In case you missed it, word on the street is that Pope Benedict XVI, who rocks a not-unimportant role in the view of the world’s one billion Catholics, woke up yesterday with a bit of a case of the Mondays. But where the rest of us have to deal with the start of a new work week by playing hooky a bit via an early lunch and hopefully scoring coffee from (circa-1996) Jennifer Anniston, the Pope did the other thing we’d like to do when Monday rears its ugly head.
He put in his two weeks’ notice.
Of course, everybody everywhere, upon hearing this news, immediately went, “Wait…whut? Resigned? Popes don’t resign. Can he even do that?”
Following that thought, though, came the realization that, as the Chief Cook and Transubstantiator for The Church of Rome, the dude with the king of all funky hats can pretty much do whatever he wants. That’s one of the perks of being infallible, if you know what I mean.
This, of course, brings a number of strange—and possibly heretical and/or blasphemous—questions to mind. For instance, if you resign as Pope, do you lose that infallibility thing too? Because, seriously, you have to admit that would be sweet to have even if you weren’t the Pontiff. Just imagine when Starbucks screwed up your non-fat soy mocha, you could totally be all…
Former Pope: “I ordered that no-whip.” glares at obscene mound of whipped cream-topped coffee.
Starbucks Employee: “I’m sorry, sir, but you didn’t mention that when you ordered your beverage. Please, next time, stick more closely to approved Starbuck-Speak(t).
Former Pope: “No, son, I’m afraid I’m the one who’s sorry here, because, clearly, you don’t understand. I just said I ordered that no-whip, and I know you may not have heard of me, but I’m kind of infallible. So please fix my coffee so I can absolve you of putting that calorie-laden pile of emulsified dairy there and get back to that laptop in the corner where I’m pretending to write my novel while I actually troll Tumblrs.”
The questions don’t end there, of course. What about the termination process itself? At most places people like you and me might work, once we give notice the company will hold your last paycheck ransom unless you go though their ridiculous “exit interview” process with the company’s HR team. Said interview usual consists of a bored, humorless HR contact asking vague, un-actionable questions no one would ever give honest answers to for fear they might need the job back someday.
Which, of course, led me to imagine the Pope’s Exit Interview:
His Excellency, the Exalted Cardinal Vicar of HR: Departing position, Your Previous Eminence?
Former Pope: Are you kidding? You know me. The Pope? The Pontiff? The Bishop of Rome?
His Excellency, the Exalted Cardinal Vicar of HR: I’m sorry, but I have to ask each of these questions for the official record. It’s part of standard policy. If I don’t follow exit procedures, we could get dinged in our next organizational audit. Now, if you could just tell your official title, position, and level, as defined by the organization?
Former Pope: *sighs* Senior Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, Level III.
His Excellency, the Exalted Cardinal Vicar of HR: Thank you. Now, just a few more questions and we’ll be finished here, Your Previous Eminence.
Former Pope: No, sure, that’s fine. I got nothing but time now. I’m going to finally write that novel.
His Excellency, the Exalted Cardinal Vicar of HR: *blank stare* Yes, well, during your time here, is there anything you think could have changed about your role to make it easier for someone else to execute it effectively?
Former Pope: Goodness, no, I can’t think of anything. Having the last word, theologically, on this plain of existence and being the human conduit between The Lord Almighty and, you know, everyone else is pretty sweet.
His Excellency, the Exalted Cardinal Vicar of HR: What about the organization of the Holy Church itself? Do you see any opportunities we aren’t currently taking advantage of?
Former Pope: Maybe try to lighten things up every now and then? How about Casual Fridays or something? You know, those robes and ornate get-ups can get pretty tiresome. Hot in the summer, too, let me tell you. And the hats! Don’t even get me started. Tell you what, why not make Friday “Hawaiian collar” day? Or just “collars optional”?
Former Pope: Anything else?
Former Pope: I don’t know. I had a thought once that it might not hurt to put some ladies on the org chart. Just sayin’.
His Excellency, the Exalted Cardinal Vicar of HR: *frowns* Yes, well, I’m sure your successor will consider that. *rolls eyes* Anything other comments in closing?
Former Pope: Yeah, that whole scandal business is kind of a bummer. Someone should work on keeping that stuff from happening going forward.
Well, even if things don’t go exactly like that, here’s to hoping that Pope Benedict XVI (or does he go back to his old name now? I tell you, the questions never end!) gets to keep the Pope-Mobile.
Because let’s be honest, no one wants to quit their job and have their car repo’d in the same month.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, after this post I think I need to find some indulgences or I’ll likely be expecting the full-on Spanish Inquisition*.
*No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!