Pioneers and Their Way of Counting "Time"

by Eiben Scrood 32 Replies latest jw friends

  • sinedie

    As an ex-pioneer myself, I herad loads of different ways of counting hours. One counted her hours by reading days text to her husband in the morning, and finishing by telling him how was on the ministry in the evening, one went to visit old sisters, or sitting in the car eating a 3-course lunch, or going on the "ministry" (by that I mean costa or other coffee shop) with an unbaptized publisher. Oh, another way is having a chat on the corner while others are working the street.

    Wha said it right, it's just a number

  • outsmartthesystem

    Around here the pioneers are famous for their "star" routes. RV on the northwest side of town. Now RV on the southeast side of town. Now RV on southwest side of town. Now RV on the northeast side of town. In one hour they would famously make 2 or 3 calls....sometimes none of them being home.

    Many would count their time while they eat so long as they leave a tract at the table for the waitress when they are finished.

    Think about this scenario: van full of pioneers. 7 of them. They meet at 9:00 am. They head out to field circus at 9:15 and immediately stop by the local grocery store. One person gets out of the van and offers a magazine to a mother of 4 children who is trying to put groceries away while wrangling 4 children. The mother declines the magazine. "Time" has started. The van drives 30 minutes to the farthest territory from the KH. It is rural. Each home is at least 1/4 mile from the next. Each driveway is about 1/4 mile long. By 10:00 the driver gets out at the first home and knocks on the door. No answer. He spends 1 minute waiting. He leaves a magazine in the door and goes back to the car. They slowly drive down the driveway and onto the country road. They drive 1/4 mile down the road and turn into the next driveway. They drive up the driveway and passenger 1 gets out. She knocks on the door. It is now 10:06. She waits one minute. She leaves a magazine in the door and goes back to the car. This is repeated 8 more times. It is now 11:00 and Sister Smallbladder has to go to the bathroom. They drive 10 minutes to the local McDonalds. Everyone goes to the bathroom...but they also order a light snack. Brother Zealous offers the mentally handicapped bus boy a magazine that shows a small child petting a lion. The mentally handicapped individual wants to pet lions too so he is very interested. Brother Zealous promises to come back and talk to him again. Since Brother Zealous gave the individual a tract....they get to keep counting their "time". Brother Zealous is then commended by the rest of the car group. Jehovah must have directed them to that McDonalds. It is now 11:30 and they leave the McDonalds. They drive 10 minutes back to their territory. At 11:40 they begin again. They call on 10 more homes....taking 6 minutes between door knocks. It is now 12:40 and they are hungry. These are pioneers so they don't have a lot of money. Everyone packed their lunch. But they don't want to eat in the car. They want to enjoy the beautiful day that Jehovah gave them so they drive 10 minutes to the park. They get out, spread out a blanket, everyone sits down and eats while discussing what a wonderful day it has been thus far. A local walker makes the mistake of inquiring why everyone is so dressed up. Brother Zealous explains that they are JWs. The walker politely accepts a magazine so he can get away. They get to keep counting their time. They wrap up lunch and head back to the territory. It is now 1:30.

    They have been out in service since for 4 hours and 15 minutes. Collectively they have called on 20 total homes. 16 of those were not at home. This means that they talked to a total of 7 people (including the mom at the grocery, the bus boy, and the walker at the park). But never fear....they stuffed 16 magazines in each of the 16 not at home doors.

    Multiply this by 2 for their afternoon session of field service and you now have 8 hours and 30 minutes of field service. 40 total homes called on.....32 of which were not home. 13 total people were contacted during the day. 6 of those told the witnesses to take a hike. 7 politely listened and accepted magazines. Add to those 7 the 32 total not at home doors and this group collectively "placed" 39 magazines. But gets better. They got to count their time during both the morning and afternoon bathroom breaks AND during lunch. So each person in the car group got 8 hours and 30 minutes of field circus. That is 59.5 collective hours of field service! Yep. 59.5 hours. 40 homes called on. 7 people in the car group. That means that in 8 1/2 hours time....each person actually made an attempt to "preach" to someone 5.7 times. That is less than 1 home per hour per person.

    Yes. This theocratic inefficiency is being blessed by Jehovah.

  • fugue

    When I pioneered, I was friends with an older sister who had been pioneering for ages. One morning, she and I were discussing how difficult it was for me to make my time. She gave me this advice: "Come up with your own way of counting time... whatever works for you." Then she lowered her voice and said: "Never discuss your way of counting time with other pioneers." I got what she was saying, and I followed her advice. By the time I stopped pioneering, I was VERY liberal with my method of counting time. Some mornings, I would start counting from the moment I woke up, and not stop counting until I came home and took off my dress clothes. I just knew to never, ever talk about it with other pioneers.

  • fugue

    I learned lots of funny stuff from older, long-time pioneers. Another trick I learned was "The Pioneer Shuffle." One morning, this other pioneer and I were doing walking territory. As we would walk along the sidewalk to the next house, I kept walking faster than him and I would have to slow down. Finally he said: "You need to learn The Pioneer Shuffle. You have to walk reeeeeaally slow, like this. If you're doing The Pioneer Shuffle correctly, people will have to compare you to the mailboxes to see which one is moving faster."

    Soooooo... I learned The Pioneer Shuffle. If you walked slowly enough, and stopped between houses to "make notes" and talk enough... you could drag out your time considerably. A block that should have taken 20 minutes can take an hour or more.

  • Eiben Scrood
    Eiben Scrood

    outsmartthesystem - that was a great synopis of a typical day for those engaged in this critical life-saving work.

    Now we know how foolish the whole time thing is but when you were in it and still believing in this "work", did it not bother your conscience when you fudged a little (or a lot)? The whole point of being out there was to try to earn your salvation so wouldn't it defeat the purpose of it to cheat on the time card?

  • pontoon

    It's all BS. Pioneers would go work at the Wat Farm picking blueberries and they could count their time, it was "sacared" service." So their time had nothing to do with finding the sheep, saving lives. A regular publisher could take time off from work or his/her regular service time, go work at the farm and their time did not count. It's all man made up BS.

  • sir82

    Of course there are bazillions of ways to cheat on counting time. But even with "legitimate" time, consider this:

    In a typical morning, a car full of 4 JWs spends 2 hours in the ministry.

    But of those 2 hours:

    1-1/2 hours are spent "door to door". 75% of that time is spent walking (slowly!) between doors. 75% of the doors are not at home.

    Actual persons talked to? Maybe 6 between the 4 of them. Average time spent talking about the "good news"? 1 minute per "at-home"

    1/2 hour of "return visits". 3 are attempted, only one is home. Maybe 2 minutes are spent talking about the latest magazines.

    Time counted by the group: 8 hours

    Actual time spent "giving a witness": 8 minutes

    The "billion hours a year spent preaching" that the Society crows about, if accounted realistically as above, works out to maybe a few million.

    As I've noted on this board several times: If there really were a "Jehovah" as JWs paint, and he really did expect them to carry out a "worldwide preaching work", he'd exterminate them in an instant for the piss-poor job they are doing.

  • LongHairGal

    Eiben Scrood:

    Many years ago I worked with a sister who said she only counted time when she actually talked to people. I felt very guilty when she said that to me because I just counted the time I was out (when I started my first call). Oftentimes I would encounter maybe 1 or 2 people. Sometimes, none. I wasn't a pioneer though.

    If everybody did what this sister did, and just counted time when they actually talked to somebody, I wonder what the total of time on those field service reports would actually say? I wager they would drop 99%.

    Imagine if you spoke to nobody on any given day? Then you would report zero time.

  • keyser soze
    keyser soze
    A pioneer admitted to me one time that he started his time every morning by opening his bedroom window and shouting, "Praise Jehovah!"

    If he does it again, before he goes to bed, he can count the entire day.

  • TMS

    There was a hilarious thread on this a few years ago.

    Two examples I remember: One brother lived on the fourth floor of an apartment building. He woke at 6am, opened his window, allowing a "New World" tract to fall gently to the ground below. Field service time started, he took his shower.

    Another brother mentioned that just after he had signed up to auxiliary pioneer, his car broke down. He reasoned that his car was a necessary tool in Kingdom service. It took him all month to rebuild the engine, but he reported that time on his monthly report.


Share this