources, like the government. That is a choice that satisfies your philosophy. But most importantly, it is a CHOICE. More than likely, in this day and age, the person who gets that job instead of you, because of public assistance, probably does not have the luxury of a choice. You know the struggles of raising children. And for the most part, people cannot qualify for public assistance unless the need is real. So if the big box company gives the job to a single mom whose ex won’t pay child support, I am ok with that. Thousands if not millions of parents are out there and could not feed the kids without food stamps. They don’t have a choice. I know you were unhappy and irritated at the real disadvantage of this in a hiring situation, but think of the person who gets the job. Maybe they really, really need the job more than you do.

  5. Maureen says:

    Dear Sherry,

    Since you are so much happier when I don’t dwell on politics and by your own admission woefully ignorant about them, perhaps it will be better if we don’t spend too much time on this topic.


  6. Sherry says:


    Best wishes.

  7. Charles says:

    I’m kinda with Sherry, on the we paid for it get it if you qualify, but I choose not to simply because I do have other options and don’t want the Gov. that deep in my business.

    Hope the job works out, I’m ex-military and never fill in the part about former service and usually still get the job.

    I do believe short and sweet is better?

    Life should be Fun

  8. Sharon says:

    Maureen, I hope you get a good job soon.

    It is sad that there are fewer and fewer healthy, able people to carry the burgeoning cost of those who can’t take care of themselves. Eventually there won’t be enough producers to carry the burden and the whole system will crash.

    If productivity and ability were rewarded instead of discriminated against, more tax money would be generated to take care of the others.

  9. Maureen says:

    Amen and Amen. Thanks for coming by Sharon.

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