Mutual Exchange List o’ Exchanges

30 July 2020

Hi all. After talking with everyone individually this week, I tried to integrate in some feedback and continue towards more clarity in terms of policy and expectations. Thus, Below this updated task list is:
1. our aims-expectations, as I understand them.
2. my policies and a clarified version of how they are modified for this exchange.
3. a writing about my hopes, intents, and current state of our exchange.

Read 1 + 2. Part 3 is optional. It’s there if you want to know more about where I’m coming from.

Thank you all for being a part of this process of learning.

 



WAYS TO SPEND YOUR EXCHANGE TIME

Updated 30 july.
After ya’lls work thus far, and after a bit of streamlining, here are the prominent/important options on the table:

* Spreading the word.  This is super, extremely, important and helpful to me! This can happen in 7 kazillion different ways. Such as: consider any in-person and/or social media groups, friends, organizations, stores, etc that you are in contact with – especially those that you suspect have money? then consider, is there some way to ‘put in a word’, post on a bulletin board, pass a link in social media, etc to recommend this style of one-on-one support? (I am also able to send you digital flyers. If you want that, let me know.)

Please note, some of this can be done in anonymous ways, and/or in ways that I will never see (like posting a flyer in your grocery store, or verbally spreading the word). In other ‘spreading the word’ ways, I will likely be able to see what you post (such as public posts in social media or google reviews). With that highlighted, I absolutely only want you to ‘spread the word’ in ways that you feel extremely comfortable with.

* Go wild/creative session – dedicating your creative prowess to imagining out-or-in the box ways to foster this $ goal-direction. This includes imagining up any sort of marketing idea. (For now, if you chose this task, limit it to 2 sessions worth of exchange.) The current available marketing budget is $0, so… that limits some possibilities :).

* Online, local papers – more word spreading. Many tiny papers, and/or community newsletters, and/or online magazine sometimes have a possibility to post online advertisements for free. However, finding these takes a lot of time. Since this work is online for the forseable future, you could look for such sources anywhere in the world. You could research and send me links to such places – free is key. If payment is required to post, it is not an option at this time. As well, I could send you content/images and you post it in such sources – and/or you write content (just send it to me for an a-okay before you post it). I am also thinking along the lines of craigslist – tho, I don’t actually know anyone who uses craigslist – that sort of idea.

* Do you have business skills of any other sort? Like, are you secretly an accountant?! If so, lemme know.

 



1. Mutual Aims-Expectations

 

For my part in our web – This is what I am aiming-agreeing towards:

* To show up each week in a mental-emotional state, ready to listen and generally hold a space with-for you, to support your explorations- growth-learning-being-resiliency, to the best of my ability.

* I aim to do my upmost to inform you of my exchange goals/hopes/aims, boundaries and policies – in as clear of a manner as I am able. I strive to keep you updated of changes in a timely manner – if things are feeling slightly worrisome-bumpy I will tell you as early as I am aware.

* I agree to continue to check-in with myself in relation to these questions: do I have an overall healthy-feeling in our relating to be able to be in session time together? Am I doing what I have agreed to? 

 

In our web, this is what I aim for-expect, from you:

* Before each session – do a time exchange of 1.25+ hour of work, and track and turn in your hours-log. All of this within the time frame of no less than 24 hours before your subsequent session. As well, you are agreeing to adhere to policies I have in place to the best of you ability.

* If you notice that you are not able to do some aspect I am asking, or some aspect of this exchange feels otherwise bumpy/off track, I ask that you let me know as soon as possible. It may or may not be possible that I can adapt to what works for you. However, the more ahead-of-time warning I get about any aspect not working, the more likely it is that I may be able to bend or adapt.

* As we move along, you are asked to continually check-in with yourself in relation to these questions: do I have an overall healthy-feeling in our relating to be able to be in session time together? Am I doing what I have agreed to? 

 

 



2. POLICIES

 

My policies as they are listed for everyone I work with:

Confirmation Policy:

Once you make a reservation, if I receive your fee within 24 hours, I will send you a final confirmation email and see you at our appointment! We are all set. If I do not receive your fee within 24 hours, your reservation will be canceled. You are always welcome to make another reservation date.

Cancellations/Rescheduling:

Once your appointment is confirmed, if you need to cancel or reschedule: if you give less than 24 hours notice, I will return half of your session fee. If you cancel with more notice than 24 hours, I will return your full session fee.

 

MODIFIED POLICIES for our mutual exchange:

* You will need to finish your 1.25+ hours exchange and turn in your hours-log at least 24 hours before our next session.

People paying with money are required to pay their session fee within 24 hours of scheduling an appointment. In the case of work exchange, it does not make sense to ask you to finish your hours is such a limited time frame. Thus, the modification I have made is that you will need to turn in your hours at least 24 hours before your session.

Why? This is to ensure that I have time to review what you did before we talk in person – so that if anything is super great or a little different that I’m aiming for, we can talk about it when we meet. Also, this policy is here so that I have a healthy feeling space-time-boundary to navigate from, should you not be able to do your exchange that week.

* If you need to cancel/reschedule you will need to do this more than 24 hours before your session.

This policy is the same for everyone. However, people who are exchanging money, I keep half of their session fee if they cancel last minute. Since the situation is different for work exchange, the simplest solution I can come up with is that: I trust you. If you cancel/reschedule with less than 24 hours notice it compromises the sustainability-threads of our exchange web.

 



 

3. About the current state of our exchange (30 july 2020)

After talking with everyone individually this week, I tried to integrate in some feedback and continue towards more clarity in terms of policy and expectations. These words are the birthed-child of such reflections:

 

I had originally thought that this exchange would be a rather low-key thing. What I mean is, the way that a person is able to pay to enter a class, but zero-to-very little class time is typically spent talking about the money, or how the money was earned. I imagined ya’ll would do some task and turn in your hours-log, in the same way that you would turn in your payment for a class. Easy-peasy, right?

But, lo! in wonderful ways and in edgy feeling ways, this exchange is far more dynamic than I anticipated.
Thus far it is better than I imagined. It is also far more complex than I imagined. I am still, very much, trying to figure out how to be with-and-within the complexity of it.

 

A big part of my impetus for this idea (of direct mutual exchange) comes out of a specific context and desire. The context that I am coming from involves a lot of US-white culture-modeling to be a hero/savior. Within the culture I was raised in (namely white dominated US, middle class suburbia) and within some of the cultures that I have lived within as an adult (namely white dominated anarchist and/or activist group spaces). Inin an effort to move towards mutual relating (rather then savior/hero type relating) – I have decided to try this mutual exchange model.

One of my primary concerns with this idea has been, and remains, that we are in healthy-feeling relation. We do not have an over-arching team of elders to supervise our dynamic. We are in an unusual relational-dynamic, one that I don’t even know a name for. This is a main reason why this experiment feels edgy to me. We all need to be able to remain vigilant of and share responsibility in navigating if this feels healthy.

Thus, It is up to each of us, to honestly feel out, is this exchange experiment working for me?

Overall, I aim towards a horizontal exchange. That is, I do not feel like your boss/do not want to be a work task authority. What I am aiming towards is mutual respect and responsibility. This includes room for diversity, imperfection, and it requires a significant amount of self-monitoring.

More detailed questions I can think to ask are: Are you able to figure out an organization system that generally works for yourself, to get your hours done within the time frame asked? Are you able to mentally-emotionally frame this work in a way that does not result in over-working of yourself or otherwise which does not foster resentments of some kind? Are the imperfections of me and of this exchange system feeling fairly low-intensity, workable, manageable for you? Are you still feeling safe/good showing up for sessions, or is this exchange compromising your ability to feel at ease during session time? Etc.

I am checking with myself, asking myself the same/similar questions. If we are heading in a direction wherein our answers are yes to these sorts of questions, then we are heading in a sustainable direction, from my perspective. If the answer is no – it does not mean that you or I are bad. It is a signal that this particular form of exchange may not be sustainable for us.

About my policies, I fear that my communication in terms of how flexible and where flexibility is, has resulted in some confusion. Thus I clarify a bit.

My policies are made for all the people I work with. They are only slightly modified to fit our money-less exchange. They are put in place as a sort of elastic shield, safe-guarding my boundaries – my capacity limits, energy, time management and so forth. They are not put in place because I like rules and/or want to put restrictions on you. Rather, they are put in place to help me stay healthy-feeling in our relating.

Build into my policies is a little wiggle room – this is to allow for adapting to whatever sorts of neurodiverse responses pop up, in myself, and for everyone I work with. There has been more-than-usual wiggle room in this experiment because so much learning room feels necessary – to see how and if this exchange model works – for you, for me.

We are in an elastic web together, and there are limits to my web-thread-strech-ability. So, both things exist at once:
these policies are important to me – and – there are some places where they can bend slightly.

 

For our current arrangement, there is not a date-deadline to tell us when these wiggle rooms are used up. Rather, our navigating compass – from here into the foreseeable future – is that each of us can definitely answer these questions with a yes!: is this exchange experiment working for me in a healthy-feeling, fairly low intensity way? Am I doing what I have agreed to do?

Again, and again,
I thank you all for experimenting with me, in looking for money-less ways to be in care exchange with one another.