Licensed

I passed the Master’s Social Work exam. So I am licensed in the state of Kansas. Just have to wait to receive the license in the mail. That is a weight off my shoulders. Should help get a job. It is extremely frustrating not getting phone calls from places I’ve applied. Especially if I’m over qualified. Honesttly, what else do these people want? I have the passion, drive, work ethic, references, education. .. sheesh. And now I have a fun story of old diversions. The 2005 one should be expunged in a month or so, all the paperwork is in and fee is paid. So anyone who thinks expungements just naturally happen, for diversions, they don’t! You have to contact the district court you were registered in. They aren’t going to step by step it either, you have to ask the questions! But it is doable, even in Kansas. If I lived in Colorado, perhaps I could be one of those people who are getting their records taken care of. At first it seemed like it wouldn’t happen but now I think it’s actually going to happen to some people. I had to dip into my share certificate so that sucks now I won’t be getting interest on it as much. However, it’s a good think I put that money away 4 years ago. Sheesh. I have enough for April. Moving too at the end of the month so a lot of things happening. Being unemployed of course makes me feel like a complete idiot and loser since I’m constantly mooching for money. The only time I was able to put money away was back in 2009 ever since i’ve made about 10K a year. 2014 doesn’t look like it will be much different. I am very lucky to have people willing to help me out though. Especially since I don’t qualify for unemployment and won’t until around July or so and even then it will only be about 4K of gross wages. Still have some bitterness, but honestly a lot of that I’ve had for years and it won’t go away anytime soon. Just gotta find the job and a new place to live.

I’ve always supported the legalization of drugs and ending the drug war, waaaay before all this misfortune happened. I’ve always been very progressive and believe in true liberty. I don’t think we need religion or laws to remind us that murder, rape, child molestation, assault, etc. are wrong. But if we are consenting adults I don’t think it’s anyone business, especially the governments, of what we do behind our closed doors or what we put in our body. Usually when I tell people this beliefs like legalizing and regulating drugs, prostitution, gambling, they always put words in my mouth and say i’m supporting minor sex trafficking or have these sad fantasies based off the 60s. Well that is simply ridiculous; I’m an adult with my own opinions that are mine and no one else’s. No I do not support minors buying drugs or being sex trafficked or prostituting and I feel ridiculous even having to say that. Prescription drugs are more addictive and cause overdoses. People still drink and drive even though it’s illegal so that doesn’t mean if we legalize other things we are all going to become sex crazed, stoned, murderers. The plan we have now isn’t working. Institutionalized racism and outdated laws put black people in jail for not killing people and white people can murder as long as their victim is black. Rapists never see jail cells and marijuana growers are in prisons. White collar crime kills more and costs more millions yet violent criminals are still seen as the scum of the Earth and we celebrate white collar crime with movies and oscar red carpets. Politicians are able to “resign” after they are caught snorting cocaine and get therapy while low-income persons of color are sent to prison for life because of 3 strike laws. Homeless can go to prison for life for stealing sandwiches. We put more money into prisons while schools try to scrap together box tops and PTA funds. Only certain parties and politicians are even allowed on stage to debate. People deny evolution and call themselves morale while at the same time discriminating against the LGBTQIAA community. It’s a flawed system and there is nothing wrong with wanting something more, something different. Vote green. Vote libertarian. Get involved locally. Sign a petition. Call a senator. Have a conversation with a friend. Care. Be a good person. Help others. Get mad. Be happy. Be you. Live your life. Just don’t support laws that force agendas on people. You don’t have to support everything or be super active just don’t waste energy denying people basic human rights and dignity. Use that energy to create positive change. Or just drink wine, that’s what I do a lot of the time ;)

It’s baseball season so GO CUBS!!! BULLS are still in it as welL!!!!!!!!

Did I actually break this agreement? Well if I did I deleted the post that did.

I received  a letter from the organization that fired me reminding me of the confidentiality agreement. I think I mentioned their name once so i made sure to get that down. Proves to me that they know they were in the wrong. Tossed me out like old garbage. Who cares how hard I worked or how much positive feedback I received. I’m a dime a dozen. So it was a national, well-known organization that deals with women’s health, reproductive health, justice and abortion access. They fired me but they were within the 90 days, Kansas state law, so they don’t have to give a reason. It’s a way for employers to discriminate against people or perhaps they are just too cowardly to face their employee with the actual facts. Who knows, but it’s a wack law and I never thought that organization would treat an employee like that. I have moved on but had to respond after getting this letter. I know why they fired me even though technically they never said. But hey who cares? It’s just my livelihood, my health and my roof over my head. Happens every hour of every day I’m sure in this country, perhaps even in Kansas alone. Keep fighting to all out there who are unemployed and struggling. Who have no resources or people to lean on. I salute you and I hope I find a job where I can be of service.

new amsterdam

I think the moment is here. You watch movies, tv shows. You listen to music and you hear what people are saying out in the open and without a second thought. Then you realize perhaps you don’t  want what these people are selling. You aren’t what you thought or in the place you thought you would be, It’s actually sort of freeing. You feel wow is this really what I want to feel or is this just what I think I should? It’s frustrating. But I’ve finally got it. This is me.

Marijuana diversion= convicted rapist

A place in Wichita that works with juvenile offenders treated me exactly as they would a convicted rapist, murderer, child abuser and solicitor of children. Also treated the same as someone who committed a vicious assault or a kidnapping. So every single person who works at that place has a squeaky clean record? That is hard to believe. They can cherry pick who they want to follow the rules with and who they want to give a hard time. How is it that someone with a nine year old diversion for a roach is treated the same way as a convicted murderer? It’s criminal honestly. Get your priorities straight. You missed the opportunity to have someone come into your facility who has experience and passion for helping those kids. Someone who actually has something new to say and not the same ol drivel they most likely hear on a daily basis. Thanks for getting me fired too! Oh and GOOD LUCK IN ALL YOUR FUTURE ENDEAVORS.

Know anyone?

Know any pro bono lawyers in Kansas? Let me know. I’ve already applied for legal aid. If you have a story about how a non-violent crime has hurt your employment, job, livelihood, life, whatever, email it to me, who knows what we can do with it one day. message me on twitter @phezweb

I’m honest about this and will continue to be. For all future jobs I will be honest about all my past diversions, like I always have been. I have always passed background checks with no problem. So maybe this is  Kansas thing but it is still unjust and ridiculous.

Negative comments/spam will be instantly deleted and blocked.

How a roach ruined my dream job

Here is a story about how a roach ruined my first real job after getting my Masters of Social Work degree (and my dream job)

My name is Pheasant Weber, I am 28 years old and I am currently unemployed. I was fired from a healthcare facility on February 19th, 2014 after being hired on January 7th, 2014. I was a community educator. Kansas state law says within 90 days they don’t need a reason to fire me. Gives them the right to be cowards.  For my job as an educator I was required to volunteer with a facility that worked with juvenile offenders. Just FYI, I passed the background check for the job. I have zero convictions on my record. The first background check that this organization ran was inaccurate. I did receive a diversion in 2005. I was arrested for “Possession of marijuana” and “Contributing to a Child’s misconduct”. We will get back to that later. So the first background check didn’t mention anything about my diversion, they just saw a felony and a misdemeanor charge.  So I got in contact with the Riley County District Court (I was arrested in 2005 in Manhattan, KS) and she contacted the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) and told me YES the report was inaccurate. She asked KBI to fix the report, to show my diversion, they did and even called me and said it’s updated. It’s fixed, you can rerun the report.

So then I start the multiple back and forth emails with the organization who no matter what will not clearly tell me that Diversion=no volunteering. On their volunteer application it says CONVICTIONS of charges, not diversions. The diversion they mention that they will not accept is child abuse or a sex crime. Which is not the diversion I have. So I have to inform my job that this organization will not accept me nor really give me any clear explanation. Then I get the call from my job that I am terminated effective immediately. I loved this job, this was my dream job. So of course I’m devastated. I don’t think I broke any rules and think it’s all a mistake. I am over qualified and amazingly good at my job. I have emailed my job requesting an appeal.

I have received federal loan money, I have worked for AmeriCorps, I worked in an elementary school, I have had extensive fingerprinting background checks and no other place I worked and/or volunteered punished me for this 2005 diversion. NOT conviction, remember that.

So let me tell you about the 2005 incident. Back in 2005 I was working fast food jobs and going to school full time. There were weeks I worked 60 hours all while going to school. I had a lot of loans to pay for my education and relied on my minimum wage jobs to pay for my expenses. The most I ever made was $6 an hour at any of the jobs. I currently take medication for anxiety and depression and see a counselor. However, my depression started in I want to say middle school and I was definitely dealing with it including insomnia during my 2003-2007 undergraduate education. In 2005 I was working at a fast food restaurant and I was 19 years old. My two good friends who I worked with were 17. We would hang out after shifts frequently. One night after a long shift we hung out in one of my friend’s truck. I smoked some cigarettes and one of my friends had rolled a joint. Cops appeared at my window. I immediately freaked out, I have never felt safe when a cop was around honestly. We get handcuffed. Across the street one of our coworkers is laughing her ass off and taking Polaroid pictures of us. The cops search the car and find a roach. They also found a seed of some sort in my friend’s car.

Off to jail I go. It was not found in my car. I remember saying “the roach was mine”. Why? Because I felt guilty and sad for my friends. The cops made me feel like a criminal and used a bunch of sentences that included jail, you must be feeling stupid, you are in trouble now, etc. I had no priors so I was able to get a diversion. The felony charge of “possession of marijuana” was amended to a misdemeanor and I got a misdemeanor for “contributing to a child’s misconduct” since I was 19 and they were 17. I completed the diversion requirements ahead of schedule. I went to a counselor to see if I had drug and/or alcohol problems, I paid $100s of dollars in fines and I completed the community service. I can’t remember if it was 50 or 100 hours. I do remember in one place having to wear an orange vest and I couldn’t talk to anyone. I was doing yard work at a zoo. Because heaven forbid a psycho criminal like me says something to someone. They told me the diversion meant no convictions and I could expunge it one day. Which is what I’m doing now. If I had been smarter and used my right to remain silent I may not even be writing this letter. A roach is what ruined my dream job.

Today, February 20th, 2014 I attempted to apply for unemployment. The base period that you must have acquired wages to qualify for unemployment is Oct 2012- Sept 2013. I moved to Kansas in August 2013. From September 2010-July 2013 I lived in Chicago, IL. I received a Masters Degree in Social Work (MSW) and was extremely broke because during my MSW you had to have two internships that were unpaid. So free time was nonexistent. In 2012 I made $14,464 with my adjusted gross income being $9,463 and I paid $1,741 in federal taxes and $371 to Illinois. In 2013 I made $11,963 with my adjusted gross income being $10,668 and I paid $1,648 in federal income taxes and $428 to Illinois. I had a job with a company I had worked for since late 2008, but did not receive W2s, I received a 1099 form, so basically it’s like I was a contractor. So those wages DO NOT count for unemployment. I DO NOT qualify. Even though I paid taxes both years and was basically below and just at the poverty line both years. Why did I even pay my taxes then if I can’t get unemployment benefits?

So at this point I need a job, fast. I have $70,000 dollar in loan debt from my MSW. Luckily I paid off my undergraduate debt. I have $24,000 in credit card debt due to living in Chicago. Yes, I bought some Cubs tickets I didn’t need to buy but I needed something enjoyable in my life. I do have rent, utility bills, a car payment, car insurance payment. I do have a MSW but what if this 2005 diversion hurts my future jobs? And I also have a diversion from 2010 for a DUI. Yes, I made a mistake and I only blame myself for that. However, I am in the restricted period and in August 2014 I will be able to get a real drivers license. My driver’s license is still valid, it is just restricted right now and I drive with a breathalyzer. Keep in touch, I will never get another DUI for as long as I live. Cost thousands of dollars and is an extreme hassle. I am so thankful I didn’t hurt anyone.  I was unable to start my restricted period sooner because I lived in Chicago, couldn’t afford a car, took the train everywhere and the Kansas Dept. of Motor Vehicles were extremely  unhelpful at all in helping me find a solution so I just waited until I moved back to Kansas.

So I am currently unemployed and looking for a job. A MSW in hand. I have amazing references. We all know social workers don’t make a lot of money and that’s fine, I just need something where I can pay my minimum debt requirements and bills, rent and car. I know there are people out there who have it much worse and have tragic stories just like this. Send them my way, I’ll compile them, perhaps we can do something with them. The system is broken and hardworking people get punished for minor, non-violent mistakes. This has ignited a new passion to work somewhere with people who want to end the drug war and/or work with people who are struggling to find work and/or reasons to continue on because of old charges.  Thanks for reading. Pheasant Weber. @phezweb

If you have negative comments, I will block you so please don’t comment in a negative way or say “it’s your fault” and all that. I KNOW WHAT I DID, I have felt GUILT for these things and all the injustice that happens in our world, in our country, in our state and in our city every day. I picked Social Work for a reason. I want to do something to contribute and you have nothing to contribute but negativity and/or harassment towards me I don’t want to see or hear it.