I Feel Like I'm Losing It... Ahh.... The Drama

Business By CakeInfatuation Updated 5 Sep 2009 , 9:27pm by mommyle

CakeInfatuation Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 3:11pm
post #1 of 17

I just don't know what to do... I feel like I'm losing it. It's CAKE!!! Just CAKE!!! And yet I want to curl up in a ball and cry...

I thought it might be pms... but... I checked the calendar. I'm plain old losing my mind!

I started decorating last year as most of you know. I'm still learning some things and of course that disastrous kind of stuff that you only learn by experience... I have done lots of cakes from home and have been building a pretty nice reputation. That reputation took me from the thought of getting my license and opening my own place to a job at a local bakery. I thought it was the perfect job. The best situation. Only 1 or 2 days a week... prep work at home... ability to adjust my schedule to fit my family...

I really thought it was a dream come true. I don't have to pay for the variance... licensing... or deal with the paperwork.

BUT I lost a lot of control. I no longer have contact with customers to guide them in the best direction for a design or to even help them customize the cake they are envisioning. I can't tell them that mousse can't be used with their design because their design can't be refrigerated. I can't tell them that fondant will actually be better for their cake because that design would actually take longer with buttercream and end up costing more in hours...

The shop is using my blog that I've had set up since a year ago March to sell cakes. They sell my design. Then change it and I'm supposed to move fast enough to make them money while fighting with the cake to do something that would have been so much faster and easier with fondant.

In the end.. it doesn't look nearly as good as it could have. I'm talking to myself and totally stressed out because I'm unhappy with it... BUT... I had to leave work and only had one day this week so I can't go back. It doesn't look terrible... but to ME, my standards, what I'm proud of... that's where the problem lies.

I don't know what to do... Made a 3 tier princess cake yesterday. Design the customer looked at was a fondant cake with diamond pattern.

Shop sold the same design with mousse filling in two layers. I said... it's a fondant cake... you can't put that in the fridge. Boss calls customer... instead of changing filling, changed to crusting buttercream...

Impression mat kept pulling the buttercream OFF the cake... It was such a mess. Had to leave work by 4... Was told I'm not coming in today... So HAD to finish... Then... the tiara melted in the fridge overnight. So... get up this morning and have a message that they need another tiara. I really don't think it will be dry enough to pull off of the oatmeal container by tomorrow... at 11am! I'm yelling at my kids, kitchen is a wreck, breakfast was way later than they wanted... all because this stupid cake had to go in the fridge. I NEVER had royal icing melt before! (my learn by doing disaster) but then again... I have less moisture in my home than they have at the bakery....

It's getting to not be fun anymore. This lack of control and contact with my designs is wreaking havoc on my head and my stress level. It's just STUPID CAKE! Why do I care so much? Does it matter? Do I just deal with it? Do I say something?

Or... bag it all and go back to being on my own where I have control to make sure that things turn out the way they should....

16 replies
Texas_Rose Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 3:17pm
post #2 of 17

I know you posted a little while back about not being sure you wanted to keep working there. From this post, it sounds like your mind is made up, you just want some encouragement to quit. So...there's no shame in quitting a job that makes you compromise your high standards. I remember that you said they hired you to put the Wow factor into the cakes, but it sounds like instead they're making you lower yourself to their standards. Quit the job...your kids will be happier with you at home, you can work at your own pace on things that you will be proud of.

leah_s Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 3:20pm
post #3 of 17

1. Their bakery = their designs.

2. Your designs = your designs.

3. One does not cross into the other territory.

4. Your blog = your blog, not theirs.


KHalstead Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 3:36pm
post #4 of 17

I would have to lay down some rules with them........and if they don't comply, maybe you need to consider backing out of this deal.......seems they're more on the winning end of it anyhow!

As for your tiara........try making it out of chocolate.

If you make it out of royal you shouldn't refrigerate it...it will melt (as you found out)

royal icing and moisture are NOT a good match.

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 3:53pm
post #5 of 17

Are you the only one doing cakes for this bakery? Why not just go to the owner and say if you're going to do cakes for them, then you should be the one running the consultations and orders. The people there obviously don't know how to order cake, don't know what things can be done and what can't. Be sure to cite examples, did you take a picture of the princess cake? If you did you should be able to show the owner a side by side comparison and say "this is why this cake can only be done in fondant". If the owner just shrugs and says it looks good to me, then it's time for you to get out of there.

-K8memphis Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 4:07pm
post #6 of 17

It's ok for you to conclude that this arrangement is not working for you but if you could acquire veto power you could survive.

costumeczar Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 4:18pm
post #7 of 17
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

I have a new blathersome thread where I seriously question my sanity and the sanity of others in this arena of edible sugar art.


It's powdered sugar poisoning. You inhale enough of that stuff, something's got to happen to your brain!

To the OP, it sounds like you have two options. Either put your foot down and get the air cleared with the bakery, or quit. It depends on whether you think they'd be able to keep to their side of the bargain, and you're the best judge of that.

-K8memphis Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 4:27pm
post #8 of 17
Originally Posted by costumeczar

It's powdered sugar poisoning. You inhale enough of that stuff, something's got to happen to your brain!


just_for_fun Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 4:31pm
post #9 of 17

Either you have to take the orders, or you must make some rules for the person taking orders to follow. You should specify which of your designs must be made in fondant. Also, which fillings must be refrigerated. They cannot go together. And you must have veto power. if this doesn't work, then for your sake and your kids' sake, I would recommend leaving the place. it's hard to go through the legalization, licensing, paperwork process but this seems much harder. just my $.02

all4cake Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 4:49pm
post #10 of 17

It's not just cake! It's your reputation! Sure, the customer may purchase their cake from that bakery but if anything goes wrong....you are going to be the fall guy.

I agree, your blog, your designs unless somewhere on your blog you mention them ordering their cake from the bakery now that you're working there....then, even if the bakery didn't use your blog, a customer may happen upon it and assume(and rightly so) that the cakes on your blog are available at the bakery.

To regain control, discuss with the bakery owner that you prefer handling the orders from start to finish because of the issues that may be involved with each cake and that everyone who takes an order may not realize what all is involved.

A suggestion that worked for me when my RI tiara failed.

I made one using gumpaste AND added some tylose to it(don't know if all that was necessary but I was desperate and knew no such thing as overkill at the time). extruded it and cut, placed and glued the various pieces using the same template and working on a flat surface too icon_smile.gif....I added gumpaste balls to areas I thought may be weak. When all the pieces were together, I taped the parchment to the oatmeal canister. Turned the oven on. When it got to 170 (its' lowest temperature on the guage), I turned off the oven and placed the tiara in and left the door slightly ajar until the indicator light for the oven went off then I closed the door and left it there until morning. It was completely dry. It traveled for 2 hours on the cake without breaking...aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand the bd girl placed it on her HEAD and it still didn't break! I made the tiara after 9 p.m. and by morning I was able to use it. It did take a bit longer than the RI one but I was so saved by the gp ones' success.

cylstrial Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 5:14pm
post #11 of 17

You definitely either have to talk to the owners or quit. That is ridiculous! And they most definitely shouldn't be using your blog as their blog.

CakeInfatuation Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 6:35pm
post #12 of 17

Thanks so much for the support guys. I did give them permission to use my blog. For any cake that is sold using my blog, I get a finders fee on top of the hourly rate. I just never thought through them changing my designs without checking the feasibility with me first. It's a new position for me.

Will have to talk with them and see if we can't work some things out. There are some real benefits to my being at the bakery. But there are some growing pains for sure. It's a challenge when you are an obsessive compulsive control freak! icon_wink.gif

I got to talk to a very knowledgeable and wise woman this morning that really helped me feel better about the situation and how it should be approached. That combined with the encouragement here, has been very helpful.

I LOVE CC and all you very helpful and supportive ladies (and gents).

cylstrial Posted 4 Sep 2009 , 7:23pm
post #13 of 17
Originally Posted by shill

Thanks so much for the support guys. I did give them permission to use my blog. For any cake that is sold using my blog, I get a finders fee on top of the hourly rate.

Ok - well that sounds pretty good then! I was thinking they didn't have any way of advertising and that they were using you!

CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 8:52pm
post #14 of 17
Originally Posted by shill

Will have to talk with them and see if we can't work some things out. There are some real benefits to my being at the bakery. But there are some growing pains for sure. It's a challenge when you are an obsessive compulsive control freak! icon_wink.gif

When it comes to our cakes, we're ALL obsessive-compulsive control freaks! icon_wink.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 9:04pm
post #15 of 17

Yet another example that proves to me the only person I could ever, ever...EVER, work for is me.

dorie67 Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 9:13pm
post #16 of 17

Glad to see that you are in a better frame of mind, everything will work out for the best, either way it goes it will be for the best! Good Luck! princess.gif

mommyle Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 9:27pm
post #17 of 17

I feel for you. Stand tall and proud and do what you feel you can and need to do.

All my best to you!

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