Re: Workshare Credits
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 8 Jul 2002 20:58:01 -0600 (MDT)
> From: Amy Cervantes <cervanta [at]>
> Subject: Re: [C-L]_Workshare Credits
> Would it be realistic to propose researching what the cost would be to hire
> out certain services in your community and take that into consideration when
> making these types of determinations?

Community process takes a long time. Part of it is getting every one up to
speed on how much this or that costs in terms of time and trouble. Perfectly
rational suggestions are often seen by some as heretical.

>  As the recent thread would
> indicate, there are all kinds of 'ifs' 'ands' and 'buts' around that, and the
> role that contributing plays in "community togetherness" BUT that aside,
> practical matters still must be dealt with by practical means, no?

I think the best kind of community building by working together happens in
the jobs that are special to people or when everyone is working together. We
have people who love dealing with the gardens and love mowing. We have both
electric and push mowers to accommodate their preferences.

Quarterly work days when tons of little stuff gets done and everyone is
working together are wonderful. A major improvements project like a walkway
or a wall hanging are wonderful community building activities.

I would like for efforts to be concentrated on these activities and get a
cleaning service to clean the commonhouse. We would still need and want to
do quarterly closet cleaning -- spring cleaning where you even wash the

Dusting the commonhouse. Washing the windows. Moping the floor. These things
do not necessarily build community and in some ways work against it. Because
they have to be done weekly or bi-weekly, on weekends, they become a real
drag and resentments build up if not enough people show up or if it is done
badly. We have surfaces that require certain cleaners for example.

I would much prefer to hire out the cleaning and have good work parties less
often and more meals. Little jobs like getting a bulletin board hung in the
kitchen go for months undone. Our table legs have still not been adjusted so
all the tabletops are even when we push tables together. But all the energy
(and there is a lot of it) is focused elsewhere.

But it takes time for all the dust to shake out and everyone to come to the
same conclusion -- or any conclusion at all!

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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