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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some advice. Basically, I made a verbal agreement with a friend to trade some portraits for a simple recording studio set up, provided we both cover our own financial costs. He did spend several hours getting a means to record set up for me, and I spent $150 on miscellaneous sound equipment. But when it came time for his photoshoot, he revealed to me that I had said I would pay for his film and developing. That is against principle for me, and I never said that. I told him it must have been a misunderstanding, but he refused to pay. At that point he had already donated his labor and it would have been screwing HIM over if I didn't do the shoot, so I chose to get screwed over and I just did the shoot.

I don't know where to go from here. I have several options, including refusing to have the film developed until he pays, or just chalking it up as a lesson learned about doing busines with friends, paying, and letting it go. I'm very upset about this and I don't think it's fair at all that I had to pay for my stuff AND his stuff.
 

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Do you think you could get him to at least pay half? You would still be receiving the short end of the stick, but like you said, it would be a lesson learned and at least you would be getting something. Especially since it was a misunderstanding. You shouldn't have to bear the brunt of the consequences.
 

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I keep going back and forth on this one. Does he see your sound purchases as things you'll use later, as opposed to the one-time-use-only aspect of his film and developing chemicals? If that's the root of the misunderstanding, you might just want to write it off to one of those life lessons and just remember to be clearer when you barter for services next time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Karen I took your advice and asked him to pay half, since that seemed the fairest option considering that it takes two to misunderstand. He agreed, so all's well that ends well.

Part of me thinks that he might have been trying to take advantage of me though. Probably because he called yesterday and said, "Well I have some money now so we can get the film developed." I told him, "I thought you weren't paying because you misunderstood our terms, not because you didn't have money" and he quickly changed the subject. He also told me a sob story about how he is out of work right now and he thought I was pitying him and doing him a favor by giving him free portraits, bla bla bla. I said, "Well if we're going to play that game, I have been on medical leave from work for weeks and am facing, oh about $10,000 in hospital bills that are fixing to ruin my credit. But I didn't see you doing ME a favor and paying for my recording equipment".

Considering those things he said on the phone, plus the inconsiderate way he treated me during the photoshoot and after (was two hours late, wouldn't let me rest when my blood pressure dropped, kept trying to direct the shoot and not let me do my job, wanted me to cancel obligations with other people to get his film developed ASAP), I think I won't be working with this guy at all anymore in the future.

Cftwo, that is possible, but if he felt that way, he needed to talk to me about it upfront, you know? Rather than waiting until the last minute and claiming that he just "misunderstood" what I told him.
 

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written contracts are easy enough. be sure to send an email to him next time. i do this frequently.

i make a lot of oral agreements to work with people. as soon as i get home, i write an email and ask for a response to that email (acceptance of the agreement). essentially, i outline what we discussed in the email in an excited way and to 'double check' that i got everything right, like this:

Sandy:

It was so awesome talking to you about doing a workshop at your house for your MOMS group. I'm really thrilled that you are so interested in yoga and what it has to offer you!

Just to make sure i remember everything correctly, here's what i remember talking about with you:

1. you want me to do a workshop at your house on nutrition;

2. the workshop will last one hour and cost $80;

3. the workshop will be on Sunday, Jan X, 2007 at 7:00 until 8:00 pm;

4. you estimate that 6-8 women will be present for this workshop.

Is all of this correct? is there anything that i forgot? and what do you want to be focused on in this nutrition workshop--anything in particular? please let me know and i'll send you an outline for you to go over and make sure we cover topics of interest.

Thanks!

me.

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ok, so it wasn't like a contract in the "we agree that you would do X, and i would do Y" but it was a more "let me double check." when she writes back,"yes, i'm thrilled, all of that looks good, lets talk about nutrition and hormonal function" then i can write back "great, here's an outline."

in your case, it would have been good to say "hey, i'm so excited that we're trading. i'll pay X for sound equipment and you give labor; i'll do your shoot, but you pay for film and developing."

then, everyone knows. "Remember that email? that's what you agreed to."
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's a great idea. It wouldn't have worked with this guy because he doesn't have Internet access, but I will definitely keep it in mind for other deals. A nice way to get around the "I don't trust you" message that blatantly asking for a contract would put out...
 

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you can do the same by simply writing him a note. ask him to write on the same note and give it back to you--even a check mark on the different things is ok.

i've done that before too. i usually will ask the person to initial it. i ask them like this:

hey sarah! i know we talked about some stuff on tuesday, and i wrote down some notes about it. would you go over those notes for me to make sure i got everything right?

(sarah reads notes and agrees.)

hey, great, thanks. Do me a favor and initial the notes so that i remember that i double checked with you and i won't bother you later in the week with the same conversation. you know how crazy i can be.

and then she'll initial it. I keep the notes, and it's done.
 
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