Sunday, May 15, 2011

Worst Callings

I would love to see a bunch of you post about your worst calling experiences.  Mine came shortly after I became engaged.  I hear this calling is popular to give to newly-weds but there must not have been any in our ward at the time because I got it when I was engaged.  Would you like to guess?

Yep, I was called to the nursery.  I think that many a bishop thinks this calling will make young newly-married and about-to-be-married women want to have babies.  I also think most bishops have no idea what it is like to spend an hour trapped in a tiny room somewhere with 10+ toddlers.

I lasted two weeks.  That's it. The first week was pretty bad.  But the second week was just like a barn yard fiasco.  Literally.  The other couple who were also called to work in the nursery were much older.  They had several sons close to my age.  He was a former single adult ward bishop, and one of those loud-mouthed know-it-all's that make Sunday School nearly intolerable.  (She later left him.  I hear she found some hot younger man.  Good for her.)  By profession, he was a veterinarian. (My dog's vet, in fact). They lived out in the sticks on some property and they had a bunch of animals.  I will never understand what possessed them to bring all of those animals to nursery.  Shall I list them in food chain order? Well, okay, they don't all fall on one food chain.
  • Mouse 
  • Gerbil
  • 2 Parakeets 
  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Fish in bowl
  • Rabbit
  • Cat
  • 2 Dogs
  • Turtle
  • Iguana
  • Tarantula
  • Frog
  • Sheep
  • Goat
Kinda like this:

 + a few reptiles and farm animals

     And about 10 of these.

    Fortunately, all of the animals and children got along peacefully.  It was just like the Garden of Eden. Except that it was nothing like the Garden of Eden. So, I spent the hour trying to keep toddlers from killing animals, animals from killing toddlers, animals from killing/eating animals and basically dealing with a bunch of different types of shit and mucus.  Then, I walked straight into the bishop's office and said there was no way I was ever going back.


    1. Ward executive secretary. In about 5 different wards. I hate calling people on the phone. I had to attend all the same meetings as the bishopric but had zero input. Would have LOVED nursery.

    2. Ask and ye shall receive.

    3. The dating coordinator for the ward/state social rejects (single adult rep).

    4. Maybe he actually secretly subscribes to the overpopulation theory and thought it's a good birth control method.

    5. He and his wife brought 6 children into the world...

      It was good birth control though. It's been 10 years and I still don't have any kids!

    6. Hahahaha! Yes, a nursery calling would've been great birth control for me, too. I love your wit; i could read your writing all day :)

      My first calling in the church was to Sunbeams, not much better. One of those shining rays of light bit me and threatened to cut me with his "jack knife." Darling little angel. The dad said "Oh, boys will be boys." The mom agreed with the dad, since that's what she was supposed to do. I quit.

    7. Thanks, Sandi!

      Did he actually have the knife with him at church?

    8. wait what? animals!??! that calling, seriously, sounds like my nightmare.

    9. Assistant to the assistant compassionate service leader. Not kidding.

      In the same 'interview' I was told that I needed to take the calling because I needed to learn to do hard things and learn compassion. This was right during the time when my best friend was dying of cancer.

      I'm still kinda angry about that. And no, I didn't take the calling. I told him he didn't know what he was talking about and I walked out.

    10. Robin - I am so sorry for your experience and that you had to deal with such an insensitive Bishop during a difficult time. I know Bishop's are not trained clergy and don't get any education about how to counsel with people, but shouldn't there be some basic level of human compassion? I think that the calling of men with no empathy to be Bishop is evidence that callings are not inspired.

      My advice to members going through a difficult time in their life would be seek professional counseling and resign callings that might be putting unnecessary additional stress on a person during an already overwhelming time. Then, stay as far away from the Bishop as possible.

      I'm glad you declined the calling, told him off and left! Good for you!

    11. Oh and I forgot to add that the last time I was Ward Exec Sec, my wife was RS President. We had to coordinate who went to which meetings because one of us had to stay with our 4 young kids.

      And let it be known that the real fools were my wife and me, not the church. Granted there was a lot of pressure, but it fed our egos too and so hats off to people like Robin who had the balls to choose the right!

    12. Ward clerk (I was ward financial clerk, twice, then ward clerk). I had to deal with a ton of crap, and this was in a BYU singles ward! I can't imagine what clerks in *real* wards had to do. I finally quit when I had a minor mental break down from all the crap, which was mostly from (a) the bishop himself and (b) ward members who were trying to get money by making an end run around the bishop.

      Then, after I got married, the ward had a questionaire for new move-ins, which included a list of previous callings. I told them "No Ward Clerk." So, they called me to ward clerk. I turned it down.

      The coda is that, when my wife and I were moving in a month to a house that was being built, they called us to be ward missionaries, which was described as an important calling. They "had prayed about who to call" and I was the name that God had told them. I told them I'd take it, but I was moving in a month. They withdrew the call. God is such a joker sometimes.

    13. I was called as the ward organist once and the counselor told me, "We thought of five names and prayed about them and decided you were the right person." I was the only person in the ward or stake probably (not U.S.) who could play, so as soon as he said that, I couldn't stop laughing. Before I came, they did everything a cappella. I was so tempted to ask who the other candidates were.