This week I was doing employment consulting for a client. Her nephew needed career path assistance and since my schedule right now is uber flexible (I have time for morning yoga, lunch in The Valley on a whim, and 20 mile bike rides on a Tuesday afternoon!) I told her I was available. So, for the past few days I’ve been meeting with her 19 year old nephew helping him map out his career goals, applying for jobs, registering with agencies, etc.
This kid is very personable. And very lost. He wasn’t really sure what he wanted to do with his life. He did mention that he wanted to be "an entrepreneur". I asked “entrepreneur of what? and you could hear a pin drop. As soon as I started going into him identifying his target audience I could tell I'd lost him. My client kind of got him & his brother thrown into her lap a few years ago and they’ve been nothing but thorns in her paw ever since she got them. Just 2 days after his 18th birthday, her nephew *Steve was arrested and now has a felony robbery charge on his record. (Over some dumb shit involving a skateboard and $5.00!) So, this week I’ve been on the phone with several contacts of mine getting advice, trying to find “felony-friendly” employers, researching information about expunsion of his felony & getting the charge reduced in the interim (because he has 5 years of probation he wouldn’t be eligible for expunsion until after that, if at all) ALL while trying to convince the poor child to go to school and learn a damn trade. We found an ROP internship in Travel & Tourism that starts next Tuesday. He seemed interested in it & I figured that with an internship his felony shouldn’t come into play and since the coursework would take place onsite (vs. in a classroom) he could potentially get into a hotel, prove himself, and possibly get hired on after the course was over in June.
I felt like I was making progress with the kid. I kept reiterating to him that his main goal at this point should be to show any potential employers that he has made strides to turn his life around since he was arrested. His aunt was even kind enough to allow him to use her business name as his current employer on his resume in an effort to show that he has had steady employment for a year. Outside of that, he’s had 3 jobs. He was fired from one, gave two week notice at another and stopped showing up a few days into that final two weeks, and the third he also stopped showing to (because he had to turn himself in after his arrest. Instead of discussing this with the employer he just disappeared.) So, his work history is very sketchy to say the least. When I mentioned him going back to school he said it would “take too long”. I’m like ‘dude, learn a trade that will make you money for the rest of your life!” Plus, this would be impressive to employers. It would show his drive and initiative. He said it made sense & I felt like it was starting to sink in & we were making strides.
We met this morning at Panera and since it was a beautiful Southern California day we sat outside. I had my Mac & took great pleasure in pimping their free WiFi while Steve texted his friends and got distracted by the birds and shiny objects. I set him up for a few appointments early next week, applied for a few jobs & registered him with a few companies that conduct focus groups before taking him back to his aunt’s office to give her a recap of our progress before breaking for lunch. It was noon and he was getting a little antsy so I told him we could just meet up again on Tuesday before his appointments. I would meet him at his aunts office early so that we could have a quick run through before his first agency interview. I told him to make sure he was dressed for success. “I don’t have no nice clothes” he said. His aunt said she would help him get some black pants over the weekend. He told me “Don’t worry about it. I’ll get some pants someway.” Jokingly, I said “Don’t you end up in jail before I see you Tuesday!” I gave him a ride home & he gave me a hug, thanked me for everything & said he'd see me next week.
I just got a text from his aunt that read “Hey girl…no need to continue job searching for Steve. He was caught stealing at Ralph’s…he is on his way to jail…” WTF! I’m literally shaking my head. I gave her a call. She was at a bar having a strong drink. As it turns out, he was caught stealing condoms from a local grocery store. So now he has the original robbery charge with a new larceny charge which will probably be be brutal. My boy just told me "He would’ve been better off knocking the officer out and getting an assault charge over the theft." Larceny after being convicted for robbery? This is bad. Real bad. *sigh*