Virtual Clean Up Worker

There is one especially wonderful phrase that every busy organizer really wants to hear

“How can i help?”

Today it was Angie asking, and even from 500 miles away in the Amherst area, it brightens my entire morning.  In part because distance is no impediment to her assistance, because she has super fast internet and an even faster brain.

Angie and pure contents 2009 Llano Kitchen

Angie and pure contents 2009 Llano Kitchen

Co-managing Acorn’s current problems after the arson requires a lot of critical path analysis.  With 10 bedrooms displaced where do we put everyone? [3 Heartwood rooms were far enough from the blaze that they have been reoccupied after some cleaning.]  Our short term solutions (often tents and treehouses) wont work in a month when it gets really cold.  We want to finish the new seed building so we dont have to move the old office back into Heartwood, only to move it again when the new seed building is finished.  But here our agendas are conflicting, because we have already stolen some construction crew away from that project to help with the clean up after the fire.  There is a large unfinished straw bale wall, which just lost it’s honcho.

But the longer i look at these problems the more my analysis points back to getting the business running.  The Southern Exposure website temporarily indicated we were not taking orders (immediately after the fire), then it indicated there would be a delay – but what we really dont want is for income to start going down because of lost orders, so on top of everything we picked seeds (locking ourselves in the picking room until we had everything done, to avoid letting smoke in) and then shipped everything except a few dozen allium orders.

And my particular piece of getting the business running is proposing seed price increases.  Specifically, completing the comparison of our prices with our competitors and respecting the requests from our Twin Oaks and LEF growers that they need to be making a living wage all the while making an acceptable margin for Acorn to run both the community and the business.

Straandbeest (aka Ingird) is our new straw bale honcha, posing in the now destroyed dish room.

Strandbeest (aka Ingrid) is our new straw bale honcha, posing in the now destroyed dish room.

So while others have been painting and cleaning endless suet covered objects or working with Strandbeest (the new straw bale honcha) or planing boards on the weekend with X member Rob Jones, i have been tweaking giant spreadsheets and learning that pumpkins are part of the cucurbits family.

Angie can jump in and fill in the dozens of holes in this huge spreadsheet which have occurred for good and bad reasons.  Using her fast internet and organizers mind (which will prevent her from either getting stuck or overworking problems), i will get a whole bunch of data in.   She can rescue the lost 2008 price list which someone deleted rather than “hide” which is lost in one of the 200 versions of this spreadsheet.

And if Angie does this work in Amherst, we dont have to have me, or some other communard, do it at Acorn, who can then focus on the many problems at hand.  And thus she becomes a virtual clean up worker.

If you saw this video, you might change your name to Strandbeest also