Longest Disaster Story Ever. Please Help.

Decorating By summernoelle Updated 19 Jul 2008 , 2:40am by DebBTX

summernoelle Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 1:44pm
post #61 of 101

I think they only ordered 50 servings because they had a tight budget, and they also had desserts on the table. I think the cake was just for show.

Also, I just uploaded the photo. It's at http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1238816

chutzpah Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 3:26pm
post #62 of 101

We have pink chef coats with name/title/logo embroidered.

summernoelle Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 10:41pm
post #63 of 101

Everything is quiet here. Almost 6, no calls. Maybe it will just blow over.

wgoat5 Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 11:49pm
post #64 of 101

after 6 now icon_smile.gif

SweetResults Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 3:55am
post #65 of 101
Quote:
Quote:

Chefs jacket isn't a bad idea. But it feels weird. Like walking around a hospital in a doctors coat and stetescope (sp) but not being a doctor. I haven't earned a Chefs jacket. I am an imposter!




I feel the same way, like a big goof when I wear mine. I mean I bake from home and only do so many cakes a year! So the ONE TIME I did not put it on (I even had it in the car 'cause HD made me take it) I soooo wish I HAD!! They loved the cake so much they called out The Head Chef and most of his staff - ALL wearing jackets OF COURSE! It would have been sooo much nicer if I had been wearing my damn jacket!!! icon_mad.gif
Get one and wear it, the few times I did it really did make a difference. icon_smile.gif

SweetResults Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 3:59am
post #66 of 101

BTW I love your cake, and I'd really be surprised if you hear anything from the customer. Let us know the results of your letter!

summernoelle Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 4:06am
post #67 of 101

I decided to not send the letter. I really didn't want to stir things up-have the hotel cause additional problems or whatever.
Never heard a single word from the Bride...funny, it's only been a week, but it seems so long ago now!

Ruth0209 Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 4:28am
post #68 of 101

I've worked in the HR field for over 30 years (it's my "real" job), and I can't tell you how many times employees with bad behavior are never held accountable for it because other employees or customers just don't want to make a fuss. Rude, unprofessional people like the woman you dealt with count on that. Believe me, her management needs and wants to know about her conduct. It's not acceptable behavior, and it really should be addressed.

I'm not sure I understand your reluctance. You acted completely professionally in a very uncomfortable situation that was not of your making. I always point out to people who don't want to complain that this may be a pattern for this person that her supervisor has been dealing with, and the supervisor needs to know if it's continuing. If this woman doesn't actually work for the venue, but is an independent wedding planner or something, they still need to know because it's still a reflection on their business.

I'm an amateur cake decorator, but I'm a professional employee relations specialist, so this is my advice. Don't lose your nerve now. Send the letter. You'll feel so much better that you've stood up for yourself once you do. Then you can forget about it and move on with your head held high.

Denise Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 4:46am
post #69 of 101

I am so sorry this happened but honestly - I had to look hard for that crack!!! I am sure to you it looked like the Grand Canyon - but like everyone pointed out - that is why there is a "back of the cake".

Your cake was stunning and I am sure it that the bride didn't even notice the crack. Sorry Dragon Lady was so ugly to you. You must develope an air of confidence in what you do...that "the cake artist has arrived" and that you are in complete control. I have had an ugly happen on site once...I nearly died...I was putting a loopy bow together on a buttercream cake that had their names stencilled on at the bottom when the Kee-seal textured bag blew out and dropped buttercream blobs down the front of my cake onto the stencil. Horrors of horrors. I had them turn up the lights so I could see better and whipped out my tools which fascinated the staff and gently scraped away the buttercream without messing up the design. We all have had some sort of mishap at one time or another. Don't let it visably flap you.

When I deliver to an unfamiliar venue, I always go in first to find out EXACTLY where the cake goes and the best way to get there with no accidents.

Again, your cake was so pretty and I am sure they were thrilled.

Vivicake Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 12:22pm
post #70 of 101

Oh I think you should really send that letter.. icon_sad.gif
That lady at the hotel crossed a big line when she touched your cake and put flowers on it, while you already took care of the cracks with tulle.

Imagine you are an artist delivering your latest painting to a gallery, and the gallery owner comes out with a paintbrush "because it needs more yellow on the left side"? Would you let him?

lizamlin Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 12:48pm
post #71 of 101
Quote:
Quote:

chutzpah wrote:
Tell me her name and where she works and I'll slap her up good next time I'm in town....

...Sure-I'll PM it to you. We need a cake mafia.





CAKE MAFIA --- LOL What an *excellent* idea !!

rwarhank Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 1:01pm
post #72 of 101

It's too late for the cake mafia swat team-SEND THE LETTER! Too many times these people get away with their rudeness because we're too nice to hold them to a professional standard. If I was their employer I would want to know. Think of how she stressed you; if she even mentioned it to the bride, let alone the lilies, she put a flaw in her special day that didn't even need to be there.

As for the chef's jacket, I'm just an hobbyist-you do amazing cakes-you deserve to wear the jacket.

summernoelle Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 1:57pm
post #73 of 101

To Address the Letter Issue: icon_redface.gif
When I wrote it, my DH and my mother both thought it just sounded like some angry person ranting. That the supervisor would just roll her eyes and throw it away.

I guess I need to slim it down a little bit, and figure out how to write it unemotionally.

butterflywings Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 2:12pm
post #74 of 101

You know... I've been in a similar situation before. Not regarding a cake, but dealing with someone who was extremely unprofessional. I went home, wrote a letter that just was filled with all my emotions... I let that sit for a few days. But never sent it. I went back about a week later, when I was calmer and a little more rational about the situation an wrote it again. This time sticking to just the facts. Leaving my anger & upset out of it. You can do it. You can re-write the letter as many times as you feel you need to until you get a professional letter, that outlines her unprofessional behavior without sounding like you're angry or whining. And trust me, that kind of letter WILL get results one way or the other and you will feel so much better!

I'm so sorry you've had to deal with this. The bright side is that the cake is gorgeous!

SUELA Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 2:26pm
post #75 of 101

I have to agree as well. Send the letter...she may need a wake up call as to her manner when dealing with people. I have to agree with all comments made, take the emotion out of it, and hold her accountable. Maybe the bride had an equally bad experience with her as well. When I first read the post I was expecting a cake severely damaged and your cake does not qualify. Remember too that the cake is usually a very small part of the day, and a good photographer will get the best angle for the cake.

Ruth0209 Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 4:05pm
post #76 of 101

Summernoelle, send it to me in a PM if you want and I'll "wordsmith" it for you. When things like this happen to me, my husband always says, "You should send them one of your 'sternly worded' letters." I've written some letters that'd scorch your fingers just holding them in your hands, but they're always focused on the problem and not personal attacks, otherwise they're not effective.

I'd like to add that I've made it a practice to be just as conscientious about sending letters of glowing praise when people do things well. I think we forget to do that and it means so much to people when they receive those. I figure it's only fair to praise as generously as we might complain.

summernoelle Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 6:11pm
post #77 of 101

I like that about praising people, too. There have been times when someone has been so wonderful, that you wish there was a way to repay them!

indydebi Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 6:16pm
post #78 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth0209

I'd like to add that I've made it a practice to be just as conscientious about sending letters of glowing praise when people do things well. I think we forget to do that and it means so much to people when they receive those. I figure it's only fair to praise as generously as we might complain.




Very good point! I must say that I really make an effort to compliment good service. Being in the food industry, I am VERY critical when I go out to eat (my family HATES going to a restaurant with me!). Hubby and I have both spent much of our professional time in customer service management, so we make a point of calling the manager to our table to compliment excellent service. (And when we ask for the manager, we make sure to tell the waiter/waitress ".....it's a GOOD thing!" so they don't stress out! icon_lol.gif

mandygirlxoxo Posted 5 Jul 2008 , 9:04pm
post #79 of 101

i am very proud of you that you didnt walk out earlier and just forget the whole thing. that was a horrible experience and i think the lady that was talking about your cake was a B**** she could not have done something as amazing as you did. that was very good of you to take that from her. im truly sorry for the inconvenience and i wish you the best of luck. icon_sad.gif

KateWatson Posted 8 Jul 2008 , 1:54am
post #80 of 101

Just my two cents worth on the chef's coat issue: I've taken pastry classes at the San Francisco Culinary Academy, but have no certificate. They sell the full chef's coats, pants, shoes, etc. in the shop at the school. I don't think there's anything "shady" about wearing the chef's coat but I would NEVER wear a chef's hat (not that pastry chefs usually wear them anyway). It seems that may be a distinction, hat if you've graduated and are a full chef. The coats are supposed to protect your clothes and keep you clean more than anything . . . also, I'd never have the word "chef" put on the coat unless a graduate. What do the rest of you think?

Kitagrl Posted 8 Jul 2008 , 2:07am
post #81 of 101

I agree with not using "chef" but as far as I knew, hats were to help keep hair out and since they are sold to pretty much anyone I don't see why people can't wear them. Many on here could get a job as a pastry chef based on their experience alone.

lutie Posted 8 Jul 2008 , 2:42am
post #82 of 101

To wear a chef's coat, one should somehow be in the food business in some manner... the kitchen workers wear them as well as the executive chef... you can be an executive chef if you own the restaurant and decide that will be your title.

There are many famous chefs who have never gone to culinary school ... one that most would recognize is Wolfgang Puck. He wears jackets and I have seen pictures of him with a hat... he worked as an apprentice in many restaurants, but never went to culinary arts school. He does not have a college degree, but is an astute businessman.

You do not need to have certain criteria before you put on a chef's coat... it is a uniform, which designates what business you are in.

If a culinary arts school tells you that you must have a degree from their school before you can wear a coat and a hat, you need to go elsewhere. They do not know of what they speak. Now, they can get all uppity if they want, but those who do, have no formal education, just ego.

Basically, one can be a professional chef if someone hires them to be one. Most require you work from the bottom to the top, but there is a hierarchy which is self-imposed in each particular kitchen.

So, wear your coat with pride. You are the owner of your own food establishment... you are the chef!

Kitagrl Posted 8 Jul 2008 , 2:48am
post #83 of 101

Last year I worked under a pastry chef who started in the food business at age 16 and worked his way up, but no formal food education. But he was a "chef".

aligotmatt Posted 8 Jul 2008 , 3:52am
post #84 of 101

I so remember feeling like an imposter!! I had this feeling that I would show up with a cake and people would find me out... that I was just some lady pretending to be a cake decorator. Okay, it was only like 4 months ago... I think getting through 22 weddings in May made me get over it and know that I'm not faking anything... skillz... I haz dem.

margaretb Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 6:40am
post #85 of 101

Cake was beautiful, and quite frankly, even a big crack down the back would not necessarily be noticed by anyone who doesn't have an interest in decorating cakes (and I don't think that was the bad of a crack). My 3 year old got at his birthday cake and there were four places where he ran his fingers through the icing on the sides, border and all. I decided not to get upset, since it was his cake, and I didn't even fix it. NO ONE NOTICED until I pointed it out to them. Obviously not as significant as a wedding cake, but you get the idea.

Do send the letter. Besides the rudeness, she should have shown you the correct place to put the cake to begin with; she practically refused the delivery of the cake -- how would the bride have liked to have NO cake?; and she should NOT have touched the cake -- was she certain that the flowers were food safe? Did she wash her hands before touching the cake? Did she verify the design change she imposed on your cake (honestly, I don't see how you could put flowers all over it -- it was already perfect). Good grief. I would take advantage of the person who offered to proof your letter, since it will be difficult for you to write it without the emotion. Or you could be passive aggressive and "helpful" -- instead of complaining about those things, helpfully mention that perhaps she was not aware that . . . the cake cannot be moved multiple times, etc etc.

And I think you showed lots of backbone by not apologizing -- good for you.

Margaret

Muse Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 3:35pm
post #86 of 101

Oh, I can only HOPE that I get to deal with some crazy ho-bag like that woman. I like to be the one to put rude, self-righteous people in their places.

I would've been like "This is my job and you are intruding on my job. I don't come down here while you're working and try to tell you what to do. So you WILL step off or we will have words."

Your cake is fabulous, you just need the pride and honor to stand up for it and your talent. Never let some uninformed nobody make you think you don't know what you're doing. You must know SOMETHING or else you wouldn't be getting orders for cakes!

Darci

lutie Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 3:51pm
post #87 of 101

After reading everyone's responses, each time I got a sick feeling in my stomach. We do not need to come down to this type of person's level... the simplest response is to be prepared as professionals should be. Always know the exact place you are to bring your cake before dragging it around to every table/room in the place... ask to see the designated cake receiver person before you bring it in... have them sign off on the cake delivery... and get out of there. You have filled your contract.

Now, this particular woman was totally not professional... you should simply have asked, "And you are?..." Your response should have been, "i am sorry, but you are not designated by the bride to have any opinion. This is her wedding and this is how she contracted this portion of it".

Then, you ask to speak to the manager of the place... keep your composure and take care of the matter at that moment. Do not wait hours, days, weeks, and write letters. Take care of the problem immediately.

You simply tell these ego-driven people that you wish to speak to their superiors and will not leave until they come. This saves grief for everyone... plus it provides a learning lesson for the wicked witch that this is unacceptable behavior from any human being and you are a going to give her a loving lesson in how all of us should act.

This will come back to bite you if you get someone in trouble... it always does. Simply pick up the phone and call the manager of the establishment and let him know, in your most professional voice and without the kids screaming in the background, that you had a unfortunate situation with one of his employees. You ask for an appointment with him and his employee to get the matter straightened out so it will not happen again.

That woman may be the only support for her family and maybe she was PMSing that day... I am not on her side, but as professionals, we do not have the right to come down to these people's lack of social graces.

It is time we all quit screaming to get a situation solved. A generation ago we would not have had this problem... it is time to return to civility.

I can tell you, without a doubt, that I have never run into a person who acted like that for very long, because I look down my nose at them and ask them their qualifications for trying to attack me in such a horrible manner. If you state you can see they are having a "horrible day", they will back off of whatever they are trying to do to you.

Be the better person. Go into the place and meet with them eye-to-eye. You will always get the upper hand, and you will establish yourself as a true professional... not a raving lunatic.

Sorry, I think all of you are wrong for wanting to write letters. Confront the problem head-on and quit hiding behind the pen.

Muse Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 3:55pm
post #88 of 101

Oh, and the phrase "Who are you and what do you do here?" leaves many sputtering. It works nicely.

Darci

Muse Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 4:34pm
post #89 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by lutie

That woman may be the only support for her family and maybe she was PMSing that day... I am not on her side, but as professionals, we do not have the right to come down to these people's lack of social graces.

It is time we all quit screaming to get a situation solved. A generation ago we would not have had this problem... it is time to return to civility.

I can tell you, without a doubt, that I have never run into a person who acted like that for very long, because I look down my nose at them and ask them their qualifications for trying to attack me in such a horrible manner. If you state you can see they are having a "horrible day", they will back off of whatever they are trying to do to you.

Be the better person. Go into the place and meet with them eye-to-eye. You will always get the upper hand, and you will establish yourself as a true professional... not a raving lunatic.

Sorry, I think all of you are wrong for wanting to write letters. Confront the problem head-on and quit hiding behind the pen.




I'm sorry, but I hardly think writing a letter regarding a rude employee makes someone a raving lunatic. Now if that letter involves demanding this person be fired or some other such irrational statement, then perhaps 'raving lunatic' is appropriate.

Personally I would take someone coming to complain face to face as a much more aggresive action, almost to the point of wanting a confrontation. A letter still gets the point across and no feels threatened. As long as the letter is professionally worded and not overly dramatic, I think it is a proportional response.

Darci

ccr03 Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 4:48pm
post #90 of 101

I haven't read everything, but I would have to agree with the letter. It's not hiding behind anything, but WRITTEN PROOF that something was done. With this WRITTEN document they can not say they never talked to you or anything like that.

I used to work in customer service at a retail store and when someone would complain we would tell them to fill out the complaint card because

1. I was just CS - not the manager, I had not higher authority to do something,

2. if it was a legitimate complaint the managers had written proof they could reference

3. letters are taken more seriously than a phone call.

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