I see all types of people in my line of work, and each person who walks through the door has a unique personality. Some of my clients have more interesting quirks than others.
One of my thankful clients came to visit us today. He received services from both departments housed in my building a few years ago. He came in to see if we knew where he could purchase a reasonably priced water heater.
I understand his quest. No matter where you look, water heaters are expensive. I know from experience that replacing a water heater can wipe out a modest bank account.
We offered suggestions and made some phone calls for him. While we were waiting to hear back from some of our contacts, he shared how much we changed his life with the work we performed on his home. Then he told us about his friend the plumber who trades work with him. He mows the plumber’s yard, and in return the plumber makes repairs on his house.
My client called it one the of his “poor man’s ways.” Perhaps that’s true, but it’s so much more. This is the type of relationship that our ancestors enjoyed. The barter system, the exchange of goods and services as opposed to money, still has its uses in today’s society. I participate in the barter system whenever possible.
I’m good at certain things and my friend is good at others. I replaced the locks on my friend’s house when she needed them changed. I also helped her move some furniture. She needed my help, not only to lift things, but because my husband and I own a vehicle large enough to haul her furniture. In return, she helped me with some projects at my house. She also made the best caramel corn I’ve ever had in my life.
I’ve baked pies in exchange for minor auto repairs. I bought the parts and a friend provided the labor. I’ve pulled weeds and made household repairs in exchange for home canned vegetables and frozen meat.
Whether or not I had money for those things isn’t the point. Using the barter system adds a touch of humanity to our lives. I enjoyed friendly human interaction while working with another person to achieve our respective goals. In my humble opinion, I think the world needs more personal human interaction and team work. It could also use more kindness, compassion, and consideration.
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