…greg’s vaccine dilemma

Well, Tuesday I heard from a candidate of mine who brought up the proverbial future problem that was bound to arise. Greg has only been on his job for three months and his company has told him that he’s going to have to take the vaccine in order to keep his job. Greg calls me because I’ve known him for a number of years and he asks me, since he doesn’t want to take the vaccine (he’s only about 40 years old)  that if he quits his job or gets fired, could I find him another job?

Now this is a real dilemma. I understand people not wanting, basically the government, telling them what they can and can’t do regarding their own health. This is especially true with the Covid vaccine. There is so much medical and political stuff being bantered about it’s really hard to know what is right.

Keep in mind, there is nobody in the world who dislikes “mandates” more than me. When I was young and the military draft still existed, I filed for conscientious objection. I understand religious and faith-based objections. It took me almost 4 years to obtain the conscientious objection status, first through the US Army and then through my draft board, a very conservative one in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was very difficult and a real test of commitment. I understand how passionately people need to feel to adopt a commitment like that.

Now also keep in mind that I got the vaccine…all three of them. My sense is that whatever downside the vaccines might have, at 73 years old, the downside of Covid is probably worse. So, I took the risk of the vaccines. However, I have a keen appreciation for Greg’s dilemma. (I had two friends of mine, both in their 60s, who refused to take the vaccine. They both died of Covid within the last two months.)  I will admit that this is a personal decision, and maybe a person feels differently about it when they’re 40 years old.

But, my calling in life is to help people find jobs and advise them about keeping them. Greg is going to have a phenomenal uphill battle if he gets fired or resigns because he will not take the vaccine (he has no medical reason, as he is quite healthy) because he just objects to it morally or religiously. Here is why. He has been on this job for only three months. How is he going to appear to a prospective employer if he goes into an interview and explains that since he wouldn’t take the vaccine he left his job before he got fired and that’s why he’s looking for another job?

Even if a prospective employer totally disagrees with the vaccine mandate and empathizes with Greg’s situation, the employer is going to think to him or herself, “Greg gave up a job over not taking the vaccine! Hmmmm, I don’t know this guy at all. Is he a malcontent? If I hire him and he just doesn’t like something down the line is he going to walk out or get fired like he did in this last job? Well, I may very well agree with Greg on the particular issue he has explained, but I can’t run the risk of hiring someone that might walk out on me after three months for any kind of reason when I have all these other candidates available that are probably just as qualified. So, I’m going to pass on Greg. It just doesn’t make sense to run the risk. Besides, if I hire him and he leaves or gets fired for some cockamamie reason, the boss can ask me why I even hired him in the first place. This is too much of a mess and I can’t afford to run that risk. I really like Greg, but I’m not going to hire him.”

I explained this scenario to Greg. I told him he was going to really have to think about it. My humble opinion would be to take the vaccine and keep the job. This is not because I agree with the mandate, because I don’t. But the scenario of him trying to find a job is going to be awful. Like I mentioned, it really doesn’t matter if the employer Greg would interview with agrees or disagrees with the mandate, he or she doesn’t know Greg well enough to know if they might run into problems over other issues if they hire Greg. It’s just not worth it for them to run that risk. There are too many other qualified candidates.

This is a very sad state of affairs. I personally do not think it’s right for the government or any big company to put anyone in this kind of awkward precarious position. It’s wrong. But losing your job over protesting the situation is the worst of the evils. Again, it doesn’t matter what I or anybody else thinks, the issue is how it’s going to appear to a prospective employer.

So, Greg has a real dilemma. Let’s hope he does the right thing.


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