Anyone Getting More "entitled" Clients Lately?

Business By costumeczar Updated 9 Apr 2011 , 8:01am by anna_bananna

Sassy74 Posted 26 Mar 2011 , 2:07pm
post #61 of 124

I'm not licensed, and do cakes for friends/family. I also give a lot of cakes away just for the experience of doing the cake, or as a gift. You'd think that when a person is getting a cake for free, they'd lose the "diva" mentality........aaaaaaand, you'd be wrong.

A good friend is catering another friend's wedding/reception and asked me about the wedding/groom's cake. I was flattered because she is a professional caterer in a metropolitan area, and has many options for bakeries. But I didn't feel right about the situation from the beginning because the bride/groom are very casual friends that I don't know that well. But I told her that I'd talk to them, and that I couldn't promise anything. So glad I said that!

The groom is the one I dealt with because the wedding cake was his baby. I spoke to him on the phone and he described the cake he wanted...a 3-D replica of his fiance's favorite painting of a French Quarter building. At first, I was THRILLED at the idea of doing that cake. I knew it would be a great challenge! But as our conversation went on, he got into specifying the exact shading of the building, the mini-replica's of the lighting and shutters, how his bride KNEW that painting inside-out and would I be able to replicate it EXACTLY???

Uuuuuuh, nope. I told him that I'd examine the photo of the painting he sent me, and that I'd let him know if I would be able to do it, but promised nothing. I explained when I'd be back in touch (4 days later...holiday weekend in the middle). Over the next four days, he sent me 3 texts with more details/questions, and two more e-mails of the painting from other angles. Finally, he left me a voice-mail explaining how EXCITED his fiance was that I was going to do this cake replicating her fave painting!!!!!

I was stunned. What part of our conversation had he missed? Did he speak to my alter-ego and work out all these pesky details behind my back???

I called him back, when I said I would, and explained that I was flattered with the challenge he presented me, but that I wasn't sure I could execute it to his specifications. The wedding was well over a year away, so I suggested two other licensed bakeries that I know do specialty cakes in the area.

I kid you not, this guy continued to call/text, suggesting changes that might make the cake easier, not a direct replica of someone's artwork (which I told him I couldn't do), etc.....

GROOM-ZILLA!!!


I finally just stopped replying to texts/calls...I'd explained the situation as well as I could, and I'm pretty sure I did it in English. End of story.

bobwonderbuns Posted 26 Mar 2011 , 2:20pm
post #62 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpecialtyCakesbyKelli

I guess i'm an "entitled" baker... I won't take just any order lol....... if you don't suit my fancy, you don't get my cake! I'm through with this over the top crazy stuff after being burned a few times. Now if its not something I think will look good... I don't do it...and guess what?? I'm still booked every week.




Amen Sista!! icon_lol.gif

cathie_shinnick Posted 26 Mar 2011 , 3:30pm
post #63 of 124

I received a call for a cake for a Valentine Day cake. Her opening line to me was..." I'm thinking of 'letting" you do a cake for me...and it would be great for you...exposure for you"... Red flag...she wants a free cake.....I told her I dont do free cakes...for anyone.

cownsj Posted 26 Mar 2011 , 5:55pm
post #64 of 124

Just last night I heard about a study that had been 30 years ago where children were asked if they thought they are a very important person. 12% answered yes. The question was recently asked again of children and that number went to 80%. I like the notion of teaching self esteem, but couple this with the lack of socialization that goes on in society today, and the fact that children are no longer taught any type of etiquette or manners, and this is what we get.

Like it or not, but we have taught the younger people to behave this way and unless and until we change that and begin teaching them proper manners, we kinda have gotten what "WE" taught.

jason_kraft Posted 26 Mar 2011 , 6:45pm
post #65 of 124

I actually think the issue is too much socialization...with social media constantly available 24/7 people have been trained to communicate via facebook updates, twitter posts, and text messages. They have also gotten used to instant gratification in social interactions, which sometimes doesn't carry over well to more traditional social situations.

Schools are part of the problem (too much focus on testing), but education about manners and etiquette should be coming primarily from parents.

But IMO the biggest problems are role models on TV. Many people model their behavior after what they see on TV, and good examples are few and far between when looking at reality TV and the 24-hour news stations. Politicians are no better. Since there's no way to put this genie back in the bottle the best you can do is be ready and willing to reject customers if they are too much trouble.

indydebi Posted 26 Mar 2011 , 7:05pm
post #66 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

I actually think the issue is too much socialization...with social media constantly available 24/7 people have been trained to communicate via facebook updates, twitter posts, and text messages.


I dont' consider this to be socialization because they are not actually having any people contact. I think this is anti-socialization because they are not learning how to deal with people; they think 300 friends on facebook means they are popular and REALLY have "friends" (not!). People tend to be braver when hiding behind a screen name and saying something, not to someone's face, but to their faceBOOK, so they believe themselves to be a good "communicator". I disagree with that.

I agree they have been trained to communicate via electronics and there are a number of articles I've read on marketing to this generation via THEIR method of communication, if a business wants to survive in that market. But I dont' believe its "one or the other". Businesses communicate via electronics but deals are closed across a table, face to face, with a smile and a handshake (and all of those legal document thingies, too! )

I have a relative who this describes to a T. He's all "in your face" via his facebook entries but talk to him across a table and he can't carry on a 3 minute conversation. No eye contact, can't organize his thoughts, stuttering around trying to say what he thinks, but he can't figure out verbally what it is that he thinks. Its sad to watch.

cownsj Posted 26 Mar 2011 , 7:16pm
post #67 of 124

Thank you Debi, that was my immediate reaction too and was going to post much the same as you did, just as as eloquently. I think what kids, and many adults, do today is interaction, but not socialization.

I see kids all the time walking down the street together, and never say a word. I asked one girl I knew why she was texting and not talking to the person she was walking with, and she said they were texting each other. I understand when the technology was brand new, but it's not a new medium any longer. People need to learn how to speak appropriately to one another and as much as it needs to be taught by parents, since we now have parents who don't know better, we do need the schools to teach it as well. We had classes in these things in elementary school, just proper etiquette. It didn't take from our other education, but I believe it enhanced our other education because we were able to apply it to our learning experience as well.

Clearly, everyone on here is part and parcel to the technology of computers, but that doesn't mean we throw out etiquette, manners and knowing how to interact with each other face to face. Learn how to shake hands properly with a person, look them in the eye when you speak, be straightforward and polite, sit in a chair properly. Basic stuff so many of us learned by the time we were 10, people don't know about at all anymore. I'd bet most kids don't even know what the word etiquette means.

jason_kraft Posted 26 Mar 2011 , 7:28pm
post #68 of 124

I definitely agree that this type of interaction forms bad habits, but just because we don't recognize it as socialization from our perspective doesn't mean it isn't. Like it or not, social media is now the primary method of communication for most youth...social transactions are just broken up into smaller chunks. And there is a form of etiquette that applies to online social interactions, it just doesn't work for face-to-face meetings.

The best way to solve this problem would be to monetize the online delivery of training for improving face-to-face social interactions (ideally integrated into the social media platform of their choice) while at the same time showing better role models on TV.

From the perspective of a retailer or commercial service provider, there's not really much we can do in the way of teaching customers manners without alienating them.

costumeczar Posted 26 Mar 2011 , 7:29pm
post #69 of 124

I saw an interview with an exectuive of some company (really specific, huh?) Who said that the trainees and new-hires they get these days are completely incapable of holding a conversation face-to-face. He said that they'd be in a meeting, and as soon as there was a break they'd all get out their little devices and start typing away, but if you tried to talk to one they couldn't carry on a conversation.

The story of the tasting for 6 servings, and the "I'm thinking of letting you make me a cake" are horrible! I'm going to do a blog post about tasting appointments and I think some of these stories will be good to drive home the point that we're bakers, not free-cake providers. Good Lord.

kellertur Posted 26 Mar 2011 , 8:23pm
post #70 of 124

I'm sure it has it's uses, but this is why I absolutely HATE TEXTING! It breaks down communication so much that we are reduced to:

CKHIEKJJDLDE1@...Need I say more, Joe? LOLF*&(#&*

Why not just bring back smoke signals and morse code? icon_lol.gif

Don't get me started on people who text while driving...twice as deadly as a drunk driver. Scares me to death. Someone actually texted to their facebook wall that they just "missed thier exit".... really? Maybe keeping your eyes on the road might help? NO? Sorry, my mistake. Carry on, loose cannon. icon_rolleyes.gif (they were driving, not the passenger!)

cownsj Posted 26 Mar 2011 , 9:04pm
post #71 of 124

"Like it or not, social media is now the primary method of communication for most youth...social transactions are just broken up into smaller chunks"

I absolutely agree with this and as you also say, it's bad habits. But it's in these bad habits and the lack of caring for other individuals that make people not care about others. This prompted me to look up definitions and read studies on this subject. Socialization begins with infants, they are taught the physical connection to other people. It's been shown that babies who are not held, but otherwise get the same nourishment as other babies, will die. It's learning how to speak with others, face-to-face, touching, building self esteem, learning how to interact in social settings, develop peer groups, learning how to lead, be dominant, or work with others. Learning to rebel against parents to develop ones own self worth and have an independent life of their own. People who can commuicate confidently face-to-face will also be able to do so online, but the reverse is not automatically true. People are real this way and emotions can be seen, heard, inflection in voices give a different meaning to what is being said. Bullying has gone to new levels with texting and online communication because there is no need to feel an emotional connection to the person on the other end, they become objects rather than people. Just because it has evolved in the most widely used form of communication does not mean that childen don't need to be taught socialization first and foremost and learn how to use these tools effectively, and safely. They need to learn how to present themselves in business situations as is the topic here. They need to learn how to respect others and how to command respect. Ok, I'm off my soapbox.

kellertur Posted 26 Mar 2011 , 10:48pm
post #72 of 124

They also need to be taught how to (respectfully) stand up for themselves, healthy coping skills, and all that jazz. I do agree with socialization being important, which doesn't necesarily have to mean sending your kids to public school. (mention homeschool and the first comment is "your child won't be socialized".) My daughter is far more socially adapted than most of her peers. She can hold a conversation with adults and kids, has the occasional temper tantrum (as we all feel like having from time to time), but is being taught a vital skill not taught in any school: compassion. It really concerns me that compassion is not taught in school...only tolerance, and they are far from the same thing.

This is not an argument to homeschool kids, I just agree that the over use of social media is eroding communication. (maybe that's the closet luddite in me, eventhough I obviously still use some technology). David Chronenberg really is a visionary.

Purtygirl Posted 26 Mar 2011 , 10:52pm
post #73 of 124

I work in a grocery store where people bring in pictures of these elaborate fondant covered cakes (we don't do fondant!) and literally say they want a "Cake Boss" cake, but they're paying with FOOD STAMPS!!!! I'm willing to bet that the Cake Boss doesn't accept food stamps!!! And they will spend up to $300 on a cake!! I'VE SEEN IT FIRST HAND!! AND they are the WORST COMPLAINERS! Always yelling, "I PAID GOOD MONEY FOR THIS CAKE!!" No you didn't!! I DID!!! Hard-working tax payers did!! I can't even get financial aid!!

Kiwi-whisk Posted 26 Mar 2011 , 10:58pm
post #74 of 124

The worst is people asking for a quote for 5-10 people expecting it to be super cheap, because it is only for a few people, you have to spend the time making figurines etc, the time is not in the baking of the cake it is in the decorating.

mskavon Posted 27 Mar 2011 , 2:29am
post #75 of 124

Especially in the area that I live in. There's one scratch bakery and the others are grocery store bakeries. People are not accustomed to a specialty cake shoppe. They literally balk at prices, even tho i sometimes beat the prices of the grocery stores. ....*thinking*...who would want to buy a wedding cake from a grocery store?? lol

Paperfishies Posted 27 Mar 2011 , 7:39am
post #76 of 124

I had someone email me asking if I could make cookies shaped like firetrucks and a cake shaped like one...I said sure, quoted her the prices...A few days later she emailed me back asking if I knew where she could buy a firetruck shaped cookie cutter, lol.

indydebi Posted 27 Mar 2011 , 7:41am
post #77 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paperfishies

I had someone email me asking if I could make cookies shaped like firetrucks and a cake shaped like one...I said sure, quoted her the prices...A few days later she emailed me back asking if I knew where she could buy a firetruck shaped cookie cutter, lol.


dont' you wish you could be there!? icon_lol.gif

carmijok Posted 27 Mar 2011 , 5:33pm
post #78 of 124

I worked for a bakery and part of my job was to do the tastings. We did them at no charge. Since I didn't bake or decorate it was possible for the bakery to be able to do that.

I'm happy to say we didn't have many Bridezillas. We would do the tasting and I would interview the bride about location, cake styles, number of guests, etc. and she would taste the cake. I would give her the opportunity to book then, give them the contract and if they gave me the deposit, then we booked it and it was a done deal. If I was told they were going other places to taste I said 'fine' and gave them the contract to return under the understanding that their date could be filled so the sooner we knew the better. Sometimes they returned, sometimes they didn't and some I did have to tell that they waited too late.

I really didn't get the 'we're doing you a favor' kind of attitude. As a former MOB, we did go to several places to taste cake. That was the selling point for me--taste. That's how I ended up working at the bakery. We were there for a tasting and it was so good we booked right then. Then I asked if she needed part time help. Win-win!

Where we got attitude was from the Moms who wanted $300 1st birthday cakes for their little angels for $50. Maybe it's my perverse attitude, but I really loved telling these people no. It's probably the first time they ever heard it.

I think when you own a business, sometimes you can run it from fear...fear of making rent, payroll, etc., and when that happens you are more vulnerable to the discount divas and unfortunately that turns into problems for businesses who aren't. Bravo to those who can stand up for their work and earn what they are worth!

tryingcake Posted 27 Mar 2011 , 8:45pm
post #79 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lcubed82

"
I think the TV challenges, where it seems the tops of our business are competing to be chosen by the customer, may play a part also! Do all this work, and then they will see if they think you are worth anything!




I speak at bridal shows. The first thing I say - Unless you have a $10,000 budget for your cake alone - stop watching those shows. You cannot have that cake!

I honestly say that. I've had other vendors get mad at me and follow behind me (I'm always the first to speak) and tell them they can get whatever they want - that they deserve it and can do it!! (woo-hoo???)

So now I start with that same line and add... and if anyone tells you you can have whatever you want, run from that vendor - because they are not only going to crash your budget but easily talk you in to things you cannot afford and will regret those purchases later when trying to make your house payment. While you may deserve anything you want - not one of us lives in a world where that really happens. Know your budget, embrace your budget, enjoy your wedding day.


I say more than this - more positive things - but this is how I start out.

I actually get lots of business from that little speech.

I also delete those emails (I'm convinced they are spam to begin with) as soon as I receive them. I do not entertain them for a second.

indydebi Posted 27 Mar 2011 , 9:41pm
post #80 of 124

tryingcake, you just went on the "My Hero!" list! thumbs_up.gif

Googla Posted 28 Mar 2011 , 12:25am
post #81 of 124

If I speak to a client and the first few words out of her mouth are " I saw this great cake on...(fill in name of show here)" I usually stop her right there and tell her if she lets me know what kind of theme or feeling she is going for I will sketch up a cake that won't require a second mortgage! My favorite though are the clients who order a cake and after I give them the price they are constantly calling back and making changes but expecting the price to stay the same. Such as "Instead of a baseball diamond we have decided we would like a baseball stadium built to scale with little miniture ball players on the field. It's still the same price, right?" Uh....no

mskavon Posted 28 Mar 2011 , 2:36am
post #82 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purtygirl

I work in a grocery store where people bring in pictures of these elaborate fondant covered cakes (we don't do fondant!) and literally say they want a "" cake, but they're paying with FOOD STAMPS!!!! I'm willing to bet that the doesn't accept food stamps!!! And they will spend up to $300 on a cake!! I'VE SEEN IT FIRST HAND!! AND they are the WORST COMPLAINERS! Always yelling, "I PAID GOOD MONEY FOR THIS CAKE!!" No you didn't!! I DID!!! Hard-working tax payers did!! I can't even get financial aid!!




i didn't want to open up this can of worms, but i'm glad that someone did. I lose out on some business because i work from my home and don't have the means, etc. to accept food stamps. People will bo to the grocery store to buy a wedding cake because they can use food stamps. smh

mskavon Posted 28 Mar 2011 , 3:00am
post #83 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingcake

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lcubed82

"
I think the TV challenges, where it seems the tops of our business are competing to be chosen by the customer, may play a part also! Do all this work, and then they will see if they think you are worth anything!



I speak at bridal shows. The first thing I say - Unless you have a $10,000 budget for your cake alone - stop watching those shows. You cannot have that cake!

I honestly say that. I've had other vendors get mad at me and follow behind me (I'm always the first to speak) and tell them they can get whatever they want - that they deserve it and can do it!! (woo-hoo???)

So now I start with that same line and add... and if anyone tells you you can have whatever you want, run from that vendor - because they are not only going to crash your budget but easily talk you in to things you cannot afford and will regret those purchases later when trying to make your house payment. While you may deserve anything you want - not one of us lives in a world where that really happens. Know your budget, embrace your budget, enjoy your wedding day.


I say more than this - more positive things - but this is how I start out.

I actually get lots of business from that little speech.

I also delete those emails (I'm convinced they are spam to begin with) as soon as I receive them. I do not entertain them for a second.




LOVE this!!!

tryingcake Posted 28 Mar 2011 , 3:20am
post #84 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by mskavon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purtygirl

I work in a grocery store where people bring in pictures of these elaborate fondant covered cakes (we don't do fondant!) and literally say they want a "" cake, but they're paying with FOOD STAMPS!!!! I'm willing to bet that the doesn't accept food stamps!!! And they will spend up to $300 on a cake!! I'VE SEEN IT FIRST HAND!! AND they are the WORST COMPLAINERS! Always yelling, "I PAID GOOD MONEY FOR THIS CAKE!!" No you didn't!! I DID!!! Hard-working tax payers did!! I can't even get financial aid!!



i didn't want to open up this can of worms, but i'm glad that someone did. I lose out on some business because i work from my home and don't have the means, etc. to accept food stamps. People will bo to the grocery store to buy a wedding cake because they can use food stamps. smh




I'm so confused. I've this on here before. I told my story - I was on assistance for about 3 months back in the early 80s. We were not allowed to buy any pre-assembled food. NONE! If we went to the deli at a grocery store, we could not buy a pre-assembled sandwich. We could buy slices of meat, cheese, even a bun. We could walk over to produce and buy a tomato, even lettuce if we took the notion. But we could not buy a sandwich. We had to take it out of the store and put it together ourselves.

We could not buy a pre-assembled decorated cake. Again, I was allowed to buy a box of cake mix and canned icing. But not a cake from the bakery department. I guess I could have bought a Sara Lee pound cake from the freezer section and slapped dome icing on it - but not the bakery dept.

Are people allowed to buy all this stuff now? Those rules made perfect sense to me back then. I'm so confused.

polarbear49 Posted 28 Mar 2011 , 3:42am
post #85 of 124

I was ready to hang up my oven mitts! I know most of you charge for your cakes (very smart!) but I think the ones who do it for free for friends and family take a lot of abuse. I have probably made 50 wedding cakes in my lifetime - all for free. I am very clear up front that I have an album of all the cakes I've made and would be happy for them to choose a cake from this book. If they want a specific cake, I won't be offended if they find a professional and pay to have "the cake of their dreams". I just lost a friend of 15 years because her daughter wanted me to make a cake from a picture. She didn't want fondant but wanted butter cream frosting that "looked like fondant". The minute her daughter started rolling her eyes at me, all the joy went out of making this cake. I tried telling her I couldn't make the cake and her response was, "It's several months until the wedding. You've got a long time to practice." (That comment infuriated my husband.) So I wrote them a very nice e-mail explaining that I couldn't make her cake and because I wanted her to love her wedding cake, she would need to hire a professional to make it. Her Mom responded that I was a "black cloud" over her daughter's wedding and she didn't want anything more to do with me. While I'm sorry for the loss of a friendship, I'm wondering how much of a friend she really was. I just cautiously agreed to make a wedding cake for the daughter of a dear friend. She has been just as sweet and respectful as can be and totally appreciative for what I'm going to do for her.

indydebi Posted 28 Mar 2011 , 3:54am
post #86 of 124

polarbear, all I can say to that story is -----> icon_surprised.gif

As the country song says, "God is great, beer is good and people are crazy!"

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 28 Mar 2011 , 4:18am
post #87 of 124

icon_mad.gif at that story polarbear! The nerve of some people! It's obvious she was just trying to manipulate you and put you on a guilt trip. Some "friend".

I HATE when people try to manipulate me, and I will not fall for that crap! Good for you for standing your ground and not doing something you weren't comfortable with! thumbs_up.gif Sounds like you're better off without her "friendship"!

tryingcake Posted 28 Mar 2011 , 5:14am
post #88 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by polarbear49

I was ready to hang up my oven mitts! I know most of you charge for your cakes (very smart!) but I think the ones who do it for free for friends and family take a lot of abuse. I have probably made 50 wedding cakes in my lifetime - all for free. I am very clear up front that I have an album of all the cakes I've made and would be happy for them to choose a cake from this book. If they want a specific cake, I won't be offended if they find a professional and pay to have "the cake of their dreams". I just lost a friend of 15 years because her daughter wanted me to make a cake from a picture. She didn't want fondant but wanted butter cream frosting that "looked like fondant". The minute her daughter started rolling her eyes at me, all the joy went out of making this cake. I tried telling her I couldn't make the cake and her response was, "It's several months until the wedding. You've got a long time to practice." (That comment infuriated my husband.) So I wrote them a very nice e-mail explaining that I couldn't make her cake and because I wanted her to love her wedding cake, she would need to hire a professional to make it. Her Mom responded that I was a "black cloud" over her daughter's wedding and she didn't want anything more to do with me. While I'm sorry for the loss of a friendship, I'm wondering how much of a friend she really was. I just cautiously agreed to make a wedding cake for the daughter of a dear friend. She has been just as sweet and respectful as can be and totally appreciative for what I'm going to do for her.





as the saying goes

With friends like that.....

costumeczar Posted 28 Mar 2011 , 11:17am
post #89 of 124

The only "black cloud" over that wedding will be Mommy Dearest's gimme attitude! What a beeyotch!

And polarbear, people who bake for free do take abuse, but we pros also do, it's just a different type of abuse. icon_rolleyes.gif

Foxicakes Posted 28 Mar 2011 , 10:48pm
post #90 of 124

Wow, Polarbear. Your story made me angrier than I have been in a while. I mean, I get my feathers a little ruffled when I hear stories from other bakers about customers that are rude and act entitled. But, when family and friends do it, for some reason it just gets to me worse than most.

I do have to say that "karma" is a wonderful thing, though. So, most likely this will come around to bite your "friend" AND her demon spawn in the butt pretty hard in one way or another. . .

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