Twin Oaks Intentional Community
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II. Some Definitions

Quota:. The number of hours of labor required from each member per week.
In-Quota Credit Available: One may do this work, and it is not only creditable but also fully assignable.
Over Quota: This term refers to hours of labor done over the week's quota.
Day's Quota: A week's quota divided by seven.
Vacation Balance: The accumulated hours that a member has done over quota or received as bonus that may be used for taking vacation.
Bonus: . Two and one-half credits per week for turning in your done labor credit sheet on time.
On Vacation: Taking leisure time, either on or off the farm.
On-The-Farm Vacation: Taking vacation without leaving Twin Oaks premises.
Off-The-Farm. Physically absent from Twin Oaks property, whether working for Twin Oaks or on vacation

III. The Routines of Dealing with the Labor Credit System

Twin Oaks' labor system requires everybody to plan and record personal labor. This can be a trial, but the organization, accounting, equality, liberty, and flexibility that Twin Oakers enjoy depend substantially upon this minor clerical chore.

1. Putting Your Preferences on File. The labor assigners have a file box of 3x5 cards (or file notebook of labor sheets), one for each member, with their preferences written on it. Fill one out as soon as you know enough about the system to do so intelligently. Such things as "will do two dinner shifts," or "No work before 10 A.M." or "No Louisa bus in hot weather" or "likes outdoor work" are useful to the assigners.

2. Kitchen Shift Preferences. If there is one particular K-shift that you very much don't want to do, let the assigners know (in writing, labeled "permanent preference"), so they can put it on their chart. We need more people to be willing to do any of the shifts, especially KIII, so please stay as open as you can. A request not to be assigned a particular kind of shift will generally be honored.

3. Planning the Week - Turning in a sheet on Monday (by Tuesday morning 9AM)

a. Take a blank labor sheet Fill in your name, the dates of the week starting next Friday and ending the following Thursday, and the number of days you want to be assigned. If you intend to be gone on certain days, draw a line through that day or days, so assigners will notice it. The same if you want a day on the farm completely free from assigned work. Assigners appreciate it if you write "OTF" (Off The Farm) in addition.

b. Use a pencil. Fill in on your sheet any scheduled work that you want to be assigned (if you have managerial okay). Fill in your chosen K-shift, but also mark this choice on the Culinary Master sheet posted nearby. (While you're looking at the Culinary Master, you might also want to sign up for a cooking shift). If somebody has already chosen the slot you wanted, pick a different one. Or let the assigners pick one for you. If you are a milker, fill in your milking shifts. To schedule time for some non-work activity, such as getting together with a friend, mark out this time in order not to get a work shift scheduled on top of it.

c. In the "During the Week" section of the sheet (may not be marked as such; I mean the lined section in the upper right quadrant of the page), mark any areas that you have already arranged to work in but don't have to do at any particular time, together with the number of hours you intend to work on it. For example: "Retail mailing, 4.0" (Note to new people: This is done only after you have checked with the appropriate manager.) Do not use this space for work requests. Put them below in the unlined portion called "notes."

d. There is also a "During the Day" section for each day on your sheet. This is the place to write jobs that need to be done on a certain day but necessarily at a scheduled hour, such as STP, laundry, or serf.

e. You may know of work you would like to do that you haven't talked to managers about yet. Tell the labor assigner about it, using the "notes" space. The assigner will be able to advise you how to get into this work, though the advice may be simply ask the manager of the area.

f. If you are willing to help with cooking, write that down in the "notes" space. We frequently need cooking helpers. If you don't mind an extra K-shift, note that also. If you want to do some cleaning or housework (not usually popular work), say so.

g. If you forget to turn in a sheet, the assigners will make one for you. This is when a well-filled-out personal preference card (sheet) is quite helpful, both to you and to the assigners.

h. Here are some areas that are frequently easy to get into, besides hammocks: chair rope, Emerald City wood, varnishing (both stretchers and chairs), stretcher drilling/making, house cleaning, laundry, pillows, sawmill. In addition, positions on office, milking, STP or garden crews, and town trippers come open with fair frequency (two or three times a year, at least). Openings are not guaranteed in any area in any given time period, but certainly there will be many opportunities caused by people's changing jobs or leaving the Community. Watch the 3x5 board for work that interests you..

4. Revisions. Turn your sheet in to the appropriate box. The labor assigners will finish it and have it ready for you to look at by Wednesday evening -- sometimes earlier. The period between Wednesday-when-the-sheets-come-out and Thursday Noon is called Revision time. This means you look at your sheet and see if there is anything wrong with it. If there is, make a check mark in the little square at the top of the sheet called "revisions?" and then, using the back of the sheet, explain to the assigners what the problem is. Do not erase anything from the front of the sheet or add anything. The assigner will do it. This is because your sheet is not the only paper to be changed, and the assigner needs to make sure all changes get made correctly.

A typical revision might be "Please try to change my KIII to a different, because I agreed to primary a child that night" or "Sorry, I forgot I had a doctor's appointment on Tuesday at 11:00 A.M. Please change the food processing shift to a different day." And so forth. Make changes only if you need to, and please be courteous to the labor assigner. Never take your sheet away during revision time, even if you are perfectly satisfied with it. It hasn't gone thru computer entry yet. Look at it, make notes if you wish, then put it back.

On Thursday at Noon, the assigner picks up the sheets again and works the rest of the afternoon on making the requested revisions. Frequently one person's revision causes changes on somebody else's sheet, so don't be surprised if your final sheet isn't exactly the way it was on Wednesday. The assigners try not to change the sheets very much, since they know most people don't like surprises of this kind.

On Thursday evening, the sheets are taken by the labor coder and the data entered into the computer. Late Thursday they are put in the box available for you. At this point you may and should take your own sheet and put in your room or your pocket. Most likely you won't pick it up until some time Friday.

In the meantime, so that you can be prepared for your Friday work, there is a "Friday Work Sheet" posted in various public places (Llano office, ZK, Tupelo). It tells who is scheduled for what work on Friday. Check it out to see if you by any chance are supposed to milk the cows or make lunch on Friday morning!