I Need Advice Please!

Decorating By enthralled Updated 11 Aug 2015 , 4:36pm by -K8memphis

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enthralled Posted 6 Aug 2015 , 1:51am
post #1 of 20


What would you consider a fair price for this cake? It's 4 tiers (6,8,10,12), filled with a strawberry reduction, base-iced with buttercream and covered with marshmallow fondant, decorations done with a fondant mold then buttercream overlay ... even though I don't work for him in this capacity, I was "required" to do this cake for my boss's brother's wedding and now he doesn't want to pay anything for it since he bought the ingredients and the cake was baked while I was on the clock. Everything else was done on my own time including searching for the molds.

*Last edited by enthralled on 6 Aug 2015 , 2:08am
19 replies
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kakeladi Posted 6 Aug 2015 , 4:59am
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WOW!!!  Your boss is wrong - unless you made specific agreements about paying for it.

You had to buy the molds?  Did he pay for them also (as part of the ingredients)? 

Pricing varies widely depending on location.  However, I would think a price of about $4 per serving (less what was paid for the ingredients) would be about in the ball park :) 

BTW: You did a great job - it really looks nice.  Did you do the floral/greenery arrangement also?

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kakeladi Posted 6 Aug 2015 , 5:02am
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Oh, just thought of another way to figure a price.  How much per hour do you get paid at work?  How many hours did it take you to finish it up at home?  Like $15 (per hour) X 4 hours.

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littlejewel Posted 6 Aug 2015 , 5:55am
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You boss is so wrong. He knows he should pay you at least for the entire time you spent on the cake.  The cake is beautiful.

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costumeczar Posted 6 Aug 2015 , 12:13pm
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If you decorated it while you were on the clock he doesn't need to pay you for it, but if it was done on your own time then he should. But don't hold your breath, because it sounds like your boss is a %&^$.

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Jeff_Arnett Posted 6 Aug 2015 , 12:26pm
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Though you are unlikely to get anywhere....this is a clear violation of employer/employee relations.  You are hired for a specific job I assume...and you seem to indicate "cake designer" isn't your title.  This was an inappropriate expectation on your boss' part.  Not knowing any more detail, I am wondering is he the top of the supervisory hierarchy?  If he has someone over him, you should report your situation to human resources.  Where do these expectations end? What's next? Very poor administrative skills on his part.


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enthralled Posted 6 Aug 2015 , 1:14pm
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To elaborate... I was given less than a week notice that I would be doing the cake. He didn't "ask" me to do it but rather called me into his office and "told" me what he wanted and briefly allowed me to look at a picture of the cake on his phone. I asked that he text it to me but he didn't so I had to look for it online after I got home. He assured me there would be no topper or ribbon but a family member left the topper and brooch in the deli before one of my shifts. I spent my own gas and time looking for the ribbon and molds though he did reimburse me for the molds. He is the owner of a small-town deli and I work for him as a fry-cook. Also, I am the only employee in this deli. I work 6 days per week, 10-12 hours per day. He attempted to make me do the entire cake during my shift while trying to keep up with my normal duties with no additional help. They wanted the cake done by Saturday but I couldn't find the molds till after my shift Thur night. I finally became so stressed out on Friday morning that I told him either get someone else to decorate it or find someone to relieve me at work so I could finish it at home. He agreed to let me have part of Friday off as well as Saturday to work on it since as of Friday morning, all I was able to accomplish was getting it baked! Between Tuesday and Wednesday nights, I did get the fondant mixed on my own time after getting home around 9pm.. then back to work at 9am. Since the fondant had inadequate drying time after molding it, I had to remold several pieces because they kept breaking! I then had to go into work, set up my line as usual, run back to my house to get the cake, deliver it, set it up, and try to run back and forth between cooking and setting up the cake during my job (they were having the reception at the restraunt next door)... nightmare!!

 He's wanting to give me $150 total for everything. I used my own boards, buttercream, cake dows, pastry bags, bought the ribbon, my gas, and missed 18 hours of work. I just think this is wrong.

Thanks for letting me vent everyone! This has been the worst experience I've ever had with a cake.

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-K8memphis Posted 6 Aug 2015 , 1:17pm
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so after the fact you find out you should have stayed on the clock while decorating, planning - could you submit your additional 'time' rather than submitting 'invoice for cake' --

he has some valid points about his having bought ingredients and the baking which gets you in murky water -- since this wasn't hashed out in advance i'd approach it this way - something like 'mr smith, you're right you paid for the ingredients and got the cakes baked -- this (hand him your time) is the additional time it took to take it from there to this beautiful creation'

i'd even have a cake pan in one hand and a picture of the cake in the other hand -- but approaching him about paying you for the cake is awkward at best as you found out -- he just needs to cough up for your time --

i wonder how eager you were to do this cake -- sometimes we get carried away by our desire to fill a need and create something -- not saying you did -- just curious --

 let me/us know if you do this & how it goes -- going forward of course work this all out in advance

 best to you

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-K8memphis Posted 6 Aug 2015 , 1:24pm
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ok I wrote my previous post before I read your latest one -- he's not totally skunking you -- put in your 18 hours of time on your time card --

*Last edited by -K8memphis on 6 Aug 2015 , 1:31pm
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enthralled Posted 6 Aug 2015 , 1:30pm
post #10 of 20

Thanks -K8memphis. I normally do finalize pricing beforehand. As for the eagerness- I didn't want to do the cake and told him exactly that .... working 60-65 hours a week I'm too tired to be eager about anything LOL!

When I told him I wouldn't have time, he promised to let me leave early every day but failed to do so. He never said I had to do anything on the cake on the clock and only suggested I bake it there because of the big ovens.

*Last edited by enthralled on 6 Aug 2015 , 1:31pm
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-K8memphis Posted 6 Aug 2015 , 1:35pm
post #11 of 20

you let him take advantage of you, munchkin -- probably in part because you are overworked and sleep deprived and because he takes advantage of your time regularly -- hope he coughs up for the 18 hours 

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enthralled Posted 6 Aug 2015 , 1:44pm
post #12 of 20

Hopefully I'll find out today! He promised we'd discuss it yesterday but he didn't. I told him I HAD to know what was going on because I needed to figure my bills and if my pay was going to be considerably less then I needed to figure something out. He said he didn't have time to talk and promised again that we'd discuss it today. And you're right, I'm so exhausted that I can't think straight!

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Rfisher Posted 6 Aug 2015 , 2:21pm
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I don't understand. Did you know in advance he was going to give you $150, after he bought the ingredients? If so, you were the one to ask for time off. I'm not defending your boss, just clarifying. Lost wages should have been discussed right there & then. Have you accepted the $150 yet?

Assuming you are in the USA. ER/EE rights and expectations do vary from state to state.  

Only you can answer which is more important to you. Keep your job as is and move on like it never happened (and never let it happen again) or move on and find out what your state laws are and decide if you have any recourses. Legal action and keeping your job of course is possible, but most people do not find it comfortable.

My guess is that this is not the first time your boss has taken work advantage of you. I bet this guy will come up with a list of what you being busy and away from the deli cost him. 

Best wishes.

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Rfisher Posted 6 Aug 2015 , 2:31pm
post #14 of 20

Ok, never mind. I did not hit refresh before I replied.

hope this works out for you OP.

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-K8memphis Posted 6 Aug 2015 , 3:41pm
post #15 of 20

btw -- you getting time and a half for all the overtime? 

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Pastrybaglady Posted 6 Aug 2015 , 4:29pm
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You poor thing, I'm so sorry there are jerk users out there.  If he doesn't come up with decent money and your regular pay can you afford to continue working for him?  You know he's going to do this again.  Now that he knows that you can do it he may think he's got another stream of revenue just waiting to be tapped.

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Jinkies Posted 6 Aug 2015 , 6:59pm
post #17 of 20

It doesn't matter what he agreed to pay you for the cake.  If he sent you home from work to work on the cake, you should have still been "on the clock".  That just makes no sense at all....

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enthralled Posted 11 Aug 2015 , 2:08am
post #18 of 20


He ended up paying me $250 because he said his cousin (who is a cake decorator) said the company she worked for could've done this cake for $400. I wasn't "asked" to do this cake or given a choice, I was told to do it.

So, I looked up where he claimed she worked on the web. I  submitted an online quote request with the picture and exact specifications of the same cake I did. I added in my email that I would like the quote to include delivery and set-up. 

Today, I received the quote... the company he claimed his cousin worked for quoted me $1051.00 on the exact cake I did for my boss!! Quite the difference from $400.

Thanks all ... this will be the last cake I get bullied into doing!!

I forgot to add that the quote was with buttercream icing and not MMF. Here's their reply:

Thank you for your quote request.
12-10-8-6 Round will serve 125-140 $1,051.00

The cake does not need to be covered in fondant. We can base ice the cake in Buttercream and apply the Lace Design PLEASE NOTE: We do have the molds for the lace however, it is not exact to your picture attached.

If you would like to place an order for this cake, please call very quickly 615-xxx-xxxx to make an appointment.

Thank you

*Last edited by enthralled on 11 Aug 2015 , 2:14am
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bubs1stbirthday Posted 11 Aug 2015 , 3:17am
post #19 of 20

I am not sure where you are but if the expectations that your boss puts on you greatly exceed your job description then you are entitled to extra compensation on top of your normal wage in Australia - it stops someone hiring an employee on base wage while requiring they do a job that is entitled to a higher pay rate.

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-K8memphis Posted 11 Aug 2015 , 4:36pm
post #20 of 20

 the cake is coming in at about $8 a serving from the shop you called -- give or take -- some of it is delivery and tax of course but breaking it all down about eight bucks--

so you were paid almost $14 an hour going by your 18 hours of work missed ($250 / 18 )

that's not completely horrible  since he bought some of the stuff and you were on the clock for the baking of it is it? 

going forward -- you need to get your wits about you and work on your boundaries and negotiating -- in the meantime give him an invoice for the buttercream and etc that you used -- you're not as skunked as you think you are according to what i can tell -- did he take advantage some of your generous pliable nature maybe probably but you did go along with it all too --

i think your sleep deprivation is creating a lot of anxiety for you -- and i'm not saying he was completely above board with you i'm just saying give him the invoice for the other supplies you used and your gas -- you're not out too bad are you if you get that?

i don't know too many fry cooks who get that an hour (and for going forward don't forget the time and a half for ot)

are you in tennessee? isn't 615 nashville?

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