It is sad to see so much acceptance and justification of lying. Integrity goes cheap these days. (someone else's actions are just that - someone else's. no excuse.)
CareerBuilder Job Seeker Community
I felt that familiar feeling of writer’s block this morning — not only for the many articles I have to write, but also for my morning blog.
While perusing my TweetDeck for inspiration, an interesting link caught my eye: “Smart or sleazy to fake job references?” Immediately, I thought “sleazy” but I was intrigued to click through to see what it was about.
I expected to see an article about the consequences of lying about your job references in an interview. What I saw instead was an article about not one, but two companies that will act as your past employer and provide false job references for job seekers.
CareerExcuse.com is a Web site that says it will fill in the gaps on your resume by acting as your past employer. It will provide job references, complete with working phone numbers and people on the other end of each line ready to answer questions posed by prospective employers.
“At least I know I was able to help someone get a paycheck and provide for himself and his family,” says William Schmidt, the creator of the site, told ABCNews.com.
The other Web site, Alibi HQ, which also offers fake landlord references and fake doctor’s notes, says the interest for fake employment has skyrocketed over the last year.
“Here’s how Alibi HQ says its service works: It sets up a working phone number for a “fictitious” company that it passes on to a job applicant. When a prospective employer calls the number, one of more than 20 Alibi HQ staffers answers the phone and “confirms” that the applicant used to work there.”
I mean…for real?
My reaction to this is that it’s outrageous! What happens when one of these companies provides a reference for a convicted felon who goes on to commit another crime in his or her future workplace? Or when they give a glowing review for someone who has been fired several times for unethical work behavior and does the same thing in the new position?
Each of these services argues that it draws a line on who it will and won’t provide its services: Alibi HQ staffers never claim to represent companies in existence today, and the company does not provide employment references for mortgage refinance applications or employees applying to work at financial sector companies — including bailed-out banks — government organizations or contractors who do government work.
CareerExcuses doesn’t provide references to government applicants and also declines to provide references to those applying for jobs in the medical profession.
Oh, well I’m glad you’ve set some boundaries. C’mon — is this supposed to make it OK?
As we’ve stated several times, we here at The Work Buzz are true believers in good old fashioned honesty. Lying about your criminal history, past employers, employment gaps, reasons for leaving your past companies or even about your education, will almost always come back to bite you.
Although it’s not easy to be honest about some of these situations, there is always a way to turn a negative into a positive.
In my humble opinion, these services are not only unethical, but they seem to be a unlawful, too. What do you think?
Check out these articles and blogs about answering tough interview questions:
It is sad to see so much acceptance and justification of lying. Integrity goes cheap these days. (someone else's actions are just that - someone else's. no excuse.)
Well, I'm allergic to cigarette smoke so food service and bartending-type jobs are out of the question for me. I'd be sick all the time and miss too much work; and those seem to be the only ones that don't dig too deep into references or credit.
When I was 19, I had a felony drug conviction and did 3 years time. I got out and haven't touched drugs or alcohol since my release. I haven't been in any trouble since then. That's since 1983, 27 years ago. I have always had to use fake references to get a job. My criminal record always disqualifies me from the job I seek. When someone checks the "have you ever been convicted of a felony?" box on a job application, that applicant can expect zero consideration; the application goes straight in the wastebasket. I lie on my application, submit false references and hope they don't dig too deep. I work in restaurants; generally, to get a job as a cook or waiter all it takes is a brief interview and a call or two to check my bogus past. If I clear that hurdle, I'll be granted the privilege of a job that pays $6 to $8 an hour, no bennies, and I stay off the dole for another few more years. What else should a 46 year old ex-con with poor references do?
Apparently, according to the Ïnternet Thought Police,"people like this "should" just starve to death or die of exposure on the streets. As punishment for..."what people say about you," basically. Punishment, for giving up on the job market when it was particularly bad and racist to stay at home and let your man support you because it was easier for him to get and keep a job because he's WHITE. Punishment...for going to college straight from college-prep high school and getting a science degree with the wrong color skin to get a job in that field, at least in teaching it. Punishment...for spending my entire life focusing on teaching which would never work out because the minute a room full of teenagers see me they turn the place into Clown School just because they don't take me seriously because of the color of my skin; instead of focusing on getting laboratory experience and aiming for some back-lab type job where the only people who would have to look at me would be color-blind lab animals. The current situation is my punishment for not seeing the future 20 years ago when I chose my college location.
Now back to YOU. We're being punished, all of us, for, usually, nothing. I've even seen people online in forums tell displaced homemakers who gripe about the job market requiring recent experience with reachable references, that it's our own fault that we didn't keep trying as hard as we could to keep a job while married/engaged/raising children. The blame-the-victim syndrome. That's what Americans and Canadians do. It originates in England, by the way. Blame the victim syndrome. "You brought this on yourself". Etc, etc.
Faking references is the only thing you CAN do. You can't usually leave that part blank on an application and expect it not to go straight to the trash. And when people say that's unethical or should be illegal then they need to be told where they can just take their "blame the victim"attitude and do with it. The only people who can sit around on their high horses and say things like that are people who have jobs. And whom, apparently, everyone on their job, LIKES and would say nice things about. This is not an ättitude problem"on my part. This is an "I'm broke and starving because of REFERENCES" problem. It's amazing what starvation can fuel in people...
Well at least displaced homemakers have SOMETHING to turn to to cover that damned "gap" on the resume that is what keeps it going straight into the trash pile at like every one of 1,000+ places we send it to in a period of 6 months. Geez people. You're assuming that anyone who can't get a real reference from a real employer must be a:
NOT someone who may have just been a homemaker and is facing unfair (illegal, but hard to prove) discrimination in a job market that is starting to increasingly require "recent paid full-time work experience relevant to the job applying for with reachable references. No family priests, teachers, coworkers, no references from volunteer gigs or stints, no displaced homemakers need apply." It really sounds a lot like the same thing except ending "No Injuns need apply." And that would be from how long ago? - as recently as the 1960's...?!
There are millions of completely employable decent workers out there who, if we can't find a way to cover the gap in our resumes, will STARVE TO DEATH or have wasted our college degrees away being unemployable just because of lack of "work" references.
My God, I have been using my family priest and my high school teachers TO DEATH as references over the past 20 years because the job market is so shitty and getting worse every year. I can't believe people actually think people like me DESERVE to be permanently unemployable and starve to death.
I think this is a great service. Having been a "Whistleblower" against a company who were abusing children and knowing other people who were sexually harassed or otherwise mistreated by their employers it is nice to know there is a service that will allow us to get references when we cannot count on past employers.
p.s.s. lol, need yer car fixed. i'll do it cheaper than the dealer, using dealer parts, and warranty everything without question. that's the kind of tech they like, as long as they don't buck the system.
p.s.s.s. ever wonder why it costs so much to get yer car fixed? dealers use a system known as "flat rate". the book says a timing belt is 6 hours, so you get charged 6 hours at shop rate (currentlyu $100/hr here). i complete the timing belt job in 2 hours (paid for all 6) and then get the next one. love making money this way. wouldn't mind a salary tho, less aggravation when it's slow.
p.s. i am also paying the overhead to maintain my own shop space, for fear i will get downsized. slow work in the shop means someone's gonna starve. oh yeah, that's how they get rid of mechanics. starve em out. make em watch other techs work. that's business ethics these days. i'm thankful as hell for all my experience. i can take my paid-off toolbox anywhere in this country and undercut some corporation, lol. EXPERIENCE, FOR THE WIN, EVERY TIME, ALL DAY LONG
i agree with all of the posters who declare that ethics are dead. they are dead and buried in the business world. i left college with one semester left, in 1988. i make 50k working as a mechanic. i can't go back to school to pursue my real interest, psychology, because i couldn't afford to take the cut in pay. absolutely, experience outweighs education. every time. I moved to Las Vegas for a short time. applied to all 3 honda dealerships and received offers from all 3. i had my choice. based on experience. period. so, in conclusion, i think everyone should use the fake reference service. thumb your nose at the status quo. then once you get the job, use the service again to get a better one. change jobs like underwear and always reach for the next best one. time in service to one company is officially irrelevant. peace
Are you kidding me! This is a necessary evil. Who cares about being ethical? These employers impose so many standards on potential employees but yet lie all the time. I myself speak from experience. As someone who followed the traditional steps but still can’t find a job because I don’t have enough work experience, I have become frustrated with the hiring process. I spent the most part of my life acquiring degrees that have proven themselves useless. Here in Florida all these people care about is experience, even the simplest job a monkey is capable of performing will require experience. Miami is the worst of it all. I attended UF for undergrad and after moving back to Miami, I realized how irrelevant my degree was. While in grad school I was honest with my submissions but they would not hire me because they considered me overqualified because of the degree I was pursuing. As I am unable to retain employment in my field and being overqualified for everything else, what am I to do starve? These employers are using the traditional mode of thinking, expecting an employee to spend 20 years on their job, nobody does that anymore, at least not the young generation. I am not a criminal and all my degrees are legitimate. I am seeking an entry level position in my career path. None seems to be available. One of my friends calls me “HR” LOL, because I spend 8 hours + a day applying for jobs. The worst part of is that I have several friends in the same situation. One has an MA in HR but unable to even land an HR assistant role. My best friend got so frustrated with the job world in south Florida she enrolled back to school for a second bachelors. Another friend pursued a management degree but is informed by employers she has no management experience. The interesting thing is the people who had no interest in attending college and started working right after high school are in better positions because of their experience. It seems like in this state experience trumps education and if you have an advance degree it hurts more than it helps. So much for advance degrees being marketable! Employers will let you starve. People have bills and families to take care of. If you don’t have a record and you attended respected schools, I say go for it. No one is willing to give chances nowadays, we are reduced to the "keywords" on our resumes. The employers are looking out for their best interest so should we. The few calls I do get for interviews are when I fill in the gaps and omit some of my degrees. I am vying for positions that pay $11.00/hr requiring bachelors and 1-5 years of experience and carrying $120,00 student loan debts, really? The traditional mode is not working.
What state is that - ALL of them?! I think most jobs these days would rather hire illegal aliens who got their social security number from God Knows Where than college graduates born here and educated here. Now then, how are those illegals getting past the reference checking and the credit and background checking, I'll never know!!
issues and issues!
I know a guy who achieved an MBA but could find no job.
He used hollow references and got a 50 000 USD job in Africa as Human Ressources Manager in a multinational company!!!!!!!
He had next to no knowledge in HR and had to undergo a 14 days reading of several books which look to have been enough because this is his fourth year on service in the same company!!!!
Private driver, private residence and all the luxury you can't even afford to think of!!!
Some people are talking of ethics! Real competence works in some domains but not everywhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
These are some powerful responses. That's the problem with the HR departments these days. They can't consider "outside of the box" type of situations. When I was laid off due to outsourcing, I took advantage of the time and went to Europe where I had previously lived for 10 years. It's funny because when the last HR person asked me why I was laid off, I said, "due to outsourcing by the company." So what did you do after that? I explained my visit to Europe for several months. There was silence (phone interview). It was as if I was making it up to her. Do these idiots have a brain? HR = Human Retards!
I can totally relate to some of the writers here, especially alabamaslamma.
I'm in my mid 30's and started university a bit later in life, and i've completed two degrees, included a master's.
About a year after I finished my master's, and while I was halfway thru a term job, I got into trouble with the law.
I never told my employer about it because my union rep said I'd likely be fired on the spot, and that I hadn't been found guilty of anything yet.
My term job ended on good terms, but four months after my term ended, I had my trial. I was found guilty and given a 6 month house arrest sentence. That was nearly four years ago now.
I have only been able to land one job since then, which I actually resigned from because I was offered another govt job. I was told beforehand that my 'record' wouldn't be a problem since it had nothing to do with the new job. However an overzealous HR staffer took it upon themselves to make sure the job offer was retracted after refusing me a security clearance. (I had a security clearance from working in the military before this...and there was never an issue).
This really screwed my references over since now they were wondering "what" was wrong. The long and short of it now is...I don't have any references. And how are you supposed to get a job without references...when you need a reference to get a job?
I made one mistake years ago, did my time, yet I can't get back into the game here.
I can totally understand why some people would use such a service.
I agree. Judge not, less ye be judged. My past 2 employers ended badly. At first look, you may think that its my bad. And I would agree that I had a bad judge in people. My latest job ended because my business partner and I decided to close the business due to the economy. After the business was closed, she was more desperate than I and wanted everything from the business to help get her out of debt. I made many concessions, but ultimately we ended up fighting over the dissolution of the business. Do you think she would give me a glowing reference? Very doubtful.
The job before that was a job where I performed very well and was good at. After 2 years on the job and being promoted, I found out that the owner was into illegal activity. We discussed these items to ge them fixed though no attempt was made. Because I could be implicated, I ultimately had to turn this person in to the state board authority. Did I do the right thing, absolutely. I protected investment funds for thousands of people. Will this person give me a good reference. My guess is probably not. I would welcome any of the people that judge people who use this service, exactly what I should tell people when my potential employer asks me about my last two positions. I am a graduate degree educated person and have really drawn a blank on how to handle these.
Let's get this straight. Wall Street, the banks, the CEO's who fire thousands in a shot then give themselves and their buddies massive bonuses, the guys at AIG who can't live on 500K a year are telling the rest of us about ethics. There are no more ethics in the business world. That's why I took another path.
If there were any ethical standards we would not have to have the layers of regulation we do. By the way the economy tanked because of those "ethical" folks in real estate.
besides i like how businessmen and employers give lip service to morals and ethics when it suits them, i choose to play there game when looking for a job, i leave my morals and ethics at home.
this what i have to say to the critics, put yourselves in my shoes. try living on £120(about $200) every 2 weeks. if you had to live on that i think you change you high ground views.
let me give you a brief out line, every 2 weeks you have to go to a job centre(god only knows why they call it that) to sit down at a desk with someone who you feel like punching because of how he/she talks down to you although in most cases they are barley in their 20's, You have to tell them who you have begged fr a job, after the eumiliation then you sign a piece of paper. (tbc)
i really liked the last comment, and just to say, u.k is just like the u.s for that matter, less guns thats the difference. but i for one was recently fired from my job for something that was petty and for which i could have recieved a slap on the wrist for. so now i am in a position where i probably wont get WORK REFERENCE although i worked there for about 10 years. luckly i have a job interview this coming thursday with a salary that is life changing, to me anyway. Am i going to use this service? you are dmn right i am its either that or spend years( i kid you not). i dont know if you have unemployment benefit in the us, but what we get is not enough to live on.
In the US - try NONE. Most states it's the first year after you're out of work as long as the employer doesn't say it's your fault which they always do. After that, crickets. Welfare is state-by-state with most states giving nothing if you're single and childless. At least in the UK you do have Job Seeker's Allowance even if you haven't paid into the system recently (or at all) to keep you alive.
Hi, I want to thank those companies thinking about the little guy who's always struggling to make ends meet and some sleeping out of their cars or under a bridge somewhere.
We are living in what I call the highway to hell, it seems that the better technology gets the average person gets forgotten.
I mean come on, you got employers for common jobs asking for years of experience. what the...then society got the nerve to complain about Crime rising? Are you kidding me?
What the .....do you expect people to do? Yes, what in the blazes do you expect people to do when you are robbing them of their right to feed themselves and theirs and to provide a Roof over their Heads?
I can see asking for a set of requirements for careers that people go to school/college for a set amount of years but your Everyday type of job.
Come on it's ridiculous, I feel it should be illegal to do background checks for those common jobs and I feel it should be illegal to request so many requirements for such jobs.
I look at it like this, every employer have the common sense to know and get a feel for the person within a week or two. Everyone knows to look out for certain type of behavior and if that should happen then have personnel fire the person in a responsable manner.
If people took the time to be more "Humane" we wouldn't have 90% of the problems that occurs when firing a potential loony toone.
It disgusts me to see how people who have had their life set for them with a good family and the support they needed to become what they are now, "Be so Damn judgetmental".
Try growing up without Family support or family at all and having to Fend for yourselves thereby committing stupid mistakes you would never had, had you been raised in a proper environment.
The fact of the matter is that most low income families come from "Harsh Realities" that some of you take so lightly and should thank your lucky stars everyday that you are not us.
Everytime someone tries to look out for the Underdog, you got the Nerve to fingerpoint what they are doing wrong.
America is supposed to be Innocent till proven Guilty but the fact of the matter is that once you make a mistake unless you are born into a lavish life or with connection by whatever routes....You are out of "Gas" because people like "You" Crucifies them for "Life".
I'm telling you "Armagedon is so Close"...
There's a saying that goes like this "You get what you Ask for"...by treating minorities, low income people, no employment history job seekers..Like they don't exist and are Not Worthy.
You are Setting this Nation up for a "Great Fall" and I mean that in a World War 1V sense.
You cannot keep cornering people, allowing them to live in misery and "Think" there will be no "Repercussions"...Trust me it's only a Matter of Time, and we are getting Real close.
When's the Last time you Checked the "Crime Rate"..Watch out they're coming to a "Neighborhood near YOU"...
Hope this serves as a bit of "Enlightment",
It WON'T. People who say these nasty things online don't care about the real people out here suffering because of policies they obviously favor.
I wonder if any of them could be so nasty and vengeful in person; I mean, the internet has become so racist and awful lately. It's as if the only people writing on it and posting on it are the fully employed, white male conservative/Republican misogynist pig ones.
Would you rather suffer and starve, or "create a story" - "a better vision" of what should have been, so that you might get the chance to start over, live a halfway decent life, and eat? When a persons back is up against the wall they will resort to doing much crazier far less legitimate things, pal. Just look at what goes on in the ghettos.
But the ghetto is exactly where these people want all of us reference-less people to wind up. When the only places that will rent to you if you're paying cash from selling blood or your organs or doing paid clinical trials for experimental drugs for diseases you have to pretend you have, are in the ghetto because everything low priced in decent areas checks credit, references and wants to see a paycheck from a job before they'll rent to you...again, this is why people sleep in their cars out in the outskirts of town where it's somewhat safer (for women, I mean) or live in the cheapest motels they can find and pay weekly.
And the next piece:
By the way it's not free! There is an investment involved that will hopefully help people value the help they are given to do better into their respective futures and hopefully get them back on track. "The system" we have today is set up to "pick and choose" against an unfair weight and measure that discards the half sprouted seeds in favor of the well rooted plant. It doesn't have a heart. It's not that it couldn't... but business is business, right big boys? If you ARE NOT SMART enough to start your own shop then you simply become a "human resource," ready to be plundered and taxed to the hilt, but only if you can squeeze your way through their "quality control" procedures as if you are some damned widget being fed down a conveyor belt ready to be implemented and boxed up, or casually tossed into the garbage. Yeah, real fair, huh? I see it from your perspective, so see it from mine.
And the next piece:
People who are not trying and who abuse their chances and take things for granted will eventually fall out of work again even if this helps them. There is something called "the spirit," which tries to help people when they are really in need and trying in earnest. But look at the state of affairs today. It takes a little more than luck and a good first impression to get a chance at a chance. It's that chance to fulfill the need of SURVIVAL that everybody truly deserves. God bless the people who are trying to help.
I am a mostly honest person who does not have a criminal record and who has simply never developed a successful track record in his life. Everyone deserves a second chance, ...and a third and fourth. If at first you don't succeed, you still have to keep trying. This world doesn't really give us a choice in that matter and YOU(<^<^<^) other people are just whining because you are self righteous and believe that since you have "earned" your status, that you have a right to judge others and try and keep a good man down.
And the next piece:
I truly believe it's a great blessing, and only fair that someone has finally stepped up to help level the playing field for some of us out here who have just simply had bad luck, health problems, perhaps not the best social skills or other personal problems that interfere with being able to hold a job. I would say that if the people who use these services are smart enough and resourceful enough to seek out the help they need, then they still deserve a fighting chance to make some kind of living and stay off the streets.
OK. Shall we split this up? Is it because my article is longer than yours?
OK, to play angels advocate, I'll agree it would be "unethical" for people who have criminal histories and whose reasons for being out of work involve intentionally malicious or negligent behaviors, out to be routed out, but of course that can still be found out on a background check.
What's going on here guys? You printed my one liners but where is my three paragraph opinion that I posted?
Where's my last comment? Don't tell me there's a moderator and I have to wait 24 hours to see if it goes through!
I admit, it as unethical, but perhaps necessary. My spouse's job was eliminated so we had to move to because an opportunity presented itself in a new location. I had to give up my job and can not find a job in my new location. We can not sell our house in our old location and I desperately need to work. My most recent employer is giving me a bad reference saying I am unreliable, which is so unfair. My child had a significant surgery and had two deaths in my family. I accomodated all of this using my vacation, sick time, and personal days. I never had to tap into FMLA. This company is the most unethical, unprofessional entity I have ever worked for. They are privately held, so they do whatever they want. FLSA laws are disregarded and there are other illegalities. It's about survival, I have kids to feed. I did everything this entity asked me to do and then some. I'm sure the people speaking out against this have a job. If employers would be ethical, then former employees would be ethical. Just another side. I'm not saying I would or would not do this, but as my job prospects wane, I don't know what I will do.
I find it funny that so many people would find this unethical. Since when is business ethical? As an employee you are just a number to the company you work for. At will employment means they can fire you for no reason (even after you've moved 000's of miles) and their response is 'oh well'. If enterprising people use this service to get a job I say good for them. It is HR's responsibility to ensure references are accurate and if they fail to do their job that is their problem. Besides, if once you are hired you do the job well who cares?
Wow, this all kinds of unethical. Not to mention grounds for termination if it was discovered. I understand some people feel desperate but this goes way too far.
HRMinion - THANK YOU for having the courage to support honesty in the face of so much opposition! We have all had problems finding decent (any) employment. No one is judging another person. Just standing up for what values that seem to be swiftly sinking here. Very sad state of affairs on all sides. But sadder when we let the actions of others convince us to throw away our own integrity - regardless of what "business" does.
Would YOU like to feed and house the people who would otherwise be on your streets begging because of your "references are the most important thing, forget education or skills"attitude?! Since you're obviously gainfully and happily employed, would YOU like your taxpayer dollars to go to more displaced homemaker programs and battered womens' shelters to keep college educated women off of your streets and off of what little welfare is left...all over lack of recent employment references?!
Even if you use their services to vouch for you working at a company that no longer exists but that you did work for, common sense should say that you should use a contact who used to work with you at that company. There is no ethical reason to use a service like this one. Even if you want to hide your past, *withholding* information is very different from lying about it.
Here's a copy of the comment I posted on the ABC Web site:
I am appalled at this one-sided story about prospective employees paying for fake references, getting away with it and thinking this action is acceptable.
What CareerExcuse.com and AlibiHQ.com are doing is not only fraudulent, but they are also putting individuals who have legitimate references and job experience at an unfair disadvantage for being honest with their future employers. References are among the most valuable resources a job candidate has, but these “companies” make it impossible to tell whether or not someone is being truthful about their background.
I am the founder and president of Come Recommended, an exclusive online community connecting the best internship and entry-level job candidates with the best employers, only allowing participation from members who come highly recommended. Web sites like CareerExcuse.com and AlibiHQ.com weaken the message behind my business and exacerbate the problems entry-level candidates are already facing in their job searches thanks to the economy and, comparatively, their lack of experience.
Real references are not hard to come by if you are who you say you are. Anyone who is not related to you can serve as a reference and a reference does not have to come from someone who you got along swimmingly with; you may not like your boss’s personality but chances are, if you do good work, he or she thinks highly of you regardless of personal differences. It is never okay to lie or mislead about references.
And it's companies like these and policies like these that are the reason that recent graduates and displaced homemakers, with nothing wrong with us, can't get jobs and are on the verge of starving to death, with more and more states cutting public assistance to people who just can't find a job because of lack of references and then can't find anywhere to live because of lack of a job. You people who think references mean more than education or skills, both of which could be TESTED, are the scum of the earth and deserve to be bombed to smithereens - now I sympathize with the 9-11 bombers. If that is what they were against, which of course is hard to tell. This only one of the many things wrong with American. Spoken by a Native American. Reference requirement for every little thing, even dishwashing or toilet cleaning or call center work, is the latest means of keeping the work force as WHITE as possible. Everyone should know that it is a form of racism, since mainly white people grow up being taught that it's not what you know or what you can do but who knows it that matters. And what other people think of you. Yeah, it's racism, and no wonder brown skinned people are waging war against us to this very day.
I am 49. You may think this doesn't matter, but I was born to and raised by a sociopath who undermined me at every turn. I was very naive and didn't know what she was doing. To make a long story short, I am an excellent worker. I am a single parent, sole provider who has never received 1 cent of child support, but provided, from working hard, even some private school for my child. I have no debt. We do live modestly, but still make sure we give to help the less fortunate. I have a lot of health problems, but have no insurance. I do not take medication, except over the counter and just as needed (colds, allergies). I had to move quickly because my mother was setting me up for a really nasty fall. We left and now I need references. Due to how I was raised, I am pretty much an introvert and loner. I do not have many people who will vouch for me, even though I do not practice lying, I do not cheat or steal -- I have an impecable record. My current employer did all the background checks (finger printing, credit checks, etc.). I have a very good credit record. Own my own (small) home - no mortgage. Own my own car - no loan. I have never been married to have anyone support me. But as time goes on, I have lost contact with the people in my past (goes back to my sociopath mom interfering in my life). I find myself in the almost surreal position of having no vouchers, even though I have worked very hard and been diligent with my finances. I find it a very odd reality to possibly have no choice but to use a service like this someday - otherwise I can't work. Unbelievable!