As the corona crisis continue, the uncertainty is weighing in on many. With the hopes of many being shattered around their arrangements, weddings are not happening the way they use to. As for us in the Erongo region, we are still on lock down and with how things are currently going, we can only hope for the best.
The journey has been incredible so far with a few surprises along the way. From minor gains here and there to major losses, we are indeed embracing the journey.
Today I want to write about contracts. Contracts are an agreement between parties. They often involves a party receiving a service or good and the other providing or rendering that service. Contracts can be oral or written. How crucial are these in the process?
Earlier on during the year, we begun importing a few things. We begun with small things such as table cloths, spoons etc and just end of February, we had placed an order of chairs from China. As some of you are aware, the exchange rates went crazy starting at N$14 USD per Namibian dollar to a whooping N$17 in a span of less than 2 months. That was the time we placed this order.
We had already paid the money before the Namibian dollar started depreciating but the issue is that we had a verbal agreement with the recipient of the money. The recipient was meant to have paid over the money to the supplier but because of unclear expectation we found ourselves in a situation of a lot of excuses. By the time he settled with the supplier, we were already knocked down and had to settle for lesser chairs or top up. Not wanting to risk any further we ended up just getting lesser chairs.
Most recently, we wanted to enroll for dance classes. This teacher wanted us to pay upfront for the classes which I did not personally have a problem with and I was actually due to pay her this month end. I never thought of asking her for a written agreement of how we will be dealing with this as she has a popular school in Walvis Bay and was referred by many. In my mind I was thinking, what is the harm?
Well, not knowing what lies ahead, I was schocked to learn of her passing last week ( May her soul rest in peace), which left me with a question, what could I have done? If I had paid her the money with no agreement, who was I going to ask? Do I just let go and then hope to find another teacher?
In those two instances I have learnt a lot about the importance of agreements. You will always have somewhere to fall back on. The reason why a lot of the brides and grooms are angry or not welcoming postponement of their wedding is partly due to money they have paid various service providers without any sort of agreement. Now that the event is not happening as planned or not being attended by the same number of guests as per the original plan, what now?
Some situations are so bad with some service providers not refunding anything of the amount paid on the premise they could have gotten someone but could not because they were booked. Some are reasoning there was no refund policy in place and finding themselves with no liquidity are trying to get out of the situation without refunding a substantial portion of money or only offering alternative dates. All this confusions really are stemming from the lack of agreements. If there was one in place, it would have been simple to resolve.
With that in mind, yes many things in the wedding process are being done by friends, colleagues, informal market service providers but I am learning to realize the importance of an agreement. If you cannot afford to loose it or it will cost your peace, have it in agreement in an event of the worse case scenario.
Nonetheless, we remain hopeful that come time, we will have a party. In an event that we cannot the union will proceed and we will see to the party later.
Until next time
Taati & Pandu