Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Guess Who's Coming Over

I've gotten background checks for jobs before, but the one I got yesterday was by far the most intense. It was actually what they call here an economic situation survey. Apparently before a Mexican citizen in the D.F. can get a job in the formal sector, investigators hired by the employer must come to your house, inspect it, take pictures of you in your house, ask a lot of personal questions, take more pictures of your living room, etc. then go off and do who knows what with the information.

I've asked the investigators, I've asked my boss, I've asked my Human Resources contact what is the deal with that? Why is that done and what happens to that information. No one seems to have a straight answer. All I've gotten is that it's just part of the job process.

The investigator asked: how big the house is, how many rooms, bathrooms, what elementary school did I go to, how much rent do I pay, how much money do we make, who is the owner of the house, etc.

I guess after an hour and a half went by and I started getting snippy with the investigator he asked, "Don't they do this in the US?" I said yes, maybe if you are going to work for the FBI.

At first I thought, well, it's a newspaper. You want trustworthy people working in one of Mexico's power houses. But then the investigator told me that they also visit job applicants for businesses like DormiMundo, a local mattress chain, and a local flour company.

So what, if they decide you are too poor, you won't get the job. It's a very messed up system that Mexican citizens here must go through. I recently got my Mexican citizenship, and I'm finding out that along with my visa-free stay comes all the crazy bureaucratic red tape you can imagine.

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