Rix Quinn’s Minute Story: Your permanent record

In season 8, episode 19 of The Simpsons ("Grade School Confidential"), Bart sees his permanent record in front of teacher Edna Krabappel and principal Seymour Skinner. Bart was warned. “As you know Bart, your permanent record will one day disqualify you from all but the hottest and noisiest jobs.” (Image courtesy of FOX/GIF courtesy of Tenor)

Somewhere in the bowels of the earth — hidden from your view, but not your employer’s — lies your “permanent record.” It’s a little like a cold sore…it only shows up when you need to make a good impression.

In season 8, episode 19 of The Simpsons (“Grade School Confidential”), Bart sees his permanent record in front of teacher Edna Krabappel and principal Seymour Skinner. Bart was warned. “As you know Bart, your permanent record will one day disqualify you from all but the hottest and noisiest jobs.”
Image courtesy of FOX

As I remember, teachers warned my about my “record” every time I got in trouble. If that record is still around, it’s got to be really long by now.

Anyway, this paper trail supposedly follows someone to high school, to the first real job, from one state to another, and even to the bathroom.

I know a guy who got in trouble in high school because his buddies locked him in a toilet stall. He never got over it. And even now, every time the boss brings the subject up, it makes his face flush.

How do companies find your permanent record? Here’s my guess:

There’s this huge data bank. It’s in a secret location, maybe near the city dump. While an applicant fills out the employment form, a company can access information the job-seeker never wants them to see.

That way, an interviewer could ask impossible-to-answer questions like: “Bob, you once told a school counselor that your nose runs and your feet smell. Does that mean you are built upside down?”

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Rix Quinn is a former magazine publisher who works as an independent biographer and broadcaster.

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