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the end of the 20 month party  RSS feed

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Posts: 27466
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Some people finished their winter experience and went on to their next adventure. Some people went to permaculture voices and will be back in a couple of weeks. The summary is that Jocelyn and I have the little house to ourselves. It has only been three days so far, but it has been delicious. Privacy. I have always been so certain that I am destined for community living, but I have to confess that after 20 months I am basking in the delicious experience of not being on the stage and not being in charge.

Jocelyn has been cleaning. We paid somebody to do the cleaning, but Jocelyn had to stop herself from cleaning so that person could learn about what needed to be done. That didn't work. Things got worse and worse. Now, Jocelyn is almost giddy at the idea of finally having things clean again. It will taker her a couple of weeks of nonstop work, but it will be clean again.

When people think about hiring people, the thought is: just hire somebody and they will do it! But, most of the time, you honor your end of paying the money, but they don't honor their end of doing "it". So you pay them to learn. But they don't really want to learn. And the next thought is: fire them and hire somebody who can do it! I have fired a lot of people over the decades - and I'm just tired of it. I would rather that people just do what they were hired to do.

When I worked in the corporate world, I, like nearly everybody, started off getting paid less than most people. But it didn't take long for me to figure out that I was doing the work of ten people. It isn't as though I was superhuman, it's just that .... nearly everybody seemed to sorta phone it in. I shifted things in such a way that I was getting paid triple what others were paid. Eventually I was getting paid five times what others were paid. Companies were desperate for somebody to do the work that somehow had not gotten done before. It struck me as odd that they would have hundreds of employees who did so little work, that they did not earn their keep - but the company kept paying them. In time, I would come to a company and find ways to set a strong pace, plus find ways to motivate the rest of the engineers to a strong, forward velocity. Simultaneously, I built up JavaRanch, did some other projects on the side, wrote articles at richsoil and eventually (while still working these corporate jobs) started these forums.

Last year, my resolve was "I will work harder!" and "I will intentionally bite off more than I can chew, and together with all these people, we will CHEW dammit!"

Then we had a fiasco. And then another. And another. By summer of 2014 I was feeling pretty spent - but I bullied through. And by fall ... whew! And through the winter ...

Just a few days into this "vacation" and my brain is already starting to come back to life with ideas and strategies for maximizing forward velocity. The ant village stuff is the great answer. I think that the gapper stuff can still work, but it would require a strong leader. So I kinda think that we need to put the gapper program on hold until we have a strong leader.

I have some other ideas that I need to noodle on still. More on that later.

I guess I just felt it was important to say: I think there will be a lot of people that will want to travel the ant village route. And I think people probably don't want to come here as a gapper right now - but they can.

Posts: 67
Location: West Michigan Zone 5
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Sounds like you guys have the patience of Job. Mainly I am amazed that there is no mention of cleaning up dead bodies, unless you just left that out. I think there is a lot to be said for having some personal space
(whether physical or whatever), no matter how small sometimes. Kudos to you guys for continuing to put the effort in to make a workable/sane situation!
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
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I'm sorry. I laughed pretty hard at this. The idea of someone being giddy to clean... After trying not to intervene to teach the 'professional'. I was snorting tea.

Anyway, I've worked in enough of these sorts of situations where I totally get where you are coming from. Employee burn is the worst though in my opinion. Like you finally find someone who does it well enough, they're trained and up to snuff, you're all chewing together... and then something goes wrong and they quit or leave or need to be fired... and back to square one... with someone who doesn't know how you do things yet. Been there.

Anyway I'm glad to hear you're enjoying yourselves.
Posts: 1628
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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You should recruit the mamasan we had in Japan. If I so much as touched anything while she was there she'd yell at me. That woman was a cleaning machine. God I miss her.
I agree. Here's the link:
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