Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Michelle the Felon

Strange things happen to me. I am not sure why I am the chosen one, but it seems as if God likes to make life interesting.

I decided to volunteer at VBS at my new church this week. For a good 3 weeks I have been planning to work with 4 year olds and diligently preparing lessons with my leader. Saturday morning, we were decorating the room and I look around and find that my leader left the room unexpectedly and the children's ministers assistant comes in and says, "Hey, there is something that I need to talk to you about." Immediately I had this strange feeling that this was going to be weird. She says, "We don't let people with felonies work at VBS". I did not know whether to start laughing really hard, or cry...but instead I immediately got uptight, felt my cheeks get burning hot and my palms started sweating. I was probably making myself look guilty. I said, "Oh no...I have never committed a crime, but I know that there is another person in the US that has my same name and the same exact birthday, however her middle name is different and I know she for sure has a lengthy criminal history." She says, "Well, this background check was looked up by your social security number." I told her that this could not be possible, and if that is really the case that I had a bigger fish to fry than not being allowed to work at VBS. I could tell that she was unsure if she could believe me. It hit me that I am at a new church with no one that has known me for more than a few months. It was a terrible feeling and I was mortified that they thought that of me. I remember telling her in a all jumbled up way that I worked at First Baptist and that one time they pulled this other person's background info by accident. I gave her my driver's license and she said that they would have to talk to the pastor tomorrow to see if I could work at VBS. I thought to myself, "THE PASTOR?? OH GREAT!"

They were really kind to let me work at VBS on Monday and afterwards I went up to meet with one of the pastors, his secretary, the Children's minister and her assistant. I had a huge knot in my stomach because I knew that everyone in there wanted to believe me, but had still a tiny bit of uncertainty. I did not know exactly how the mistake was made but I knew I was not this girl. So we have some small talk and then the secretary is looking at my background check. I said that if it helped at all my maiden name is "X". She said, "Oh I know." At this point my eyes started welling up and I realized that it could be a case of identity theft because I never told anyone my maiden name at this church. After this point, I could tell that I had won most them over with my word and work experience at First Baptist and they got a little worried for me. I am sure that there was a little bit of them that was still unsure of me, but they were willing to help me out.

The secretary asked if I wanted to see it and I was so excited to get my hands on that report! I looked at it and my heart beat WILDLY. It had MY name, MY social security number, the long list of felonies (of the other girl) which included "false personation" and the list of every place I lived in the past 10 years including my current address. It also included MY maiden name on half of them. I went speechless and did not know where to start clearing it up. How in the world does someone go about doing this anyway?

To make a long story less long, luckily it was not a case of identity theft. Evidently because my middle name was left out when inserted into the computer for my background check in the first place, my report came back as half me and half the other girl. I am so lucky to be paired up with such an upstanding citizen! What I found out was that criminal reports are never linked to your social security but to your birthday and name. The address report comes from your social security number. So, if you ever get a background check run, make sure they insert every piece of information that they have on you so you don't run into the same problem.

You know...last week I was feeling like I still did not belong to the church. The funny thing is, God can use the strangest things to make you feel more apart.

14 comments:

Linsey said...

How horrible. You have the strangest things happen to you!

A is for Audrey said...

that is so crazy!! unbelieveable! i'm so glad you figured it out. love you michelle x! ;)

Courtney said...

wow. i can not believe all that. i guess if i didnt know you from work and i just saw you i would think the same thing ;-)..... how absurd! sorry about all that and i hope things otherwise are going well

Murrell Family said...

That is a crazy story! I'm sorry that was your introduction to the staff, but they'll never forget you :)

The Juarez Family said...

Oh Michelle! What a mess. Well at least you got to know the people at the church better. They for sure will not forget you now :}

Kim

Lauren said...

Oh. My. Gosh. That is awful! I feel so bad for you! I'm glad it got worked out, but what a humiliating experience!

The Reeves Family said...

Oh yes, Justin had a similar incident. We even called the police and they said "Sorry, wish we could help!" Luckily we got it resolved when the middle names didn't match up.

Nancy Mon said...

Wow, they will never forget you. I am glad it all worked out. As I was reading I thought, oh no identity theft.

I would have vouched for ya. But then I was in Alaska...the last frontier. Ye Haw!

Tara Powell said...

oh girl....at least the staff knows you now! You will always be remembered as the girl with the "felonies"!!!

Anonymous said...

Will the real 'Michelle R Winn Sanders' - please stand up???

I think that we still have your report that they pulled that year. How crazy is that! You should have called me - I would have vouched for you!!

Missed you my friend! Hope VBS was great!
LMS

Melissa said...

WOW! I am glad everything worked out good. They now know that they have the real Michelle. :) Totally awesome.

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

Oh my. My palms started sweating just reading this. Give it some time, and this will be a long-running joke in your church circle in the near future!

Don't let the felon drive the kids to camp!
Don't let the felon host Disciple Now!

The Kaufmann Krew said...

Oh my goodness. i would have been a wreck of tears. I do not like situations like that. well, no one does, but i cant imagine how you felt. Im so glad its over and got cleared up!!!

Janelle & Ella said...

Well, you can be sure now that the staff at your new church all know who you are VERY well! :-) Amanda told me this story while we were in Atlanta and I was dying! I'm so sorry!