Well, It’s Certainly Memorable

, , , , , | Working | May 26, 2020

I am getting married and looking into videography. My budget is minuscule, so I ask a coworker for a quote because I know she has equipment and does this type of work on the side. She quotes me $400 for an edited highlight video including ceremony, speeches, and dances. A week later…

Coworker: “Hey, [My Name], did you decide if you wanted to have me tape your wedding?”

Me: “Oh! I almost forgot. Your quote was more than reasonable, but I don’t think we’re going to be able to swing a videographer at all. Thank you, though!”

I go back to work. Later, I see her with her head together with my boss. The two approach me.

Boss: “Are you really not hiring a videographer?”

Me: “Yeah. I just don’t think we can afford it since we went with the more expensive photographer.”

Boss: “Well, I don’t find that acceptable. It’s really important to have a video! I watch mine every year on my anniversary. So, I’m going to hire [Coworker] for you.”

Me: “Wait, what?”

Boss: “Consider it a wedding gift.”

Me: “Thank you so much!” 

Cue the group hug.

As my wedding approaches, I try to plan details with my coworker. She ends up no-showing to my rehearsal, which is concerning, but the day of my wedding she shows up ready to go. I see her record the entire day on two separate cameras.

Two months later, I send her a message. 

Me: “Hey, [Coworker]! I’m so excited to see my wedding video! No rush, but our dating anniversary is coming up in two months, and I was wondering if I might have video by then? I know we didn’t really discuss a timeframe.”

Coworker: “Oh, you’ll have it in plenty of time!”

Two months later, a week before our dating anniversary, I ask for it again.

Coworker: “I can probably get you the ceremony footage by then, but the reception needs more work.”

She sends me the ceremony footage a week after my dating anniversary. It’s nothing special but a great memento nonetheless and I thank her. I decide to be patient for the remaining footage. 

Come Christmas, seven months after my wedding, I ask her again.

Me: “How’s the footage coming?”

Coworker: “Well, you didn’t tell me your sister was supposed to sing, so I don’t know how good the audio is going to be.”

Me: “Oh, I didn’t know there was a quality issue. That’s okay. I can get her to record a track; maybe we could overlay it or something.”

Coworker: “That might work.”

Me: “Okay, let me know.”

Three months later:

Me: “Any updates on my video? I can get a track from my sister. I’d love to have it for my one-year anniversary in a couple of months.”

Coworker: “The server it was on crashed and I lost all my work in progress so I have to start editing all over. It’ll be done in time.”

My husband and I go on a trip for our anniversary. Despite constant reminders to her, when we get back, there’s no sign of it. There are lots of “next week” and “tomorrow” conversations before I’m fed up.

Me: “We really need to talk. My wedding was well over a year ago. Why don’t I have my footage? Is it really bad and you’re ashamed to show it to me? Did [Boss] not pay you? Whatever it is, I’m happy to help figure it out! I just need you to communicate with me!”

Coworker: “It got deleted from the servers again. I have the memory cards but I’ll have to start over. [Boss] only paid me for the ceremony so I’m doing this for you as a favor.”

This whole time, my boss has been asking to see my video and pushing me to get it from my coworker, so I clue her in on the conversation.

Boss: “That’s a lie! I paid her $600!”

What follows is a big mess in a group chat. [Boss] claims to have paid her $600 cash. She shows a screenshot of a bank statement with a $500 cash withdrawal about a month before my wedding and says she had another $100 on her at the time.

[Coworker] claims to have been paid by check, either $150 or $200; she doesn’t “remember.” [Boss] claims not to even have checks. [Coworker] then shows a screenshot of her bank statement, showing two deposits for $300 a couple of days apart, but still claiming that she doesn’t “think” she got more than $200.

I’m confused because the original quote I received was for $400. [Boss] claims she paid extra because she wanted me to have more than just highlights which was what I got quoted for. [Coworker] claims [Boss] only hired her for the ceremony and she’s doing this out of the goodness of her heart.

I chime in the group chat.

Me: “[Coworker], if you were underpaid, I’m happy to pay you more! I just want my footage. I don’t even want you to edit it anymore; I just want the raw footage.”

Coworker: “It’s not about the money! I’m just a procrastinator. I have to look for the memory cards. It’s not on the one that I thought it was. You’ll have it Monday.”

We play the “next week” and “tomorrow” game for two more weeks.

Me: “I’m done! At this point, I have to assume you lost it and just don’t want to tell me.”

Coworker: “It’s on a memory card that’s the size of my pinky nail.”

Me: “I, like you, am a photographer. I know how big a memory card is! Do you really keep them in that many different places?”

Coworker: “Well, you know my car was totaled back in March. The memory card was probably in my purse and fell out and I missed it when I was cleaning.”

Me: “That was ten months after my wedding. It wasn’t backed up?”

Coworker: “I’m still looking; there are a lot of files to go through!”

She never admitted to completely losing it. She repeated her car accident sob story to mutual friends and continued to reiterate that a memory card is the size of a pinky nail. Zero apologies. 

My boss flipped and demanded her money back. Even though [Coworker] only claimed to have been paid $200, she refunded “half” to my boss, which was $300. I ended up with nothing from my reception, not even a crappy cell phone video of my sister singing for my first dance with my husband. I guess I’m lucky to have gotten the ceremony footage at all.

I have not spoken one word to this girl since. It helps that we don’t work together anymore, but we still have a lot of mutual friends. Moral: do not hire friends and always get it in writing.

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