Margy Rydzynski and I are neighborhood friends and colleagues. We’ve worked together in the past, and coming up in the fall, we’ll be piggybacking on a couple of blogging courses. (They’ll be listed on both my web site and hers as soon as we have the links. They are low cost, and represent only a short time commitment. I heartily recommend that you sign up for them, if you’ve been thinking about starting a blog to further your creative or business activities, want to use yours as a soapbox, or just want to keep your family and friends informed of your doings.)
Margy is also quite a fine writer, with an unusual take on things, as you’ll see on her blog and in her post below.
I like my boss. Maybe it’s because I only see her sixteen hours a week, or maybe because she’s the pastor of a quaint, little New England church just a 10-minute walk from my house. She’s a pastor who practices what she preaches, and her message (peace, economic justice, community, service) strongly resonates with me as well.
Here’s the irony: I’m not a believer.
I grew up Catholic and went as far as my Confirmation. I’ve got the “Spirit of holy fear in God’s presence,” except that I don’t. I’m a “soldier of Christ,” if you can believe that (which I can’t). I parted ways with religion not long after that. It just stopped making sense.
Then one day my husband forwarded a job description from that above-mentioned little church (Protestant, not Catholic) and I grudgingly agreed to look into it. They were looking for an office administrator (boring) and hoped the candidate might have good computer and social media skills (maybe not boring?). They also wanted someone who was comfortable working with diverse members of the community (ooh, interesting!). Tech skills? Social media? Community? It sounded better and better.
I submitted my resume and got a call a few days later. Would I be willing to come in for an interview with their Staff-Parish Relations Committee? Oh great, I thought. I get the third-degree from a whole committee. Did I really want to do this? Oddly enough, yes. On the appointed date I arrived at the church dressed in my Sunday best and took a seat on a short wooden pew outside of the pastor’s office. I noticed a sticker on her door that said she was another liberal for peace. Nice touch. I was already in a good mood. Now I was in an even better mood.
And the interview? No worries. After a decade running my own business, I’m used to schmoozing. I laughed, I joked and felt comfortable talking openly about my experiences and our mutual expectations. Did I realize it was only 16 hours a week? Did I know there would be no health insurance benefit? Wouldn’t I get bored?
Did they realize that my first priority was my business? Did they care that I wasn’t religious? Did they understand that a certain amount of predictability was really nice in the insecure world in which I lived? A week later, they offered me the job. I thought about it, then accepted.
So, here I am, working part-time for a pretty little New England church 10 minutes from home. I like the place. They walk the talk here and they do it in a way that doesn’t give me migraines. Service, justice, peace – those are worthy goals and worth the work.
And I’ve made a deal with religion: it leaves me alone and in return I do my absolute best job in its house. It’s coexistence at its best and, so far, the deal is working.
Margy Rydzynski is a social media consultant, teacher and writer. She is also the founder of Arlington Entrepreneurs, a business social networking website for businesses in Arlington, Massachusetts.
Margy is an avid blogger and manages a number of social networks and other online forums. She also loves to write fiction and is particularly fond of both the mystery and fantasy genres.
You can visit Margy, and even ask her questions through her website.
Got something to say about your jobs, past or present? Get in touch by leaving a comment. (YOur email address should show up privately when you do.) The subject of work is about to become a regular feature of this blog.