Apr 20, 2008

God Concept

The other day I was listening to This American Life (excellent program, every time I listen to it I'm like, "Why don't I listen to this more often?") and they had this story about an Orthodox Jew who left the beliefs he'd grown up with because his hockey team lost a game that he had walked 14 miles to go see because it was on the Sabbath and he couldn't drive to get there. It was a pretty good tale, but the part that stuck with me was a conversation he and the person interviewing him had. It went something like this (and I'm completely paraphrasing because I couldn't find transcripts, but you'll get the idea):

Jew guy - I came from a kind of dysfunctional family with an over-bearing father, so when I'd go to Hebrew school and hear "Our Father who art in heaven", I'd be like "Don't tell me there's another one in heaven, he's bad enough at home!"

Interviewer - Interesting, as you say that, and I've never put this together in my life before, but my image of God is exactly like my image of my father, except bigger. Which is: he's usually not around; he'll sometimes take an interest; he means well; but mostly he's kind of like "you're on your own".

Jew guy - That's not mine; I wish that was mine. Mine was a God in Heaven lumbering around half-drunk, yelling at you and making rules that didn't make any sense.

As I was listening to this, I had a moment exactly like the one the interviewer had. I hadn't ever thought of it before, but my image of God is very close to my image of my father, but bigger. He's caring and loving, but sometimes over-bearing. Smart. Sense of humor. Plenty of rules, most of which turn out being good for me in the long run and some of which still don't make sense, but are mostly kept because I know I'll get in trouble. And for some reason, though there is no scriptural evidence for this whatsoever, I've always imagined God as a little stressed out all the time, and I'm pretty sure it's because that's how my dear father is.

I wanted to post this thought because I want to ask a question of you readers: Is your idea of God a pretty close match to your father? It seems to me that most people would find this true, but I need a wider pool to test this out.

Apr 5, 2008

Name Googling

So it's important, of course, to google one's own name once in a while to see if anything comes up. Upon a recent check of my maiden name, I found the usual: scholarship stuff, facebook, etc. The state science fair roster from when I was in 7th grade doesn't come up anymore, but used to. So nothing too exciting. Until recently. I found my name in this article. I don't know why this is so exciting to me, as it's obviously talking crap about the company I work for, but it's kind of cool.

I looked up the customer who wrote that post and what happened was he had two accounts with us and sent in a written cancellation request specifically for one of them but not for the other (the email that he quotes in his post was not the first cancellation request he sent in, the initial one was not nearly as clear that he wanted to cancel both accounts). So his other site was up and he still needed to pay hosting until we received a cancellation request for the other one. I got to be the lucky one to call this guy and tell him he was past-due on hosting. Even if he thought we had canceled the other account, we rendered the service of hosting his site and he definitely owed the money. And I'll have you all know that I eventually got him to pay (after plenty of bugging him, but that's essentially what my job is, so there you have it). It was a hard-earned $2 commission or whatever 5% of the small amount he had past-due was.

It's funny, I'm generally much more of a mercy-over-justice-type person, but I love my job.

Apr 1, 2008

Another Thought On The Personality Test

In the previous post, I mentioned that I took a Myers-Briggs personality test at work and found that I am an INFP. A certain part of the profile I received makes me wonder: there's a list of famous INFPs at the end. Now, it's safe to assume that they didn't actually have these famous people take the test, but I guess I'm okay with labeling some of them as INFPs, because we have plenty of evidence to support what these people's personalities were like (these include Oscar Wilde, Mr. Rogers, Princess Di, Kurt Cobain, Carl Rogers, and Neil Diamond, in case you care). Some, however, (Mary, the mother of Jesus? Homer? St. Luke? St. John? Virgil?) are quite sketchy. When a person's biography starts out with something like "Legend has it that...", there's no way we have enough information that we can assign one of sixteen Myers-Briggs personality types to them. So dumb.

But I suppose they probably just put these things at the end so that you feel good about yourself anyway ("This person was successful and we had the same personality type, so I can be successful, too!"). It's kind of like the Matchmaker things in high school (remember those, you former Burroughs students reading this?), when they tell you that you are compatible with Josh Hartnett (I'm pretty sure that's who I got one of those years), so that you can feel okay about the fact that everyone on the actual-human-beings section of your list is either a huge nerd or someone you know nothing about.

Man, I think I have my Matchmakers in my old yearbooks at home somewhere. I'll have to remember to look at those next time I'm in Ridgecrest. All I remember is Spencer Witt was #10 on my list in 10th grade and he didn't believe me because I wasn't on his list and I had to explain to him why I could have him on my list but not be on his list and he somehow couldn't get it and it infuriated me. Also, I would always have the Mormon boys, which also infuriated me but I'm not really sure why.