When I was a chaplain, there were occasionally times when I would meet a new patient and they would want nothing to do with me. Rarely, there were times when people even called me names or told me to leave using swear words. I soon realized this had little to do with me, as these people didn’t even know me. Either they’d had a bad experience with a chaplain or pastor in the pastor had gotten a bad impression from someone else. In churches, it is most likely that I hail from a different denomination that they object to me as a consultant.
The same thing has just happened in a mediation: I was rejected because I’m a pastor. Most times, if people know I am a pastor it’s an advantage as they believe I will be especially fair or kind. But today someone cancelled a mediation appointment with me once they learned I was a pastor, even though we’d never met.
It’s a bit frustrating as there is little I can do to change the bad impression from a distance. I can say I have been mediating for years and when people meet me they have never felt that way. I can say that dozens of attorneys and other professionals, and hundreds of clients, appreciate my professionalism. But I guess it is something I must accept and move on. I would like to think it is their loss.