Back in the Seventies, all the cool kids knew that when adults warned you that some infraction would go on your Permanent Record, they were mostly blowing smoke. Think of the bureaucratic effort that would be involved in photocopying and mailing records around the country. Once you’re out of here, dude, you’re free. The past will never catch up with you.
I was talking to a friend whose college-age daughter was applying for summer internships. A large fraction were with firms that had been bought up by a Famous Giant Conglomerate that dominates the industry her college education had been directed toward.
She had done an internship for one of the FGC’s subsidiaries a few semesters ago. Now, though, when she applied online for a position at any of its other dozens of subsidiaries, she instantly received back computer-generated emails each telling her in the same exact language that she was “not eligible for rehire.”
As a test, she applied for more positions at more FGC subsidiaries and always got back the same “not eligible for rehire” message. She concluded that she had been blacklisted for life from the dominant player in the field toward which her college education was geared, probably because during Finals Week she had fallen asleep at her desk while she was supposed to be mailing out promotional trinkets to prizewinners and her boss’s boss had been angry at her over it.