Monday, December 19, 2011

The Barter System Today

Bartering is an exchange of goods or services without a monetary exchange, and has been around for centuries.  Although it went out of fashion for a time with the rise of capitalism, it has always been around among folks who understand the value of each other’s talents. While bartering has made a substantial comeback in these trying economic times, some don’t understand the concept, and literally abuse it.

I recently acquired a puppy from a local dog boarding and training facility. His shots were included in the acquisition, so I went back frequently.

Mello (my dog) and I came along nicely with training but I thought professional training would make us both better. I noticed the severely disjointed website of the boarder’s. I offered a complete re-design in exchange for the $1200 training package. There wasn’t much of a response and even when asked if he thought it wasn’t an equitable trade, he said he was just busy.

Well, as the months went on, along with the acquisition of Mello was a flea infestation. Off we go to the boarder who does a couple flea treatments on Mello and both cats accompanied by flea, heart, and worm pills. Additionally, Mello needed another worm treatment. Again, I asked about the exchange. For the $141.00 in checks, I would organize all photos on his server, which amounted to hundreds. I would verify they weren’t on the site and then organize them in an “old photo” file in any method he chose. No response.

Days later, I get a voice mail saying that he had some web work, to come by so we could talk and bring the dog. Turns out he just self-published a poetry book and wanted me to do promotions. Trying to nail him down on exactly where he wanted to start was difficult, but I managed a list of three items:
  • Facebook account
  • Author/book website
  • Compile list of reviewers

He wanted to talk about training as exchange but I suggested the $141.00 in checks and he agreed. That was on December 12, 2011. I’ve still not received the domain name to start the site building. He obviously thought he could do it himself and his boarding site was down for a day. I’ve received no less than five emails and fifteen phone calls, even late night, rambling about this book and its promotion. Computer literacy is not at the top of his list and that’s ok, then let someone else do it and don’t confuse the situation.

What it boils down to is that he’s almost used the $141.00 in time without getting a tangible outcome. Facebook account, book reviews, sharing, posting and answering his incoherent phone calls. Absolutely no idea of the barter concept. We each do what we do in ‘equal’ amounts. Looks like I’m going to have to tell him that I’m not his personal marketing person and I’m definitely not on call. I don’t even want his dog training anymore. 

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