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This Customer Really… *Sigh* …Takes The Cake

, , , | Right | January 26, 2023

A lady ordered a cake and got exactly what she asked for. She even admitted the cake was what she asked for, but…

Customer: “I want a refund; this cake doesn’t look the way I imagined it would. It’s for a teenager, but the icing color and flowers make it look like a little girl’s cake!”

Figuring Out How The Cookie Crumbles

, , , , , , , | Working | January 17, 2023

I’m a seventeen-year-old looking for my first summer job. Around mid-June, I notice that a recently-opened bakery is hiring. I walk in and ask for an application. The owner, a woman in her forties, just hands me an apron.

Owner: “You can start right now. Go start making cookies.”

Me: “How am I supposed to make them? I’ve never done these kinds of cookies before.”

Owner: “Figure it out.”

Me: “But aren’t you going to train me?”

Owner: “I don’t have time to train you. And besides, you’re a big girl. You can figure it out. Now get to work!”

Luckily, I do know how to make cookies, but since I don’t know how the owner wants them, I give it my best shot, following the recipe as closely as possible. They turn out pretty good — very close to the ones on display, in fact. However, when I show them to the owner, she absolutely blows her lid.

Owner: “WHAT IN THE ACTUAL F*** ARE THESE?!”

She tosses the batch of perfectly fine cookies — easily about $30 to $40 worth of them going by her prices — straight into the trash.

Me: “I’m sorry! I wasn’t entirely sure how you wanted them!”

Owner: “No s***, you didn’t! I can’t sell those!”

Me: “I gave it my best shot and went by the recipe! How was I supposed to know how you wanted them if you didn’t train me?”

Owner: “I told you, figure it out! You know what? Just go home; I don’t have time for this. Tomorrow, I’ll give you something you can actually do.”

This routine continues for the next couple of days. Each time, she gives me something different to do that I don’t know how to do, tells me to “figure it out”, and then screams at me for not doing it correctly even though I gave it my best shot.

On my fourth day, instead of flipping out like she usually does, she pulls me into the office.

Owner: “Listen. I’ve lost my patience with you. Since you’re not doing your job like I told you to, you’ve left me no choice but to fire you.”

Me: “But you never trained me for anything! How am I supposed to do what you ask if I don’t know how?”

Owner: “I’ve told you time and time again! Figure! It! Out!”

Me: “No, you were supposed to train me!”

Owner: “It’s not my job to train people! God, it’s no wonder nobody here lasts longer than a week! No one can figure anything out anymore!”

Me: “Well, maybe if you’d train them like I—”

Owner: “Enough! This conversation is over! Just go, and don’t come back!”

I left without saying another word. Luckily, it wasn’t long before I found a different job at a bookstore just up the street, which, ironically enough, was owned by the bakery owner’s father-in-law. According to my new boss, everything began to fall apart at the bakery not long after my time there.

He told me his daughter-in-law’s continued insistence on having her employees “figure it out” instead of properly training them led to the bakery becoming a practical revolving door of employees getting hired and then either quitting out of frustration or getting fired after three or four days of being screamed at for mistakes that were not their fault.

Between the high employee turnover (pardon the pun), [Owner]’s tendency to throw out perfectly sellable cookies and pastries just because they weren’t exactly the way SHE wanted them, and customers being driven away by her behavior, she found herself deep into the red almost every week. By the start of August, she could no longer afford to pay her business and personal expenses because she was literally throwing so much money away.

In fact, [Owner] dug herself so far into debt that she had to file for bankruptcy, which led to her husband filing for divorce once he found out.

[Owner] later came to the bookstore to ask her soon-to-be ex-father-in-law to lend her money to help with the divorce. He laughed, told her to figure it out, and slammed the door in her face.

Are You Trying To Mess This Up?

, , , , | Working | January 12, 2023

I work as a cake decorator. Our grocery store bakery has two dish sinks: one by the bakers’ work area and one by the front where I do my thing. This front sink is the focus. One of the handles breaks, essentially making it impossible to turn off the water without using the under-sink shut-off valve, so a guy from the maintenance company is sent.

Maintenance Man: “Wow. It’s so quiet. I’m used to people chatting in places like these.”

Coworker: “Eh. We talk sometimes.”

Me: “Kinda depends on who’s on shift. If [Coworker #2] and [Coworker #3] are on shift, they talk about all kinds of things.”

We have a bit of a laugh, people continue with their work, and he starts on the sink.

At one point, I ask [Maintenance Man] about whether part of the sink design is on purpose or a flaw, thinking, “Hey, he likes socializing, and I’m actually curious.” He seems happy to explain. 

We don’t talk much after that, though part of the time he’s on the phone with his company talking about parts anyway.

Throughout this, [Maintenance Man] has a bit of a dry, not sick, cough that seems to be getting a little worse. I sympathize; I always bring a water bottle with me to work because my throat gets dry a lot.

I offer to get him a water bottle — easy enough as we are literally in a grocery store. He accepts, so I take a minute to grab one off the shelf and have a coworker ring me up for it. [Maintenance Man] ends up downing half of it in one go, so I’m thinking he needed it and feeling glad I offered.

Back to the cake decorating. It’s a fun process, but it is never a completely clean one — less so when making high quantities. Frosting spreads, tools get messy, and piping bags need washing or replacing. So, as part of my process, I have a damp and dry washcloth duo to clean as I go. As such, despite not being able to use my usual sink for cleaning, my workstation is still fairly close to how it would be on any other day, which my direct supervisor has privately commented on being cleaner than BOTH of the other cake decorators’ stations.

I don’t know if [Maintenance Man] thinks I’m not paying attention or has just forgotten that the sink is literally five feet away from my workstation, but sometime later when another coworker passes by, he says to them:

Maintenance Man: “She’s kind of messy, huh?”

I’m a little shocked. 

Me: “Well, maybe if I had a working sink…?”

Likely he was just trying to be social, but REALLY? There are topics that are much less rude. Kindness certainly isn’t transactional, but I don’t think I would have felt as hurt in the moment if I hadn’t gone out of my way first.

A Baker’s Cousin

, , , , | Working | January 9, 2023

A customer buys a box of a dozen donuts from us. I put them in the box and am about to take payment when the customer comments disapprovingly.

Customer: “Oh, there’s only twelve.”

Me: “Yes, this is our dozen-donut box.”

Customer: “I thought since you’re a bakery you’d give me a baker’s dozen.”

Me: “Ah, well we don’t have a deal for that, but I could—“

The customer immediately calls over our manager, who seems to know them.

Customer: “[Manager’s Name], your employee is shorting me by one donut.”

Manager: “[My Name], is this true?”

Me: “They asked for our dozen-donut deal, which is for a dozen donuts. They were expecting—“

Customer: *Interrupting.* “I was expecting a baker’s dozen! Or do you not consider yourself a bakery anymore?”

Manager: “[My Name], how could you be so rude to a customer? Give them what they want right now, and give them a half-price discount.”

Steaming, I give the customer what they want while they look smug and flounce out the door. As soon as they’re gone I turn to the manager.

Me: “So we’re just giving thirteen donuts out for the price of six now?”

Manager: “Thirteen? They asked for a dozen.”

Me: “Yes they did, but they were expecting a baker’s dozen!”

Manager: “What’s that?”

Me: “Thirteen! That’s what I was trying to tell you.”

Manager: “Whatever. That a**hole is my cousin and if I didn’t give him what he wanted, he would have complained to his mom, who would have complained to my mom, and it would have been a whole thing.”

Me: “And your family drama is my problem?”

Manager: “It is now! Have a donut. And next time just give them what they want, trust me it’s not worth it.”

A few weeks later, the district manager is in the store, and this customer comes back.

Customer: “I’m here to pick up a birthday cake. I preordered it, should say “Happy Birthday, Mom.”

Me: “I see it, sir. That will be $45.99.”

Customer: “I want it half price.”

Me: “Okay, sir, that will be $23.00.”

The district manager, who I might have known was right there, jumps in real quick.

District Manager: “[My Name], what reason is there a discount on this order?”

Me: *Matter-Of-Factly.* “Oh, this customer is [Manager]’s cousin, and when he doesn’t get his way in the store he whines to his mommy, who whines to [Manager]’s mommy, who then whines at [Manager].”

The district manager looks at me, then at the customer.

Customer: “Well… that’s taken out of context, y’see—“

District Manager: “[Manager], can you step out here for a moment, please.”

My manager steps out, sees who is at the counter, and his shoulders visibly sag.

District Manager: “Your cousin is here to buy a full-priced cake for your aunt. Isn’t that lovely? Ring him up will you, and then see me in the office after.”

They both sheepishly finish the transaction, before he steps into the office. He comes out a few minutes later and resumes his work. The district manager comes over to me.

District Manager: “[Manager] won’t be pulling that again. And while Corporate doesn’t have a policy of banning customers, if his cousin comes back you have my permission to charge him double. I’ll even put it in writing for you.”

It was made an actual policy that THAT particular customer is to be charged double! I can’t wait until he comes back for another baker’s dozen!

We Really Hope That’s Chocolate In The Middle

, , , , | Right | December 21, 2022

I work in a bakery. I’m also Jewish, so I don’t know all the traditional Christmas desserts; for example, I just learned what a yule log is.

Customer: “Do you have any anus cookies that are Christmas shapes?”

Me: “We just have the regular sugar cookies in the shapes.”

Customer: “But no anus cookies?”

Me: “No, the anisette cookies don’t come in the shapes.”

Customer: “Yeah, I’ve been having trouble finding the anus cookies in shapes.”

My coworkers and I laughed once she was out of earshot.