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"During his six years working for St Helens Council Education Department, Paul was, among other things, our in-house "languages expert", doing the translating, interpreting and liaison with our twin towns in Chalon-Sur-Saône, France, Stuttgart, Germany and El Prat de Llobregat, Spain. His participation has enabled us to maintain strong links with all three towns, particularly in the field of education, where he set up and managed a very successful work experience programme for sixth formers"
Brian Mainwaring, Director of Education, St Helens Council, August 1995

Payment in kind PDF
Saturday, 25 June 2011 00:00

A couple of years ago I wrote an article on the subject of working for nothing - Working for free? Why? Er… why not?. Well, not quite nothing ... but working in exchange for other goods or services rather than cash. Payment in kind. Here's an update.

For example, I helped to renovate a house in Luxembourg in exchange for flights, board and lodging and other treats. I’ve done odd jobs for people in exchange for reciprocal services and I’ve translated a number of restaurant menus in exchange for slap-up meals.

This week, I experienced the latest example of working for free. In exchange for my interpreting services my wife and I got a free holiday in the beautiful Sierra del Segura (Albacete, Castilla la Mancha). The deal was this: if I helped an English lady friend sort out some issues with her house there – arranging remedial work, sorting out caretaking and cleaning, etc – she would pay for our hotels, drinks and meals.

And that is exactly what happened. We drove from Ronda to the area near Yeste in Albacete where we stayed for two nights in a spa hotel in Tus. What a stunning area, nothing but scenery and more scenery and very few towns and villages.

After two days of interpreting and discussions we returned to Andalucía and the gorgeous town of Baeza (Jaén province), where we stayed at the stunning 16th Century Hotel Puerta de la Luna. This was for an evening of R & R before returning home. And what a fantastic R & R it was. A relaxing swim in the hotel pool, followed by a stroll around the medieval city and a sumptuous dinner.

Working for nothing? I like it!

© Paul Whitelock

Related article:

Working for free? Why? Er… why not?

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Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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