Every coliving community will have one of these at some point. Hold onto the first 6 for dear life, and hope you can outlast the final 3.
The Emotional Laborer
Coliving is a contact sport. The emotional laborer heals the wounds.
The Emotional Laborer is the person that others naturally go to when they are feeling feelings. They listen, the empathize, they smooth it over.
They say "hey, come into my room and I'll make you tea." They make the absolutely most soothing tea.
The Bean Counter
Some people are just really into beans.
They want to make sure the beans are accounted for, tabulated, reported on. And preferably purchased in bulk.
They make sure that the community stays on budget. They are responsible and sweat the details.
Quickbooks is their favorite video game. Excel is their happy place. They love reading … receipts.
If you find yourself with a Bean Counter, love them dearly and never let them go.
The Omelet Station Dude
[Can also be a lady .... Ours just happens to be a dude]
He takes up his post at 7:30am and hangs out in the kitchen until 9am. In the process a half dozen people get fed eggs. He came there to make himself breakfast but … hey ... he'll just toss in a few more in case anyone else is hungry.
Omelet Station Dude is that joyous, consistent waypoint on the way to the office. He’s the smile you get every morning while everyone else is sitting in traffic.
The Silent Assassin (aka the anti-Cheryl)
“Who reorganized the linen closet?”
[in a whisper] “it was the silent assassin”
“Without telling anyone???”
“Yeah, without telling anyone. Sunday morning, before anyone woke up”
“But that’s the most thankless task here”
The Agent of Chaos
The agent of chaos sniffs out complacency and boredom. When things get too stale, they add some needed discomfort.
You come home one day and they've rearranged all the furniture and there's a new swing hanging from the ceiling. You might not like it, but you appreciate it.
You hate half of what they do, but they know that and that's kind of the point. They do it for your benefit, not your approval.
The Promoter pulls people out of hats like rabbits.
There’s a vacant room all of the sudden. Luckily The Promoter just met someone at a conference this weekend and, after hearing The Promoter talk about it, they are suddenly VERY interested in coliving.
The Promoter always be selling the coliving vision. They have binders full of potential residents.
= The three to avoid =
The Absentee sucks energy from the place.
Beware the phrases: "I'm a Digital nomad" or “just looking for a room for when i’m in town.” You may like them individually, but they will leave a gaping void in your community. A sad empty room that an actual warm body may occupy instead.
The Particular needs things to be "just so."
The dish detergent *needs* to be X brand rather than Y brand because they like the lemon smell in this one rather than the lavender smell in the other one.
They own a separate set of knives just for cheese. And no they can’t be used for spreading butter.
At Supernuclear, we think fewer people should live alone. But we think The Particular should probably go live alone.
This one is particularly pernicious. The Scorekeeper's underlying drive is to point out where things aren't fair.
First of all, fairness in coliving is overrated.
Second of all, getting everyone to focus intensely on fairness is the one way to guarantee feelings of unfairness.
They will let everyone know that they unloaded the dishwasher 3 times this week but Steve only did it once. They will make sure you understand that we always buy avocados but they never eat them so they should pay less on food.
They will drag everyone down to the lowest common denominator.
I'd take a Particular over a Scorekeeper any day of the week.
Haha, like the categories. Perhaps we've got 2 bean counters, 1 emotional laborer, and 2 social promoters. Not promoting for new residents per se (we've been one group living together for 4+ years) but always bringing more people into the extended community for meals, events, or just support.