This evening I went through on-line job listings.
I saw an opening that looked interesting with a non-profit poverty relief organization. Hmm, said I — this could be cool.
So I started their application process.
Upload the resume? Check.
Fill out contact information? Check.
Then they wanted to test some basic reading comprehension skills. Hmm, said I — this is quite clever, and I wish I’d done something like this back at EB Games. Two screens, fifty questions later, I’m done.
I move on to another screen.
I read it. I read it again.
It’s an “Oh, Shit” moment.
I should have copy-and-pasted the text. I wish I had.
This screen was their mission statement. A bulleted list of what they do and what they believe.
Prayer. Jesus. Bible. Christian morality. Prayer. Jesus. Bible. Christian charity. Prayer.
After reading this, it asked for an essay. How would I fit with their mission? How could I help them promote their values?
I thought about this. I can fake it! said I. And so I wrote a paragraph on the tragedy of suffering in the developing world — famine, drought, the threat of war — and how these things concern me. All without citing anything religious or anti-religious. Instead, I wrote about moral imperatives, about society’s true measure being how they treat those less fortunate.
Pleased, I clicked on to the next screen.
It wanted personal references. These were on the second page of the resume, and I went ahead and did a cut-and-paste into the first two text boxes.
Then I stopped and read the label on the third text box.
“Pastoral Reference.” I haven’t had a “pastoral reference” since I was sixteen. That was over half a lifetime ago. Atheists don’t need “pastoral references.”
Another “Oh, shit!” moment.
In certain circumstances I can fake piousness the way I can fake being a drunken Irishman, but this was a circumstance where fakery would get me nowhere. So I was honest — “I have no pastoral references.”
Well, this atheist probably isn’t getting called in for an interview there any time soon. 😆