Well, I delivered this cake today. Ultimately I decided to just talk to the gal again when I got there as I was delivering the cake at 9 am and the ceremony was at 10:30, hoping I could talk her out of cutting it. The more I thought about it, the more I realized it wasn't going to work to precut it, using any method. First, because the woman scaled back on the order from what I recommended, to get the number of servings she needed she wanted me to cut 1"x2" pieces-this is a regular old single layer sheet cake. With that puny of a piece I was sure they'd start falling over on the sides of the cake while being transported. Second, I was really worried about the stability of the cap stacked on top if the cake was cut underneath it.
So I got there and the woman rushed over to make sure it was pre-cut. I explained the dilemma and told her that I really think she'd be better off leaving the cake intact while the parents are arriving, then have someone cut it at the back of the room (it was in the school gym) during the ceremony. She then asked me to score the top at least. Well, I used a knife to carefully score the icing and she came over to check it out when I was half way through. Then she was concerned that it wasn't a clean cut, ie a bit of the icing pulled up and it looked a little choppy. I told her that that was what happens when you pull a knife through icing, which is why cakes are not normally pre-cut. I also had fondant lettering and flowers which I couldn't score through so I had to kind of score to the sides of the letters and flowers.
In the end a cake that was really pretty beautiful ended up looking like cr*p. I didn't even take a picture of it. Luckily, the two teachers whose classes the ceremony was for had seen me come in and took a look at the cake while it was still in the box before it got discombobulated. I went upto one of their classrooms before leaving and apologized and let him know that I tried to talk the women (school counselor) out of messing with it before serving and he said he understood, to quote "some people just won't listen!".
Oh, and the woman bought huge plates to serve those tiny pieces on! I think they were about 8" plates! Can you imagine what people thought being served 1x2" pieces of sheet cake on 8" plates?! LOL! I just hope people don't think it was on my recommendation if they find out the cake was from me!