This Customer Just Takes The Cake

, , , | Right | February 13, 2018

(I work behind the deli and bakery counter inside a larger grocery store. On the day of this incident, it is Sunday, when the department manager and the official cake decorator are not working, leaving me watching the cake counter and writing messages on the premade cakes for anyone who asks. A woman comes up and begins browsing huffily through the cookie cakes.)

Me: “Can I help you?”

Customer: “Maybe. None of these cakes are really what I want. Do you have any more in the back?”

Me: “Not that are decorated. If you have a more specific design in mind, I can see if we have any blank ones.”

Customer: “DO THAT.”

(I proceed to the freezer, slightly mystified, as we really do cover a large number of generic designs in the cookie display. Still, I manage to locate a blank one and bring it out. I have already elected not to tell this woman that I am NOT, in fact, the primary cake decorator, as I am quite confident with my abilities with the writing, icing, and all that goes on a cookie cake.)

Me: “Here we go. Now, what design did you want?”

Customer: “I want this one.”

(She slaps a smartphone down on the counter, showing a clear image of a Confederate flag, which has been recently outlawed. Fortunately, red flags go off. I have seen this on Facebook. I am also stricken with visions of store managers storming over to the deli and demanding to know who would be so stupid as to put an illegal flag on a cake.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m fairly certain that’s an illegal design.”

Customer: “Yeah, I know. It’s stupid. [Grocery Store down the road] wouldn’t do it, either.”

Me: “Maybe I should check with a manager to be absolutely sure.”

Customer: “DO THAT.”

(I was correct; the design is forbidden by corporate. I come back with my assistant manager.)

Assistant Manager: “Ma’am, I’m not asking my employee to get fired to make one sale. She will be happy to add stars or stripes as a border.”

Customer: “FINE. Here, write, ‘Austin,’ on this.”

(She shoves a generic “Happy Birthday” cookie back over the counter.)

Me: *to myself* “Well, with that attitude…”

(I wrote the name on the cake and excused myself for a break. Not five minutes later, according to my coworkers, the woman returned and demanded that someone else write the name, instead, requiring that the first be scraped off. It looked terrible, but she took it and left, anyway.)

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