Nothing to Fear When You Get a Pardon
I just got off the phone with a very nice lady who had a 35 year old shoplifting conviction and was so embarrassed about the fact that she needs our services that she burst into tears halfway through our conversation. This happens relatively frequently in my line of work and while I do understand that this can be an extremely emotional process for some, I sincerely hope that our clients realize that we are here to help, not to judge.
It never ceases to amaze me just how powerful the fear of what other people are thinking can be. For the lady I mentioned above, it has prevented her from moving past her youthful indiscretion for over 3 decades! How many opportunities has she passed up because of this silly little charge from so many years ago? How many nights has she spent worrying what would happen if her children or employer found out about her past mistake?
I am glad that she was able to muster the courage to pick up the phone today because now, within a few short months, we will be able to completely eliminate this stress from her life. I hope she realizes that I have nothing but respect for the fact that she had the strength to take control of her life, even if a few bad memories were dredged up in the process.
Of course some of our clients have more serious records than others. I assure you that no charge is too shocking that you won’t be met with professionalism and courtesy from our staff. We have seen it all before and we realize that people can and do change. To be honest, one of my favorite aspects of this job is that it gives me an opportunity to see the humanity in my clients. It has taught me that media portrayals of criminals never tell the whole story and that sometimes good people make bad mistakes.
Please don’t be afraid to share your story with us. We can help you to move on from your past mistake, no matter how big or small. Get a Canadian pardon and put your mistakes in the past.