I've Got A Potential Pita Mob Here, Don't I?

Business By jenmat Updated 17 Dec 2010 , 11:47pm by diamonds-and-rust

jenmat Posted 16 Dec 2010 , 2:33am
post #1 of 45

This bride called me a while back with a wedding at a local upscale country club. The manager there is a wonderful guy, and I've only delivered there once. Since the delivery in August he has been putting my info in the hands of every bride he can, and I think this guy is awesome! He's so excited about promoting me that I want to do anything to help foster the relationship.

So anyway, back to the bride, she calls, she's out of state, can only come up on weekends, I have nothing until the end of Jan. Fine, she books a tasting appt. She seems like a wonderful bride.
ENTER THE MOB (JAWS music ensues...)

Fast forward a week and the MOB calls to see if I can possibly move the appt up, they want to get everything taken care of soon. I can't, but I agree to allow her to "stop by" with a photo of what her daughter wants this Friday afternoon.

Then, she burns my buns by stating this. "So, don't take offense at this, but the cake I saw that you had delivered was done in fondant, right? Well, do you normally have trouble with fondant, because although the cake was beautiful, I felt it was leaning a bit and was wondering if the fondant causes this. But don't be offended." icon_confused.gif

Now, the cake in question was perfectly level, I USED a level, the bride and groom were ecstatic, and the manager liked it enough to have this new MOB come out, take a look at the cake, and then he SAVED some of the pieces for this MOB to sample.

I say, "Um, not sure if you're talking about MY cake, because the one there I delivered was 100% on level when I left it."

MOB: "Well, they guys all said I was nuts, but I KNOW it was leaning and was just wondering if you have trouble with it?"
ME: "hun, if you think it was crooked, then you shouldn't be ordering from me. I don't want there to be trust issues, and I stand 100% behind my work."
MOB:"Oh no no no, I said please don't be offended, I was just really curious. Maybe it was just me, we loved your cake (you mean the cake you stole from another wedding? That cake?) and will probably book you."
Me:"OK.... icon_mad.gif "

Fast forward again to today, MOB calls again "the appt we set up to drop off the pictures is really inconvenient for me, (the one that I juggled my schedule to make for her request) has anyone cancelled, it would be much better to do it at night so my husband to come along." (to drop off a picture.... icon_confused.gif )
I've got a bad one on my hands, don't I? This is one I'm gonna regret, and you're gonna hear about it next May 29th, aren't you???
GROAN icon_cry.gif

44 replies
artscallion Posted 16 Dec 2010 , 2:47am
post #2 of 45

And why does she even need to drop off a picture ahead of the consult? Why doesn't she just bring it then? And if she really wants you to have it in advance, why doesn't she just email it? My guess is she thinks she's going to manipulate the "drop-off" into a full fledged consult once she's there.

I'd run.

karateka Posted 16 Dec 2010 , 2:47am
post #3 of 45

I'm sorry to say....it seems you are in for it.

God bless and good luck..

cakegirl1973 Posted 16 Dec 2010 , 2:49am
post #4 of 45

Run away as fast as you can! She is a MOB-zilla!

BlueBurd Posted 16 Dec 2010 , 2:54am
post #5 of 45

Good luck - she sounds like a passive-agressive nightmare.

Why is it people feel like saying "no offense" or the like gives them the excuse to be rude?

Possible response: "I'm sorry ma'am, I'm quite sure it was level. Please, don't be offended, but perhaps it was the 7 martinis you had at the open bar at the wedding you crashed that made it seem crooked. To you. But please, don't take offense."

Motta Posted 16 Dec 2010 , 2:59am
post #6 of 45

Yep, sounds bad alright. Try to wiggle out of it eg. "someone else who had a tasting decided to book for that date...sorry". Too bad it's at the venue you love. There WILL be other weddings there!

christeena Posted 16 Dec 2010 , 3:10am
post #7 of 45

RUN, FORREST, RUN!!!

BlakesCakes Posted 16 Dec 2010 , 3:11am
post #8 of 45

I can play the P-A game, too.............I'd call her and tell her that I can no longer meet her to accept the photo and that she'll have to mail it or scan it for an e-mail attachment.............and I would NOT meet with her and/or her DH unless it is at a formal tasting (scheduled appt. that works for me with a hefty deposit that will be applied to the cake ONLY if they book the cake).

I would make it very clear at that tasting that any and ALL communication will be with the bride (and groom, if he's involved in the tasting & cake selection), unless she is completely uninvolved in choosing the cake.

If the parents are paying, I'd make it clear that I will be discussing, with the bride, EVERYTHING that is communicated to me about flavors, design, payment, etc. icon_twisted.gif

Rae

cownsj Posted 16 Dec 2010 , 3:17am
post #9 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by christeena

RUN, FORREST, RUN!!!




ROFLMAO. I don't think this could have been said anymore perfectly.

It sounds to me like the MOB is already setting you up to get a refund after they have the cake. You know the cake she saw was perfectly level, yet she insists it wasn't. It was a cake she had no personal interest in, yet she is so sure it was leaning. Do you have her refund check ready to give her at the tasting? May as well get it out of the way now....

jenmat Posted 16 Dec 2010 , 3:21am
post #10 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueBurd

Good luck - she sounds like a passive-agressive nightmare.

Why is it people feel like saying "no offense" or the like gives them the excuse to be rude?

Possible response: "I'm sorry ma'am, I'm quite sure it was level. Please, don't be offended, but perhaps it was the 7 martinis you had at the open bar at the wedding you crashed that made it seem crooked. To you. But please, don't take offense."




This made me pee myself a little.... icon_lol.gif I agree- she acted as if she was offended that I was offended.

If I could run, I would run-far far away- or I'd develop a sudden disease that takes 8 months to get better, but I can't. The bride was very nice, and I already told her the date was still open. If she would have said, "oh, and by the way, my mother is an obsessive, passive aggressive control freak," I may have said, "Oh, you mean the 28th? I thought you said the 27th..." But I didn't, and to bail right now would be the epitome of bad business and it would look bad on the poor man who has to deal with these people....

And yes, I fully expect this "drop off" to last an hour....

WHY me????

I bet she'll ask for a tour of my bakery, and probably my bathrooms too. I'd better get cleaning.

karateka Posted 16 Dec 2010 , 3:37am
post #11 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueBurd

Good luck - she sounds like a passive-agressive nightmare.

Why is it people feel like saying "no offense" or the like gives them the excuse to be rude?

Possible response: "I'm sorry ma'am, I'm quite sure it was level. Please, don't be offended, but perhaps it was the 7 martinis you had at the open bar at the wedding you crashed that made it seem crooked. To you. But please, don't take offense."




I've got to clean coffee off my computer screen now. icon_lol.gif

Motta Posted 16 Dec 2010 , 3:44am
post #12 of 45

Sounds like you're in a corner. Good luck!

BlueBurd Posted 16 Dec 2010 , 3:55am
post #13 of 45

Who knows, there is such a thing as good karma. Maybe she's a little neurotic or something. Hopefully it will still turn out okay. On the bright side, you will have a very happy bride and will continue to get business from the new venue. icon_smile.gif

BlakesCakes Posted 16 Dec 2010 , 4:06am
post #14 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by jentreu



And yes, I fully expect this "drop off" to last an hour....




I hope you won't allow it to...............

I don't let others drive MY car--especially when I'm paying for the gas.

Rae

Kitagrl Posted 16 Dec 2010 , 4:45am
post #15 of 45

You never know...sometimes if you get a picky customer and then you please them, you'll have the most loyal follower you could ever get.

I'd definitely just have her email you the photo though. Sometimes I like getting photos ahead of consults so I can do a preliminary quote so they can make sure I'm within their budget before we waste time on a consult....but I wouldn't keep arranging your schedule.

If she keeps being a pain...then just convince her she doesn't want your cake and recommend someone else.

cakesdivine Posted 16 Dec 2010 , 5:13am
post #16 of 45

If I were you I would call the venue manager. Explain to him that you can see the writing on the wall with this MOB and that regardless of what product you provide, even if it is the most amazing piece of cake art you have ever created, and Kerry Vincent couldn't find a flaw that this MOB will more than likely find fault around every corner/curve of it. And that you would rather not have have your reputation tarnished falsely.

costumeczar Posted 16 Dec 2010 , 12:57pm
post #17 of 45

I'm currently dealing with a PITA MOB and I can see that you're going to have to put your foot down HARD with this one to cut her off at the pass. I'd tell her that it turns out that you won't be able to meet with her ahead of your scheduled times, and that if she'd like to she can email the picture to you. It will save her the time of making a special trip, so you're being considerate! Then quote her a huge price for that cake and see if she runs.

I agree with calling the venue manager and thanking him for the referral, but also telling him that the MOB is seemingly unhappy with your cakes already and you don't know if you'll be able ot make her happy. So if she ends up going with someone else you'll understand, but you still appreciate his referral.

playingwithsugar Posted 16 Dec 2010 , 1:50pm
post #18 of 45

Tell her that next time, she should clean her bifocals before looking at one of your cakes. Or tell her it wasn't the cake, the floor wasn't level.

If you don't really, really need the money, pass up on this booking. I think you're being set up for a refund, too.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

leah_s Posted 16 Dec 2010 , 2:33pm
post #19 of 45

I agree that you've got to take control of the situation NOW. There is NO reason for an appointment to drop off the picture. I insist that pictures be emailed, or if that's not possible (no scanner) then I ask nicely that the pictures be put in an envelope with the bride's name and wedding date and dropped in my mailbox. "I never know when I might have to dash out for supplies."

You have to be in control of the business relationship.

leah_s Posted 16 Dec 2010 , 2:34pm
post #20 of 45

And what you talkin' 'bout, "Potential"??????

tootie0809 Posted 16 Dec 2010 , 3:46pm
post #21 of 45

After just barely dealing with my own MOB from hell, I think the writing is definitely on the wall for you with this one. She's gonna make your life miserable. She sounds like the one I just dealt with.......the world revolves only around her and her daughter's wedding. If it's possible, I would try to back out of it. The mom I just dealt with had the sweetest daughter in the world. I was totally confident it was going to be a pleasant experience working with the daughter because she was so sweet, but then comes her B%$@! of a mom and I had no idea that it would turn into what it has because the mom is a meddling bitty. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

Melvira Posted 16 Dec 2010 , 4:40pm
post #22 of 45

"I think you are an overbearing, cast iron b***h, who will never be satisfied with anything, no matter how perfect, and in your unreasonable quest for perfection you are going to ruin the ONE day that your daughter has to make the memory of a lifetime. No offense."

I mean... I said 'no offense' so she shouldn't be offended, right? icon_confused.gif

Oh, and your butt looks big in those pants... no offense. Maybe it's the pants, but I kind of think it's probably just your giant @ss.

Chasey Posted 16 Dec 2010 , 4:40pm
post #23 of 45

I love the idea of quoting her a huge price!! If she balks, don't come down $1. If she goes for it, maybe it will make up for the PITA sessions you are about to go through with her? icon_cry.gif

I also agree that she is setting you up with a full fledged consult since she wants her DH to come along. What?! She should leave the pic in your mailbox if she's scared of seeing you alone. You might be a crazy person in her eyes. icon_wink.gificon_lol.gif

ETA: LOL, Melvira!!

Melvira Posted 16 Dec 2010 , 4:52pm
post #24 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

And what you talkin' 'bout, "Potential"??????




Right? In this whole thread, that is the ONLY word I took issue with. Girl, she is a full fledged PITA LOOOOONG before you ever saw her face to face. And I am not envisioning it getting better.

Kaylani Posted 17 Dec 2010 , 1:45am
post #25 of 45

"Mrs. PIA, I just received a deposit for the last space available on May 30th. I am so sorry that I will not be available for your date. Thank you for your interest. I hope we can work together in the future. In the meantime, Sally Tally is a wonderful cake designer & may still have that date available. Would you like her number?"

End of story.

pixiefuncakes Posted 17 Dec 2010 , 2:05am
post #26 of 45

IF you go ahead with this, make this woman sign every little thing off, every single time - record her words if you have to , document every little thing, take photos, so that when she complains - and I hate to say it, I think she will, you can back yourself up.
Otherwise, get out now.

KitchenKat Posted 17 Dec 2010 , 2:19am
post #27 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaylani

"Mrs. PIA, I just received a deposit for the last space available on May 30th. I am so sorry that I will not be available for your date. Thank you for your interest. I hope we can work together in the future. In the meantime, Sally Tally is a wonderful cake designer & may still have that date available. Would you like her number?"

End of story.




Respectfully beg to differ. I don't like the "oh I'm booked" approach because it's dishonest, which erodes my personal integrity and it doesn't address the problem.

I'd simply be firm and assertive about what I can or can't do, let her decide if she accepts my terms and conditions and respects my artistry/skill, and make sure I have an iron clad contract if she does decide to book.

jen1977 Posted 17 Dec 2010 , 2:29am
post #28 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira

"I think you are an overbearing, cast iron b***h, who will never be satisfied with anything, no matter how perfect, and in your unreasonable quest for perfection you are going to ruin the ONE day that your daughter has to make the memory of a lifetime. No offense."

I mean... I said 'no offense' so she shouldn't be offended, right? icon_confused.gif

Oh, and your butt looks big in those pants... no offense. Maybe it's the pants, but I kind of think it's probably just your giant @ss.





HAHAHAHAHA!!!

cabecakes Posted 17 Dec 2010 , 2:29am
post #29 of 45

Well, I can see where you are stuck between a rock and hard place. One...you don't want to offend the manager who worked hard giving you the referral, Two...the bride is a doll, and/but Three...the MOB is a pain in the butt already and you haven't even gotten started yet. I agree with the "Take charge NOW!" Let the MOB know nicely that while you would love to meet with her...you are on a very tight schedule. You have other customers you are currently working on that have had appointments for weeks, and you really can't just drop them to meet with her. This should establish the fact the she is not your only customer. Secondly, tell her that she could either text (if available) you a picture, email you a picture, or send you a picture in the mail. This should be more convenient for both you and her. If she takes issue with it, then tell her it might be best if she consider another baker, because you just don't have a schedule open enough to accomodate such demanding requests on your time. NO OFFENSE! The people who say things like...Please don't take offense, or Please don't think I'm trying to tell you what to do, or TRUST ME...these are the people you need to look out for, because they want everything very specifically their way and they want it right now. You have to take charge immediately, or she will eat you alive. It's your business...no time for intimidation or skiddishness.

jenmat Posted 17 Dec 2010 , 2:30am
post #30 of 45

Well, I'm going to feel her out tomorrow afternoon, and if she's as bad as I think, I'm going to politely and firmly cut her loose, and call the venue manager to explain why. I'll just have to put on my big girl undies and let her know my concerns with her comments and basically say that although she can choose to work with me, I can choose NOT to work with her.

I have a policy that I only use the "I'm booked" thing when I don't want to do the cake they are requesting, and being booked means I do not have room for their cake request, which would be true- I don't have time/ambition to do what they want. If its a personality issue, I try to not use that route because I feel its a bit dishonest. Still my prerogative to use it, but I try not to be like that, because they'll ALWAYS call back next time and then what?

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