Friday, August 17, 2007

Investigation follow-up

I've heard from all three of my references now that they were contacted by
the lodge. Interestingly, the committee representative didn't tell my references that I had applied to join the Freemasons, just that I had applied to join a "fraternal organization." Presumably this is to avoid any awkward, unexpected secret-satanic-cabal freakouts when a petitioner's friend finds out they're joining the Masons. In my case, I gave each of my references a heads-up and told them what I was applying for, just because it seemed like the courteous thing to do. Two of them have actually gotten rather intrigued with the idea themselves, and I think they're waiting to hear what my experience is like. If it's good, I may find myself on the receiving end of one of those phone calls! The third is in the Knights of Columbus, so he could appreciate my motivation for joining.

One thing that struck me during my meeting with the committee that I didn't mention in my previous post was the fact that they didn't ask any questions about things like hobbies. I felt a little bit better when I heard from one of my references that the telephone interview was very open ended. My friend was expecting a job reference type of conversation, where you get asked questions about specific skills and traits. Instead, what he got was more or less, "So tell me about A." In the course of answering this open-ended question, my friend said that my hobbies and work ethic (he's a former coworker) came up naturally.

An interesting way to find out about a petitioner. When communities were smaller and closer-knit, it was probably easier to get that kind of impression of a candidate by talking to his Masonic neighbors or business contacts, and in that context the questioning would probably have been similarly informal.

So, there you have it... one candidate's experience with the investigative phase. Your mileage may definitely vary depending on both your part of the country, your grand lodge and your local lodge.

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