“Are you recruiting me?”
Normally, when the community is full and has a waiting list the job of those who do recruiting (like me) becomes to attract people to the movement in general, rather than our community in particular. There are exceptions of course. Ali was one of these.
i did not have much interaction with her until the last couple of days, but several people came to me and said that 1) they liked her and 2) they thought she would be a good member and 3) i should actively recruit her for us collectively. As much as i can, when people ask like this, i try to deliver.
i pulled Ali aside and we talked several times actually. What i do as a recruiter is i look for obstacles, the things people think are in the way of membership. In Ali’s case she quite understandably thought it was the unpredictability of our long waiting list. A completely reasonable belief given everything she had heard from people living here.
But almost everyone living here watches the waiting list like child watches the night sky for shooting stars. i have a high powered radio telescope. i know something about every person on that list and i have asked them all what their probability of returning is and i have flirted with many of them (not in a personal romantic way, but as in a “wouldn’t it be nice if you lived here” way).
i know, for example, that right now we have blown a hole thru our 11 person waiting list and were Ali to say she wanted to come back as soon as possible, she could be here by November, instead of waiting the usual 6 months. I know that there are actually 3 holes, one for my departure, one for Janels and one for Robertos. This will mean there likely some room choices, which is good for Ali, because she is mold sensitive and Twin Oaks wrestles with mold. The waiting list information was surprising to Ali and somewhat influencing of her thinking. The decreased probability of being in a moldy room further increased her chances. i pressed further.
What are your obligations or obstacles which keep you from coming back? What things did you like about Twin Oaks? What might you do if you returned?
It soon became clear that she did really like it here and that there were not any real obstacles. Except her ex-partner Myles. Ali and Myles were set to go to Boulder. Ali feels a strong desire and some obligation to go out there with him. This would put her over 2000 miles away when Twin Oaks called and told her to come back. Despite their being broken up, her being here without him was not super desirable.
So i came up with a plan. What if when Ali came back to be a member in November, Myles came back to be part of the visitor group? Ali loved this plan. So i trotted over to Myles, who i had never me before and asked him if i could pull him from the camp fire and talk with him.
We have a pleasant conversation, he concurs that Twin Oaks is a fabulous place for Ali. And then i start talking about her wanting him to come back in November and do a visitor period why she is starting her membership. He stops me
“Are you trying to recruit me?” he asks
“Absolutely.” i reply
“Wow. No one has ever done that before, it feels nice.” Myles responds.
i am tickled of course, but we dont get stalled. He says he will certainly consider it and is happy to be asked to come back.
And i go off thinking that this is why i earn the fat labor credits.