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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants (Read 144368 times)
YoungGun
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Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Mar 17th, 2010 at 10:21am
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I was set to graduate in May of 2009 from a great school with a Bachelor's Degree in Law Enforcement. I have wanted to be a police officer for a long time and growing up I was always doing things with the police and staying away from drugs and crime.

In Nov. 2008 I applied for the United States Border Patrol and passed the written test with a 93%. I was a very good student, had years of Spanish under my belt, and was more physically fit than many of the kids my age. I was READY to work the Border.

As the hiring process went on I passed everything beautifully, like I knew I would, like the oral, medical, physical exams and even the majority of the background investigation. I remember waiting anxiously for any news about my status, seeing that I would be graduating from college in less than 6 months and was ready to have a job lined up.

I got a call one day from a polygraph examiner by the name of Mike Cerot (or Serot) who basically TOLD me that I had to report to take a polygraph on a specific day at a specific time less than a week away. Being ready for a job and having nothing to hide I made the 400+ mile drive to the nearest CBP location to take the test. I didn't research polygraphs because I didn't have anything to hide and wasn't even nervous.

I remember getting to the building and waiting in the waiting room. Mr. Cerot came  out to greet me and led me to a window-less conference room in the office suite. There was one door in, a large table spanning the length of the room in the middle and two chairs at the far end of the room, one in the corner.

I was directed to sit in the chair in the corner and told to relax while I watched as Mr. Cerot set up a laptop and attached various cords and whatnots to it. I was actually interested and intrigued as to how the whole process worked. While he was setting it up he began explaining to me that he has performed polygraph examinations for over ten years with the Central Intelligence Agency and is now working with the Customs and Border Protection to polygraph new applicants. I remember him telling me "Your body is going to tell me if you lie. You are going to know it, and you are going to make it known to me. Let me tell you, this never fails. It always works. Always."

I didn't know what to make of that and I actually believed that my body would let him know. (Had I done some research I would've known that he was full of crap and that he was using scare tactics on me).

Once he was done setting up he began talking to me and asking me all sorts of questions asking about personal relationships ("Do you hate your parents?") and weird questions ("Have you ever had sex with any domesticated animals?"), all of which -even though weird- I answered truthfully. This little interview didn't last very long and Mr. Cerot was very reassuring adding comments about his own personal experiences that seemed to match mine.

He told me that he was going to hook me up to the machine so he could get it tuned and explained each of the parts to me as he put them on. I was still fascinated by it. We began a practice test which consisted of him writing the number 4 on a piece of paper and having me say "no" when asked if the number was a 4. I thought it was stupid and pointless at the time, but whatever, this guy knows what he is doing.

When the real test was about to begin he said he would go over the questions to make sure I wasn't surprised by any of them. I can't remember them all now, but they were common questions about lying to loved ones, stealing, using drugs, etc. etc... things I haven't ever experienced or had a problem with.

We did the test. It took a while. I felt completely comfortable and fine.

We took the test again. Same thing. Fine as wine.

After the third time the test ended Mr. Cerot (who had appeared friendly to me throughout the entire experience) became very agitated and began typing and clicking on his laptop. I just continued to sit in my chair, happy to be done with the test and wondering when I could go to the bathroom and have a break (we had been in the room for almost 3 hours). With a loud exhaled breath Mr. Cerot became angry and spun the laptop around showing me a series of graphs with waves running across the screen. He said to me "DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING AT?"
"No."
"THIS IS QUESTION 3. YOU HAVE BEEN HIDING SOMETHING FROM ME, SHOWN EACH TIME YOU ANSWERED THE QUESTION (pointing to a specific crested section of the charts). DO YOU KNOW WHAT QUESTION 3 IS?"
"No."
"QUESTION 3 IS THE DRUG QUESTION."

When he said those words, my mind went berserk. I had never even SEEN or SMELLED any drugs! How could I fail THIS question???? Out of all of them, the DRUG one?!?!? I was so shocked! I didn't know what to say to him and I imagine that I looked white as a ghost.

I remember him saying "You aren't telling me something. I know it. You know it. Tell me what it is. If you tell me what it is I can make it all go away. I have a magic eraser that can make anything go away, as long as you tell me what it is."

I was scared to death. I sat there trying to think of anything that I had experienced in my lifetime that would even be close to USING DRUGS.  Embarrassed  I remember shaking my head constantly and repeating "I haven't ever done anything like that"...

At that time he said "Alright. Im going to give you a break to walk around and use the bathroom, and I am going to make some calls."

I was booted into the hallway outside of the suite. I couldn't breathe, my mind was racing, searching, struggling to find something. Anything. Nothing was coming to mind. I waited in agony for 15 minutes racking my brain until I was invited to come back into the suite.

We went back into the room and sat back down. It felt different that time. His attitude made me feel like he was going to pull out some rolled up torture tools and start pulling out my fingernails... "SO" he asked "have you thought of anything you want to tell me?"

"No. I honestly can't think of anything to tell you sir" I said holding back my tears. I was SO frustrated!  Cry

"Well I am afraid that there is nothing I can do for you further if you aren't going to tell me what you are hiding. I know that you are hiding this from me and I don't know why. Like I said, I can make things go away. A guy that I tested yesterday admitted to using drugs 3500 times and guess what...  HE gets a job! It's that simple. If you are done talking then I am afraid that we are done here. You can't ignore this. THIS is huge. Like ignoring a 400 pound Gorilla in the room."

I was absolutely devastated inside. Physically, mentally and emotionally drained.

When I told my family and friends that I failed the test because of suspected drug use, they all laughed and thought I was joking with them; knowing that I don't have/never have had anything to do with drugs. Some people suggested that they were just messing with me to see if I would change my attitude or admit something during the test, something I tried to believe.

I got a letter in the mail two days after graduation informing me that I was no longer being considered an applicant for the Border Patrol.

It haunted me. I was petrified of the drug question and polygraphs. I remember asking myself at random times "Have you ever used illegal drugs?" and then responding to myself with a stern "NO."

Applying for police officer positions in the United States that don't require applicants to take a polygraph is tough. The only state that doesn't require polygraphs is Michigan, and they are laying off more police officers than anywhere.

I applied and tested for a PD in Northeastern Wyoming in May of 09. Passed everything gloriously, except for one question. On the polygraph. The question that I had been DREADING hearing since the last time it was asked of me. I failed. The examiner called me a liar and told me that I was full of $hit and that he wasn't buying any of my story. I didn't get that job.

The polygraph has haunted me. I am thankful for this site because I NOW know that I am not alone in my struggle and that many are struggling with me, ESPECIALLY now since seeing the article recently put out about the Border Patrol's failure of 60% of the total 10% of applicants over the past hiring year.

With my career in jeopardy, I don't know where to turn. I want to be a police officer but I have a very large mountain in my way resembling the polygraph. At 23, I am now forced to stick with my security job or entirely change careers.

Good luck everyone. And thanks for letting me vent. Smiley
  
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Knightshaiid
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Reply #1 - Apr 7th, 2010 at 9:48am
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Read The Lie Behind The Lie Detector.

Then keep applying to law enforcement positions.
  
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borderpatrol1
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #2 - Sep 18th, 2010 at 10:08am
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I was also administered the same polygraph by Mr. Cerot! I feel better knowing that I wasn't the only one humiliated and accused of lying by this "professional."  I was so close to my dream career.  I was told I was being deceptive and that he was going to forward his results to the BP recruiters and they would decide my fate.  I told him countless times I had never taken or consumed drugs or smuggled illegal aliens across the border.  What a farce!
  
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LJ
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #3 - Sep 24th, 2010 at 10:52pm
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I feel for both of you- I just went through something similar here for a little local position.  I don't even have a blasted traffic ticket, let alone any major offenses, and being called a liar and addict/user is incredibly insulting.  It is hard to remain calm when the person is staring at you, inches from your face, after repeatedly calling you a liar.  I worked hard throughout college, and even with commuting 4 hours per day (total) and working nearly full time I still earned my undergraduate cum laude.  I was hoping for this position because they had offered to pay a good percentage of my graduate studies.

I got the same "machine tells the truth/is infallible" bs too.  I wish I had had the cojones to tell the guy to his face that it doesn't and to truly give him my thoughts on the process (and my total lack of belief in it- even before I went in)  I know it wouldn't have helped my case, but it certainly would have felt good to say it. 

That, and to have fun with the entire line of "Have you had sex with a ______" questions that became so bizarre they were humorous.
  
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BOOGE
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #4 - Oct 18th, 2010 at 5:53am
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Im from Michigan and had my polygraph test Oct 14th 2010 in Detroit.  I too was close to getting in with BP i dont remember the guys name but if MR Cerot was tall dark hair with glasses the yea I had him also.  And its so weird what you wrote, because you said the exact same thing that happed to me. I myself was almost in tears after basically called a lair about taking drugs.  But no need for me to say what went on b/c you said it perfect.  I was told with out being told that i failed.  but he said i might get a second chance to do it again.  let me know if its the same guy.  p.s your right it does feel good to know your not alone. sucks they lost so many great applicants b/c of the polygraph.
  
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dissapointed applicant
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #5 - Nov 26th, 2010 at 8:36pm
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Same Situation here too! I cant believe how exactly the same my polygraph went to yours,now I feel like it was all a big scam of some sort. I was pretty much done with my process,all I had left was the polygraph and the fitness test 2 and I was in. The thing that pisses me off the most and I brought this up to my polygraph examiner,is how expensive the whole process was for me and all the time that I wasted on this stupid process. I bought a suit (300.00$),all the trips to tucson (about 3, gas,hotel ) all the days I missed from my current job and did not get paid,etc etc. I totalled it to about 1000.00$. For them to just say ok you failed,next! I went in to that room thinking im going to be 100% honest, and their is no way I can fail because im being 100% honest,but it turns out im a liar and my whole life is a lie according to that polygraph examiner. I told my examiner that the agency should start off with the polygraph exam first and if you pass good and if you fail then you avoid all the nonsense. I am really dissapointed with the border patrol agency. Its all a bunch of bullshit!!!!!
  
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Daniel Rustburn
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #6 - Dec 6th, 2010 at 12:19am
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These guys with their experience taking a polygraph with CBP sound very bitter.  I can not believe that all of them are truthful in retelling their experiences.  My experience with the same examiner was very positive and I passed the exam.  So what is the problem.  Gunrunner sounds like the type of person that would stab another officer in the back based on his last posting hoping that CBP fails in the hiring process of a "bad guy".  What a jerk.
  
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Random Guy
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #7 - Feb 15th, 2011 at 11:01pm
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I can't believe that I'm not the only person who has had the same problem with the EXACT same guy. That Mike Cerot guy is a POS. He failed me on my Secret Service test a few years back in Cleveland. He did the exact same thing to me. Said I was lying, this and that. Said I was hiding something. I'm a teacher now. So, obviously I've passed several background checks or they wouldn't let me work with kids. They missed out on hiring me. Not the other way around. That's how you have to look at it.
  
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honestabe
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #8 - Jul 8th, 2011 at 4:51pm
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I find it funny that you can just submit a urine test and prove that you are drug free. Seems like proven science might be a little more effective here.
  
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noone
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #9 - Jul 19th, 2011 at 11:03pm
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so im applying for a border patrol position ive passed everything the still looking at my background check i believe i admitted to have used drugs in when i was young given that i would probably be asked that on the polygraph test so when i get and answer yes to that question i will let you guys know if it was better ti actually done drugs in the past and admit to it than not have and failed it.... we this said i no longer use drugs it was just a experimental part of my life
  
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yvette
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #10 - Aug 9th, 2011 at 9:59pm
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wow now im worried about the polygraph part LOL.
Huh
  
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paperboy
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #11 - Aug 21st, 2011 at 7:55pm
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I'm done with my background (I'm done with everything except PT Test 2) and I haven't heard anything about a polygraph. There's nothing in the steps about a polygraph... I'm a little confused.

  
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BPA
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #12 - Dec 7th, 2011 at 9:12am
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Ok so I passed everything in the border patrol steps, physical, drug, medical, etc... Only 1 thing was left and that was my background, as part of my background I was required to take a polygraph examination, I kept it a 100% honest, me and my examiner went over so many things I had to come back another day to finally get hooked up to the machine, and in the end He said things not looking good, he told me he don know what I'm hiding, it could be anything, I told him sir I have told u everything u asked of me, I'm not holding nothing back or hiding anything, I was told to step out an think about it, and after about 15mins I was called back in, I told him I didn't think of anything, cuz I already told him everything, and im being a 100% honest, he said he would send my results in, and they could agree or disagree, few weeks later I called internal affairs and they say I was informed that I failed, I thought the examiner was kidding with me when he said that, so now all my dreams of being a U.S. Border Patrol Agent has gone 6feet under, smh Cry, there has to be an alternative to this, I can only imagine how many qualified agents they loss through Polygraph. My thoughts on polygraph is that it's stupid and a fuckin man made machine should not be used to predict ones future or used for wateva other reasons, because they aren't 100% accurate.
  
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quickfix
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #13 - Dec 7th, 2011 at 7:45pm
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How articulate you are.  Judging by your command of the English language, you have no business being in a profession that requires intelligence.  Go back to school and get an education.
  
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stefano
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Re: Part of the 60% failed Border Patrol applicants
Reply #14 - Dec 8th, 2011 at 1:12am
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quickfix wrote on Dec 7th, 2011 at 7:45pm:
Judging by your command of the English language, you have no business being in a profession that requires intelligence.

I would prefer poor grammar sincerity over articulate venom.

Do you consider your 320 hours (minus time in the do-nut shop) of polygraph training an education?
  
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