Why Do I Let This Bother Me? (Long)

Business By karateka Updated 14 Jan 2009 , 11:01pm by Rose_N_Crantz

karateka Posted 6 Jan 2009 , 7:31pm
post #1 of 38

Phone conversation:

Bride: I was calling for price quotes for a wedding cake and also for taste testings.

me: I'd be glad to help....I hold free tastings on the last Sunday of each month. (I go through all the policies here). My pricing starts at $3 per serving for buttercream and $3.65 for fondant. This price is for a fully decorated cake. There are some adornments that require an upcharge, but for this price your cake is decorated. (I start to tell her that I don't charge a fee for mixing different flavors, and about the free 6 in cake but she interrupts)
Bride: Well, I just wanted a very simple 3 tier round white cake with red satin ribbon around each tier. All the other bakeries are $3/serving and I thought if I got someone who did it from their home it would be cheaper.
Me: I understand, but my prices are as low as they can be if I hope to recoup my investment.
Her: Well thanks...click.

Great.

Later on...

phone rings...I answer with pleansantries....
Client: Do you have character cakes?
Me: I cannot do any images that are protected by copyright law. If, for example, you were interested in "Star Wars", I could not reproduce Yoda, but if you have a Yoda toy, I could decorate a cake and you could put Yoda on it.
client: But there's a bakery in Hamilton that does it all the time.
Me: In that case, they are running a risk of getting caught and being fined or put out of business
Client: So you won't do a Dora cake?
Me: I cannot reproduce a copyright protected image without the express permission of the owner of the copyright.
Her: Ok, fine. Click.

What the He#& ?? I'm being as pleasant as I can be to these people, and they are rude and derisive. icon_mad.gif

Would that there was a job where you didn't have to deal with John Q. Public.

37 replies
costumeczar Posted 6 Jan 2009 , 8:26pm
post #2 of 38

My roommate and I used to work in retail, and one day she came stomping in after work and said "I HATE the general public!" I knew exactly how she felt...

FlowerGirlMN Posted 6 Jan 2009 , 10:56pm
post #3 of 38

I get sick of the calls and emails about price alone, for 2 reasons.

1 - especially through email.. I have my pricing very plainly listed on my site. I even have a little note on my contact page, reminding people that most questions asked by email are addressed on the site, with LINKS to teh specific areas (for pricing... for whatever..).. yet, I still get the "how much do you charge?" emails.

2 - I find "How much do you charge?", as the sole body of an email, sort of rude. Maybe I'm weird.. but even aside from point 1, I hate being made to feel like it all comes down to price. They don't ask what they're getting for that price, or anything about the VALUE.. it's like the main ticket price is the be all and end all.

It gets frustrating for me, because I include a small grooms cake, an anniversary cake, do not charge for delivery, set up, or equipment rental. Everywhere else here,it seems, does.

But for some reason, it still comes down to the per-serving price.

isista Posted 6 Jan 2009 , 11:20pm
post #4 of 38

I also face with that problem pretty much. What I hate most is after a 5 min. explanation of the process, labour involved and quality of the ingredients and give nearly the best price around competitors , i get a " o.k then i just wanted to know "

indydebi Posted 6 Jan 2009 , 11:22pm
post #5 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by karateka

Bride: I thought if I got someone who did it from their home it would be cheaper.




And why would she think that? I mean, since home bakers can't buy in volume like bakeries can, and dont' have an oven that can bake multiple cakes at once, and don't have a staff to be able to do more cakes per hour .... I'm be curious on why she thought a home baker would be cheaper? icon_rolleyes.gif

Oh wait .... it's one of those Top Ten Pieces of Stupid Advice that the wedding industry magz and websites are throwing out there! icon_mad.gif


FlowerGirl, I can understand why they are comparing per-serving price ... because it's all they really have to comparison shop. However ..... ! unfortunately what they DON'T understand is that some places add fees for every little thing and some places don't. They really need to talk to each person in depth to find out exactly what they offer for their per-person price.

Oh but gosh darn gee ..... I guess the magz and website don't TELL them THAT, do they? icon_rolleyes.gif

I have lots of (catering) examples where my per-person cost is $3-4 higher than others, but by the time the others add in all of their nickels and dimes, they end up being $3-4 HIGHER than me. So the bride who stops at the per-person price, may very well end up paying more with "the cheaper" guy!

live2create Posted 6 Jan 2009 , 11:24pm
post #6 of 38

Isn't is sad that people think just because you have an in home bakery you should be cheaper than anyone else. So do they think you have no expense into this at all. And just because you do this in your home you shouldn't make a profit from your talents. I must say I think I have given my brides a great deal at the most I have charged them $1.65 per serving I always wonder what the rest of you talented people charge. I sometimes feel I short change myself, my son one day asked me how much I was paying myself to do these beautiful decorated X-Mas cookies, I told him and he asked me if it was worth it. I thought about it and it wasn't. Your time and inputs are not any less than a chain store. Sad how people think icon_rolleyes.gif

FlowerGirlMN Posted 6 Jan 2009 , 11:28pm
post #7 of 38

Realistically, brides have a really good reason to assume that in home bakers cost less - because there are a TON of them that charge next to nothing.

indydebi Posted 6 Jan 2009 , 11:43pm
post #8 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlowerGirlMN

Realistically, brides have a really good reason to assume that in home bakers cost less - because there are a TON of them that charge next to nothing.




icon_redface.gif You are so right. I never factored THAT one in.

karateka Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 2:02am
post #9 of 38

You are right, flowergirl....that's what happens.

Around here, I have a lady right in my burg who is less. I just finally decided that I'd rather work less and make more money per cake than work more for less money. I've gotten to where I emphasize the stuff I DON'T charge for...

the 6in anniversary tier, the ability to mix flavors within a several tier cake, most fillings, delivery and setup in my town....etc.

But I still get the attitude like I'm trying to rip them off because I charge the same as other bakeries. I was tempted to ask why she thought it would be cheaper, but wasn't willing to get into a verbal sparring match with her. And don't even get me started on the copyright lady. It says in clear wording on my website that I cannot (bolded) do copyrighted material without permission!! Do they even read the stupid website??? Why do I bother to put this info on there??? icon_mad.gif

I feel so much better. I knew I would if I was able to commiserate with others who understand.

eme926 Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 2:27am
post #10 of 38

Sounds more to me like your competition trying to feel you out. You answered everything correctly, don't pay it another thought.

chassidyg Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 2:51am
post #11 of 38

I dont do cakes or cupcakes for anyone but family. Yesterday my sis in law texts me asking if I can do a wedding cake, since it's just her & my hubby, I asked who needed a wedding cake, and she tells me it's for her bro in law, they wanted to keep it under 100, & just figured I'd do it cheaper...that made me so angry. I dislike doing cakes, I'll do cupcakes all day long, but I'm not good at cakes. So, I wouldnt even feel comfortable. I told my hubby if they ask again, to tell them I'll charge them 3.50 a cupcake.....

tarheelgirl Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 2:52am
post #12 of 38
Quote:
Quote:

Sounds more to me like your competition trying to feel you out. You answered everything correctly, don't pay it another thought.




Sounds like exactly what happened to me a couple weeks ago! I am a home bakery and my talents are worth the same as what you would find in a store front. I finally have convinced myself that I am GOOD enough to charge a competitive price. Took awhile but I am finally there. Don't budge on your pricing! Your time and knowledge is well worth what you are charging! thumbs_up.gif

Melvira Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 3:01am
post #13 of 38

eme926 that's just what I was thinking. Actually I was thinking one of two things... a hopeful competitor either feeling you out, or trying to find something to 'turn you in' for.

It really is frustrating how, in general, people seem to lack just basic courtesy. Just on a day to day basis seeing how people treat each other is upsetting some times. One small example, I have a 'no talking on the phone at the check out rule'. EVERYONE who knows me knows this rule. I will either let it ring and call them back later, or, depending on who it is I'll pick up and say 'I'm at the check out' and hang up. They understand that this means I'll call them back in 2 minutes. I've had cashiers thank me like I am some sort of superhero for that! How bad is it that they are just accustomed to people standing there and not acknowleding them? It makes me heart sick. When I check out I say 'hello' and exchange a few pleasantries with the person doing it because they are HUMAN! And sometimes, just with a silly comment or a kind word, I can make their day a little better... and how much work was that for me? NONE!

indydebi Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 3:15am
post #14 of 38

OMG, Melvira, we ARE soul-sisters, because that's my rule, too!! I was talking to my daughter while waiting in line and then told her, "Ok, I have to hang up now ... I'm about to become one of those rude, crude people who are talking on the phone in the check out line" ... and she also immediately understands and hangs up. One time, I looked up at the cashier and apologized. She said, "oh that's ok." I said, "no, it's not. It's rude and it's treating you like you're a non-person that doesnt exist ... I detest people who do that and I will not do it. So I'm sorry for being on the phone." omg, she got this big grin on her face and gave me just a simple "Thanks!" It was my feel-good moment of the day! thumbs_up.gif

Melvira Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 3:23am
post #15 of 38

Debi, I've had almost that exact exchange with several cashiers! At least they know there are a few of us that give a crud! thumbs_up.gif

newnancy Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 4:06am
post #16 of 38

Debi, Melvira.....I'm with you girls...nothing bugs me more than seeing someone in a checkout line that doesn't even acknowledge the person behind the counter, they just let them do their job & they just keep on talking on the phone, take their bag & walkout without even a nod. I've never been a checker it's just a pet peeve of mine, but I'd like to slap those people silly sometime & ask why they think they're so important,,,,,,,idiots.

fiddlesticks Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 4:26am
post #17 of 38

I also agree I never get on my cell at a check out ! I also hate it when your in a fast food line and the person in front of you is on their cell holding up the line instead of giving their order they stand there and talk on the cell while the counter person waites for them to get off! GRRRRR!
Like they dont know they are holding everyone up ! Such rude people now days!

newnancy Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 4:36am
post #18 of 38

I also have fun when you go thru a drive-thru window & they just throw your order at you without a word & I love to say "Thank you & have a nice day" with such a sweet smile. Sometimes it shocks them & they laugh and some seem to be a little shocked & apologize. It's fun & maybe it wakes them up a little that they don't need to be rude either.

Ladiesofthehouse Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 5:00am
post #19 of 38

I was so happy to read this since my 17 year old daughter is a cashier in a grocery store. She has been raised to be polite and treat ALL people like they are valuable and it just kills me when she comes home with stories about people being rude to her.

Can you believe she got YELLED at by a woman because my daughter answered a question with Yes Ma'am. The woman yelled at her that she didn't appreciate being called Ma'am and it was not appropriate in this day and age. Since when is it not appropriate to be polite and show respect? Sheesh!

Melvira Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 8:55pm
post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladiesofthehouse

Since when is it not appropriate to be polite and show respect? Sheesh!




Since that woman was desperately trying to convince herself she still looked twenty-something and that made her feel old!!! Heheheh icon_lol.gif But seriously, how ridiculous!

newnancy, I hate the drive through thing too! Sometimes it really does feel like they open the window from 6 feet away and fling your bag out, then run! icon_rolleyes.gif

thems_my_kids Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 9:53pm
post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladiesofthehouse

Can you believe she got YELLED at by a woman because my daughter answered a question with Yes Ma'am. The woman yelled at her that she didn't appreciate being called Ma'am and it was not appropriate in this day and age. Since when is it not appropriate to be polite and show respect? Sheesh!




That is insane! It was drilled into me as a kid to say "yes, Ma'am" or "yes, Sir." I'm instilling that in my kids as well.

Getus Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 10:32pm
post #22 of 38

First of all, I totally agree with all of you regarding how rude it is of a customer to be talking on their cell phone while in a checkout line. I definitely let mine ring. I want to make eye contact with the cashier, make sure my items are ringing up at the correct price, and make sure that I get the correct change back. I also like to greet the cashier and inquire how they are. I feel it's just plain courtesy to treat them as if I care.
However....on the flip-side of this coin....here are my major pet peeves:

At my local "helpful smile in every aisle" store...almost every single cashier chews gum. Including the adults! This grosses me out. It looks nasty and I really wish it was not allowed. I learned this was bad customer service at my first job at a burger joint, back in the 70's. Now I know why my boss was so finicky about this.

Most evenings and weekends at this store all I ever see is teenage kids and maybe an occasional token college aged person in charge. So guess what? The cashiers and baggers are visiting with each other about the local "hotties" the local "parties" and the local "biiiatches". This talk goes on the entire time I'm being checked out...and neither of them ever acknowledges my existence. I am told my total and given my receipt without ANY eye contact from those employees. This drives me NUTS.

And, last but not least, is when my cashier is on their cell phone, texting while they are checking me out! Ack! This is insane. These are the same kids I see texting while they're driving down the street, too. Double Ack!

I have wanted to complain about this so many times, but don't. I live in a very small rural farming community...so everybody knows everybody....and thanks to those teenagers at the local grocery...I also know way more about most people's kids than I ever wanted to!

Unfortunately, we have become a very "electronic" society, and old fashioned manners and morals are rapidly slipping by the wayside. Progress does have it's disadvantages.

Sorry, this was so long, and so far off of the original subject. I feel a lot better now, though! LOL!
Have a wonderful evening, everyone!


thumbs_up.gif

Bethkay Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 10:50pm
post #23 of 38

About 8 or 9 years ago, I worked at the customer service counter of a large chain store. The biggest responsibility I had was customer returns and exchanges. So you can just imagine how peeved I would get (not to mention the customers standing in line) when a customer (it was always a woman) would reach the front of the line to make her exchange and would take a cell phone call and not acknowledge me or even let me know what she needed. Now, how on Earth can I help her if she is on the phone?! You would think if that exchange or return was that darn important, they wouldn't take the call. It always just floored me. The only thing that would get them off the phone was if I offered to help the next person in line!

summernoelle Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 11:00pm
post #24 of 38

Melvira and Indydebi-you guys are making me feel bad. I try to be good about the checkout line, but the other day something was going on with my kid at school, and I was getting advice from someone about it. I was paying and everything, and realized what a jerk I was being by not hanging up and calling back. I definitely realized it was rude...but did it anyway.

Jocmom Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 11:33pm
post #25 of 38

Just last week I was entering a grocery store and the greeter said "good morning, how are you today?" I said, "good thanks - how are you?" She almost fell over. She told me that her shift started 3 hours ago and I was the first person to acknowledge her. Her face really lit up when the next two people walking in responded to her greeting. How busy do you have to be before you can't even take a moment to acknowledge another person?

indydebi Posted 7 Jan 2009 , 11:39pm
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Getus

The cashiers and baggers are visiting with each other about the local "hotties" the local "parties" and the local "biiiatches". This talk goes on the entire time I'm being checked out...and neither of them ever acknowledges my existence. I am told my total and given my receipt without ANY eye contact from those employees.




In the olden days even before checkout scanning (the cashier had to key in every price), hubby was at the grocery and the cashier was visiting with a friend while ringing up the order. She gives hubby the total. He stares at her. She repeats the total. He tells her, "I will give you that total when you cancel this order and ring it up again." She calls a manager over. Hubby tells him how she was visiting with her friend (who was not a store employee, by the way) and hubby couldn't be sure that the order was rung up correctly. "I am perfectly willing to pay for my order ... when I"m sure the total is correct." After more conversation, with store manager kinda groveling, hubby agreed to pay it ... but his point was made.

Recently, he was in a checkout and heard TMI in a conversation between checkout girl and bag-boy. He emailed the store manager and expressed his "concern" that the store's clientele just didn't really want to hear all about party night and the gossip from the party. (and if you can't tell from the fact that this store still has bag-boy's ... it's a higher-end, expensive neighborhood grocery and we know the manager wants to keep THOSE kind of customers happy and in-house!)

Since both of us have a lengthy and strong customer service management background, we actually end up being either the very best ... or the very worst ... kind of customer! icon_twisted.gif

suzylynn58 Posted 8 Jan 2009 , 12:48pm
post #27 of 38

I agree it is rude and annoying to talk on your cell in check out lines. How about this? I'm an xray tech and I go in patient's rooms to get them for exams and they are on the cell phone. I'm trying to explain their exam and they have this phone glued to their ear. Sometimes I just stand there and look at them till they get the message, but usually have to ask them to end their call.

Same with ER patients. I have a pile of xrays to do and their phone is ringing away. What did we do in the good ole days before we had personal communication devices. LOL

Melvira Posted 8 Jan 2009 , 5:36pm
post #28 of 38

Good grief suzylynn... that is stupid! Aren't there signs posted everywhere that say not to use your cell phones in hospitals except in designated areas? Sheesh.

Melvira Posted 8 Jan 2009 , 5:37pm
post #29 of 38

Good grief suzylynn... that is stupid! Aren't there signs posted everywhere that say not to use your cell phones in hospitals except in designated areas? Sheesh.

Melvira Posted 8 Jan 2009 , 5:38pm
post #30 of 38

Good grief suzylynn... that is stupid! Aren't there signs posted everywhere that say not to use your cell phones in hospitals except in designated areas? Sheesh.

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