Friday, 1 July 2011

Crime and Bureaucracy

As part and parcel of the application process for a new job I was recently required to undergo a CRB or criminal records bureau check. This, for the uninitiated, is to confirm that you have no criminal convictions and certain jobs demand it as a condition of employment. Certain voluntary roles do also and I had to have one a couple of years back when I applied to help out at a children’s centre.

It is, with the best will in the world, a somewhat nerve-wracking procedure. The form is simple enough but the wait can be bloody. Now, I do not have a criminal record but I still find myself distinctly tense until a bureaucrat confirms this. Apart from the fact that mistakes and errors do occur even in the most perfect of systems, and this is not one of those, I still have the vague and worrying feeling that I have, at some point, been arrested, charged, prosecuted and convicted for something and then forgotten about it. Unlikely I know, but like Douglas Adams when posting an important letter, I fret that the post box might be, in some obscure way, ‘broken’.

Well, I passed, and even better, this time I passed an Enhanced Disclosure which, I think, is rather more impressive than passing a standard (or vanilla, as we enhanceds like to call them) one.

Of course, all this proves is simply that I have not been caught doing anything wrong and the whole apparatus exists, I suspect, for the protection not of vulnerable people but of the organizations that work with them. But the fact remains that I did pass and I am childishly proud of that.

So, if anyone wishes me to look after any money or valuables they may have, please contact me below. After all, I am as honest as the day is long and I have the paperwork to prove it.

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