Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Application Process:

Unfortunately a couple of weeks after the installation ceremony, I ended up in the hospital with pancreatitis. Worst pain I've ever been dealt with. I wouldn't wish that pain on anyone. After 10 days, they finally released me from the hospital, and it took me a few weeks to get back on my feet again.

After forgetting to get my application at the installation, I contacted R., the lodge secretary. I got an application from him and he volunteered to be one of my recommenders. He also said that I should come to the lodge that next week, as they were having a 1st degree initiation & I could join them for dinner and meet some of the other members; hopefully one of them could be my second recommender.

I showed up at the lodge & had a great time with the guys, talking to quite a few gentlemen and by the end of the night I had my second recommendation.

The weird thing, was that the person who was to go through that night's initiation never showed! Well, that left the ritual team with plenty of time to practice whatever they were doing behind closed doors, which left me plenty of time talking to the non-ritual team Masons in the banquet room. We must've talked for about an hour and a half, about everything from the decline and subsequent rise in current Masonic membership, to their thoughts on Albert Pike, and what it meant for them to be Masons. Eventually, the ritual team came out and everyone said their goodbyes.

I officially turned in my completed application, and R. told me what came next: The application would be read at the next stated meeting in a month's time, and at the meeting an investigation committee would be appointed. These investigating people would contact me, we would have a meeting (I assumed something like a job interview), and this committee would report their findings at the next stated meeting. So, from this point in time right now, I wouldn't know if I got in or not for about 2 months, at least.

Aargh... Well, I guess there's nothing really left to do but wait for the investigation committee.

In the meantime, I racked my brain trying to see if there's anything that could bite me in the butt. Was there anyone in my past that I may have ticked off bad enough to get me blackballed? Could I get a bad recommendation because I got a lot of speeding tickets when I was 18? What if they contacted any of my ex-girlfriends? What if they got one of the bad breakups? Sheesh, I could go crazy worrying about this. I'm not perfect, and no one else in the world is either. The best thing to do is to not fret, be myself and let the chips fall where they may. Even though my future Masonic life lay in the balance, in my heart of hearts I know I'm a good person, and that should speak for itself.

1 comment:

Tom Accuosti said...

Don't sweat it. It's rare that anyone needs to be interviewed to join a club nowadays, so being investigated sounds more scary than it actually is.

They - that is, we - want to make sure that you're a good guy, that you're not joining simply to create business contacts, or if you're actually a drug dealer.

But this is also *your* opportunity to ask questions about the lodge. If you're married or partnered, they will ask how your SO feels about this, and if s/he has any questions.

I was interviewed on a warm summer evening. We went out to my deck and ate brownies that my wife had baked, and opened up a few bottles of wine, and talked for a while. No biggie!

Oh, and welcome to the Masonic blogging community!

Tom Accuosti
The Tao of Masonry