You Couldn’t Pay Me Enough, Chapter Two

A couple of months ago I wrote a tongue-in-cheek list of the types of clients who get charged my Irritation Fee – and I called it “You Couldn’t Pay Me Enough.” It’s currently the most-read post on this entire blog, mostly because we can all relate to it. We’ve all had those kind of clients, haven’t we? The ones who make you never want to bake another cake or macaron, the ones who make you doubt yourself, the ones who irritate you and get under your skin and frankly, just piss you right off.

Some of you left me some hilarious comments – naming a few types of clients I’d missed. Of course since writing that post a few more have come to mind so I thought I’d share some new little gems with you. Plus, like it says above, it’s not always rainbow sprinkles in here and it’s about time we took a moment to have a laugh (or ten.)

Clients I want to THROW rainbow sprinkles at:

  • The ‘Desperate Till Dollars’ client: the one who calls you in a total panic because she either forgot she had a party for 100 people happening tomorrow, got let down by another cake maker (or claims she did), or frankly just plan forgot to order her cake. She’s totally desperate, needs it exactly one minute from now, and the order has a details list as long as your arm. She’ll beg, plead, demand, whine, ask and wheedle until you agree to make it on short notice. As soon as you tell her the price, she suddenly finds she “needs to speak to her husband about it” and will never call you back. Your phone grows cobwebs while waiting for her call. 
  • The ‘Unique and Different’ client: she will make you crazy from a design point of view and a flavour point of view, because she needs to impress ALL her friends by being different and original and special. You’ll pull out ALL your baking superpowers to please her and give her something different, and you’ll agree to trying things you’ve never tried before in her quest to be the best Real Housewife she can be….and then she’ll order a round, chocolate cake which looks exactly like the ones her friend ordered last week because ‘everybody likes chocolate, right?”
  •  The ‘You Decide’ client: She hands you two designs and can’t pick between the two, so in the end says, “I can’t decide. They’re just both so amazing. YOU decide.” Against your better judgement, you decide on one. She doesn’t like your decision…but nor does she like her own decision, either. Best to give up here, she’ll never win (nor will you).
  •  The “Is it moist?” client: She asks you what your best selling flavour is, ask you what flavour is your favourite, and then insults you totally by saying, “But is it moist? All cakes are dry, aren’t they? I don’t want a dry cake.” Or my personal favourite, “Is your cake nice to eat?” Umm…no, lady, I sell crappy dry cake AND I tell my clients that it’s crappy and dry. WTH?
  •  The “Complainer” client: She comes to you with endless complaints about other companies who did her wrong, whose cake sucked, whose service was bad, who charged her too much, blah blah blah and she is hoping that YOU are the one who will represent the entire industry and turn all her other experiences around. Rest assured you can create her the world’s most amazing cake and give her the most amazing service, but next year she’ll be complaining about you to someone else.
  •  The “Progress Report” client: she calls you. A LOT. To check how you’re doing, how the product is progressing, to make sure you’ve got the details right, to see if you’re done yet, to see if you’ve started yet, to see if you remembered the shade of blue, just to “check in.” You want to say to her, “Seriously lady – it’s a dozen cupcakes. GET A GRIP.”
  •  The “She Who Must Be Obeyed” client: She won’t take no for an answer. It doesn’t matter what you tell her (you’re booked out that week, you do not make orange cakes, you do not make penis cakes) – she’s convinced that for HER, you’ll do anything. Including make her a cake the same week you are on vacation, in a flavour you don’t offer, in a shape you don’t make. Because, you know, it’s her cake.
  •  The “I Know What I’m Talking About” client: she went to another company and got a quote on a cake, and she’s now shopping around this idea to everyone else. So she emails or calls asking for things with very specific industry specific information she clearly does not understand – “How much does a 12″ cake cost?” “Well, depends a bit on design. Tell me, how many people do you need to feed?” “Ummmm…I’ve got 10 guests. I’m thinking 12″ will be enough, right?” I’m not sure where these kinds of people get their information, but it’s always wildly out of proportion to what they need. The opposite is also true – “I just need something small, like 7″ or so? It’s for 280 people.” “I need faux tiers.” “Really? Why?” “Because this design requires them.”
  •  The “Nobody Eats Cake” client: I get this one daily! People who call and ask for quotes, hear the price, then assures me that NOBODY ever eats the cake, so they surely can get away with less cake? Yup, because at a wedding with 300 people it looks really fabulous if the cake is smaller than a lunchbox.  Nobody eats it anyway, right? (Apparently this must be because all cake is dry, right?)
  • The “Refund Me” client: either her husband saw the bill, or her sister insulted her choice of cake, or she needs a couple hundred bucks to pay for a new handbag. Either way, it only occurs to her to call and ask for a refund *weeks* after the cake has been delivered and eaten. Because, you know, it wasn’t cooked, or was crooked, or….whatever. She just wants (needs?) her money back.

 What crazy clients have YOU had lately?

13 comments on “You Couldn’t Pay Me Enough, Chapter Two

  1. I had a "Pregress Report client" a few weeks ago. First I made a huge mistake by calling him back on my personal cell phone, because I had left the other one at the shop.He started sending me whatsapps (at any time of the day) asking on how his project was going and if I could send him some pictures. I was so fed up with him, I almost sent him a picture of two eggs and some flour…
    Marta

  2. Oohhh Tracey there are a million red flags in this crazy story – it's like you got ten crazy clients all mashed up in the one lady! 🙂 I can't stand those kinds of people who complain about how hard you are to get a hold of…and yet when it comes to deposit time, THEY are the ones who are suddenly hard to get a hold of! I SO feel your pain but I'm so glad you gave her the flick. YAY! 🙂

    Michelle

  3. Here is my favorite…

    I had this to happen to me last week. I have dealt with this particular customer a couple of times, much to my regret. I should have followed my gut and gave her the "totally booked for that weekend", but since she was referred by one of my good clients I gave her the benefit of the doubt. She had called and left one message during a really busy time of the week. Since I didn't immediately call her back, she calls her friend that referred her to me and says, "I have been trying to get in touch with her" (since when does one phone call mean you have been trying to get in touch with me) Then the good client calls and says, "my friend has been looking for you to make her a cake, really?)

    Anyway, I called her back and she tries to lay this guilt trip on me of how she hated that I couldn't do her sons first birthday. She had to go to someone else and she was so disappointed with the cake. All her friends and family was saying you should have went to the lady you always go to. (yeah right)

    Here's the kicker…She tells me now she is an event planner and she wants me to be her "preferred cake vendor. I have a lot of parties coming up and I want you do them all." So then she sends me an email with all of these dates and pics of design inspirations of what she wants the cakes to look like, all totally out of her budget. Mind you she is the customer that always asks "Why does it cost so much? The last time I only paid $X. So after I dumbed the cakes down and gave her a deal (I know bad move) I tell her that she has to pay a deposit to confirm the event dates on my calendar. Well days went by, no deposit. (but she is so anxious to secure me?) So we get to 2 days before the one of the events and she pays her PayPal with an echeck which you know means it will be days before the money posts to my account.

    When I cancelled the payment and the cake, she is so stressed, what is she going to do now, blah, blah, blah, she says that the client she is working for has not paid her and she will have the money on Sunday…but the party is Saturday. She actually thought I was going to wait after the party to get paid! Great planner!

    Needless to say, she found someone else to make the cake ,I won't comment on how it looked, posts on Facebook and now this is her new "preferred vendor"

    Tracey

  4. OOOhhh how I hate that – not so much if it's male, but if there is no reaction or they then fling around the box as though I haven't spent days sweating over all those little details. Most frustrating of all is when they act nonchalant after weeks and weeks of driving you nuts! 🙂

    Michelle

  5. I get these all the time for pickups! The wife sends the husband, or brother, or employee to pick up the cake. He takes half a look at it, grunts "Thanks" and heads out the door with me shouting after him, "Don't put the cake on the seat of the car!!" or whatever direction needs to be told. Total letdown after spending hours and hours on an incredibly detailed cake!

  6. I believe I have had at least 1 of every single client mentioned in this post and the previous one. But the one that really gets to me: The Man at the Door.

    I go through the ordering process, get the $$, make the cake and then the customer has her husband take delivery because she couldn't be home 🙁

    The last time this happened I had made a super cute, very detailed girl cookie bouquet with 2 dozen matching cookies for a really nice baby shower. I was so excited for this client to see the end result because she was just so nice and appreciative. I knocked on the door and the dreaded MAN is standing there in sweats. I ask "Is there a baby shower here today?" He says "Yeah" and just stands there. I told him his wife ordered these for the shower, he grunts "OK" and takes them from me, balancing them on his arm while holding up one knee to keep the 300 pound dog from jumping up trying to sniff them. Me nervously: "oh, ha, ha, don't let the dog get them, ha, ha." He mumbles "Thanks" and shuts the door.

    Geeeez what a letdown. I also had one take a gorgeous cake and stick the box under his arm at an angle to carry into the house! I dread man deliveries!

  7. I had a cross between the "is it moist" client and the "She who must be obeyed" client a year or so ago.
    I still remember her comments in detail! Her email was sent on a Wednesday and she wanted a two tier circus cake with a lion figurine for Saturday. She wrote: "It MUST be red, not reddish-pink and the blue MUST be blue. The cake MUST LOOK GOOD and TASTE GOOD" .
    Thankfully I was booked (and I didn't want her order anyway). My husband still laughs about her!

  8. I had a "You decide" client last week who liked my suggestion of tiny two tiered wedding cake, then mentioned there would only be 8 guests and that I should decide whether to make the cake one tier or two. I choose to make one simple and elegant tier, only to hear at pickup, "I thought we were going with two tiers." Some days you just can't win!

  9. Aaaargfh, I got the 'want a refund' client last week. Completely destoyed my confidence (the pair of them ripped the cake to shreds) until I found out I wasn't the first one they'd done it to.
    Love the blog, love the laugh, love knowing I'm not alone.

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