Clearing up some confusion
There’s certainly life in the Skills Exchange! The debate about whether hiring/loaning/selling through the SE is a valid option has stirred a lively debate. There are people in favour and those against, so it seemed that this would be an ideal time to re-state one of the key elements of the Skills Exchange as it was originally set up. Above all else the SE works on a time basis. And so that the difficulties of money never come into it, right from the outset it was made clear to everyone that an hour of anyone’s time was the equal of anyone else’s time. In that sense everyone in the group is equal. As soon as you start to bring money equivalents in then things get messy. For example, the commercial rate for using someone’s professional skills as a plumber or electrician is certainly going to be different from having someone feed your cat over a weekend whilst you are away. So, by having the unit of exchange as time everything gets simplified and we all know where we stand. As soon as goods for loan or hire or even to sell enter the equation this too puts a different spin on things. But it doesn’t need to be if you ask yourself a couple of simple questions. Would you be willing to give an hour of your time to the person who is lending/giving/selling you an item. If so then it is a normal Skills Exchange transaction. So, for example, if you would be willing to give an hour of your time to borrow a halloween outfit, then that is a transaction between you and the owner/loaner. One thing to remember though, is that you are always entitled to say NO if you don’t think something is worth that hour of your time. And finally, just a reminder of something that lies right at the heart of the Skills Exchange. You can save, bank or do many things with money, but you can only use time once. That makes it the most precious gift we can offer one another so enjoy!