Cancelled Order - Did I Do The Right Thing??

Business By jojo76 Updated 23 Jun 2010 , 3:44pm by jojo76

jojo76 Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 6:32pm
post #1 of 31

Hi all, you might have seen my post earlier in the week about thinkink i was getting chicken pox and what to do about my cakes.
Well, I did get chicken pox and what started of as what I thought was just a few spots really blossomed yesterday and today into pretty major spots all over. I dont feel TOO bad, just sore and itchy and tired,
Anyway this friday i had to cakes on order, one a favour for a friends wedding party - spoke to her about it and she was lovely and said not to do the cake and just get well.
the other is a big scrabble theme cake for a client - fourteen inch sheet cake, decorated as replica of her mothers special scrabble board, its been ordered for ages and she was really looking forward to it. Well when all the spots came out i realised that it would be unprofessional to try to do this cake, the spots are still blisters, its due friday i would have wanted to bake tuesday and there was qutie a lot of modelling to do....even if i had worn gloves the whole time, i still would have felt that it would be unhygenic. I spoke to the doctor who said it was impossible to pass on chicken pox through cake, but still with all the blisters and spots and not feeling thatwell, it just felt wrong to go ahead.
I emailed the client to tell her, as i couldnt get her to answer the phone. When i got to talk to her she was very stressed about finding a replacement baker and upset about the cake. I think she was annoyed, as id made the mistake of telling her what the doc said and i think she thought i should go ahead and make it anyway.

I have emailed five other bakers to ask them to do it, and passed their numbers on the to the client. and found one that has said she can do something a little smaller and simpler for her at the same price (she is a bit more expensive than me).

Please reassure me that i have done all i could and that ive done the right thing? I made the mistake of telling her i didnt feel hideously ill, but its more the spots/scabs im worried about!! I just think it would have been unprofessional to go ahead......

30 replies
catlharper Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 6:37pm
post #2 of 31

what you did was VERY professional. It is not a good idea to ever ever do any type of food prep while ill, definitely not when the illness is an infectious disease. The woman was probably just panicked since she's probably been bragging about what a wonderful cake she had ordered and now feels like she's going to be losing face by serving something else..when in fact, people will feel much better if she tells them that the baker had the chicken pox and so she had to go somewhere else last minute. Her guests will feel relieved and the cake she ends up with will suddenly look SO much more appetizing! LOL!

kger Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 6:39pm
post #3 of 31

Yes, you totally did the right thing! I wouldn't want to eat a cake made by someone with a highly contagious illness, even if you were gloved and masked. My newborn's first trip to the pediatrician for his 1 week check-up was by a doc who had a cold, but for whatever reason went to work anyway, and and wore a mask the whole time. Sanitary or not, it skeeved me out big time, and to this day... 3 years later, I don't like it when we have to see that doc.

And even if you did make it, how would you transfer the cake? Would she pick it up at your poxed house? Or would you go deliver it to her?

No, no. Better safe than sorry. You made the right call.

jojo76 Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 6:48pm
post #4 of 31

ah thanks so much for the quick replies. I keep telling myself it was the right thing to do, but I feel very guilty about it. However, I would feel more guilty if i had somehow passed on CP to her elderly mother or a pregnant party guest, which is what I have to keep telling myself. Plus I have given her an alternative.
It's awful when you have to cancel though, isnt it?

Ruth0209 Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 6:52pm
post #5 of 31

You absolutely did the right thing. Even if you're not contagious, it just doesn't seem right to bake for anyone when you're sick.

I'd freak out if a person with scabs all over delivered a food item to me! I'd chuck it straight into the garbage.

I hope you feel better soon. Chicken pox is no small thing for a grown up.

jojo76 Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 6:59pm
post #6 of 31

yes so would I, Ruth. The more i thought about it the more i thought it was totally inappropriate for me to do it.
thanks for the well wishes! Hope it goes soon , the spots on my face are so sore and painful!!

tesso Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 7:00pm
post #7 of 31

You hand down absolutely made the right choice. GOOD FOR YOU, FOR BEING SMART AND PROFESSIONAL !!!

mamawrobin Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 7:19pm
post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by tesso

You hand down absolutely made the right choice. GOOD FOR YOU, FOR BEING SMART AND PROFESSIONAL !!!




Ditto thumbs_up.gif

jojo76 Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 7:52pm
post #9 of 31

Thanks guys i feel less bad now for reading your replies. thanks for taking the time to reassure me!

cutthecake Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 8:12pm
post #10 of 31

You did the right thing. And she'll get over it. Feel better!

indydebi Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 12:50am
post #11 of 31

Not only was it the right thing but most likely health department mandated! icon_eek.gif

A restaurant owner I know told me he had an employee show up with Pink Eye! He was livid that she even showed up at work, let alone expected to actually handle food! It wasn't that he didn't want her to handle the food .... he was, by law, FORBIDDEN to allow her to handle the food!

This is not even a question of whether you did the right thing or not. You did.

kger Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 1:08am
post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi


A restaurant owner I know told me he had an employee show up with Pink Eye! He was livid that she even showed up at work, let alone expected to actually handle food! It wasn't that he didn't want her to handle the food .... he was, by law, FORBIDDEN to allow her to handle the food!




Funny, when I was waitressing, I called in sick because I woke up with pink eye. My boss was really annoyed and said if I felt ok, then I should be at work. I told him, yes, i felt fine, but I just had an oozing eye that was highly contagious and was pretty sure would be a health code violation. I quit shortly thereafter.

Kitagrl Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 1:16am
post #13 of 31

I think you did GREAT, including helping her find someone else to do her cake. That's what I would have done too.

I had to accept and then cancel an order from a regular within a period of a couple of days because I realized I had to be out of town during their order. I arranged a good cake friend (who also does quality work) to do their cake instead but so far they have not called her, that I know of...oh well. Its not last minute though.

Anyway...I hope you feel better soon! I know the customer is stressed but if you had given her a cake and by then you had scabs everywhere, she would have probably been a little grossed out...so its really good even though she was upset.

chassidyg Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 1:43am
post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by kger

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi


A restaurant owner I know told me he had an employee show up with Pink Eye! He was livid that she even showed up at work, let alone expected to actually handle food! It wasn't that he didn't want her to handle the food .... he was, by law, FORBIDDEN to allow her to handle the food!




Funny, when I was waitressing, I called in sick because I woke up with pink eye. My boss was really annoyed and said if I felt ok, then I should be at work. I told him, yes, i felt fine, but I just had an oozing eye that was highly contagious and was pretty sure would be a health code violation. I quit shortly thereafter.




Sounds like he'd get along with my old boss. I called in 5 hours before I was supposed to be at work, went into early labor, and had to go to hospital to get checked. He fired me for going into labor and not coming to work. My dr was actually happy, she had been telling me to quit for months because they abused me to badly.

JulieMN Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 1:54am
post #15 of 31

You absolutely did the right thing.

MJoycake Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 2:04am
post #16 of 31

Excellent decision making. Don't let her attitude on the phone get you down - I'm sure she was just expressing her disappointment and angst about having to come up with a new plan on short notice....as uncomfortable as it feels to be on the receiving end, it's normal for people to do that. You made the right choice, hands down.

noahsmummy Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 2:08am
post #17 of 31

you definitely did the right thing. if your feeling sick, your not going to produve your best work anyway. but chicken pox is actually not contagious once the spots have a appeared, its the few days before they appear that your contagious. i hope your ok, chicken pox is very dangerous for adults!

indydebi Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 2:11am
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by chassidyg

Quote:
Originally Posted by kger

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi


A restaurant owner I know told me he had an employee show up with Pink Eye! He was livid that she even showed up at work, let alone expected to actually handle food! It wasn't that he didn't want her to handle the food .... he was, by law, FORBIDDEN to allow her to handle the food!




Funny, when I was waitressing, I called in sick because I woke up with pink eye. My boss was really annoyed and said if I felt ok, then I should be at work. I told him, yes, i felt fine, but I just had an oozing eye that was highly contagious and was pretty sure would be a health code violation. I quit shortly thereafter.



Sounds like he'd get along with my old boss. I called in 5 hours before I was supposed to be at work, went into early labor, and had to go to hospital to get checked. He fired me for going into labor and not coming to work. My dr was actually happy, she had been telling me to quit for months because they abused me to badly.


Holy freakin' cow! These just confirm that some people really ARE just plain 'ole a$$holes! icon_eek.gif

noahsmummy Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 2:24am
post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by chassidyg

Quote:
Originally Posted by kger

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi


A restaurant owner I know told me he had an employee show up with Pink Eye! He was livid that she even showed up at work, let alone expected to actually handle food! It wasn't that he didn't want her to handle the food .... he was, by law, FORBIDDEN to allow her to handle the food!




Funny, when I was waitressing, I called in sick because I woke up with pink eye. My boss was really annoyed and said if I felt ok, then I should be at work. I told him, yes, i felt fine, but I just had an oozing eye that was highly contagious and was pretty sure would be a health code violation. I quit shortly thereafter.



Sounds like he'd get along with my old boss. I called in 5 hours before I was supposed to be at work, went into early labor, and had to go to hospital to get checked. He fired me for going into labor and not coming to work. My dr was actually happy, she had been telling me to quit for months because they abused me to badly.

Holy freakin' cow! These just confirm that some people really ARE just plain 'ole a$$holes! icon_eek.gif




oh tell me about it! i went for an ulktra sound when i was pregnant before work once, and i found out my baby had cerebral ventriculomegley, which basically meant the left side of his brain was bigger than the right and it could be hyrdrocephulus, anyway, i had to go into work after that, and ended up breaking down a bit (*in the case a bit means alot..lol) annnd the boss wouldnt let me go home, even after they had made me explain everything in detail, well, you betcha i ended up quitting then and there. sometimes the crap your expected to put up with isnt worth the money they pay you.

jojo76 Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 9:03am
post #20 of 31

I cant believe all the pregnancy related stories, how dreadful!!

Soooo glad I cancelled the cake, thanks for all the support, the woman has found someone else now, and sent me a much more friendly email to say so too, thank goodness. So I feel better about it, but also youre so right, Indydebbi, it would have been illegal for me to have done it anyway.....WHY DIDNT I THINK OF THAT??!! I will remember that for next time (well hopefully i wont get chicken pox again, but you know what I mean lol)

Sat here in bed with bicarbonate of soda paste on my face, I look gorgeous!!!

Mama_Mias_Cakes Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 6:33pm
post #21 of 31

Some of these places are unbelievable. When my son was 4 he had fallen off the swing set and broke his arm. I ended up at the ER and had to miss my shift at work. I worked at a phone relay company for the hearing impaired. I stopped in the next morning to speak to my supervisor about taking a few days off since my son could not go to nursery school with a recent injury and being in lots of pain. He told me that I would get points (only allowed 12 or you will be let go) and that I needed to get my priorities straight. Well that ticked me off. I told him my priorities were being a mom first over anything else and quit right then and there. Geesh!!


You did the right thing, and I'm glad that things worked out. Hope you feel better soon. Adult chicken pox sucks. My hubby had it and it was terrible.

indydebi Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 10:34pm
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama_Mias_Cakes

....and that I needed to get my priorities straight.


I know someone who tells me that where she works, if a man takes a day off to go to his son's baseball game, then he's lauded as such a good dad who is SO involved with his kids! If a woman takes a day off because of a sick kid, she's hauled in and given a lecture about getting her priorities straight.

She hates her job.

newbaker55 Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 11:00pm
post #23 of 31

Chickenpox is contagious via respiratory droplets and direct contact with the lesions. A person remains capable of transmitting the disease until all lesions are scabbed over. This may take awhile since the lesions develop in successive crops and not at the same stage.

While your doctor is right about not catching chickenpox from eating the cake, it is sound infection control as well as good business practice to refrain from food-handling during an infectious illness.

You did the right thing. icon_smile.gif

Butterpatty Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 11:12pm
post #24 of 31

I work at a hospital and they tell you not to come in sick, but then you get in trouble if you call in sick. You get talked about behind your back also.

I am glad that your customer had time to calm down and think it through and realize that you did the best, most responsible thing.

indydebi Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 11:21pm
post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterpatty

I work at a hospital and they tell you not to come in sick, but then you get in trouble if you call in sick. You get talked about behind your back also.


I was reading a fictional book recently in which the main character walked into an office, to be greeted by a secretary who was coughing and sneezing all over the place, discarded tissues on her desk and surrounding the floor by her trash can. The main character made the observation, ".... the type who bragged about her perfect attendance while she came into the office sick and contagious, contaminating everyone else in the office causing THEM to have to call in sick."

Yeah ..... I liked that. I think there's been a person like that in every office I've ever worked in.

newmansmom2004 Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 11:42pm
post #26 of 31

Jojo I wish more people were as conscientious as you - you were 100% on the money to cancel those orders. You even went above and beyond to find someone else to fill the order on the Scrabble cake - very professional on your part. I hope you feel better soon!

TracyLH Posted 22 Jun 2010 , 12:15am
post #27 of 31

You completely did the right thing and I am glad that she realized it. Had she worked with someone who did not have the same standards as you and she had been able to talk them into doing it anyway, I am certain she would have rethought her initial annoyance when she went to pick up the cake and saw the open sores.

Hope you are well soon!!

AZCakeGirl Posted 22 Jun 2010 , 6:15am
post #28 of 31

You absolutely did the right thing by not handling the food while you are sick. I never get upset with my employees for calling in sick, because if that's the case....I don't want them there anyway. I have a rule at my bakery.....if you call in sick on one day & are scheduled to work the next.....don't plan on coming in the next day either because I want you feeling well for at least 24 hours before you come in & start handling food. I don't want my kitchen to get contaminated, or the rest of my employees getting sick either. Yes, it sometimes makes it inconvenient for me to have people out for that long, however I'd rather be safe than sorry!

indydebi Posted 22 Jun 2010 , 6:44am
post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCakeGirl

I have a rule at my bakery.....if you call in sick on one day & are scheduled to work the next.....don't plan on coming in the next day either because I want you feeling well for at least 24 hours before you come in & start handling food.


that's actually a rule in my house, too. If hubby or kids are sick, when they decide they feel good enough to go back to work/school, I make them take one more day. It's easy to THINK you feel well enough when you're just laying around not doing anything, but when you back into the regular routine (driving to work, walking school halls, sitting at a desk, not being able to lay down when you feel tired, exerting all of the energy required just to function in day-to-day stuff) you generally find you don't feel as well as you THINK you do.

One more day. That's the rule. And my married daughter set up that rule in her house, too!

rosiecast Posted 23 Jun 2010 , 2:36am
post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterpatty

I work at a hospital and they tell you not to come in sick, but then you get in trouble if you call in sick. You get talked about behind your back also.

I was reading a fictional book recently in which the main character walked into an office, to be greeted by a secretary who was coughing and sneezing all over the place, discarded tissues on her desk and surrounding the floor by her trash can. The main character made the observation, ".... the type who bragged about her perfect attendance while she came into the office sick and contagious, contaminating everyone else in the office causing THEM to have to call in sick."

Yeah ..... I liked that. I think there's been a person like that in every office I've ever worked in.




I work in a church as the parish administrator (office manager) and we have a couple of employees like that. They come in with bad colds, the flu, you name it. I kick them all out as soon as I see them. They complained to the minister that I was making them take sick days. I told my boss they HAVE to be home if they're sick or they'll get the whole office sick. What do you prefer? one employee out or the whole office? I won!!! hahahaha

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