Well-Meaning People!

Decorating By antonia74 Updated 18 Sep 2005 , 2:53am by KayDay

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antonia74 Posted 29 May 2005 , 3:37pm
post #1 of 27

So last month, I was taking a huge 3 tiered cake into the reception room in 3 boxes. One was the 18" square base, the next a 14" round and the top was a 7" square. I was looking forward to putting this huge cake together and getting a few snapshots of it in all its glory.

I was alone...so of course people were asking if they could help. I don't really want help, but they think you are struggling and really want to lend a hand!

Mostly, people do NOT know how to hold a cake in a box. For some reason, they always hold it tightly by the sides or on the craziest angle.

Well...before I could refuse a very well-meaning lady...she had picked up the smallest tier, by the sides no less, and was practically carrying it sideways into the room. The cake's fondant tore in half up both sides and I had to make it a 2 tier cake for the reception.

I DID manage to put the top tier on for my photos...but couldn't leave it there for the night. A BIG disappointment. Needless to say, I couldn't say anything to anyone about it...and the couple never called to say they loved it or "thanks" or anything. Just a cheque in the mail. I am mad, but can't do anything about it. For all I know, the woman was their mother or something and I certainly don't want to get her in trouble...but I also don't want them to think I am careless or inept either!

Rule of thumb. Nobody touches my cakes from now on, except me!

26 replies
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magentaa23 Posted 29 May 2005 , 3:45pm
post #2 of 27

i completely agree..... mainly coz i want everything perfect and i just know someone will mess things up someway

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ntertayneme Posted 29 May 2005 , 4:11pm
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I totally agree too ... people want to help by nature, but when it comes to our cakes, the bottoms must be supported and they most be carried carefully .. if done any other way, the result can mean disaster ... you're right antonia74, we have the right to refuse their generous offer.. we must be kind and in a polite way tell them that cakes are very fragile if not handled properly .. that it's best left up to experts to do ... and besides, that's what we're paid for *wink*

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cakemommy Posted 29 May 2005 , 4:47pm
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I would have been pi$$ed! I just can't believe anyone thought you would be unable to handle the "job"! Hello, you made the cake and if you didn't know what you were doing you would have never accepted the job of making it. I would have bit my tongue as well but it would have been very difficult.


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jscakes Posted 30 May 2005 , 4:02am
post #5 of 27

Oh my! My hubby always wants to help when I need it, but refuses to move or handle any layer of my cakes...

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S_S_SweetTooth Posted 30 May 2005 , 4:54am
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Yep! I agree with the other. I am a beginner and I have already made that a rule(hands off!!). I have already Had a few oop! am sorry looks. I also have a few people who just pop in without calling too. My kitchen is always in a mess then. This makes me feel a little embarrass,so, I ask if there something I may help them with. Some tell me what they need but have this look on their face as they are looking around as they speak. Others has said no, I just wanted to say hi and ask if they may watch. How do you deal with people like this without being rude?

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antonia74 Posted 30 May 2005 , 10:50pm
post #7 of 27

Ah, the people who just want to watch! How would they feel if we can down to their office to "watch" them do their paperwork or crunch numbers?? Pretty self-conscious, I'd imagine! Ha ha!!

Ever try to pipe a straight line with two people watching? Good luck!!

My friend works at a bakery with a huge glass window right at her workspace and constantly tells me how crazy people will tap on the glass as she is piping or doing her delicate work! Thank goodness she's not a surgeon!!!

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peacockplace Posted 30 May 2005 , 11:41pm
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I'm so sorry that happened to you! My husband wouldn't carry one of my cakes for anything in this world! I like it that way. If it's going to get messed up I better be the one doing the messing. LOL . It's funny, no one wants to open a door or help when I'm pushing a double stroller, but if I have cake everyone wants to help. No thanks!

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TheCakeShak Posted 31 May 2005 , 4:55pm
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"Eat Your Cake First"..

You know what I'm thinking, that IF this was either the mother or mother in law, perhaps, she just didn't like the bride or some other reason and figured out a way to "sabotoge?" the most important part of the wedding,,,the cake...

My hubby too, doesn't handle the cakes, he will push the dolly for me but leaves the cakes to me. It is rather hard to not be rude to people who want to "Gaulk"(as we call it) because it does make you so so nervous.

For me, I just take a real long deep breath, say a small quickie prayer and set up, I really TRY to pretend they are not there. I did have one time when I was setting up a wedding cake, a couple of people were moving in too close to the table, and I politely asked them to step back. And they said, sorry and did move back. They were even snapping photos while I was setting up and I made a crack at them and told them " I hope you got my good side,"(which was my dereeare showing to them) because they were behind me.

I think they got the hint and stopped until I was all finished. They even got a good laugh about it. But wow o wow,,was I ever sweating..........nerves...

Just wanted to share one of my experiences. I have not yet (knock on wood) come across anyone who was rude.. icon_wink.gificon_wink.gificon_wink.gif

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traci Posted 31 May 2005 , 7:39pm
post #10 of 27

I never let people help me carry my cakes unless they are in my line of business! People that don't do what we do just don't understand how fragile a cake is. And I know they don't understand the many hours we sit decorating! Anyway...I am sure you learned a lot from this experience!
traci icon_razz.gif

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antonia74 Posted 1 Jun 2005 , 12:20am
post #11 of 27

Oh, I did! I guess THAT mistake only had to be made once!! Anyone who insists on helping from here on in can carry my apron or a spatula!!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

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ntertayneme Posted 1 Jun 2005 , 12:29am
post #12 of 27

oh jscakes, I have my husband trained... he's awesome and helps me carry all my cakes now .. as a matter of fact, he'll tell me "you get the trunk and I'll carry it" ... he actually does better with them than I do LOL icon_smile.gif

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antonia74 Posted 1 Jun 2005 , 4:48am
post #13 of 27

Wow!! Does he have a brother??

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SquirrellyCakes Posted 1 Jun 2005 , 5:03am
post #14 of 27
Originally Posted by jscakes

Oh my! My hubby always wants to help when I need it, but refuses to move or handle any layer of my cakes...

Heehee, are we twins separated at birth, JSCAKES ?
I totally agree, I don't let people touch my cakes. You are absolutely correct in feeling this way. However, I think I would tell the bride and groom what happened to that other tier.
I had a lady pick up two cakes last week. Fortunately she saw them in perfection condition. But would you believe she stood there talking to me and actually placed her purse on top of the cake box. We are talking those flimsy white cake boxes that anyone would know cannot support any weight. Even after I told her she left her purse on top of the box and even though I told her she must carry the box with her hands underneath it, she still squashed in the sides of the box. But hey, they were perfect until she came along, so I guess I just have to look at it as not my problem.
However in your case, it was different. I have my hubby tell everyone not to help, because it is better than I ruin the cake than anyone of them. He always makes some joke about me likely killing anyone for doing any damage and it seems to get the message across!
Most halls have catering dollies and if you call ahead and ask, they will tell you where you can get one. They are usually made up of two or three shelves on wheels which you can put your boxed cakes on and wheel close to the cake table to set up.
I am sorry this happened to you, it must have been very disappointing after all of your hard work!
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

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KATE39 Posted 28 Jun 2005 , 2:03pm
post #15 of 27
Originally Posted by peacockplace

I'm so sorry that happened to you! My husband wouldn't carry one of my cakes for anything in this world! I like it that way. If it's going to get messed up I better be the one doing the messing. LOL . It's funny, no one wants to open a door or help when I'm pushing a double stroller, but if I have cake everyone wants to help. No thanks!


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cakelady Posted 28 Jun 2005 , 7:25pm
post #16 of 27

I include my husband in my business.......he's wonderful at driving and carrying the cakes.......he is so careful.......it really means a lot to me as well to have that support.

No one else helps!!!!!!!!!!!

When someone asks I generally just say, "if you would get the door I would appreciate that".........or something along those lines..........

I would inform the bride/groom about the top tier of the cake...........

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littlebubbieschocolates Posted 28 Jun 2005 , 7:33pm
post #17 of 27

i kind of have to agree my hub helps. but i like to carry the cake this way if something happends i cant get mad at anyone but my self.

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BuncoHappens Posted 9 Jul 2005 , 3:22pm
post #18 of 27

I know what you mean! We were taking my 4th of July cake to a party last weekend and I made my husband pull over so I could drive! I trust my hubby with my life, but not my cakes! When we got to the party and I was carrying it in, several people offered to help and hubby made jokes about how it was compared to NASA driving the space shuttle to the blast-off site!

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farney0125 Posted 13 Jul 2005 , 6:37am
post #19 of 27

I am soooo the same way. I was bringing a cake to a baby shower I was hosting...i had been up till 3am making it. Someone asked if they could help me by carrying it in...I was like NO! I don't let anyone near my cakes till it's time to cut it. Which by the way is the worst part for me!

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MariaLovesCakes Posted 19 Jul 2005 , 6:03pm
post #20 of 27

Ditto, here! I have no problem telling people to keep hands off the cake... I carry my own cakes and my husband helps sometimes when assembling and he follows my instructions precisely...!!! icon_lol.gif

But even he sees someone trying to help he even says, NOPE!!! She doesn't like that!!! Leave her to her cakes and don't TOUCH ANYTHING!!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

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ThePastryDiva Posted 3 Sep 2005 , 11:43pm
post #21 of 27

Ha..what if this woman was the "scorned" cake decorator?--lol

Someone that damaged the cake on purpose so she could go back to the couple and say "see? you went with someone that didn't know what they were doing".

One of the conditions that I insist on is to have NO ONE in the same room as I set up the cake, and if they have to be there and they come over, I know that I sound "witchy" but I've already cleared it with my clients...

"I'm an artist AT work and do not wish to be interrupted..hahaha!!" I will be rude enough to tell people that I can't talk to them at the moment and have told people NOT to take photos of the cake until it has been set up. The cake is MY property until I 'RELEASE IT"...and that is when everythign is done and I step back from it..lol

As far as people tapping on the glass..?!?! OMG how rude is that? I would ask my boss if I can put up a sign like they do at the ZOO...lol Asking people not to tap or bang or otherwise distract the cake decorator at work. We get that a LOT at school, our culinary labs have windows for days and they have tours, thank goodness that most of the time people will restrain themselves!..lol

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candyladyhelen Posted 11 Sep 2005 , 9:40pm
post #22 of 27

I also do not let anyone handle my cakes. I have trained my husband. He does a good job carrying & driving the car. But that is all.

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missmersh Posted 11 Sep 2005 , 9:52pm
post #23 of 27

Y'all are cracking me up! LOL ha ha
I thought I was just anal all this time since I didn't want anyone to touch my cakes either!!! I guess all of us are alike, that is why we do this! icon_wink.gif

We all have all night parties with our cakes and all have a hands-off policy.

I almost FREAKED out one day when I was in a class. My teacher decided to come "help" me put my roses on. HE KEPT SMASHING THEM with his big hands!!!!!! I thought since he was a fellow decorator that he might be more gentle...but NOOOO, my roses were getting smashed. I almost HIT him. I bit my tongue though, since it was only a class cake. I don't think I could ever work with anyone in this business unless they were exactly like you gals or me!!! LOL

I am so glad this was brought up, cause I thought I was just being mean!

Thank you!

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Daniela Posted 16 Sep 2005 , 10:26pm
post #24 of 27

Antonia, I'm so sorry to hear about your bad luck. I understand that you didn't tell anyone because you weren't sure who the lady was but I think you should've at least mentioned it to the bride or groom. I'm sure you put a lot of work into your cakes and it would be such a shame if the couple got upset because they thought that your irresponsibility was the cause of them not having their 3 tier cake when you clearly had nothing to do with it. icon_sad.gif


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Mac Posted 18 Sep 2005 , 1:56am
post #25 of 27

Delivered a cake today to a restaurant for a BD party. It was for a retired navy guy. As I was coming in the door, the lady who orderd thecake and manager met me. The manager took the cake out of my hands (it was in a plastic sterilite box because it was heavy), lifted to her eye-level to look at the cake said "I can't see it" and started to tilt it more. I told her not to tilt it or she would have cake on the floor and she was going to crush the draped flag.
I was having heart palpitations--the manager would not give it back and kept saying they had the table ready and she would take it back. I told her I usually set the cakes up but I almost felt like she didn't want me to come back into the dining area. Maybe she wanted others to think they had provided the cake???
I DO NOT LIKE OTHERS TO TOUCH WHEN I DELIVER--so if that mkes me anal--so be it.
I was fuming when I got home but my husband took m to dinner so I 'm OK now.

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ThePastryDiva Posted 18 Sep 2005 , 2:00am
post #26 of 27

My Goodness Mac,

as soon as she said "I CAN"T SEE" it...I would've say..." you will as soon as I set it up for you!"...lol


Even better, as soon as someone takes a hold of the cake say" Oh, good, you took delivery of the cake, please sign here"..hahaha I'll be they let go of it faster than you can say.....FROSTING!"

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KayDay Posted 18 Sep 2005 , 2:53am
post #27 of 27

I am exactly the same way, nobody but my sister of my self touches the cake until it is set up and complete. I can't say " Until it is cut" because sometimes they have wild kiddies running around before the reception, usually immediate family of the bride or groom. And if I thnink there is any danger I try to warn someone. But I have had so many on my nerves before that now I just kinda make it clear that my obligation ends when that cake is set up perfectly on the table. Whatever happens then is their problem! But I don't think it is anal @ all to want to see a job thru to the end. And thats how I feel about it. It isn't done till it is safely set up.

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