Why Do I Feel Like The Bad Guy? (Long, Sorry)

Decorating By CakeInfatuation Updated 14 Aug 2008 , 10:24pm by julzs71

CakeInfatuation Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 12:33pm
post #1 of 14

Okay.. I've only been making cakes since March. At this point, it's a hobby. I can't charge because I'm not legal. So up to this point, I've done cakes as gifts. Mostly for family members in lieu of a Birthday present.

So... recently I was asked to make a baby shower cake for a girl at our church. They offered to purchase all the ingredients and one of the girls is going to come over and help me with it. (She really wants to learn) I've been wanting to help her learn for a while and have been wanting to make a baby shower cake. Plus... I really want to bless the woman the shower is for. Her baby has heart issues and will need several open heart surgeries in order to survive. I want to make her smile.

So... my sister in law calls the other day and wants me to make a baby shower cake for her friend. As this is my hobby and not my job, I do have other things going on. I'm a freelance graphic designer and photo editor. So I have some big jobs to complete, due to gas and food prices I had to get a job, so I start on Sept. 4th working 5 days a week (roughly 17.5 hours smack in the middle of the day), and we have a couple of weekend trips before the shower in question.

I tried to explain that I can't afford to pay for the materials so she'd have to pay for that, and that my material cost is higher that a completed cake cost from Walmart or Sam's Club. I also explained that I have a very overwhelming schedule in the next month with trips, design work to complete, a new job, and my son starting soccer. I'm just plain overwhelmed. So she balks at the pricing for materials and asks me to just make a smaller personal cake for her friend. Now.. I've met this girl 2x's. She's not family and she isn't my friend.

WHY oh WHY do I feel like I'm the bad guy? I asked my mom about it and she started with the... well, if you prep in advance, and if you make a smaller cake, and if you... Advance??? WHEN? I just said everything I have going on? Why does nobody listen to me?

Gosh I wish I charged for cakes. I could give a price I'm willing to wreak havoc on my life over and they can decide if it is worth it. Why do people want to put me out and guilt me into doing something and then cry over the cost of materials?

Can someone tell me HOW to grow a backbone?

13 replies
jacquie575 Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 1:58pm
post #2 of 14

I have to to say from looking at your pics "It's all your fault" icon_wink.gif . If your cakes weren't so amazing you would not have this problem.

Just tell your sis you can't. That you are sorry, but you just don't have the time. If she gets upset then she has two problems: Being upset and getting over it. Neither of which you can do anything about.

Good luck and keep strong.

FrostinGal Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 2:27pm
post #3 of 14

Shill, don't feel bad. Now that I work full-time, and not in a bakery anymore, I limit myself to 1 cake a month. 2 if they are small. Usually I have one personal cake a month, so that doesn't leave me much room for others.
Others tend to understand better than family members. Sad, but true.

janelwaters Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 2:55pm
post #4 of 14

I have to agree - your cakes are just too good!

When I am feeling overwhelmed and someone asks for a cake - instead of the long explaination I just say - *wincing* "Oh, honey! I really wish I could .... any other week.... so busy... afraid I wouldn't get it done right.... don't want to not come through.... " etc. the usually leave it at that. I never actually say "no".

good luck!! Sorry this has happened - your sister will get over it! don't kill yourself

eatdessert1st Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 4:26pm
post #5 of 14

I had this problem for awhile, too. I've learned that a friendly "I'm sorry, that date is booked" (even if it isn't for a cake but I'm too busy w/ kids and family but I don't go into detail w/ them) that's sufficient. I'll get a disappointed "oh" but that's the end of it.
Sounds like your family needs a crash course in the "cost of baking and it ain't coming out of my child's college fund" subject. icon_razz.gif Not a popular subject but a much needed one. People who don't bake have no concept of the cost of ingredients and supplies (cake boards, foil, ribbon, etc).
Sounds like you're busier than a one armed paper hanger. icon_smile.gif

Melanie Mc.

tiggy2 Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 4:42pm
post #6 of 14

I would simply give her a list of supplies, tell her to purchase them and birng them over on a specified date and time and help me with the cake and I might be able to squeeze it in. See how many excuses she has why she can't help with a cake for "her friend". Put the shoe on her foot and see how fast she back tracks.

kbrown99 Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 5:07pm
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggy2

I would simply give her a list of supplies, tell her to purchase them and birng them over on a specified date and time and help me with the cake and I might be able to squeeze it in. See how many excuses she has why she can't help with a cake for "her friend". Put the shoe on her foot and see how fast she back tracks.




I really like this idea!

mellormom Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 5:16pm
post #8 of 14

Your cake are Amazing! So Jealous of your talent right now!!! icon_smile.gif

Jen...

sweettoothmom Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 6:32pm
post #9 of 14

Oh sweetie you're not a rug dont let them walk on you. Here is the thing they wouldn't hesitate to tell you no in a similar situation if they simply could not do it. Right? And you would understand even if it wasn't the answer you wanted to hear.
If you feel you really need to do this then I would suggest to you to have your sister with your assitance complete the cake. She either bake it herself or purchase a premade cake with just the base frosting on it.
After all she wants the cake so she can do it. Yes you will still need to donate some time ut at least she will get it from there on. Just how long it takes and just might appreciate your time a little more.
Best wishes. Just remember you are the one who they came to and that means you must be good at what you do. Take that much as a compliment.

tracycakes Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 6:47pm
post #10 of 14

If you can't, you can't and don't feel bad about saying no.

I know it's difficult and I had/have the same problem but I'm learning to say no. Many years ago, I didn't say no, burnt out and didn't make but about 10 cakes in 15 years. It's only in the last couple of years that I got back into cake decorating. I've learned to say no, but luckily, I haven't had to yet.

indydebi Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 7:32pm
post #11 of 14

Let me get this straight .... the cost of ingredients are too expensive for HER to buy, but not too expensive for YOU to buy. Somehow, the fact that you are busy with job, kids, etal means YOU are just disorganized, and you could just plan in advance, but the idea that they don't have time to buy ingredients or make the cake themselves is because THEY are legitimately "busy". icon_confused.gif

"....to just make a smaller personal cake for her friend. Now.. I've met this girl 2x's. She's not family and she isn't my friend. "
I can help you out on this one. Your proper response is, "She isn't MY friend ... she's YOUR friend. YOU make her the cake." You also point out that smaller cakes cost more because they are MORE WORK!

Family is/are usually the worst when it comes to supporting other family members in their endeavors.

Ignore them all. Feel great about how much straighter you're walking now that your 'ole backbone is nice and stiff!! thumbs_up.gif

sweettoothmom Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 8:24pm
post #12 of 14

Indydeb your right family seems to take advantage whenever they can.

I offer my chocolate fountain (the huge commercial sized version not the dinky department store versions) to family for weddings with the saying "We are family if you have to put up with my "bad side" you should at least be able to take advantage of the perks that my "good side" offers too.

That stinking chocolate fountain keeps me hopping! Meaning family is constantly calling to be sure that I knew they are getting married. HINT HINT HINT Otherwise they never call me or write or stop by.........

CakeInfatuation Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 10:21pm
post #13 of 14

Thanks so much all of you! I was out all day and when I got home and read all your messages, I could feel my back straightening out.

It's amazing how family is much less understanding but I'll agree with that one. Why is that?

Anyway, thanks again for the support, encouragement, and kind words.

julzs71 Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 10:24pm
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggy2

I would simply give her a list of supplies, tell her to purchase them and birng them over on a specified date and time and help me with the cake and I might be able to squeeze it in. See how many excuses she has why she can't help with a cake for "her friend". Put the shoe on her foot and see how fast she back tracks.



I really like this idea. Let's take it one step farther. Give her your recipe for cake and icing, have her make all of it, and then she brings it over so you can ice it and decorate it.

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