I have been fortunate to have attended quite a few functions and wedding celebrations for close family members in a span of 3 months this year. From these events I have drawn invaluable experience on how to and how not to deal with service providers however, there is an area I would like to address and that is of photo and video coverage personal.
Now for all of you who live in Uganda and have been fortunate to throw birthday parties or family events you know how difficult it is to handle service providers regardless as to how big or small the event is.
Recently at my cousins wedding, my sister and I were fortunate to serve as ushers and reception coordinators as we were fairly acquainted with both sides of the family. During this time I had the opportunity to interact with the days photographers who were from a hip and very popular company. Much to my surprise and disgust, they conducted themselves in a manner that left a lot to be desired and that is putting it mildly as you can read in the conversation that ensued at about dinner time.
Mature male Photographer: “Madam we have not eaten,” he said boldly as the bride and groom’s family members began to queue for food.
Me: “I beg your pardon!” I quickly said in response hoping that my ears were playing tricks on me and I had probably misheard them.
Younger male photographer: “We need food.”
Me: “Really, speak to the lady over there in a polka dot dress she will assist you,” I politely said so that I could focus on getting the important family guests to their seats with refreshments as some were still arriving late due to the Friday night Kampala traffic.
I forgot about this little tiff and went back to my duties only for the mature gentleman to pull me aside 20 minutes while rubbing his stomach. I guess that was meant to be a signal of sorts.
Mature male Photographer: “Enjala!” he said with a straight face as the guests continued to the serving areas.
Me: “Sebo, how do I serve you before even half of my guests have even eaten?” I responded as politely as I could.
Mature male Photographer: “But I am also hungry,” he retorted.
Now, I need to give you a history on this particular service provider. The management of this service provider wanted 70% payment before even setting foot at the hair salon or church which meant that he came late for the service. By service time he had been fully paid but we on the other hand had not received the service we had been promised. In other wards the kasuze katya, salon and beginning of the church photographs had not been taken and they were also pretty late for the reception. Now here this mature gentleman was hounding me for food while none of his team was even taking photographs of my guests in queue and he still had the audacity to pull a fast one on me.
A few moments later as I went to take the first batch of guest to the dessert table as this was a 3 course meal, I found this same photographer with a full plate of an assortment of dessert which included cake, pastries and fruit. I could not help thinking, by the time that you are late to a church service at 4 pm, squeeze me for the largest percentage you can get for payment and arrive late at the reception; the least you can do is eat before you come to work.
I decided not to put this service providers name as I actually went to school with this person but all I can say is the respect I once had for him is all but a memory and I will not be recommending him to anyone else. If you own a company that provides a service for any event train your staff on how to deal with customers at events and feed them before they get on site.
I cannot pay you for a service and then feed you at the event as well. Please try to be serious.