“If the world worked on a barter system, how would you fare? Would you have services to barter? Would you be successful, or would you struggle?
This could go a few ways, depending on what kind of Bartering World we’re talking about. If this is a post-apocalyptic, dystopian, back-to-the-basics type of world where bartering is now the standard…then this is what I foresee as possibilities:
Feminism died when paper money died! I joke. But really, in a rough world where I have few real-life skills to contribute to society, I think my best bet is latching on to a strong man who CAN prosper in this world. I’m no super model, but I’m still young, decent, and quick witted enough to hook someone who can take care of me. In return, I can do the sort of stuff a traditional wife does…because that takes zero skill. Cooking, cleaning, organizing, things like that. Some basic sewing (of which I can improve with practice). I’m not a good enough cook to be a “chef”, so starting a restaurant is out of the question…but it’s good enough for family meals and a happy husband! And once again, I could only get better at it, with practice. If there are other families or people who don’t have their own Professional Wife, I also accept their laundry, torn clothing, and empty stomachs – for a fee.
However, no whoring, cuz I’m already spoken for in that regard. There are also odd jobs I could pick up on the side, such as babysitting, transcribing books for preservation, running errands for a fee…basically anything that doesn’t require much training to do. I’ll help tend to plants and animals at the nearby farm, or mind their store while selling at the local market. Normal resourcefulness applies! This is a life or death situation, so I am okay swallowing my pride and just admitting it. Professional Wife would be a really sweet job.
Depending on what’s out there in my community, I’d choose one career that seems interesting (and within my physical capabilities), then beg the person to let me be their apprentice. I’d even do chores for them too, especially if it meant I get free room & board. This is how things used to work anyway, and it wasn’t a terrible system at all.
It’s not my ideal career choice, but it’s the oldest profession and is every woman’s Plan Z. I figure in a post-apocalyptic world, there are no safety nets…there are no welfare programs – no food stamps, no shelters, no one to look after me. If you have nothing to trade, you have nothing to eat. I am seriously grossed out at the idea of STDs, because that’s not going to just magically die the way our economy did in this scenario.
But Plan Z.
Plan Z is there, when I’m unbelievably desperate. I think I’d still hold out for Professional Girlfriend, if not Professional Wife, before I become a Professional Street Walker. Although it’s a “skill” that every woman possesses, it’s in high demand and there can never, EVER be enough supply. Maybe one day I can rise to the top and become a Madame, with dozens of high quality women giving me a cut of their profits, and a sizable amount of armed bodyguards who can ensure my ladies stay safe.
Professional Killer . . . of People or Animals
I haven’t yet decided which I’d prefer to kill in the new world. I’m a decent shot, and used to take kenjutsu. Swords, archery, and guns, what else would you need? Oh yeah, and a pliable sense of morality when it comes to death. I’m not against the death penalty, and I believe in mercy killing.
But What About the Modern World Setting?
If we are simply talking about taking our current world, our current societies, and simply switching our economy from paper money to a system of bartering….then there really isn’t much to change!! Perhaps there will be some added stress to figure out what amount of effort should yield different rewards (like eggs, chickens, beef, a bushel of apples). But once that is figured out, these terms go in to my contract and I continue as a Freelance VFX/3D Artist.
I make commercials. I make things look pretty. I make entertainment for the masses. You give me food and things. Perhaps a 50″ LED TV for this month-long project, perhaps a few video games for the next project. This is a very easy transition, with all of modern life’s comforts.
Also, I would very much like a puppy. How many hours of work do I need for that?