Last week I had two evening meetings on consecutive nights. I could not help but compare the feeling of the two.
- One I felt cautious and guarded, the other I felt relaxed and willing to share.
- One I left frustrated and disillusioned, the other I left energised... though the task we decided upon is immense.
- One I enjoyed, as if I was with friends on a journey, the other I felt out of step.
- Both were intense, but one I felt listened to, the other I felt unheard.
Introducing a replacement...
In my newspaper chaplaincy I took around my replacement on Wednesday last week. I am confident that she will do better than I have done in that particular chaplaincy. I was however, touched by the number of people who seemed genuinely sad that I was leaving. I never really expected to see that. I had to laugh. I introduced my replacement to one guy there who has always been friendly. With a big smile on his face he said, "Are you going? Oh great, the good Lord does answer prayer after all!" Then he began to question me. "Where are you going? Are you finishing with chaplaincy?" When I said, "No, it was just this chaplaincy... because I had too much on my plate." He came back, "Why us? Why didn't you dump one of the others? What's wrong with us?" Anyway this week I pay my final visit. There will be relief but also sadness. I have enjoyed learning about newspapers and media.
Industrial relations at the fire stations...
The firefighters have been on strike. Their contract is a way overdue and the union and the NZ Fire Service have been "negotiating" for months - over a year. The fire fighters are still going to fires, but that's about all. It has not been good for morale, especially among the younger keen fire fighters. The older ones have been through such industrial action before, and that was not pretty. In that time people made silly decisions, marriages broke up, distrust flourished, morale hit rock bottom and people were hurt. A week or so ago the Fire Service upped the ante by saying "All offers are off the table." or something like that. Then the union responded, "OK we will not now be doing such and such..." Then the Fire Service responded by saying, "If you do that then leave will be cancelled and... and..." This is called "negotiation". ... excuse me... Bullshit! It is like how my preschool kids used to argue! I want to scream at them to "grow up". This is a massive government funded organisation and both sides are carrying on like children in a playground! Next they will be saying, "He started it!" ... "No you started it!" I heard one of the managers say, "We only have a certain amount of money to go around and we need to work out how to spend it." Surely there is a less adversarial, more adult way for adults to sit down and look at the money available, the job needing done and come to some sort of agreement. I just hate seeing workplaces becoming so dysfunctional and not good places even to visit.
A "thank you" card...
I received a "thank you card" from a couple whose wedding I conducted. It reads, "Everyone said it was a beautiful ceremony - thank you Dave. It just seemed to sum us up wonderfully." Now I guess I am boasting, but I am good at that. I love taking a funeral or a wedding and making it "fit" the people involved, giving expression to what they want to say and enabling them to celebrate in terms meaningful to them. I liked the card and photo which went with it.
Is it old age coming on....
Three things happened last week which made me feel stupid...
- I backed out of a fire station on Friday, in a hurry to move on. My right hand mudguard connected with a building and was dented. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Too much on my mind... not concentrating. Is it old age?
- I was putting the finishing touches to some brilliant power point slides twenty five minutes before the beginning of our Church service on Sunday. Just adding one more slide... and the computer screen went funny, told me that power point had to shut down. No worries, the file was recovered, minus a slide or two and I started again... somehow I clicked the wrong thing and lost the lot! I never knew I could do Power Point slides so quickly! (though they were not as nice as the originals) Is it old age?
- Last night with my "mac book pro" connected to the TV we watched some "TV on demand." Doc. Martin, one of the few shows I enjoy is screened on Friday night during drop-in centre so we watch it via the computer on Sunday nights. Again I have done "something" and the "Display" on my Macbook is all big and acting strangely. I cant get it going right... is it old age?
The local hardware store was holding a sale on bathroom stuff. We had been planning to do up the bathroom, so on Saturday we bought nearly $2000 worth of stuff. All transported and stored at home now waiting for me to take some time off to install it. Eeeek!
|Magic! Looking down on the clouds from the top of Mount Cargill on Saturday|
|The photo the thankful couple gave me... me in full flight doing my thing.|