Sick Days - How To Cancel An Order?

Business By BailiasCakes Updated 5 Aug 2012 , 12:44am by costumeczar

BailiasCakes Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
BailiasCakes Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 11:37pm
post #1 of 16

So I have been down with pneumonia for two weeks and do not think I will be back to the place I would feel comfortable to bake for others before my next cake is due. How do I cancel the cake and not completely screw up and thoughts of a returning customer?

What do one-man shops do when they are down with something?

15 replies
rosech Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
rosech Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 12:13am
post #2 of 16

Its 0155h Saturday here in Zimbabwe. I am awake because I have flu. I have to deliver a wedding cake at 7am. I have zebra head cake order due Sunday and a simple 10 inch cake due same day. I just started having symptoms around 1500h friday. Now I have a running nose. Flowing to be precise. I do not know how I will be in the morning. Wondering about the same thing too and waiting to see what others say. Sorry I could not help.

leah_s Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
leah_s Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 12:27am
post #3 of 16

You glove up, put on a mask and power through OR you find someone else at least at your skill level to do the cake. You do not leave the customer hanging.

jason_kraft Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
jason_kraft Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 12:49am
post #4 of 16

If you are a one-man shop you should have a network of other reputable bakers in your area to call on for situations like this.

carmijok Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
carmijok Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 1:06am
post #5 of 16

I made a baby shower cake when I had the flu...I HAD to or there would have been no cake.
Mask, gloves, lots of fluids and OTC drugs.

MimiFix Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
MimiFix Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 2:14am
post #6 of 16

BailiasCakes, I'm sorry you don't feel well. If you are up to it, push yourself to get it done. Or get someone to take over. Or, if neither of the above are possible, call the customer and apologize that you won.t be able to fill her order.

When you're feeling better, work up a contingency plan so the next time you'll know what to do..

TinkerCakes Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
TinkerCakes Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 2:32am
post #7 of 16

It's so much easier telling someone to suck it up and do it when you are not the one sick. (I KNOW, I don't need to hear all the..."one time I had temp of 105 and still made a 5 tier wedding cake" icon_smile.gif) If you honestly don't think you can do it then you need to search for another cake decorator in your area to fill the order.
I hope you feel better and I hope it all works out!

Brettley Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Brettley Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 2:43am
post #8 of 16

I would reccommend gloves, mask and lots of sanitizer. Suit up and finish it. I know that I would feel much better knowing that I completed the cake rather than disappoint someone, and I am sure you will too. Your peace of mind will be worth it.

Just before Easter weekend my father just about died suddenly. (well he did techincally twice) He was air lifted to the city I lived in (thank goodness otherwise i would have been hauling cake stuff 4 hours away) and underwent a 14 hour surgery, and had a BRUTAL few days following. Anyway, It was also a weekend with 2 weddings and 1 birthday..... If there were a time to cancel a cake, that would have been it, but I didn't. I, however, did not sleep much for days. If I wasn't at the hospital, I was doing the cakes. I finished them and the customers had no idea anything was even wrong...... Also, from those wedding cakes that I did that weekend, I received 4 wedding bookings for next year because of it........ Karma maybe..... I dunno, but I would do it again in a second.

Maybe a bit of an overshare but in my opinion, I think you should fight through it. I think the guilt of cancelling would eat at you.

SugarKissesCakery Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
SugarKissesCakery Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 3:08am
post #9 of 16

I have a home-based business and I politely disagree. If I had the flu or another contagious illness, I would have to think long and hard about completing a cake. No matter how much hand-sanitizer you use, you are still going to be spreading virus on any hard surface (including your cake board) since it is likely going to come into contact with other things in your home that have virus on it.) If the wedding/event has any elderly guests or people with weakened immune systems, you are really taking quite a chance of passing something that could be very serious to them. What about spreading your illness when you deliver the cake? Just what every bride or groom wants is to come down with a contagious illness on their honeymoon. Would you want to eat in a restaurant where the cook was actively ill???? Would you want to feed that food to your kids or your elderly parents? I know I wouldn't.

Home bakers have to have a back-up plan. Have other bakers you can call in an emergency. When in doubt, ask your doctor if it is safe to prepare food for others to eat. If he says ok then it is your decision if you feel well enough. Feeling under the weather is one thing but a contagious illness is completely different. Best of luck to you.

jgifford Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
jgifford Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 3:26am
post #10 of 16

Gloves, mask and sanitizer. Disinfect all surfaces as much as possible. I mean, really, people. It's not like the germs have an unlimited lifespan. Unless they're kept moist, I believe about half an hour is the limit. The reason you're infectious for days is that the germs/bacteria continue to replicate inside your body . So use some common sense and keep things as disinfected as you possibly can.

Lucygoosey Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Lucygoosey Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 3:28am
post #11 of 16

I have to agree with Jason-Lisa and SugarKissesCakery.
Last year, after taking a deposit for a large Baby Shower cake I came down with pneumonia. I didn't know it was pneumonia until I ended up in the hospital for 3 days. This was 2 weeks before the cake was due. I thought I would be able to make the cake once I was back home but I was too weak to do anything.
I called her up, explained my situation, and refunded her deposit.
I gave her the number of 2 bakers I knew could do the cake she wanted.
It took me a month to recover and regain my strength.
My customer thanked me for my recommendation and was happy with her cake.

scp1127 Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
scp1127 Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 5:56am
post #12 of 16

I'm sorry, I'm on the suck it up side. I have taken care of business the day I had a baby and finished a job after a fall that broke a vertebrae and dislocated my jaw... then I went to the doctor. If you are in business for yourself and did not think to have a contingency plan in place, you should do the cake.

I was sick one time when a cake was due. My husband is a physician and he said that with a mask and gloves, it was fine. And as posted earlier, the germs don't live but so long. Also, once you have the symptoms, you have actually been contageous for days and are probably at the end stages of contamination. Doctors don't get sick because the wear gloves.

Anyone in business should have a backup plan before they accept their first order. I am getting ready to sign a lease on retail space and the landlord reminded me that not being open was not an option and would be stipulated in the lease. This means snow too. For retail, that would mean a backup employee behind the counter if I look sick.

It may take 10x longer, but on short notice, the person may not be able to get a substitute baker.

TinkerCakes Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
TinkerCakes Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 3:18pm
post #13 of 16

LOL! I knew their would be someone that just couldn't help telling their story.

rosech Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
rosech Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 5:30pm
post #14 of 16

I managed to deliver and set up wedding cake. Photo in my gallery. I have finished carving zebra head. Now left with covering and decorating. Its 1908h saturday. If I feel overwhelmed I will rest and finish in the morning. I have to say getting someone to do a sculpting job for u aint that easy. I have a feeling if it were not for all the suck it up posts I would be curled in bed now feeling sorry for myself. I also hope OP finds a way. For me it was going to be difficult as I have made cakes for 4 members of the family this year and I know how much they are looking forward to this one. Siggghhh. Thanx y'all.

BailiasCakes Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
BailiasCakes Posted 4 Aug 2012 , 7:49pm
post #15 of 16

I have been lucky this time. It was a birthday cake for a friend of the family and they know how close to being hospitalized I have been, and that it is not over. When the customer called this morning to finalize the details, she immediately heard how bad I am and suggested to cancel. Now hopefully I can get the rest i need and be back to the kitchen. As it is, I cannot return to my day job until I have been released by my doctor.

Thanks to the others for advice. Hopefully the network of bakers in my area will get over their petty differences and be reliable enough in the future to be trusted in times like this. Sadly today they are rude, back stabbing and untrusting - but that's a whole different thread topic.

costumeczar Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
costumeczar Posted 5 Aug 2012 , 12:44am
post #16 of 16
Originally Posted by BailiasCakes

Thanks to the others for advice. Hopefully the network of bakers in my area will get over their petty differences and be reliable enough in the future to be trusted in times like this. Sadly today they are rude, back stabbing and untrusting - but that's a whole different thread topic.

This can be a problem...I have a bunch of people I could call in an emergency, but there are others who would just as soon tell me to go pound sand then tell everyone in town how I failed to deliver the order. Interestingly, it's the home-based bakers who would be helpful, as I think about it, and the storefronts who would tell me to get lost.

There has to be at least one person you can pair up with for situations like that. I bet if you looked at who you have to chosoe from you can find someone whos' nto a jerk. Maybe not, though! icon_rolleyes.gif

Quote by @%username% on %date%