2.7.Pager - field note devah pager blacks and ex-cons need...

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contexts fall 2003 58 blacks and ex-cons need not apply field note devah pager erome entered the local branch of a national restaurant chain in suburban Milwaukee. He immediately noticed that he was the only black person in the restaurant. An employee hurried over to him, “Can I help you with something?” “I’m here about the job you advertised,” he replied. The employee hesitantly nod- ded and went off to produce an application form. Jerome carefully filled out the forms, which included check- ing the box marked “yes” in answer to the question, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” He was given a math test and a personality test and then instructed to wait for the manager. The manager came out after about 10 minutes, looked over Jerome’s application, and frowned when he noticed the criminal history infor- mation. Without asking any questions about the conviction, the manager started to lecture: “You can’t be screwing up like this at your age. A kid like you can ruin his whole life like this.” Jerome began to explain that he had made a mistake and had learned his lesson, but the manager cut him off: “I’ll look over your applica- tion and call if we have a position for you.” The expression on his face made it clear that he would not be call- ing any time soon. Jerome could have been any one of the hundreds of thousands of young black men released from prison each year who face bleak employment prospects as a result of their race and criminal record. Except in this case, Jerome happened to be working for me. He was one of four college students I had hired as “auditors” for a study of employment discrimination. His assignment was to apply for entry-level job openings throughout the Milwaukee
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This note was uploaded on 11/07/2010 for the course C 150a taught by Professor Willer during the Fall '10 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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2.7.Pager - field note devah pager blacks and ex-cons need...

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