aac81 Posted 12 Dec 2010 , 5:03am
post #1 of

I recently made a birthday cake for a friends son which took 3 full days and then some to complete. Upon my arrival at the party (which i was also invited to), I was kind of expecting a much bigger reaction than the one that I got. I am not even sure if the parents liked the cake because I am sure I didnt here those exact words (or anything similar) come from either of their mouths. I quietly snuck up the back of the party and choked back tears.
This has left me confused and wondering if as a cake maker, am I expecting much too much from people. Do I think my creations are way better than they actually are. This has been my internal conflict and I know that I am good enough because I have family telling me so, and telling me when some cakes are not so good.
Has anyone else had this happen to them or feel like this sometimes?
And only briefly will I mention that I have not been paid for said cake yet and it's a week later. And I KNOW I should have got the money upfront.

33 replies
Apti Posted 12 Dec 2010 , 5:36am
post #2 of

It's not you or your talent, it's them. You answered your own question in the body of the post:
"I have not been paid for said cake yet and it's a week later" and
"I am not even sure if the parents liked the cake because I am sure I didnt here those exact words (or anything similar) come from either of their mouths."

Duh... If someone is going to stiff you, they are certainly NOT going to rave about your cake. By not saying anything, they have the 'out' of saying "Well...it wasn't really a very nice cake and wasn't what we wanted"

As many, many before you have learned: Do NOT, EVER, turn on the oven or buy any ingredients until you have the money. Once you have been paid, THEN buy the ingredients and turn on the oven. Betcha future cake recipients will rave about the cakes they've already paid for.

There are about 10,000 posts on here saying you can really get run over by friends and family. If you don't get paid, the friendship will never be the same--you know it, they know it. If you don't get paid, the parent's of your son's friend have ended a friendship over the cost of a cake--sad, but true.


Now, having said that and been all self-righteous and smug, I will tell you that I took my first "paid" order for a gingerbread house that took me 10 hours for a teacher at the kid's elementary that I barely knew (except to know that NOBODY likes her). I told her I'd only charge for the ingredients and supplies, and, guess what, did NOT get the money up front.
I was extremely lucky and got my money on delivery.

Basically, don't beat yourself up, honey, we're all trusting idiots.

cakegirl1973 Posted 12 Dec 2010 , 5:50am
post #3 of

I am sooooooo sorry that this happened to you. I have had this happen to me, too. It's heartbreaking when you put so much time into a cake, are proud of your creation, and then to receive not so much as a thank you. I agree with the PP, it's not you, it's them.

Hang in there! I wish I could give you a hug! icon_smile.gif

Kaytecake Posted 12 Dec 2010 , 5:51am
post #4 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by aac81

I recently made a birthday cake for a friends son which took 3 full days and then some to complete. Upon my arrival at the party (which i was also invited to), I was kind of expecting a much bigger reaction than the one that I got. I am not even sure if the parents liked the cake because I am sure I didnt here those exact words (or anything similar) come from either of their mouths. I quietly snuck up the back of the party and choked back tears.
This has left me confused and wondering if as a cake maker, am I expecting much too much from people. Do I think my creations are way better than they actually are. This has been my internal conflict and I know that I am good enough because I have family telling me so, and telling me when some cakes are not so good.
Has anyone else had this happen to them or feel like this sometimes?
And only briefly will I mention that I have not been paid for said cake yet and it's a week later. And I KNOW I should have got the money upfront.




It's hard for anyone to comment on a cake that we have not seen. Do you have a picture to share with us?

I'm only a hobby baker and I enjoy the opportunity to practice on friends and family. I do ask them to be honest with me so that I can work on my weaknesses and improve my skills. I make cakes because I enjoy it and I'm lucky to be able to have this as a hobby. I get feedback both good and bad - that's how I learn. I was more sensitive when I first started but now I just want honest opinions.

Maybe your friends weren't comfortable discussing the cake in front of their guests. If they agreed to pay you for the cake then you might have to remind them and maybe find a way get some feedback from them. You didn't mentioned what agreement you had with this couple. If you have pictures of the cake, show someone who will be objective and truthful. Good luck and let us know how things worked out.

step0nmi Posted 12 Dec 2010 , 6:07am
post #5 of

if we can't see your cakes we can't say what we think :p


I call MUD!

BlakesCakes Posted 12 Dec 2010 , 6:22am
post #6 of

Well, I don't know how to get a compliment out of someone, but I do know how (at least try) to get money out of them.

I show up at their front door around dinner time and tell them that I need the payment for the cake--NOW--and I don't leave until they address the issue.

When I was 20, my mom had an auctioneer sell off the contents of our home. One guy bought quite a bit--over $500 worth. His check bounced and the auctioneer was a lazy SOB who wouldn't do anything about it. He didn't want to work too hard for his $50 portion of it, but it sure meant a lot to us. I had my mom drive me to the guy's house after church every Sunday for 2 months and I'd bang on his door, yelling, "Hey, Oyster (his last name)--you owe us $500. Pay up. We're gonna' sue you, if you don't!" His neighbors would look out windows and open doors. Everyone said it was futile......

He PAID, in full....AND we DIDN'T give the auctioneer his $50, either. I guess we would have if he'd have banged on our door and shouted...........

You have to be proactive about your own interests. No one else will do it for you if you don't do it for yourself first.

Good luck!
Rae

costumeczar Posted 12 Dec 2010 , 4:05pm
post #7 of

I figure that you deserved a thank you if they hadn't paid you yet, but you deserve to be paid more if they owe you the money! As long as somebody pays me that's thanks enough for me, personally. Harass them until they pay you!

Kaylani Posted 12 Dec 2010 , 8:23pm
post #8 of

Wow Rae, you could make a killing in collections. icon_surprised.gif lol!

Someone on CC once posted something about getting thank yous. When was the last time you called your local bakery & said thank you?

That made me wonder about our expectations. Since then I have asked that question to a bunch of different people & not one person has called a cake baker to thank them for a cake they made. Most seemed puzzled by the question.

They ordered a cake, got a great cake & moved on. Their expectations were met & the transaction was over.

Its not right or wrong, just a different way of looking at it.

Now, when we get thank you's or raves from customers it means a lot more to me.

icon_biggrin.gif

loriemoms Posted 12 Dec 2010 , 8:32pm
post #9 of

I dont want to sound like I am something wonderful, but i guess I am lucky...may of my customers pickup their cakes, they are amazed and I get lots of hugs and wow you need to be on TV and such. I call it the cocaine of what we do...but it isn't something I expect. Some people pick up their cake, pay their money and thats that. I didnt go into cake decorating to fill my head with how good of an artist I am. I never want to be on TV, never want to be famous or anything. I just like the challenge of making cakes.

Back to your posting, maybe the parents were too busy and nervous about the party to say anything?

-K8memphis Posted 12 Dec 2010 , 8:35pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes

Well, I don't know how to get a compliment out of someone, but I do know how (at least try) to get money out of them.

I show up at their front door around dinner time and tell them that I need the payment for the cake--NOW--and I don't leave until they address the issue.

When I was 20, my mom had an auctioneer sell off the contents of our home. One guy bought quite a bit--over $500 worth. His check bounced and the auctioneer was a lazy SOB who wouldn't do anything about it. He didn't want to work too hard for his $50 portion of it, but it sure meant a lot to us. I had my mom drive me to the guy's house after church every Sunday for 2 months and I'd bang on his door, yelling, "Hey, Oyster (his last name)--you owe us $500. Pay up. We're gonna' sue you, if you don't!" His neighbors would look out windows and open doors. Everyone said it was futile......

He PAID, in full....AND we DIDN'T give the auctioneer his $50, either. I guess we would have if he'd have banged on our door and shouted...........

You have to be proactive about your own interests. No one else will do it for you if you don't do it for yourself first.

Good luck!
Rae




I love this story. <heart> Nobody gonna knock down that door for yah!

kaseyrconnect Posted 12 Dec 2010 , 9:06pm

I am sorry that this happened to you. I can so understand where you are coming from. I know that we don't do cakes just for the "thank-yous" or compliments, but receiving a "thank-you" or compliment goes a long way. I put a lot of time into my cakes to make them special for the recipient and do my best to make them look good, and sometimes I am up all night redoing a cake. When people don't say anything about it, it kind of hurts. I am sure that they do like the cakes, because they keep asking me to make them, but sometimes it's just nice to hear those words. I'll agree that family is the worst. My sister once told me that people know that I know the cake is good, that's why they don't feel they need to say it to me. I don't get that. If someone makes or does something especially for me, I always compliment them and say "thanks". It is just a nice thing to do, and it makes a person feel good.

-K8memphis Posted 12 Dec 2010 , 9:08pm

I think that it can be difficult to separate ourselves from the fact that the event is not about us when we sometimes labor as we do to put out these masterpieces. But it is not about you.

So far you have let them hurt your feelings and stiff you. I think you have this mixed up. The only thing you have a right to expect is your pay.

The greater question of course is as was already mentioned are we giving as much gratitude as we should.

But no you need thicker skin. And you need to call them today and tell them you need your money now. You'll learn to feel a lot better about this.

LNW Posted 12 Dec 2010 , 9:21pm

I'm sorry they didn't give you the kind of reaction you wanted. I wouldn't worry about it too much though.

I have had people make an extremely big fuss over my cakes, to the point its embarrassing. I always appreciate that.

And Ive had people not even give my cake a second glance much less tell me anything positively or negatively about it. To some people its just cake. They dont know or care if it took you 3 days to make it. Its just cake. Oddly enough my husband is one of these types. Hes watched me work for days on a cake for an event at his work and then when I ask him if everyone liked it I get a hmmm? Uhhh I guess I dont know I didnt go around polling people. Well WHY NOT??? That sort of thing doesnt matter to him. Ive done cakes for a lot of people like that.

indydebi Posted 12 Dec 2010 , 9:24pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaseyrconnect

My sister once told me that people know that I know the cake is good, that's why they don't feel they need to say it to me.


Oh brother! Is she married? Let's say she is. would she accept this if her husband said, "You know I love you, why do I have to say it?"

Does she have a job? Is she good at it? Would she accept this if her boss said, "You know you do a good job, why do I have to tell you that you do?

Does she cook dinner for a family? Would she accept this if her kids/husband/boyfriend said "You know the food was good, why do I have to tell you "nice dinner, hun!"?

And then I have to read articles that imply how "etiquette" (aka 'good manners') is so "old fashioned". (big freakin' sigh!!!!)

She's a twit.

-K8memphis Posted 12 Dec 2010 , 9:30pm

A husband wife relationship is much different than a caker to client relationship--are you kidding? Her sister was just trying to console her.

Does your mechanic feel dejected if he only gets paid for the brake job--oh yeah she din get paid.

No--she din even figure out how to get paid and she wants to pout about not getting a big reaction? No.

You can't control that stuff. This is nuts.

neelycharmed Posted 12 Dec 2010 , 9:47pm

Sorry that happened to you, and I hope you get paid...
I wish people/friends/family knew how much we put into our cakes for them...
Jodi icon_smile.gif

rozben Posted 12 Dec 2010 , 9:50pm

Aww some people can be cruel without even realising,
I am sure it was a beautiful cake, and because you spent so much of your time and energy on it, naturally you wanted the rave reviews you thought were coming,
but at least you didn't hear them say they "didn't" like the cake, so thats a good sign eh, maybe these people aren't very good at praising people when its due.

I would love to see a picture of the cake icon_smile.gif

Melvira Posted 12 Dec 2010 , 10:05pm

Well, in this case, considering the person she made the cake FOR was a personal friend, to the point that she was even invited to the party, it is not untoward for her to be a little surprised and disappointed that she got NO compliments or even 'thank you'. And it would definitely be understandable that she'd be raving pissed about not getting paid. (Although she has maintained a very level head about that issue!)

I know that when you are 'hired help' you are shown very little gratitude. No, Princesses First Communion is not at all about me. But if Princess is the child of a personal friend, and I do that cake as a gift, at a reduced rate, or even full price with love... about 45 seconds worth of it darn well SHOULD be about me. Host/Hostess will thank everyone that came, why can't I get a little lovin'?

But a lot of the time it's not going to happen. I have made so many free cakes for close family members... driven them 7 hours away... attended the event... only to listen to them thank the friggin caterer that gave them a small discount. Guess who doesn't get cakes anymore?

Yes, we want validation. Sometimes you'll only find that if you pull out a mirror. I hate it, but it's true.

Apti Posted 12 Dec 2010 , 10:18pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira


But a lot of the time it's not going to happen. I have made so many free cakes for close family members... driven them 7 hours away... attended the event... only to listen to them thank the friggin caterer that gave them a small discount. Guess who doesn't get cakes anymore?

Yes, we want validation. Sometimes you'll only find that if you pull out a mirror. I hate it, but it's true.




That made me laugh, Melvira icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Melvira Posted 12 Dec 2010 , 10:35pm

Well thanks, I try!

To take it one step further... the person I referred to about thanking the caterer, she left me a note on Facebook telling me that *someone* owed her a first anniversary cake. I said, "Sorry, the free anniversary cakes are only for paid orders." She's lucky because there was some pretty sketchy language fighting to come out in that response, but at the end of the day, my mother in law can read my posts, so I have to at least ATTEMPT to behave some of the time. icon_rolleyes.gificon_lol.gif

But I totally know how it feels to be emotionally invested in a cake and get nothing but crickets chirping. It can be heart breaking. I don't care when it's just 'someone's cake', but when you care... and you really think you've done well, it sucks. I was especially proud of one cake and the lady came to get it and just stared at it. I was kind of tripping because I thought I had done something so great that was going to knock her socks off! It turned out that I had the wrong name on the cake... not her hubby's name like it was supposed to be. And the name I put on there was the name of the guy her husband has accused her of cheating on him with! icon_eek.gif There was no way I knew that, and I swear that was the name she told me! But I was able to fix it quickly and she then loved the cake. icon_lol.gif

kaseyrconnect Posted 12 Dec 2010 , 11:55pm

Well said, indydebi. Old fashioned or not, I still feel that it is nice to pay compliments, and say thank you, just as it is nice to hear it. I don't expect people to rave about my work, but a simple "it looks great, thanks" would be fine.

-K8memphis Posted 13 Dec 2010 , 12:57am

We cannot control how much validation we receive. It's just setting yourself up for potential disappointment to set your expectations on a certain amount. Most everyone likes to be appreciated though.

I mean she let herself not get paid and is bummed about not getting a big reaction. I don't have any patience with that. Shoot me.
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sometimes doing great cakes brings out the green monster in others too--there's that aspect.

Melvira Posted 13 Dec 2010 , 1:02am
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis

Most everyone likes to be appreciated.




Exactly my point. And she has obviously not been doing this long enough to have had the hope and desire burned out of her soul. icon_lol.gif

-K8memphis Posted 13 Dec 2010 , 1:29am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira

Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis

Most everyone likes to be appreciated.



Exactly my point. And she has obviously not been doing this long enough to have had the hope and desire burned out of her soul. icon_lol.gif





Geez ten minutes with my big brother would be a crash course--cured for life.

But that whole getting paid thing--you carry the last laugh home snug in your pocket.

LNW Posted 13 Dec 2010 , 1:51am

Oooo I forgot they didn't pay for the cake. Hmmm maybe they thought that by not drawing too much attention to the cake it would, oh I don't know, make you forget about the check? BTDT with family before.

I hope you get your money. If you don't stay on them though you probably won't. Like a poster above mentioned, nag them to death. You'll either get paid or rid yourself of a worthless "friend."

I would love to see your cake btw.

aligotmatt Posted 13 Dec 2010 , 1:55am

I remember when I first started doing cakes I really liked the accolades, I wanted people to ask me about the cake, and me tell them about all of the techniques because I was SO excited about it.

Not that I don't like them now, but just yesterday I did the wedding cake for a wedding I attended, and I asked the bride and people who knew not to mention it. I don't want to sit around with strangers who find out and chat about the fact that I make cakes. One wedding I did I think 2 years ago this happened, and I had to keep chatting about it with every table I walked past, and really, I just wanted to be there to support my friend. And NOT be at work.

BUT yes, it is nice to get a compliment, and being in this business has made me appreciate other peoples jobs more and more thankful and complimentary to the people who serve me day to day.

BlakesCakes Posted 13 Dec 2010 , 2:03am
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaseyrconnect

Well said, indydebi. Old fashioned or not, I still feel that it is nice to pay compliments, and say thank you, just as it is nice to hear it. I don't expect people to rave about my work, but a simple "it looks great, thanks" would be fine.




Me, too!

But then again, you should see the funny looks I get sometimes when I say, please, thank-you, and excuse me, to people. You'd think I'd bitten them.

When waitstaff ask me how I am, I always say, "Fine, and how are you today?" I think that's caused a few early heart attacks.

Now, I will admit that my pet peeve is if I hold a door for someone and they don't say anything, I WILL yell, "YOUR'RE WELCOME" at their back icon_lol.gif It feels goood, too icon_lol.gif

I do all of my cakes for free as donations to charities or for donations to charities. Maybe that makes my expectations different, but if I don't get a "thank-you", I'm busy the next time they call.

Sadly, common courtesy needs a jump start these days.
Rae

Melvira Posted 13 Dec 2010 , 2:07am
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis

Geez ten minutes with my big brother would be a crash course--cured for life.




Muahahahaha... I have an older sister like that. It is absolutely exhausting just being around her.

aligotMatt - I know what you mean. Although when people DON'T know, it can be fun to listen. Except your heart races a little... what if they said something *gasp* BAD!? No, never, not about ME! Hehe.

I also have to say, I think part of the reason I am so conditioned to think that people *should* compliment more freely than they do is that I'M like that. For example, when the waiter/waitress brings my plate I say something like, "Thank you so much!" Yah, it's their job, I'm paying them to do it, but it's no harder to be nice than it is to be rude or even indifferent. It even makes YOU feel better. And you're less likely to get some extra 'sauce' on your plate. icon_surprised.gif It's just like my rule about not talking on my cell phone at a check out (emergencies not withstanding of course). That cashier is a human. And they even appreciate being treated like one!

aligotmatt Posted 13 Dec 2010 , 2:22am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira


aligotMatt - I know what you mean. Although when people DON'T know, it can be fun to listen. Except your heart races a little... what if they said something *gasp* BAD!? No, never, not about ME! Hehe.




Admittedly, not telling who I am does give me a better glimpse into what people REALLY think. And though I hope people never have a bad word to say, I would rather hear the truth.

We were up on Long Island for thanksgiving and took the train into the city, 10 of us, on the train home my kids (being the only kids in this train car) who are 5 and 7 years old were wound up, they stayed in their seats but were talking and giggly and talking and giggly... so one of my aunts gets off at a stop before us and is walking and said to a stranger, "can you believe those kids, laughing for a whole hour?" and the lady said, "yeah it was totally inappropriate, they should have quieted them down" hah.

CocoaBlondie Posted 13 Dec 2010 , 2:28am

In regards to the OP, I know exactly how you feel! I just had this happen to me. I made a square 2 tiered 8,10 inch cake with a belly cake on top for my brother & sister-in-laws baby shower. Of course of did it for free. The whole shower I never heard a thank you from either one of them. Everyone else at the shower loved it & loved the taste of the cakes. Still even being in the same conversation of others oohhing & aahhing they still said nothing. Then recently my sister-in-law has the nerve at a family breakfast to say she likes the chocolate cake at a chain pizza shop. My jaw dropped icon_eek.gif . NEVER & I mean NEVER will they ever get another free cake from me. Next time she can go out to the pizza shop & pay for an over charged undecorated cake. icon_mad.gif

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