The papal exit interview

February 28, 2013

What are your main reasons for leaving?

To quote my favorite movie, I’m gettin’ too old for this beep! Ha ha! In a few days I get to say the real word.

What did you like most/least about the organization?
I really like the Vatican and meeting so many nice people. Having over a million Twitter followers is neat.

Least: I feel like people are talking about me all the time and you guys, seriously, sometimes my feelings get hurt. And also it’s very tiring.

What, if improved, would have caused you to stay at the organization?
A nice wife to talk to all my problems with? Just kidding. Or maybe I'm not? I don't know. What are you going to do, anyway, fire me? Oh Lord, I’m a little slap-happy today, please forgive me.

Would you recommend the organization to others as a good place to work/study/join?
I believe that’s what I did the entire time I was in this position! Was I effective? I don’t know, I guess we’ll know in a couple of hundred years or so.

What are the other reasons for  your leaving?
Um...pass.

What could have been done early on to prevent the situation developing/provide a basis for you to stay with  us?
I feel like this may be a two person job? Having a co-pope might have helped.

How do you feel about the organization?
I like it. I am still on board.

What could you have done better or more for us had we given you the opportunity?
I think if you had let me make YouTube videos like those Vlogbrothers guys, maybe people would like me a little bit more. People love those guys. But, I get it. If I made one in English I’d have to make one in Italian and French and German and Vietnamese. I’d be vlogging all day.

What extra responsibility would you have welcomed that you were not given?
Nobody asked me how I would have liked the Vatican Christmas tree to be decorated, but I had some thoughts on that I would have liked to share. I will still be available to discuss if you want.

How could the organization have enabled you to make fuller use of your capabilities and potential?
I took a Excel class prior to starting my time in the papacy but found no real reason to use it, so that was three hours down the drain.

What training would you have liked or needed that you did not get, and what effect would this have had?
Here’s the thing. Everyone’s making such a big deal about me retiring but don’t you think it’ll be great for the next me to be able to ask the current me how I dealt with things? When I signed on, all the previous mes were dead!

What training and development  that you had did you find most helpful and enjoyable?
I took a Powerpoint class and really enjoyed the sound effects you can deploy when a slide comes up. Ka-boom!

What can you say about communications within the organization/your department?
Pretty good but not perfect.

What improvements do you think can be made to customer service and relations?
Um...I might send you an off-the-record email on this later.

How would you describe the  culture or 'feel' of the organization?
Nice! Very fancy. Good food.

What suggestion would you make to improve working conditions, hours, shifts, amenities, etc?
Yes, I wouldn’t have minded a bit more time off. Obama gets vacations. Even The Lord rested on the 7th day: why couldn’t I?

What would you say about  equipment and machinery that needs replacing or upgrading, or which isn't fully/properly used for any reason?
Were you aware that that the Popemobile only has a tape deck in it? Fortunately I have a few bitchin’ mix tapes left over from college, but come on. A CD player, satellite radio, something.

What, if any, ridiculous examples of policy, rules, instructions, can you highlight?
The hats. I never understood why sometimes it was the big hat, sometimes the little beanie. It’s just like...pick a hat, guys. Also, the Vatican could really use more of a feminine touch, you know what I mean? So much marble and metal. How about a nice afghan or throw pillow?

What examples of ridiculous waste (material or effort), pointless reports, meetings, bureaucracy, etc., could you point to?
I still don't get why we had to change the responses at Mass. That meeting took forever and I missed a good Mad Men because of it.

How could the organization reduce stress levels among employees where stress is an issue?
Pizza parties maybe? This should not be difficult based on our office's location. Or, I know. Better wine.

Aside from the reason(s) you are  leaving, how strongly were you attracted to committing to a long and developing career with us?
Pretty strongly, you know. I never got married, I never wore jeans, I was allowed to bring us into the 20th century but not the 21st. I never wavered from the company message, even though it didn’t make me very popular at times.

Is there anything else you want to add?
I am grateful for my time here and in a few years, I look forward to finally meeting the boss.

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