Saturday, June 02, 2007

Live and Learn

Next time I write a contract for a party, I need to spell this out:

I will arrive at your house a few minutes before the party begins. I will be ready to begin at the contracted time and will engage the children for a full hour. If you need me to stay later due to late arrivals, wanting me to stay for pictures, or any other reason, there will be a charge of $25 for each additional fifteen minutes.

Today's party went great, but I agreed to wait an additional five minutes to begin past 3 (my first mistake). I then attempted to do all the activities I bought, even though the younger girls clearly wanted to linger on their tierras (they had already spent about 20+ minutes on it) and the older girls wanted to continue painting their fingernails. Even when 4 had come and gone, I was still pushing them to finish their make-up (the older girls) or selecting their dresses (the younger girls). I had promised they would get to do a fashion show, so I had to allow that to happen. When the party was over, the parents asked me if I would mind waiting for the cake so they could take a picture of all the "princesses" in their dresses with the cake. It didn't seem that time consuming, so even though it was already 4:30, I agreed. Well, the dad had to run to get the ice cream cake from the store across the street still!!! At 4:50 we were finally singing Happy Birthday (three whole verses!), then the girls took the dresses off and I could finally go home. ARGH!!!

Since I didn't have anything about staying past the contracted time in writing, I didn't think it was a good idea for me to push it. I really wanted this family to recommend me to their friends.
But I will definitely make sure I have something in writing for the next contract I write.

And as always, please keep me in mind for your child's birthday party (!


Perky said...

Sometimes even the most obvious things aren't so obvious until you live through them! Chalk it up as a learning experience and (hopefully) an investment in your future. When she tells her friends how great you were and how accomodating and helpful..... well, her friends are just BOUND to hire you, too!!!!

Domestic Goddess said...

this has been a learning experience, for sure. Having everything in writing will help in the future. Still, it sounds like they had fun, huh?

luvsJesus (Cel) said...

I'm wondering...maybe just as in real life, are you trying to schedule too many things for the kids to do at the parties? Remember, ITS A PARTY! Maybe dont make the contract so specific. (I actually dont know what your contracts say). Have ideas and whatever is 'taking off', GO WITH IT! You AND the kids will have more fun that way. ....JMTC :)