Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Employment



Poor George Williams. All he ever wanted was a full-time job at his alma matter, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. The closest Williams ever came to his dream was a part-time gig in a university kitchen.

But it wasn't for lack of trying. From 1997 to 2006, Williams says, he applied for at least seventeen positions with the university. Finally in March 2006 he was hired to work for the food-service department.

He was fired six months later. Williams characterizes his dismissal as a "complicit and premeditated agreement to violate my God-given and constitutional rights."

In a handwritten complaint filed May 22 in federal court in southern Illinois, Williams claims his firing violated his pursuit of "life, liberty and happiness in Carbondale." He further alleges that the education he received at the university did little to prepare him for employment at SIUC. "Despite my 3.46 grade point average, I only seemed to be good enough to merit a job as kitchen help," he writes in his lawsuit.

Williams has attached as evidence some of the dozen rejection letters from the university he has accumulated over the years.

He could not be reached for comment. One can only assume he's out looking for a job.

-Chad Garrison

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.