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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

December 9, 2007

job interview tips from Schenectady

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,q.s. quickies — David Giacalone @ 10:31 am

jailNeg Here’s another entry for our Only In Schenectady [We Hope] File. Unlike prior entries in this series (such as the Spidey Tale and the Musty Money Mob), Sheriff Harry Buffardi and the Schenectady County Sheriff’s Office come out looking pretty good. As with many of these tales, there are important lessons to be learned from the mistakes and mis-steps of others, and — as with the best of those tales — we don’t have to say a word to make our point. As Capital News 9 in Albany noted: (“Police make an easy arrest,” Dec. 8, 2007), “It might be one of its easiest arrests in the history of the Schenectady County Sheriff’s office.” According to the Albany Times Union, in “Schenectady deputies arrest job hopeful” (Dec. 7, 2007):

SCHENECTADY – Gina Marie Barbagallo interviewed today for a job at the Schenectady County Correctional facility. She ended up behind bars instead of employed.

Barbagallo, 26, of Hamburg Street, Rotterdam, had applied for a corrections officer job and came into the sheriff’s department today for an initial interview, Sheriff Harry Buffardi said in a press release. Buffardi said a background check showed Barbagallo had outstanding warrants for harassment and criminal mischief.

Also see “Applicant for jail job arrested” (, Dec. 8, 2007).  Further explanation comes from the Schenectady Gazette (“Woman at jail for job arrested,” Dec. 8, 2007).  Shortly after she took the Civil Service Exam to become a Corrections Officer:

“Barbagallo allegedly got into a fight with a friend, kicked her friend and broke the windshield of the friend’s vehicle with a hammer, said Rotterdam Police Lt. Mike Brown.

“… Brown said Rotterdam issued the warrants after Barbagallo failed to respond to summons mailed to her flast known address.”

Ms. Barbagallo did get invited back to the Schenectady County jail, after her arraignment in Rotterdam Town Court on Friday, as a defendant, rather than an employee.

job interview —
the candidate’s cufflinks
tap on wood

an old cv
my son colours in
a rainbow

shortlisting . . .
a hint of perfume
on the resume’

……………..……………….. by Matt Morden
“job interview” – Morden Haiku
“an old resume” – Snapshots #7 2000; Stumbles in Clover (Snapshot Press 2007)
“shortlisting . . .” – the loose thread: rma 2001; tundra 2

BuffardiH The Times Union reported that “Deputies took her into custody but waited until after her interview with the Professional Standards Office to do so. Buffardi was not immediately available to say why his office waited until after the interview to make the arrest.   Maybe Michael Fox, over at Jottings of an Employer’s Lawyer weblog, or George Lenard, at George’s Employment Blawg, will let us know if any legal issues were raised by the Sheriff’s Office decision to put Barbagallo through the interview before arresting her.  Perhaps, since an arrest or warrant is not sufficient for a person to be rejected for the job, they had to go through with the interview.  As Buffardi noted, “If a person is found innocent there is nothing to preclude him or her from employment.”

surprising the worker
in the field…
out-of-season blooms

…………………….. by Kobayashi Issa, translated by David G. Lanoue

I hate
my job

…………… by John Stevenson – from Upstate Dim Sum (2005/I)


  1. I think its unethical and disgraceful that they brought her in for the interview and lead her on. I hope there are some legal ramifications. I also have personal knowledge through research that the sherriff’s son was thrown through a window by Barbagallo’s Uncle some years ago. Is there anything that can be done about acting out on personal vendettas, other than a ‘tsk tsk’ ? I think its appauling.

    Comment by Sarah — December 11, 2007 @ 6:32 pm

  2. David: Thanks for inviting my comment.

    They may be accustomed to operating within the strictures of the New York Human Rights Act’s prohibition of arrest-based discrimination:

    “It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice, unless specifically required or permitted by statute, for any person, agency, bureau, corporation or association, including the state and any political subdivision thereof, to make any inquiry about, whether in any form of application or otherwise, or to act upon adversely to the individual involved, any arrest or criminal accusation of such individual not then pending against that individual which was followed by a termination of that criminal action or proceeding in favor of such individual . . .”

    Since the proceedings apparently were still pending, not terminated in her favor, this prohibition would not directly apply, but they may have been following standard operating procedure derived from this law in not acting solely on the basis of arrest information.

    As to the previous comment about it being “unethical and disgraceful” to interview her, I wonder if the commenter would feel the same way if her employer, before terminating her for misconduct, called her in with an open mind, to hear her side of the story. That is an advisable practice, for several reasons, not least of which is that facts may emerge that would lead to a different outcome (i.e., not termination, but perhaps lesser discipline — or none at all).

    I suspect that when they confronted her, she made some kind of admission.

    Comment by George Lenard — December 14, 2007 @ 10:56 am

  3. Thank you for your expert analysis, George. And glad you accepted my request for help with these issues.

    Comment by David Giacalone — December 14, 2007 @ 12:12 pm

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