Don't they call this the pioneer shuffle?
Lazy field service
I did all I could, even as a PIONEER at the 90hr/month mark to spend as little time possible talking to people!
Until I retired a few weeks ago I worked as a City Right of Way Inspector. I was on my way to a project site when I saw a car group (mini van) full of JW out in service one day and they were literally driving down the City sidewalk and stopping at each house one by one.
I stopped them and asked them what they were doing and why they would possibly think it was OK for them to be driving a vehicle on a public sidewalk. They said the street was far too busy for them to stop at each house. I told them they were not only blocking the sidewalk and endangering the public but their tires were crushing the plants and possibly the irrigation system located in the planting strip along the side of the sidewalk. When I asked them why they didn't simply park at the end of the block and walk down the sidewalk, they gave me the blankest looks and said nothing.
Rather than siting them I asked them to get off the sidewalk as soon as their companions were done at the current house and had returned to the vehicle. Instead of leaving the sidewalk at the next driveway apron, they drove over the planting bed and dropped off the curb right into traffic.
I'm not sure if this was just an isolated incident but it made me wonder what level of common sense the average JW has these days.
Yip a dang.
In my family I always wanted to go out on 'service' with my Presiding Overseer dad. First stop would be the petrol (gas) station, buy a Mars Bar then then drive around the territory making sure the faithful flock were fitfully filling in their futile time. All the while listening to Saturday morning Sports Talk. (BBC 5 Live)
Then visit an old inactive couple. Tea and cookies all round. Home in time to watch most of Super Friends that started at 11.00 am.
But if I was drawn to go out with my ultra-subservient mother, it was a hard slog. Only respite was when we went on her return visits that were thankfully spread across the territory, and just occasionally not at home.
Think the contrast is now significant - one seeking to be seen as an overseer while the other so diligent, so unnecessarily dutiful, yet still …. (my mum).
PS - Who I still love.
I always remember the phase of "24 hour gas station witnessing" a car group would head out at some ridiculously early time in the morning to leave magazines with the night shift workers of gas station, one would park up and leave a rag while the others would just sit in the car gossiping, considering that 99.9% of gas station operatives in the London area were and still are from the Indian subcontinent it would be unlikely that most of them would not even be Christian let alone have an understanding of the rags, it was quietly dropped, how stupid!
It ain't called the "Pioneer Shuffle" for nothin'.
EDIT: Whoops, NewYork44M beat me to it.
Please dont paint them all with the same stroke. I have seen many diligent hard workers doing the "lords work" wholeheartedly believing to make every second count worthily , unfortunately to no avail.
Please dont paint them all with the same stroke.
I know better than to jump to a conclusion about and entire cross section of people based on the actions of a few of them, but as I said, this incident did make me "wonder" about the level of common sense the average JW possessed these days.
I was thinking that perhaps after the many changes that have taken place in the teachings and practices of JW's since I left 9 years ago, those who remained and who could overlook the inconsistencies in the teachings and ignore the bad press, were also daft enough to drive a fully loaded minivan down a public sidewalk rather than park it and walk from house to house.
I know one thing for sure. These particular individuals and the ones I've talked to at my door and at the literature carts in various places in the world, are not of the same caliber as the JW's of old that I knew growing up in the 1975 era. It doesn't seem to matter to them when they see obvious holes in their teachings or don't know anything about the history or current behind the scenes goings on of the religion who's beliefs they say they are willing to die for.
Back in the 60's & 70's most of us really believed that the end was about to hit us all in the face!!! Like always, there were many that were in it, just incase. From 12 on I was out 100 long hard hours, each and every month. Money was tight, gas was high. We would drive to an area, and walk almost the whole thing, before moving the car, and doing some more. We carried packed lunches, and a big water cooler, and find a park or shade tree to eat at.
After 75 came a went, everything started to change, slowly at first, and picked up speed.
I know it really impacted me, and my attitude in ways I didn't notice for some time. I saw many long time friends just disappear, never to be seen again.
Compared to back then, FS is a silly kids JOKE!!! Even with the CA along for the ride!!!!
One of the laziest elders in my congregation was a door-to-door insurance / small loans collector. Occasionally I would drive him along his round. The contrast with "the ministry" was pretty obvious.
Firstly he knocked on doors when people were at home (6:00pm - 8:30pm) rather than when people weren't ( weekday mornings. ) Secondly he virtually sprinted to & from doors - knocked hard - didn't hang about - none of the " pioneer plod / shuffle " or hanging around at the doors of not-homes or on street corners for 15 minutes gossiping. No coffee breaks / Dunkin Donuts - nothing - no time for that - not even time for a drive through. A couple of times he light heartedly but pointedly berated me for stopping at traffic lights that were just turning red.
The contrast between what was supposed to be a "lifesaving work" and secular work was pretty obvious. He probably knocked on more doors in one evening working session than he did in six months ministry.