More time talking to each other or householders in the field: You decide......
The JW's annual report has lots of numbers to consider, but this one is probably the most misquoted and misrepresented by them.
1, 500, 000, 000 hours in the field (Note: That's time in the field, not talking to interested ones)
Now, they can write their own rules on how to fill out a Field Service Report. It is their organization, and if they want to start the clock while brushing the teeth, that's fine by me.
But what I've commonly seen DO's, CO's, and Elders share from the platform is something like this:"Witnesses worldwide spent 1.5 Billion hours witnessing to people in the door to door work" That, is a misrepresentation and exasgeration of the facts. And yet, that is what they want people to perceive.
The reality? It is far, far, less than that.
Its been 13 years since I've been in the JW field service, but I feel it has to be similar today.
A typical Saturday, three hours (180 minutes) of door knocking, how much of that would a JW actually spend talking to people at the door? (remember all the Not at homes?)10, 20, 30 minutes? Being generous, on the average, I would guess 18 minutes. That's 10% of the reported time. If it was a weekday, you could spend all day in the field and sometimes not EVEN talk to anyone. And a person wonders why Pioneers get discouraged and quit?
The next part of the equation. How much time does an average JW really spend talking to ones in the field per month?
True, there are several variables in trying to figure this out, RV's, Bible studies, Family studies, etc.....but a decent guess for me would be this.
Take a good JW pub father who turns in 12 hours a month.
Family study - 4 hours (That's nice, but that's not in the field)
Door to door - 8 hours (480 minutes) Using the 'dissed rule' of 10% that's 48 minutes of actual talking in the field per month. In a whole year, that's a whopping 9.5 hours.
Further, using the 'dissed rule' of 10% off the annual report and you would get 150 million hours of talking, not the 1.5 Billion some may lead you to believe.
And to answer the original question, more time talking with each other or the householder? That's easy, in fact, the average JW spends more time talking to each other at a coffee shop, than householders.
Now if they added a slot for gossiping in the car, they REALLY could inflate the talking figures!
What's your guess on actual time talking to people? Dissed wants to know.
well i think it depends on the type of territory too. in higher density, unilingual areas its probably alot more then in rural areas or second language congs. foreign language groups spend 80% of their service time finding and databasing speakers of that language. but on average i think the "Dissed rule" :P is pretty accurate, if not too generous still.
When we went 'rural' witnessing, a car of say 4 people might get to 20 farms, find only 5 at home and talk to the uninterested farmers wives for about 2 mins each. divide that by 4 people and depending on who's turn it was, you could do 6 hours in the counrty and speak to nobody outside the car! I liked being that person the best.
One must not forget the fake time slips. There are plenty of people that have turned in a slip with anywhere from 1 to 10 hours a month--7 seems to be a happy medium between avoiding houndings and not being eligible for "privileges", where they actually did nothing. I have also heard of people that do one or two hours in a month, and pad it to avoid a hounding. Pio-sneers also pad onto their time: they might actually get in 35 hours, but will add 15 fake hours to make it 50 and get their time in. I would estimate at least 10% of all the time turned in is actually fake.
That's on top of wasted time. I have been out in field circus for 2 1/2 hours at a time, getting out the door at 9:30 in the morning. By the time we even set foot in the territory, it was after 11:00. Why? Gas, "Oh I forgot my medication!", air in their tires, a banking errand, getting something to drink--and before we even get to work, most of the morning is gone. I have also seen times where we leave the Kingdumb Hell at 9:30, only to have to pick someone up. More time is wasted waiting there, because the people are not ready.
Once in the territory, I have seen plenty of times where we work a street, and then get in the car to warm up. On cold or rainy days, we might do one street (15 houses), and then waste half an hour or more warming up. From there, we drive at 15 MPH to the next street and waste another ten minutes or more arguing about who gets the next block or who gets which side of the street. You get another street done, and then it's time for calls (mostly not home). Before long, it is noon.
Another waste of time is the slow speed we are walking. I have spent more than an hour walking a single street of maybe 15 houses. And maybe between two of us, we find only 5 or 6 people home (mostly not interested). Usually, I have had partners that do not like the UPS knock (knock and dash, or ring and dash)--but, when the person is not home, waiting only wastes time. If I had to work alone (such as during Waste of Paper Distribution Campaigns), I would emulate the UPS drivers (except I never left them a waste of paper) and dash before people really had a chance to answer. And I would dog the knock--knocking just hard enough so I could hear it, but not a householder that was in the bathtub upstairs.
Those calls--I have seen people driving across town on them, getting hung up at every red light, and then the call was not at home. I have had months of "service" where I went on a ride across town like this, and the call was not at home--it counted as an hour, and it wasted 4 person-hours of time. I have also seen plenty of time wasted hunting for calls even in the territory. People cannot read their own handwriting or that of others who worked the territory. Or, they would write down a bad number, wasting more time. I have even seen people write down bad numbers on their own calls--and did not correct them against the chance that I would get to waste a few minutes hunting for the house the next time I went out in field circus. Usually, we are doing well to get one or two calls in before it's time to go.
I don't know if this is going on in Mexico, Brazil, and the African countries where the cancer is still spreading unchecked. But, in developed regions where Internet access is widespread or they have seen it long enough to see the Filthful and Disgraceful Slavebugger back off on specific prophecies, people seem to be dogging most of their time. If this is indeed the trend, I would say that less than 25% of the time actually spent in field circus is actually spent talking to people. It could even be less than that. For sure, that 1.5 billion hours of time could be as low as 200 million hours.
Even so, with the exception of totally fake time, it is a complete waste of human life.
I observed the Slow Dub Walk the other day, two sisters, LOL
In our mainly rural territory here , we used to go out for hours and only talk to a couple of Peeps.
I was adept at starting and continueing conversations, because when I did find someone it seemed better to me to talk to them, but many others in my Congo were not interested in talking to folks, when they did find someone they just quickly offered Mags and then ran.
But that stopped them from feeling "Blood guilty" , what a joke.
" A typical Saturday, three hours (180 minutes) of door knocking. "
Typical here would be just about an hour (and that is being generous) , followed by a local coffee shop. In terms of how much of this is productive time , very little indeed.
it always amused me about the different
standards floating around the KH...
one old stickler, backwoodsy wife
to a backwoodsy elder told me you
couldnt start your time till YOU knocked
on your first door.... so if you are standing
at the door with HER, and she happens to
actually have a 4 minute convo, your time
STILL has not started....
then there was the pioneering elder who
was trying to get me to aux pioneer and telling
me all the sneaky-ass ways to "start the clock"...
yeah, their figure is about as accurate
as the weight on my driver's license
1) Fake time: Most publishers fill their slips after meetings, without looking at any written record. They grab a slip, get a pen, ad then get creative. They make it up. I know several who only go out on saturdays, leave for a two week cruise, miss another saturday due to rain, and then report the same hours as every month.
2) In Urban U.S. in any given month you get to talk to -at most- 5 or 6 people going door to door. Conversations are not very long.
3) Streetwork: shameful! most don't talk to anyobody but each other. Some place a couple of magazines. I go on streetwork twice a week at least 3 of the regulars I have never seen talk to anybody. There's one that has never even placed a magazine. He just goes and chats for an hour.
4) Family Study: WTS changed its long time rule and now allows both parents to count the time. This right there doubles time for most parents, and shows how desperate WTS is to boost numbers.
6) Phone: One talks, 20 watch, all count the time. I know a couple that admits they got for the cookies and coffee; they have NEVER preached to anyone over the phone. This is becoming the most popular for of preaching in our congregation.
Bottom line: It's all about producing hollow, fake numbers
Field service is like cleaning toilets at the KH. No one wants to do it except for a few eager ones. I think most Jdubs know that it is a waste of time so they figure out ways of getting their time in without actually having to talk to people. My favorites to observe a the Slow Dub Walk mentioned by Wobble and the mill around a low traffic street corner where their is little chance of having to engage anyone in conversation.
Good post, but you forgot one thing:
JWs almost always work in pairs. Take all your adjustments to the numbers and divide by 2.