A Chicago scene website is highlighting businesses serving citizens of the Windy City that market lies. It focuses on three of the breed. The first, The Alibi Network, was one of my Unethical Websites of the Month years ago. For a fee, it will concoct and document elaborate support for excuses, fake illnesses, adulterous getaways masquerading as business trips. It’s the kind of enterprise George Costanza might have started; if you have a strong stomach, you can read about it here. The second is “Rent-a-Date,” which is less objectionable than it is sad, an escort service with no sex, for guys who can’t get a date and want to impress employers, old classmates and other shallow people by hiring one and pretending that the relationship is real. You know, George would have used this one, too.
The third of these slimy businesses, however, is truly awful, an outfit called “The Reference Store”
The business creates phony former employers, complete with websites and local phone numbers, for job seekers worldwide. (You know, George could have used this service to give credibility to his favorite fake reference, “Vandelay Industries”! It’s a George Costanza Tri-fecta!) Its first Chicago client, a man dishonorably discharged from the Army, got a job a personal trainer thanks to The Reference Store’s fake former boss, who vouched for the man’s integrity.
This prompted operations manager David Everett to utter The Incredible Self-Disproving Rationalization. While professing pride, rather than shame, for deceiving employers on behalf of his company’s desperate clients, he said…
“We believe that everyone deserves a second chance.”
This is brilliant oxymoronic irony, a self-serving rationalization for bad conduct that self-destructs upon execution. Everyone deserves a second chance, and the way The Reference Store gets a client that chance is by helping him prove conclusively that he doesn’t deserve a second chance!
The dishonorably discharged client, for example, deserved a second chance to prove he was trustworthy, but he got it by using The Reference Store to deceive his employer, proving conclusively that his dishonorable discharge was no fluke, he can’t be trusted, and thus he had failed his second chance before it has even begun. Any job seeker who uses The Reference Store is necessarily demonstrating why he or she shouldn’t be hired.