Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Whoa Nellie!

Yeah, it's been a while since I've posted. Life, I tell ya!

Anyway, here's my astonishment of the day:

I've been doing a huge amount of transcription, on a purely volunteer basis, for someone who lectures and conducts workshops in her field (a branch of bodywork). She's quite well-known in those circles, and months ago I joined her online group, just to listen in on what other practitioners, far more advanced than I, were discussing about treatment options.

So one day she posted a request for someone to do transcription of the audiofiles she records during her workshops, and I put my hand up. I thought it was a great way to get more familiar with the material, and a nice change of pace from the things I do day to day. This board has a lot of people on it, an quite a few people who apparently originate from another planet as far as I can tell. Some bizarre stuff gets bandied about. But I put my hand up, and she just sent me a file, no questions asked, no further requests made.

I've done a lot of files in the intervening time. I mean, a lot a lot. Maybe a couple hundred hours? A lot. And I've enjoyed it, no complaints.

But today, rather out of the blue, she said she's never had anyone do this much transcription for her, and she'd like a contract from me, some way of "ensuring" that I won't try to publish her material or take credit for it.

And my jaw dropped.

No reciprocating offer, no free classes or treatments or anything like that. She wants me to sign my name swearing that I'll behave ethically towards her as a volunteer. After all this time and typing.

I'm trying to keep my temper. We all have issues, and I can understand that with all the research and time she's put into preparing this stuff, that she wants to protect it. That's reasonable. And I offered her references of people who've known and worked with me on various projects over the past 15 years. But she wants a contract instead.

I don't really know what to think of this request. Looking for enlightenment - please?