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Anyone getting more "entitled" clients lately? - Page 5

post #61 of 124
I'm not licensed, and do cakes for friends/family. I also give a lot of cakes away just for the experience of doing the cake, or as a gift. You'd think that when a person is getting a cake for free, they'd lose the "diva" mentality........aaaaaaand, you'd be wrong.

A good friend is catering another friend's wedding/reception and asked me about the wedding/groom's cake. I was flattered because she is a professional caterer in a metropolitan area, and has many options for bakeries. But I didn't feel right about the situation from the beginning because the bride/groom are very casual friends that I don't know that well. But I told her that I'd talk to them, and that I couldn't promise anything. So glad I said that!

The groom is the one I dealt with because the wedding cake was his baby. I spoke to him on the phone and he described the cake he wanted...a 3-D replica of his fiance's favorite painting of a French Quarter building. At first, I was THRILLED at the idea of doing that cake. I knew it would be a great challenge! But as our conversation went on, he got into specifying the exact shading of the building, the mini-replica's of the lighting and shutters, how his bride KNEW that painting inside-out and would I be able to replicate it EXACTLY???

Uuuuuuh, nope. I told him that I'd examine the photo of the painting he sent me, and that I'd let him know if I would be able to do it, but promised nothing. I explained when I'd be back in touch (4 days later...holiday weekend in the middle). Over the next four days, he sent me 3 texts with more details/questions, and two more e-mails of the painting from other angles. Finally, he left me a voice-mail explaining how EXCITED his fiance was that I was going to do this cake replicating her fave painting!!!!!

I was stunned. What part of our conversation had he missed? Did he speak to my alter-ego and work out all these pesky details behind my back???

I called him back, when I said I would, and explained that I was flattered with the challenge he presented me, but that I wasn't sure I could execute it to his specifications. The wedding was well over a year away, so I suggested two other licensed bakeries that I know do specialty cakes in the area.

I kid you not, this guy continued to call/text, suggesting changes that might make the cake easier, not a direct replica of someone's artwork (which I told him I couldn't do), etc.....

GROOM-ZILLA!!!


I finally just stopped replying to texts/calls...I'd explained the situation as well as I could, and I'm pretty sure I did it in English. End of story.
post #62 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpecialtyCakesbyKelli

I guess i'm an "entitled" baker... I won't take just any order lol....... if you don't suit my fancy, you don't get my cake! I'm through with this over the top crazy stuff after being burned a few times. Now if its not something I think will look good... I don't do it...and guess what?? I'm still booked every week.



Amen Sista!! icon_lol.gif
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post #63 of 124
I received a call for a cake for a Valentine Day cake. Her opening line to me was..." I'm thinking of 'letting" you do a cake for me...and it would be great for you...exposure for you"... Red flag...she wants a free cake.....I told her I dont do free cakes...for anyone.
post #64 of 124
Just last night I heard about a study that had been 30 years ago where children were asked if they thought they are a very important person. 12% answered yes. The question was recently asked again of children and that number went to 80%. I like the notion of teaching self esteem, but couple this with the lack of socialization that goes on in society today, and the fact that children are no longer taught any type of etiquette or manners, and this is what we get.

Like it or not, but we have taught the younger people to behave this way and unless and until we change that and begin teaching them proper manners, we kinda have gotten what "WE" taught.
"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
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"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
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post #65 of 124
I actually think the issue is too much socialization...with social media constantly available 24/7 people have been trained to communicate via facebook updates, twitter posts, and text messages. They have also gotten used to instant gratification in social interactions, which sometimes doesn't carry over well to more traditional social situations.

Schools are part of the problem (too much focus on testing), but education about manners and etiquette should be coming primarily from parents.

But IMO the biggest problems are role models on TV. Many people model their behavior after what they see on TV, and good examples are few and far between when looking at reality TV and the 24-hour news stations. Politicians are no better. Since there's no way to put this genie back in the bottle the best you can do is be ready and willing to reject customers if they are too much trouble.
post #66 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

I actually think the issue is too much socialization...with social media constantly available 24/7 people have been trained to communicate via facebook updates, twitter posts, and text messages.

I dont' consider this to be socialization because they are not actually having any people contact. I think this is anti-socialization because they are not learning how to deal with people; they think 300 friends on facebook means they are popular and REALLY have "friends" (not!). People tend to be braver when hiding behind a screen name and saying something, not to someone's face, but to their faceBOOK, so they believe themselves to be a good "communicator". I disagree with that.

I agree they have been trained to communicate via electronics and there are a number of articles I've read on marketing to this generation via THEIR method of communication, if a business wants to survive in that market. But I dont' believe its "one or the other". Businesses communicate via electronics but deals are closed across a table, face to face, with a smile and a handshake (and all of those legal document thingies, too! )

I have a relative who this describes to a T. He's all "in your face" via his facebook entries but talk to him across a table and he can't carry on a 3 minute conversation. No eye contact, can't organize his thoughts, stuttering around trying to say what he thinks, but he can't figure out verbally what it is that he thinks. Its sad to watch.
post #67 of 124
Thank you Debi, that was my immediate reaction too and was going to post much the same as you did, just as as eloquently. I think what kids, and many adults, do today is interaction, but not socialization.

I see kids all the time walking down the street together, and never say a word. I asked one girl I knew why she was texting and not talking to the person she was walking with, and she said they were texting each other. I understand when the technology was brand new, but it's not a new medium any longer. People need to learn how to speak appropriately to one another and as much as it needs to be taught by parents, since we now have parents who don't know better, we do need the schools to teach it as well. We had classes in these things in elementary school, just proper etiquette. It didn't take from our other education, but I believe it enhanced our other education because we were able to apply it to our learning experience as well.

Clearly, everyone on here is part and parcel to the technology of computers, but that doesn't mean we throw out etiquette, manners and knowing how to interact with each other face to face. Learn how to shake hands properly with a person, look them in the eye when you speak, be straightforward and polite, sit in a chair properly. Basic stuff so many of us learned by the time we were 10, people don't know about at all anymore. I'd bet most kids don't even know what the word etiquette means.
"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
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"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
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post #68 of 124
I definitely agree that this type of interaction forms bad habits, but just because we don't recognize it as socialization from our perspective doesn't mean it isn't. Like it or not, social media is now the primary method of communication for most youth...social transactions are just broken up into smaller chunks. And there is a form of etiquette that applies to online social interactions, it just doesn't work for face-to-face meetings.

The best way to solve this problem would be to monetize the online delivery of training for improving face-to-face social interactions (ideally integrated into the social media platform of their choice) while at the same time showing better role models on TV.

From the perspective of a retailer or commercial service provider, there's not really much we can do in the way of teaching customers manners without alienating them.
post #69 of 124
Thread Starter 
I saw an interview with an exectuive of some company (really specific, huh?) Who said that the trainees and new-hires they get these days are completely incapable of holding a conversation face-to-face. He said that they'd be in a meeting, and as soon as there was a break they'd all get out their little devices and start typing away, but if you tried to talk to one they couldn't carry on a conversation.

The story of the tasting for 6 servings, and the "I'm thinking of letting you make me a cake" are horrible! I'm going to do a blog post about tasting appointments and I think some of these stories will be good to drive home the point that we're bakers, not free-cake providers. Good Lord.
post #70 of 124
I'm sure it has it's uses, but this is why I absolutely HATE TEXTING! It breaks down communication so much that we are reduced to:

CKHIEKJJDLDE1@...Need I say more, Joe? LOLF*&(#&*

Why not just bring back smoke signals and morse code? icon_lol.gif

Don't get me started on people who text while driving...twice as deadly as a drunk driver. Scares me to death. Someone actually texted to their facebook wall that they just "missed thier exit".... really? Maybe keeping your eyes on the road might help? NO? Sorry, my mistake. Carry on, loose cannon. icon_rolleyes.gif (they were driving, not the passenger!)
post #71 of 124
"Like it or not, social media is now the primary method of communication for most youth...social transactions are just broken up into smaller chunks"

I absolutely agree with this and as you also say, it's bad habits. But it's in these bad habits and the lack of caring for other individuals that make people not care about others. This prompted me to look up definitions and read studies on this subject. Socialization begins with infants, they are taught the physical connection to other people. It's been shown that babies who are not held, but otherwise get the same nourishment as other babies, will die. It's learning how to speak with others, face-to-face, touching, building self esteem, learning how to interact in social settings, develop peer groups, learning how to lead, be dominant, or work with others. Learning to rebel against parents to develop ones own self worth and have an independent life of their own. People who can commuicate confidently face-to-face will also be able to do so online, but the reverse is not automatically true. People are real this way and emotions can be seen, heard, inflection in voices give a different meaning to what is being said. Bullying has gone to new levels with texting and online communication because there is no need to feel an emotional connection to the person on the other end, they become objects rather than people. Just because it has evolved in the most widely used form of communication does not mean that childen don't need to be taught socialization first and foremost and learn how to use these tools effectively, and safely. They need to learn how to present themselves in business situations as is the topic here. They need to learn how to respect others and how to command respect. Ok, I'm off my soapbox.
"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
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"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
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post #72 of 124
They also need to be taught how to (respectfully) stand up for themselves, healthy coping skills, and all that jazz. I do agree with socialization being important, which doesn't necesarily have to mean sending your kids to public school. (mention homeschool and the first comment is "your child won't be socialized".) My daughter is far more socially adapted than most of her peers. She can hold a conversation with adults and kids, has the occasional temper tantrum (as we all feel like having from time to time), but is being taught a vital skill not taught in any school: compassion. It really concerns me that compassion is not taught in school...only tolerance, and they are far from the same thing.

This is not an argument to homeschool kids, I just agree that the over use of social media is eroding communication. (maybe that's the closet luddite in me, eventhough I obviously still use some technology). David Chronenberg really is a visionary.
post #73 of 124
I work in a grocery store where people bring in pictures of these elaborate fondant covered cakes (we don't do fondant!) and literally say they want a "Cake Boss" cake, but they're paying with FOOD STAMPS!!!! I'm willing to bet that the Cake Boss doesn't accept food stamps!!! And they will spend up to $300 on a cake!! I'VE SEEN IT FIRST HAND!! AND they are the WORST COMPLAINERS! Always yelling, "I PAID GOOD MONEY FOR THIS CAKE!!" No you didn't!! I DID!!! Hard-working tax payers did!! I can't even get financial aid!!
post #74 of 124
The worst is people asking for a quote for 5-10 people expecting it to be super cheap, because it is only for a few people, you have to spend the time making figurines etc, the time is not in the baking of the cake it is in the decorating.
post #75 of 124
Especially in the area that I live in. There's one scratch bakery and the others are grocery store bakeries. People are not accustomed to a specialty cake shoppe. They literally balk at prices, even tho i sometimes beat the prices of the grocery stores. ....*thinking*...who would want to buy a wedding cake from a grocery store?? lol
shakin, bakin, and cakin...
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shakin, bakin, and cakin...
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