Usher: Deak, I need a job that has a great future
Deacon: So, go to school and get a degree, a pedigree if you will and you’ll have that…
Usher: Yeah, but what kind of pedigree has the greatest amount of security, benefits, longevity and you know – kind of perfect for the long haul
Deacon: It’s not that easy to predict because usually once the industry takes off and proves itself, it’s old hat in the market but new in academia. If you’re not on the cutting edge, you’re the tail wagging the dog.
Usher: Kind of like IT in the 80s, Internet & Telecom in the 90’s and investment banking today?
Deacon: You got it. Nothing is secure. Everything is fluid and all vocations seem to have a very short shelf life. And in this society, it’s getting shorter and shorter what with the boomers retiring and all. I’m beginning to think that geriatrics will be the next up and coming hot vocation!
Usher: I beg your pardon – I think I know the perfect vocation that has none of what you describe.
Deacon: What on earth are you talking about?
Usher: Well, you don’t need funding or a business plan. You do need an education, but it doesn’t have to be from a Harvard or a Yale or an MIT.
Deacon: Go on, I’m intrigued..
Usher: You get your own staff and budgets typically grow every year.
Deacon: Sounds fairly interesting…
Usher: Best of all, you determine your own work schedule, your free time, when you vacation and for the most part, you work a 40 hour week. Benefits are included and if they’re not sufficient, you simply apply for better. You have full authority with autonomy!
Deacon: With a job like that, there must a high barrier to entry major job requirements?
Usher: Not really. You see you can write your own bylaws and if they don’t work, you simply change them from time to time. “Everything in context” they say.
Deacon: What about accountability?
Usher: You’re almost always in a satellite capacity if you’re part of a larger organization, but if it’s your own, then you’re pretty much your own boss. Not a lot of accountability as your customers are usually distracted with other issues like paying mortgages, borrowing for tuition and planning their vacations.
Deacon: Tell me more about the customers?
Usher: Well it’s a great vocation as most customers are repeat customers and there are multiple revenue streams. If things get tight, one simply raises more funds from the same customer base! They’re always willing to bring more because they’re afraid if they don’t, they might suffer.
Deacon: What’s the product or service?
Usher: A bunch of intangibles is how I’d describe it. Kind of like insurance, but not really. A little like education, but not really. A lot like politics in that the onus is really on the customer, except at election time when all the promises are made. After election, the customer assumes all of the risk and let’s you off the hook. They never had a choice! All one must do is get elected.
Deacon: So let me get this straight. There is little or no accountability, a ton of security, no tangible products or services and little to no risk? You technically only have to be elected once and you’re in for the duration. With all those benefits, there must be limited openings with fierce competition?
Usher: Not really. In fact, it’s one of the easiest vocations to acquire. I have yet to meet a single person who flunked out of university pursuing this type of career. Some choose another major but never have I heard of someone seeking out this vocation and failing. It’s subjective in nature and not really black and white. Kind of like a politically correct soccer league where everyone plays and everyone gets a trophy at year’s end.
Deacon: OK, I’m baffled. What on earth could be so grand?
Usher: Why, pastoring a church of course! Where is your head Deak? It’s the perfect vocation. You never have to be right, you can always find a scriptural reference to your point of view that cannot be challenged and you can throw anyone out who doesn’t agree. There are tons of churches begging for a pastor to lead them and they pay you, listen to you every Sunday (only for an hour tops though) and whatever you tell them, they believe. As long as you fill it full of rhetoric, idealisms, nothing absolute, they will rationalize it into their own set of circumstances and even if they question you, the Bible isn’t black and white and thus, there are no definitives. All you have to give them is programs for their kids (and they do all the work) and they come back week after week after week. You can always send them on their merry way if they disagree by either isolating them, ignoring them, disfellowshipping them, or best of all, condemn them for being disgruntled and dis’sing God’s church and people. Accuse them of “sowing discord” or attack their character by telling them to study the Bible and repent from their dissenting ways. That usually works quite well. If none of those work, you simply have breakfast with them and suggest they find another place to hang their hat. After all, no pastor deserves to be questioned or held accountable by a layperson, ‘eh Deak?