I would like to share an experience from my younger days, which now as I sit here I can't believe it's almost been 10 years now since this happened. It still feels like it was yesterday.
So my family and I moved out of our old Hall and wanted to start new because of the crap we all went through in the old Hall. This is a link of my story NE posted for me http://www.jehovahs-witness.net/jw/experiences/244665/1/One-experience-in-our-old-Kingdom-Hall-that-still-HAUNTS-me . True story here.
So we moved out of state and almost to the other side of the country wanting a new start, in a new Hall, where no one knew us....etc. There happened to be a deaf person in the Hall and I became very interested in sign language and wanting to sign the meetings. So the kind sisters (she says in a mocking tone) started teaching me signs and really soon I was signing the meetings. The deaf person tells me after awhile that I'm really good and I should become a professional signed language interpreter. Well I knew that wasn't going to happen if I didn't go to school to learn how to interpret. (Just to clarify, "signing" and "interpreting" are two very different things.)
So little ol' me desides I want to be an interpreter so I find the nearest program, which the school is 70 miles one way for me to go, but I still keep up my meeting attendance and my service time still averaged about the same. I did have to miss 6 weeks of Thursday night meeting because it was one required class, and yup it was on Thursday night. So I told the elder who was handling the schedule that I'd be gone on Thurs night for 6 weeks but I would be back and mind you this was a good month in advance that I told him, way before he did that months "signing" schedule for the sisters.
Jumping ahead now. My class was done and that semester was done also, well I ended up getting sick and I was sick for about 2-3 weeks and I came back and signed the meetings a few times, but I kept having relapses and was missing meetings so I had to keep telling them to have another sister sign the meeting. So the elder told me for the next month schedule he was going to take me off so I could get better. Okay thank you Mr Elder that is so kind and thoughtful. I got better and the next semester started and guess what? I had a class late Thursday afternoon and I would be arriving to meeting late so I talk to Mr Elder and told him I'm still coming but not to put me on for the first part of the meeting, but I can handle the last part. Jumping ahead again. I started noticing my name not being on the signer schedule as much and then I was gone completely from the list. It was all good though because I was coming into the last part of my training and I was starting my internship....etc and I missed a lot of meetings.
Jumping ahead again. I finished school and graduated with honors and my meeting attendence was near perfect again, my service time came back up....I waited about a month of "showing" the elders I was back and I'm ready to be the perfect witness again....and then it happened.
Did I mention that Mr. Elder's wife was one of the signers? The funny thing is, now that I had gone to school and knew what a real interpreter was suppose to do. I could see how badly the sisters signing SUCKED!!!!!! So to be helpful to them and the deaf person. I started sharing my school knowledge to help the sisters and the deaf person loved it. They wanted interpretation and not signing. After a few months of not being put back on the signer list, I went up to Mr. Elder and told him I knew my meeting attendence has improved and my service time was up again, it has been since I finished school and I'd like to interpret the meetings now for the deaf person.
His exact words. "Well I can see you don't have the right heart condition to be able to sign the meetings for so-and-so deaf person. Your service time can still come up some so if you can get more service time, then we can add you."
This was the only time I got in anyones face. I slamed my fists on my hips and I got right in his face and said "Since when has service become something other than voluntary. Is it still not voluntary? Than the amount of time I get in service shouldn't matter."
Again he said "well I'm sorry but you just don't have the right heart condition to interpret." And then he quickly got out of there.
So I guess this elder was Jesus if he could read my heart....what a doofus! I just spent 3 years of my life going to school to learn how to interpret (I'm still an interpreter today) I'm willing now to donate my interpreting services to the KH for this deaf person free of charge, and I don't have the right heart condition.....What a doofus!!!!!!
I've come to realize that the whole thing probably boiled down to the fact Mr Elder's wife felt threatened by me because I was a real interpreter and she knew I could see how badly they all sucked as signers. Which they did suck badly.
That's my story.