One of my first official cake orders was from a woman who's children I happen to watch after school at our local YMCA. She heard I was doing cakes and approached me to make one for her sons Birthday. This woman is difficult to say the least (not about my abilities as a child care provider but with management; pricing, it's always something,) I knew better but I was so excited and had never personally had problems with her (just listened to her complain about everything from her coworkers to the weather when she would pick up her children) again, I should have known better!
Over the next few days her son and I put sketches together, per her request, I sent them home (approximately 6weeks before the party) I simply told her I would need two weeks notice, a small deposit, and we would need to set aside some time to finalize everything.
The week before her sons party I still hadn't heard back from her and frankly I was relieved, however, on Friday when picking up her son she said she wanted a sheet cake with a combination of the designs (but had forgotten to bring the sketches which was ok). She explained that there would only be 5-10 people attending the party so I suggested a 6/9" small square cake. She didn't want to spend a lot of money, then told me I had free range on the design (as long as it was Cardinal baseball themed) & a marble of chocolate and vanilla, and I told her I would do it for $20. (This was Friday night)
Saturday after I had just pulled the cake out of the oven I received a text message asking for a larger cake 'just in case'. I calmly agreed and explained that the larger the cake the higher the price, which she just didn't think was fair considering I was her last option now that her son's birthday party was the following day-she wanted a long sheet cake like from the bakery and the prices at Krogers are...
Fuming and realizing I should have went with my first instinct, alas I agreed to make the ridiculous 9x13 (explaining that is was a lot more cake than she originally requested) and only doing it for $30. At this point I just wanted this finished and my business complete with her!
I ran to the store to buy two more cartons of eggs (baked both batters from scratch, knew nothing of extenders at that point) and everything else I needed to remake this cake. I stayed up all night baking and remaking the decorations, etc. I showed up at the party, early, with her sheet cake covered in green piped baseball field grass, fondant bases, a scoreboard sticking out with a Happy Birthday....small fondant bats and baseballs stuck to the corners of my bottom trim and a chocolate transfer identical to the Cardinals logo with the bird on the bat unfortunately I was too irritated to take a picture.
Funny enough the mother 'forgot' my payment, thanked me and told me she would bring it Monday ugh! Monday afternoon I received a text stating the cake tasted funny: the yellow being mixed with the chocolate lol I apologized and kindly reminded her that's what she ordered and my family enjoyed the first cake that was meant for her party (and of course I tasted the scraps from leveling it was actually one of my best cakes to date). Anyway, her son was raving and bragging about his special cake to all the kids. When his mother came to pick him up she said she was confused and it was probably b/c it was so dry, again I apologized and kindly reminded her that at her request I remade the cake and I'm not sure I could have made it any fresher. Well darn she forgot her checkbook again...this went on for several weeks. Every day she would pick up her children and every day she had a new complaint, the price was too high, etc. l never mentioned the cake to her she would always bring it up and her final complaint was that the cake was simply too large! Amazingly enough she finally paid me two months later (the original $20). And several months after that I received an apology, something about her meds
Needless to say I learned several painful lessons from one order (contract, deposit, if they don't plan to pay take that cake right back out the door with you, etc). I was devastated and mortified and oh so discouraged! It took me months to bake again. I am not sure why but these people exist everywhere, don't let one bad review get you down! I'm sure it has happened or will happen to all of us maybe even more than once, just don't let someone else get in the way of your passion.