Getting paid when you don't expect it

Over Christmas I got a Facebook message from an old friend from a few years ago. Her daughter was getting married the following Saturday, and they needed someone to spin some tunes for the wedding reception.

I have a musical background, but playing DJ was something I hadn’t done before. But, since they were talking to me (a) after several years of only minimal contact and (b) a week and a half before their oldest daughter was getting married, I figured they were in a pinch.

So, I offered to help them out. The bride was very cooperative and helpful. She had everything set up on her computer, and had outlined the entire reception, recipe-style, at my request (so that I could do my best to do things the way she wanted them).

Playing Mr. Helpful and not expecting a dime

The day of the wedding came. I arrived a little bit early, and got the sound system set up. The same computer that had the tunes was also being used in the ceremony, so I couldn’t play with both the computer and the sound system together before I needed it.

The entire experience was very much by the seat of my pants. The computer finally made its way down to the reception, and it took me a few minutes to make a workable setup. Getting the gain of the speaker right in relation to the volume control on the computer was the main trick. Once I got that I had a workable volume adjustment.

The rest of the evening didn’t go too badly, though and it wasn’t without the little hiccup here and there as the connection between the sound system and the computer was dicey, and cut out. The bride came to my rescue at that point, and made it workable for the rest of the evening.

A few people came up to me and told me I was doing a good job, which made me feel good. One guy even told me if I did it other places. I said no, and he told me that I could make $1,000 easy for what I was doing.

An unexpected thank-you gift

The end of the evening came, and most of the guests left, save a few people that helped to clean up. As I was leaving, the father of the bride handed me a check.

We hadn’t negotiated anything before that point. They were old friends and I was really out of my realm when it came to DJing, so I figured that I was covered either way. If I did my best and it wasn’t great, then they went into it without needing to pay me for it. But I thanked him graciously nonetheless when he handed me a check.

I didn’t open the check until I got into the car, but it was a very nice check. Totally unexpected. And I was just doing them a favor. I must have been worth it!