Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My Worst Job Ever

I was reading the blog Street Stories today, which asked what readers' worst jobs had been. (This blog is from Rick Reynolds of Operation Nightwatch.)

I've been in the work world for more than 20 years, and have had a lot of jobs:

  • waitress in a greasy spoon
  • motel housekeeper
  • stable hand (i.e., cleaned stalls)
  • horse trainer
  • telephone solicitor (TimeLife Books, and I loved this job)
  • administrative assistant for a financial planner
  • extended-day worker for a private school
  • freelance writer (still do, of course)
  • online editor (i.e., perma-temp at Microsoft back in the day)
  • and a few I have forgotten

However, my worst job is not in that list. For a time before I worked at Microsoft, I became an editor for a Christian book publishing house.

The owners were "spirit-filled" (i.e., several steps beyond charismatic) and hired church friends, regardless of whether or not they knew a comma from a colon. They didn't know what in the world to do with me, a cranky Calvinist. (Some day I want a bumpersticker that says "Grumps for God.")

My first hint that I wasn't in Kansas anymore, Toto, was when I went to the first of the company's Monday morning devotions. I thought this would be a nice start to the week -- a devotion, praying together, and so forth. Nope.

Everyone met in a lounge and at first ignored each other silently, except for the warehouse guy rocking against a wall. Soon I heard random singing coming from another room -- and then someone speaking in tongues as he meandered through the building. It got only worse.

Eventually I refused to attend the devotions after they became a chance for a new hire's opportunity to lay hands on each of us in turn and prophecy about each of us. Oh, pleeeze! I gave the woman as icy a stare as I could muster and refused to sway with emotion like the rest of my co-workers who were all standing in a circle holding hands. Yuck! She quickly moved on.

I thanked God that I was layed off after about three months. (This was not long after I hid under my desk when the wife of the manager went from office to office to lay hands on and pray over each staff member.)

Later I heard that the couple divorced when the wife began following someone who preached leaving one's family behind in order to follow Christ completely.

It was a horrible job.

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