Tuesday, May 01, 2018

The Ark

Fifty-four years ago a Frenchman named Vanier turned heads pulling two developmentally challenged adults out of a standard institution and bringing them to live with him in a small house. There they improved their lives, demonstrated their worth, and grew the community they called the Ark, building a workshop and art studio along the way.

Today there are Ark communities in forty countries including two hundred - significantly larger - homes in Canada; some forming the Scooterville chapter, where core members live under the same roof as the staff who are dedicated to helping them live productive lives.

To me, this represents harmony; the most laudable goal of humanity.

“Would you ever consider returning to the traditional workforce if the employer had goals compatible with your own?” World Citizen asked me a couple years ago.

“Of course,” I said, “If I were convinced it were true.”

Days ago I applied for a temporary part-time Admin Assistant position - not at an Ark home but at the Scooterville community office: two days a week for a year or so; a perfect arrangement to commit to in order to test a possibly integral component of my life-goals/income solution.

And given I am well-acquainted with the Scooterville community director - we volunteer together at Circles - I figured myself a shoo-in for an interview at least. I thus went light on the successes portion of the resume, preferring all that to come from my own mouth, and concentrated on a list of forty significant and relevant job skills which just about runs the gamut of the admin environment, and a bold, perfectly truthful mission statement:

To help manifest harmony wherever possible, through ongoing self-directed and charitable projects and if applicable: by working within a like-motivated organization.

I was surprised when they declined an interview, citing “many qualified applicants” and stating that “…sadly we will not be continuing at this time with your application…”

Well darn. I didn’t intend to make anyone sad! I’m certainly not. My goal was to help the Ark land the best new member for their team; myself if applicable. I did not want the job for myself regardless. There is no harmony in that. I just hope they haven’t made a mistake, passing me up prematurely.

I responded that I was actually happy that they had garnered excellent candidates (my word, not theirs, but the logical assumption).

At circles events I appropriately dress down in order to fit in with the membership and I do not go out of my way to shave. Does the director assume I would not groom appropriately for an office gig? Am I not the traditional shape or gender for such a role? I would assume a more forward thinking mindset here.

Was my objective perceived contrived? I am aware that my truthful circumstances are very unlikely. But the director has glimpsed many insights into my past when I’ve spoke at functions. Though I also wonder if she had nothing to do with my resume’s appraisal and too if our connection was not even known by the appraisers.

As I release more resumes must I dumb myself down a bit and produce something more normal?