Monday, November 5, 2007
So many of the blogging sisterhood are telling stories about their interviews "for a call" that I thought I'd share mine also. The interview committee was huge -- 12? 15? -- very unwieldy, anyhow, and a not insignificant Red Flag if I'd had the wit to see it, in that no one caucus in the parish trusted any other. The overriding concern, filtering through questions in various forms, seemed to be how different I would be from the previous incumbent. Various unkind and unacceptable formulations popped up and had to be suppressed; e.g., "as different as possible, and INFINITELY better..." Finally I said that we were indeed very different people with different approaches, but to be more specific would mean that I would have to describe my predecessor's stance and attitude and personal theology in his absence, in a way that might well seem critical, and I didn't feel that was fair, because I could so easily misunderstand or misrepresent him. And then I was tempted, and I fell. "Besides," I said, "I don't think it's right to criticize a person until you've walked a mile in his shoes." They all nodded like bobble-head dolls. "Because," I said, "then when you DO criticize him, you are a mile away, AND you've got his shoes." And the silence went on, and on, and on, and on...and they all looked at me solemnly. The sound of crickets in the room...until somebody finally said, "Oh! That's a joke! Ha ha."