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From the Archives: New Work Cards-Why & How

by Natalie Criscione

You are a member worker at Honest Weight. You show up for your weekly shift. You use your member number to sign in at the front desk computer and then use it again to sign out when your shift is complete.  It’s a system that seems to work quite well. But, it was not always this way.  The early, pre-computer members of the co-op struggled to create an efficient system for member workers that continued to evolve over time. 

In the January 1980 Coop Scoop, Daniel Gonsiewski outlined the newest guidelines for member workers to keep track of their hours. Near the end of the article, he admits the “new system is a little more complicated than the old” which I think we could all agree with. Below is Gonsiewski’s article in its entirety:

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New Work Cards-Why & How

As you may have noticed, the co-op has a new set of work cards and a new system for marking work done. We made the changes, among other reasons, to make life easier for the cashier who rings up your order and to keep the cards more up-to-date (some of you have not been marking your work).

Instructions are posted in the store which explains exactly what to do but just to cover the main points—first, make sure your card is correct—name, address, etc.—or, make sure you still have one.  The information on the new cards was copied from the old for those members who have worked in the last 5 months, so if we skipped you, please fill out a new card. Make corrections to any cards we filled out—note that they’re in pencil—-and please keep them up to date. Under the new system the only major change is that someone stamps your card to indicate work done for a month when the entire work requirement is done. For store workers this would be the manager or day coordinator; for task group workers, the member who attends coordinating committee meetings.  Work requirements remain the same. If you’re part of a household or spread your work out over the month, or work for two or more task groups, you can record work done on the back of the card so that you won’t forget and so that others—-people in your house or those responsible for marking your card—are awarded of all the work being done.  People who work for two or more groups should make those who are responsible for stamping their card aware of what they are doing.  People who work on a special project for a task group, such as baking or phone calling, and fulfill their entire work requirement should have the group for which the work was done stamp their card; if only part of the requirement is done, inform the person normally responsible for stamping your card of the “outside” work. Finally, for those of you who fall in the none of the above categories, and those undertaking special projects for which you would have to contact the managers or the coordinating committee anyway, please make arrangements through them.  

While the new system is a little more complicated than the old, we hope it will be easy to adjust to. Your comments and criticisms are of course welcome—direct them to the membership task group, the c.c., our to me. By the way, the cost to the co-op, since the printing was donated, is about $5.

A few months later, upon the suggestion of a new member, the system was slightly modified to include two boxes of cards (one for inactive and one for active members) instead of one.  That was progress!

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