I posted this in two areas, because it seemed relevant to both. Please moderate as you see fit gentleman.
Yes, you read that headline right.. A couple of days ago I was called out of the blue by a Dell Corporation employee from Global Recruiting Services - Talent Acquisition Dell Perot Systems™
I had not applied to Dell for the position that was presented to me. The caller, asked me if I'd be interested in a Technical Support Position that would require me to support U.S. Military personal with computer problems or questions. Having been recently laid off, & having once been a Certified Dell Technician, I was naturally interested in the job, because it fit my prior experience & skill set very well.
The caller who was a very polite young lady agreed that my skill set was compatible with Dell's needs, & asked me if I thought I would be eligible for a Government Security Clearance. I responded to her that; "Having passed background checks to to obtain a Tennessee firearms carry permit, an armed security license for the state of Tennessee, having credentials as an NRA Pistol Shooting & Safety Instructor, as well as working for several colleges & passing stringent back ground checks required by educational institutions, I don't think I'd have any problem getting the clearance." In the last few years, I have been background checked well over a dozen times at the state & federal level. (Knowing my background, this may have been a good time for the interviewer to inform me of any anti-gun policies that Dell Computers has, or any restrictions on carrying a firearm on their property. No such warning or information was provided by the interviewer however.)
With that, she responded, "Perfect, would you like to come in for an interview?" I responded that I would. She then asked about availability & start dates, & we set up the interview for the Nashville Location of Dell Corporation. Last night, the night before the interview, I took a quick look on the internet to see if I could find any reason why I would not be able to bring my firearm on the property. I could find none. What I did find was that Dell had refused to sell a computer to a gentleman who owns a company called Weigand Combat Handguns, Inc., because the Dell computer system flagged the company's name as a potential terror threat. That story can be found here: http://www.yauponcreek.org/Dell.html
& the NRA addressed it here: http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Feder
On the NRA page, the link to Micheal Dell's statement on the issue was unfortunately broken, so I decided I would just give them the benefit of the doubt, & go to the interview like I go almost everywhere else, carrying my Keltec P3AT .380 caliber pocket pistol. for my protection. I do not ever leave my house without my firearm. As most of you know, it's much like a seat belt or a bullet proof vest. Murphy's Law applies here. The one time you don't wear it,or carry it with you, is the day you crash, or get shot, respectively.
After approximately a 50 minute drive I arrived at the entrance of the Dell Facility, & I saw no signs that indicated that I could not proceed to the visitor's parking lot of the Dell Facility, so I drove in about 1/4 mile, & I pulled into a space, & proceeded to the front door. That is where I encountered the first sign of anti-gun sentiment, in the form of a sign on the door that had a picture of a gun, with a slash through it. Under the sign it said "No weapons were allowed on the property." (Note also that they could put a slash through a picture of a knife, but guns are evidently the real target of the policy.)
Seeing as how I had driven so far, & that I was already well onto the property before I encountered this sign, & decided to go in & ask for a clearer explanation. The sign incidentally was not a legal posting, which is why I went in to ask questions.
I approached the security person at the front desk, & informed her that I was there for an interview, but had a problem, because the sign said that I was not allowed to be there with my concealed firearm. At no time was my firearm made visible to anyone at Dell. She asked me if I was a Police Officer, & I responded no, but I have an armed security license from the State of Tennessee. She responded "No", presumably indicating that this was not a sufficient credential to carry a weapon on the property. I told her I was a little confused about the fact that I was called to come for an interview, but never told that I could not carry a concealed weapon. She told me that I could wait outside, & she would call the person I was supposed to interview with. I gave her his name, & she quickly realized I needed to go to another building to find him, so she directed me to that building (unescorted), which seemed to me like a major inconsistency in their policy. I was however thankful that they didn't embarrass me with a security escort, or rain down the hellfire of the Nashville Metro Police on me by calling 911 about a man with a gun. For that much I give them credit.
So I walked about 200 Yards across the parking lot to the building that the first security woman directed me to. In the mean time after I had walked away, (as you'll see later) she called ahead to inform the other security person that I was coming, & had a weapon in my possession. I was buzzed in at the door, & approached the Dell security person at that front desk. I told him I was there for an interview & who I was there to see, to which he responded in a bit of a quick & urgent succession; "Did you go across the street?" My response: "I did." Dell Security Guard: "Are you the security guard?" Me: "Yes Sir", Dell Security Guard: "Do you have a weapon on your Sir?" Me: "Yes I do." Dell Security Guard: "Before you can go up for the interview, I'll have to talk to my supervisor." He then called his supervisor, who informed him that I would have to put my weapon out in my vehicle. I then asked him what the policy is on firearms for employees. He informed me that, "No weapons are allowed on Dell property, unless you are an armed security person hired by Dell for a specific purpose." (I've left out the specifics in the last sentence only to protect armed security vendors servicing the site.)
I asked him if Dell provided armed security for their employees on site, & he responded "No, we don't have armed security." He said then said, "but if you leave, I'll just take your name and let him know you were here." (I definitely got the impression that they wanted nothing to do with me at this point.)
I then left him my name & asked him to let the interviewer know I didn't stand him up, but decided to forgo the interview under the circumstances. I then told him to have a great day, & he reciprocated politely. I want to make clear that at no time was any Dell employee rude to me, or condescending in any way. They were clearly just following the rules that were set forth for them by their superiors. All employees involved in my encounter acted professionally.
However, there were some serious inconsistencies in their policy. If firearms were not allowed on the property at all, why was I told to put it in the car just for the interview, but told I would never be able to bring my gun to work if I was hired?
The other issues of course are two fold. One is the irony of them calling me to interview for a tech support job supporting U.S. military clients, & then asking me to disarm, or leave their building.
The other irony is one that You readers could not have extracted from this account unless I told you, & that is that I am posting this from my Dell brand PC at home. Suffice to say that this PC will not be replaced with another Dell, because I cannot support a company who does not support my Constitutional rights, no matter what their Public Relations people have been trying to tell us. Today was proof of that.
The account I have given you is for all intents & purposes verbatim, & leaves out no significant details of what happened on this day in the afternoon of Thursday, December 3rd. 2009, during my attempt to attend a job interview that I was invited to by Dell Computers Corp. It would seem that after the terrorist attack that happened at Fort Hood recently, these corporate executives would have enough concern to allow employees to exercise their 2nd amendment rights, & protect themselves from mass shootings. I believe that my encounter proves that political correctness in our country & our corporations is out of control, & has overshadowed common sense to the point where people like myself who are out of work, are being asked to choose between our Constitutional rights, & employment. This is of course very UN-American, & VERY WRONG. It cost me a half of tank of gas to drive to this interview, & it would have been all for nothing be it not for the fact that I can still (for now) have the first amendment right to tell my story. That is of course unless we let all the anti-gun zealots take our second amendment rights away, at which point they will be telling us which constitutional rights they will allow us to retain.
In closing I'd like to say that I really could have used this income & this opportunity, because I have bills to pay like everyone else, & unemployment payments don't quite cut it. But if I have to choose between the right protect myself under the second amendment, & not be killed in another shooting rampage by a criminal or a terrorist, & not having to eat a lot of macaroni & cheese for a couple more months, well then pass me the Mac n' Cheese please. What if the day of my interview, was the day that the guy I replaced (for hypothetical instance) decided to come back & get revenge for being fired, or laid off?
In closing, I want to say that I have never in my 41 years been on the wrong side of the law other than minor traffic violations, so I have trouble understanding this thinking, & discrimination against me just because I carry a firearm for protection. Perhaps Michael Dell, & the shareholders at Dell could explain it to me one day. Meanwhile, it is my duty to expose this hypocrisy for what it is. Our military spent tax payer money on Dell computers. Our military is sworn to uphold the WHOLE Constitution of the United States, yet the people they are spending our tax money with, are trampling all over it. It's wrong on so many levels I could write a book about it. In fact, I just may.
Thank You Sincerely for reading my account, & if you have any questions,feel free to message me.
Dan Lee Leveillee
P.S. The specific names of the employees I encountered were left out, out of respect of their privacy. If Dell Corp. ever denies the truth or accuracy of my account, I have those names, & documented proof of the encounter available for their scrutiny, & public examination.
It seems that Mr. Dell spends about a Million bucks year on his & his family's personal security.. Paid for by Dell. Go Figure.. Think those guys are walking around with squirt guns? http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=8981