A church that shall remain unnamed but is deeply connected to one of my sons is having a lot of discussions about hospitality and being welcoming. There is a bait-and-switch operating regarding the word hospitality, which is a Gift of the Spirit, but also a marketing approach for businesses. These are related but not identical ideas. Thus, having an owner of many hotels in to talk about hospitality is certainly interesting for a church, which should have all the secular knowledge in its armament for the ministry of making Christ known. But it is not the same thing as what St. Paul was talking about. Sacrificial generosity to the saints or to widows and orphans is distinct from cheerful greetings.
Nametags for the staff were discussed. It is clear in retrospect that management at this church - oh, I'm sorry, did you want a more spiritual-sounding title than manager? Something that reflects your years of religious training and clerical qualifications? - wanted to roll out nametags and everyone to agree. Just like where I work. I still fall for it. I still think that when bosses ask for my opinion, it's because they want my opinion. My oldest son, at least, doesn't fall for that so much. But uh, another son still thinks, as I reflexively do, that staff discussions and workshops mean that staff discusses things and work on them. He made cautionary statements pointing out possible flaws in the nametag idea.
He was booed by the rest of the church staff.
I encourage him to tell me these stories but take his advice from his older brother, not me. There are people who pull me aside on the way in to department meetings who instruct me, for my own good, not to comment about anything. I just can't lay off pointing out the obvious.
We had a training today by a Psy D about a form we have to sometimes fill out. I have never filled one out myself in 35 years, but those who work in a specific branch of the hospital have to do 3-4 a year. The trainer immediately announced that this was all going to be changing in the next few months, and hopefully would be completely revamped by 7/1/14. But we spent an hour learning how to do this anyway.
Is it necessary to point out that the training was largely useless? The Power Point went up and he basically read the forms to us. Name. Address. Facility referred to. Address of facility referred to. Has the patient required more than outpatient treatment at any time in the last two years? (We're a hospital. If we're filling out the form...) Do they have a mental illness?
Late in the training, one of the assistants sitting behind me said "I see some heads shaking over this last section. Is everyone understanding this?" I realised that I had been shaking my head - but in disbelief, not puzzlement. One of the qualifying categories was if the patient is in a coma. We were spending time on this. None of our patients is in a coma. We send those to Concord Hospital.
Tomorrow we will be sent an email by our management for feedback if this was a worthwhile training. I am going to have great trouble answering that with the required "Sure! One of the best this year!"