In Which Leadership Takes the Underlings for Granted--A math problem for you

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Thoughtful
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In Which Leadership Takes the Underlings for Granted--A math problem for you

Post by Thoughtful » Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:51 pm

I asked my bishop to call 2 people to share a position 12 months ago because I was worried about burnout. The person in the calling before was released. Exactly 0 people have been called. (1 calling/2 people*0 people called=0) I have patiently filled in, and had my friend patiently help out filling in for the last year. Now two other people are pregnant, who share one other job in addition to their other callings. I am the only other person who can do that job without 5-6 years of daily practice and lessons. The person who is helping me with job one is having health problems including a depressive episode spurred by people taking advantage of her a little too soon as a new convert. In this story problem, if I requested 2 people again to share the first calling so that I am free to fill in on the second calling when the days of confinement are numbered-- and the bishop poo pooed the names and offered no suggestions and has done nothing about it--how many days/weeks/months until I stop coming, leaving them up a s**t creek without a paddle when the babies start popping out?

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wtfluff
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Re: In Which Leadership Takes the Underlings for Granted--A math problem for you

Post by wtfluff » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:55 am

You should probably give the bishop the same consideration he has given to you. ZERO. In my mind, the equation works out to 0 days/weeks/months before you stop showing up.

It's a volunteer organization, you have every right to stop volunteering at any time.



Keep in mind, I am an angry apostate, but math is math, ya know? :twisted:
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moksha
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Re: In Which Leadership Takes the Underlings for Granted--A math problem for you

Post by moksha » Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:24 pm

What is the job and what problems would occur if no one did the job?
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
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Corsair
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Re: In Which Leadership Takes the Underlings for Granted--A math problem for you

Post by Corsair » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:04 am

moksha wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:24 pm
What is the job and what problems would occur if no one did the job?
Right. What are the ward callings that are most crucial? Is this a calling that has immediate repercussions if it is not done? Here are some callings which produce immediate problems if they are not filled:
  • Ward Organist - Singing a capella will feel weird, especially before the sacrament
  • Nursery Leader - Without a place to drop small children, a lot of other jobs will immediately suffer
  • Primary Presidency - Someone has to corral and lead small children or they will start meandering through the building
On the other hand, if you are missing a teacher then classes will get combined. Most teenagers will quietly enjoy socializing if their YM or YW leaders don't show up. Very few young men will necessarily be sad if scout leaders don't show up. Usually there is someone who can fill in for a chorister. Ward missionary callings are largely expendable. Most people can't name the members of stake callings except for the stake president. Obviously there is still a bishop in your ward, but lots of other callings might be ignored without a downside.

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Jeffret
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Re: In Which Leadership Takes the Underlings for Granted--A math problem for you

Post by Jeffret » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:03 pm

Corsair wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:04 am
Right. What are the ward callings that are most crucial? Is this a calling that has immediate repercussions if it is not done? Here are some callings which produce immediate problems if they are not filled:
  • Ward Organist - Singing a capella will feel weird, especially before the sacrament
  • Nursery Leader - Without a place to drop small children, a lot of other jobs will immediately suffer
  • Primary Presidency - Someone has to corral and lead small children or they will start meandering through the building
That's an unusual list of important positions. Do your bishop and SP know about how essential their callings are? I have a suspicion they might think otherwise.

I would think Nursery Leader and Primary Presidency missing wouldn't cause a crisis. As a parent I figured my children were primarily my responsibility. If these helpers weren't around it would've been my responsibility to take care of my kids. Maybe that's a big part of the reason why I'm no longer in the church.

Also it doesn't seem like lacking an organist would be that big of a deal.
"Close your eyes, for your eyes will only tell the truth,
And the truth isn't what you want to see" (Charles Hart, "The Music of the Night")

Thoughtful
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Re: In Which Leadership Takes the Underlings for Granted--A math problem for you

Post by Thoughtful » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:53 pm

I'm the music chair. Both people who can play the organ are prego. Bishop won't staff the chorister position, which seems like it would be NBD, right? It should not take a year to find someone to indicate the downbeat. We need someone to conduct in sacrament and also eventually someone to lead the ward choir as we're losing our pianist so that will fall to me as well.

Every week the bishop thanks me from the pulpit. I foo not want to be thanked, I want him to staff the callings. He just feels that it's working fine for me to find subs every week or do it myself.

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moksha
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Re: In Which Leadership Takes the Underlings for Granted--A math problem for you

Post by moksha » Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:26 pm

Wonder if the bishop had approached people to fill the position and they turned him down?

Some callings fall under the category of busy work. Not having people perform in these positions will cause very few ripples. It's not like having all the emergency room nurses go on holiday at the same time. As has been pointed out, the ward can muddle onward without pandemonium.

In this case, the bishop needs to be aware that a potential overload situation is developing and keep you updated as to his progress in remedying the problem.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

Thoughtful
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Re: In Which Leadership Takes the Underlings for Granted--A math problem for you

Post by Thoughtful » Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:53 pm

moksha wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:26 pm
Wonder if the bishop had approached people to fill the position and they turned him down?

Some callings fall under the category of busy work. Not having people perform in these positions will cause very few ripples. It's not like having all the emergency room nurses go on holiday at the same time. As has been pointed out, the ward can muddle onward without pandemonium.

In this case, the bishop needs to be aware that a potential overload situation is developing and keep you updated as to his progress in remedying the problem.
He has not called any one of the names I've suggested to him, it hasn't gone far enough for him to be turned down.
That I do know. He also says no to my ideas and doesn't suggest anyone that he would approve, which is a stupid game I want to refuse to play. It's like negotiating with a 3 year old.

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Re: In Which Leadership Takes the Underlings for Granted--A math problem for you

Post by oliver_denom » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:18 pm

I faced the same situation. The fact that people were holding multiple callings was used as a point to guilt me into staying in my calling.

Ultimately I decided that the best solution wasn't staying, but the ward reducing the callings. Fewer people should equate to fewer callings. Even the handbook says that not all callings need to be filled.
“You want to know something? We are still in the Dark Ages. The Dark Ages--they haven't ended yet.” - Vonnegut

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wtfluff
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Re: In Which Leadership Takes the Underlings for Granted--A math problem for you

Post by wtfluff » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:45 pm

Thoughtful wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:53 pm
He has not called any one of the names I've suggested to him, it hasn't gone far enough for him to be turned down.
That I do know. He also says no to my ideas and doesn't suggest anyone that he would approve, which is a stupid game I want to refuse to play. It's like negotiating with a 3 year old.
Yeah, your bishop is a jerk.

I'll reiterate: You're in a volunteer position. If you don't want to rip the rug out from under the jerk, tell him you're done volunteering in a 4 weeks. Personally, I'd give him two weeks at the most.

How much do you want to bet that a "resignation date" will lit a fire under his tookus?
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Who taught you how to hate?

ulmite
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Re: In Which Leadership Takes the Underlings for Granted--A math problem for you

Post by ulmite » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:55 pm

Corsair wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:04 am
Usually there is someone who can fill in for a chorister.
I beg to differ. Half the time the chorister does not know how to beat a measure, and only 3 or 4 people in the ward actually look at him/her. A baboon with a stick also works.
Jeffret wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:03 pm
Also it doesn't seem like lacking an organist would be that big of a deal.
Yes, it is quite a big deal. A competent organist makes quite a difference.


I hope playing the organ for SM is enjoyable for you. If it doesn't require too much work on your part to practice, that should be an enjoyable calling.
I recommend telling your bishop that he needs to personally find a chorister or a replacement himself. If nobody is found, just start playing the hymn and everyone will sing along, no big deal.
As for ward choir director, that is a tough job. I feel you there. Try to keep practices short-ish, bring treats so that people show up to sing, and don't spend too much time on it, know when to call good enough good enough.

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Jeffret
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Re: In Which Leadership Takes the Underlings for Granted--A math problem for you

Post by Jeffret » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:44 pm

ulmite wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:55 pm
Jeffret wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:03 pm
Also it doesn't seem like lacking an organist would be that big of a deal.
Yes, it is quite a big deal. A competent organist makes quite a difference.
That sounds devastating! A true matter of life and death.

Seriously, I understand that a competent organist makes a big difference in the music during the worship service, but how big of a deal is that really? Would it be as big of a deal as not having bread for the sacrament ritual? Would it ruin everyone's day? Week? I think everyone would still get by somehow.
"Close your eyes, for your eyes will only tell the truth,
And the truth isn't what you want to see" (Charles Hart, "The Music of the Night")

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Re: In Which Leadership Takes the Underlings for Granted--A math problem for you

Post by Thoughtful » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:37 pm

ulmite wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:55 pm
Corsair wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:04 am
Usually there is someone who can fill in for a chorister.
I beg to differ. Half the time the chorister does not know how to beat a measure, and only 3 or 4 people in the ward actually look at him/her. A baboon with a stick also works.
Jeffret wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:03 pm
Also it doesn't seem like lacking an organist would be that big of a deal.
Yes, it is quite a big deal. A competent organist makes quite a difference.


I hope playing the organ for SM is enjoyable for you. If it doesn't require too much work on your part to practice, that should be an enjoyable calling.
I recommend telling your bishop that he needs to personally find a chorister or a replacement himself. If nobody is found, just start playing the hymn and everyone will sing along, no big deal.
As for ward choir director, that is a tough job. I feel you there. Try to keep practices short-ish, bring treats so that people show up to sing, and don't spend too much time on it, know when to call good enough good enough.
Im already conducting the choir, it's not a big deal, but I cannot lead and accompany at the same time.

Yesterday in sacrament, I played and we had no chorister until the closing hymn.

Basically, I played the introduction multiple times until about the third time through someone finally caught on that it was time to sing. So during the sacrament hymn, I sang and played at the same time, and then at the end of the meeting my kid came in late and pinch hit leading the closing song.

It was awkward for me and the congregation. The bishop however appeared oblivious and didn't say anything about it, other than thanking me over the pulpit for providing music.

I don't think a chorister needs to know how to lead other than how to start the song and sing themselves robustly. But without one at all actually is a mess. Basic leading can be taught in about 30 minutes to anyone with a pulse. It should not be a difficult spot to fill, but here we are 12 months later.

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moksha
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Re: In Which Leadership Takes the Underlings for Granted--A math problem for you

Post by moksha » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:30 am

ulmite wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:55 pm
[Half the time the chorister does not know how to beat a measure, and only 3 or 4 people in the ward actually look at him/her. A baboon with a stick also works.
An even better choice would be an elephant since they work for peanuts.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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Just This Guy
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Re: In Which Leadership Takes the Underlings for Granted--A math problem for you

Post by Just This Guy » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:59 pm

In my experience, the only thing that that people pay attention to the chorister for is the first downbeat. After that, everyone just goes by ear with everyone else. The organist/pianist could easily signal that downbeat as well. If needed, you could arrange with a few friends ahead of time to start with the signal is indicated. Once everyone gets the idea, they will follow.

Thoughtful, it sounds like you need a vacation. Take a week or two off. it's up to you to figure warn the bishop beforehand. But then they will figure something out either way. Either they will get the message and work with you, or not. IF not, then you know that you really don't matter and you can take off without guilt.
"The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

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Jeffret
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Re: In Which Leadership Takes the Underlings for Granted--A math problem for you

Post by Jeffret » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:44 pm

Just This Guy wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:59 pm
In my experience, the only thing that that people pay attention to the chorister for is the first downbeat. After that, everyone just goes by ear with everyone else. The organist/pianist could easily signal that downbeat as well. If needed, you could arrange with a few friends ahead of time to start with the signal is indicated. Once everyone gets the idea, they will follow.
I haven't been in another church or organization that actually uses a chorister for congregational singing. Yes, an orchestra has a conductor and a choir has a chorister, but having a chorister for every time an open group sings like at Mormon meetings seems a little odd.
"Close your eyes, for your eyes will only tell the truth,
And the truth isn't what you want to see" (Charles Hart, "The Music of the Night")

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Just This Guy
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Re: In Which Leadership Takes the Underlings for Granted--A math problem for you

Post by Just This Guy » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:30 pm

The purpose to a conductor or chorister is to lead a group so they can produce a certain artictic style that they want. people actively pay attention for cue to modify the music being produces as they want it to be.

Mormon music is the complete opposite. They follow the given sheet music to the letter (sorry for the pun) and don't vary. There is no need for a leader since no one will pay attention to them. Even with ward choirs,they stick to the chosen music and do very little interpretation, at least the ones I have seen. Really all you need is flag man to kick off the race, sorry, song. really, its not much more than any other Mormon make-work calling.
"The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

Thoughtful
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Re: In Which Leadership Takes the Underlings for Granted--A math problem for you

Post by Thoughtful » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:05 pm

Just This Guy wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:30 pm
The purpose to a conductor or chorister is to lead a group so they can produce a certain artictic style that they want. people actively pay attention for cue to modify the music being produces as they want it to be.

Mormon music is the complete opposite. They follow the given sheet music to the letter (sorry for the pun) and don't vary. There is no need for a leader since no one will pay attention to them. Even with ward choirs,they stick to the chosen music and do very little interpretation, at least the ones I have seen. Really all you need is flag man to kick off the race, sorry, song. really, its not much more than any other Mormon make-work calling.
True, but as I noted above, my ward is very challenged in figuring out when to start singing. :D

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Emower
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Re: In Which Leadership Takes the Underlings for Granted--A math problem for you

Post by Emower » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:17 am

I used to think that the chorister was unimportant until I had a super awkward experience at a ward function. We came to the end of the 4 verse song, and the pianist decided that was the end. The congregation decided they wanted to keep going with the verses that are printed below the song. The pianist then tried to catch up, but couldnt and it sounded horrendous. So the end of the verse comes along, the congregation decided to stop, but the pianist assumed they wanted to sing the rest so he kept playing. The congregation tried to catch up, but didnt and it sounded horrendous. This went on for another round before everybody decided to just let it go. A chorister may or may not have made a difference, but at least someone would have been in charge.

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Jeffret
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Re: In Which Leadership Takes the Underlings for Granted--A math problem for you

Post by Jeffret » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:57 am


Emower wrote:I used to think that the chorister was unimportant until I had a super awkward experience at a ward function. We came to the end of the 4 verse song, and the pianist decided that was the end.
It sounds like that could have been solved by a little bit of communication ahead of time.

Or there are a number of other ways to handle it.

And it sounds like everyone survived, which was my key point. A chorister can be useful, if you structure things so that a chorister can be useful. But even then it's hardly essential, outside of serious rehearsed performances.

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