When gas was cheap in price, I had no issue driving and going 15 mins away for each return visit. (Plus, I'd fudge the time slip anway)....As`long as you were VISIBLE, that's all they cared about. You had to be an example.
Wasting Time In The Ministry--How Did You Do It??
I was raised by inactive JW parents, but at 16 I bought into "the truth." At that time, field service was to me a life-saving work. I would walk around with a 20 pound briefcase full of books (in two languages) and brochures to cover every possible topic that could come up. I would get into arguments with householders and would implore them to accept the lifeline i was offering.
By the time I was finished my first full year of pioneering (I was 18), field service had morphed into an exercise in counting hours. I remember the exact moment when it reached a tipping point. It was August 31. I needed 10 hours in field service to finish out my 1,000 hours for the year. It was summer. School was out, so I swapped out unbaptized children of various JWs throughout the day and went out to field service with them. That way I could continue to count my time. In the evening when I was finally done, I took one of the kids to a Chucky Cheese type establishment to celebrate.
It was not a joyous occasion for me, though. I realized the pointless nature of what I was doing. I'd gone from believing that I was saving people's lives to finding ways to game the system and waste time to maintain a "privilege." I never completed a second year of pioneering. I was done.
I struggle with serious, deep, chronic depression. There have been times that I (I am an elder) would deliberately arrange the group so that I was "odd man out". That meant I was going door-to-door alone. Then, when I went to each door, I would stand there for the usual amount of time that I would if no one was home, but I would not ring the bell or knock at all. The householder, if they noticed me, would simply think that they couldn't hear my knock. They were generally going to ignore me anyhow, so it didn't matter. The other publishers could not hear that I wasn't ringing the doorbell or knocking.
I don't really do that now because I don't have nearly as much difficulty with depression any more.
Never, I can relate to getting those required hours on the last day of the SerFarce Year.
CC, glad that you're feeling better.
This thread reminds me of a brother I heard about who always drove and always dropped everyone off and then went to get donuts and coffee for the group.
He always reported a lot of hours, but no one could ever remember him actually going to anyone's door.
@Committeechairman, your story surpises me.
I've heard of a lot of JWs using the fake knock, fake doorbell routine but never an elder doing it.
Most of the elders I knew were the gung ho foot in the door types.
When they got into the street witnessing kick, I HATED that. I did it twice and blew it off. A couple of elders tried to call me out on it and I told them that's why I never was a Service Overseer. (I held every other position over the years but that one. I disliked preaching when I realized it was all for nothing.)
I struggle with serious, deep, chronic depression.
I would not ring the bell or knock at all .
There was an MS/Pioneer at my hall who battled through serious bouts of depression himself.
Handing out tracts during the very early hours of the morning at the parking lots of local grocery stores and gas stations was popular in my area. On one occassion I found him sitting in his car, alone, no tie, with the windows up just sulking.
Other times he would arrange the group so that he would be the odd man out. Rather than fake knocking he would drive around making sure "the sisters were okay." Kind of like a rent a cop.
I used to really loathe the guy (he was an a-hole in a lot of other ways), but with time I've come to realize he was suffering from something he couldn't really seek treatment for.
He eventually went to MTS and found ways of skirting difficult assignments. Last I heard he'd been DF'd. I lost touch with him about a decade ago.
Having to go out in service is depressing in itself!
I would always team up with a girlfriend and then we would drive around town and leave magazines at laundry mats.
great way to get rid of, I mean place magazines.