Unfiltered Story #217737

, , | Unfiltered | December 8, 2020

(I used to work at a bakery, and this happened on one of my last shifts before I left for another, better job, so I’m a little less invested than usual. I’m out front waiting on customers on a busy Saturday afternoon and see the owner at one of the cash registers with a customer who looks generally unhappy with her order she’s picking up. I overhear snippets of their conversation while I work – the owner (also the head cake decorator) says something about offering to use a different color and other fixes to make sure she’s happier with the product. I don’t pay much attention, since I’ve got my own work to focus on, but the customer eventually leaves, her cake in tow. Things wind down, we get closer to closing time, and the owner and her husband leave for the evening. Not too much longer after that, I’m in the back doing some closing duties when the phone rings. I answer.)

Customer: Yes, my name is [customer]. I’m calling with a complaint about a cake I picked up today.

Me: I’m so sorry to hear that. What was the problem?

Customer: I just want to let you know that I have never been so disappointed, and this will be the last time I order from your bakery.

Me: I apologize, ma’am. What was the issue with your order? We may be able to fix it for you.

Customer: No, the decorator already offered that, and I just don’t have time to come back out there.

(I realize now that this is the customer the owner had been working with earlier. I remember the comment about the color and ask what exactly the problem was.)

Customer: The cake has a man’s name on it and they used PINK icing and pastel colors to decorate!

(Note that when we take orders – every single time – we ask if the customer has any preferences for color of decorations. They can even specify colors to NOT use. If the customer has no preference, we write “any colors” or “decorator’s choice,” or similar. We also ask them to specify, for basic decorations, whether they want flowers or balloons, and after everything, we review the order, while physically showing them the sheet, and they must sign it to acknowledge that they agree with the order.)

Me: Had you specified certain colors you wanted used?

Customer: No, I didn’t. Just basic decorations.

Me: Ah. Well, ma’am, while I understand you didn’t like the pink, if no colors are specified it is at our decorators’ discretion to use whichever colors are available and made up for the day.

Customer: But they saw a man’s name was on it! Why would they choose PINK?!

Me: I afraid I can’t answer that, ma’am, as I’m not a decorator. But typically if they see no specification, they just create a basic birthday cake with what information they’ve got. They’re making tons of cakes very quickly, on weekends, and the writing is the last thing we do, so it’s possible they simply didn’t look ahead. Most of our colors right now are pastels because it’s spring, so that’s why that palette was chosen. You said the owner already offered to redecorate the cake with different colors?

Customer: Yes, but I don’t have time for that. I am just so disappointed. I will never order another cake from you. I can’t believe a decorator would use those colors for a cake with a man’s name on it. And then you expect me to drive back out when I don’t have time to fit that into my schedule.

(Never mind the fact that the owner offered this while the woman was in the store, and she could have done it in five minutes, as I’ve personally witnessed. We go around several times, me offering everything I can, apologizing, and trying to give an explanation for a decision I didn’t make. I’ve lost all interest when she just goes back to her old line.)

Customer: I will never be ordering from your shop again.

Me: All right, well, I’m sorry to hear that. I hope the rest of your day gets better!

Customer: *click*

(The best part is that when I pulled her order sheet, I found out that she had specifically requested flowers instead of balloons – obviously the more feminine choice of the two – and that the cake was not just for a man – it was for two people, one of whom was a woman!)

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