|work rules in cohousing||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Marti Major (marti.majorgenetics.utah.edu)|
|Date: Fri, 20 Dec 1996 14:41:14 -0600|
This was the thread I wanted to respond to tow or three weeks ago when the list went down: --------------------------------------------------------------- > > Date: Mon, 2 Dec 96 21:04:14 UT > > From: "Rob Sandelin" <Floriferous [at] msn.com> > > Subject: RE: tasks at sharingwood > > Message-ID: <UPMAIL03.199612032333390276 [at] msn.com> > > > > >Rob Sandelin said: > > > > > At Sharingwood there are no participation expectations for anyone, > > > people partipate as they see the need, both community and personal. > > > This means some folks do more than others, but, in theory anyway, > > > it's because they want to, not because they have to. > > > > I suspect this is the exception rather than the rule. They must have > > a very close and trusting group of people to make it work without > > formal rules. I would want something written down. > > > > Yeah we do have a lot of trust, having been together for quite awhile. > > However, we do have one written list of tasks for monthly cleaning the > > commonhouse, something that is new for us. One observation that was made > > came > > from someone who wanted her name on the list, was having names on a list > > alerts everyone that yes, they did do something. One of the perceived > > disavantages of the "somebody jest did it" model of tasks is somethings get > > done and its unclear who did what. I personally think this is an bit of an > > avantage because you don't always know who does what, so you can only worry > > about yourself and your own contributions and not have to worry about > > comparing yourself to others or whether or not others did their "fair > > share". > > I have always been dubious about the notions of fairness in tasks, so that > > an > > hour of childcare is less than two hours of hanging siding. > > > > I think community comes when you stop worrying about that stuff and just > > appreciate what gets done and celebrate what gets accomplished, not who does > > it. > > > > Rob Sandelin > > Sharingwood > > > > ------------------------------ > > > > End of COHOUSING-L Digest 14 > > **************************** > Dear Rob, and all else who read this: > > I am writing to you from the Wasatch Front here in Utah, eventually of > Wasatch Cohousing I hope. While your wisdom and tone often impress me, > I must reply here, that your work related idealism runs smack into my > experience. I > recall my mother raging at us four kids, "Look at this place! If I > don't take care of it, nothing gets done! You live here too, don't you > care? You like it when it's nice, why don't you contribute?!" We were > variously amazed and confused, because we assumed she would do > everything, because she always did, eventually. > > The problem with your model of a perfect community where everyone feels > responsible and pitches in, is that not all of us are created > emotionally equal, nor equally sensitive to entropy, nor equally > responsible. > > I was involved in starting and developing an employee owned restaurant > in Davis, CA, and we were much more harmonious when everyone knew their > roles and responsibilities. The fact that we were inter-dependent and > accountable to each other created a sense of team belonging, spirit and > loyalty, which allowed for altruism but did not depend on its infinite > supply under duress. As a person who naturally feels responsible for > getting stuff done, I sometimes resent others who don't pitch in. You > can blame me for my resentment, while trying to appreciate the work, but > it would be better to accept human frailty and plan solutions. My > experience is that structure can liberate. By defining each > participants responsibility, we are all free to do our duty and > celebrate our time off. The load is lighter when it is shared. > > Almost all of us work in situations dictated by job descriptions, time > lines, goals, and review. I do not advocate such a high level of MBO, > but we need to understand the need for structure to facilitate > effectiveness and harmony. Even in a marriage, there needs to be an > understanding of roles and responsibilities along with appreciation and > rewards. Without these marriage, partnerships, and/or group life can be > hell. > > Keep in mind, democratic participation requires democratic duty as well > as privilege. If only a few feel responsible for the work, those few > will eventually have more "power". Those uninvolved will not be as > aware of the community's needs. > > One last point, we regulate our financial involvement very carefully. > We account for every financial commitment and contribution, why not time > commitments and time contributions too?
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