Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cake Catastrophe

The superstore that I work in happens to have a deli/bakery area where customers can order food platters and specially decorated cakes from. Instances where I have to handle a return or exchange from that area are few and far between, but it does happen. Today's story happens to be about one of those experiences.


~ An older couple (roughly in their 50's) approached me with a large cake and it didn't take a rocket scientist to decipher that the woman wasn't happy about something. She slid the cake onto my counter and filled me in on what was going on:
A few days ago, she had come and placed an order for the cake. The majority of the icing was supposed to be white, with the rest of the trimming and designs being solid lavender. The message on the cake, also in lavender, was to say, "Stepping Into Spring."
On the cake she picked up, the trimmings, designs and writing were a mixture of light blue and lavender. The message on the cake said, "Stepping In Spring."

She had the receipt with her, and I was more than happy to refund her for the cake. While I was going through the transaction, she continued on about how unhappy she was of how the cake turned out. She had ordered it for a get together her church was having to celebrate the arrival of spring and the blue in the coloring didn't match the color scheme for their party at all, apparently. I also agreed with her that the wording error was pretty terrible, too. As I finished the transaction, she continued on about how she didn't have time to wait for another cake. She was already late for the party as it was. I offered up my apologies on behalf of the store for the mishap and was ready to send them on their way when something annoying happened.

I was in the process of picking up the cake to move it off the counter, but the woman stopped me. She reiterated that she didn't have time to wait for another cake, and motioned for her husband to place it back in her basket. Having just given her the money back for it, I can't say that I wasn't caught off guard. Quickly regaining my wits, I informed the woman that I couldn't possibly let them walk out of the store with something they didn't pay for, regardless of the situation. Up until that point, she'd only been agitated with the bakery employees, but it became fairly obvious that my reaction trampled on one of her few remaining nerves. I ended up having to contact a member of management about the situation. With his permission, I was reluctantly able to allow them to take the cake as a courtesy.

I can understand her reasoning for not wanting to have to pay for the cake. If she'd mentioned her intentions prior to me going through the refund, I would have had no problem calling management about it. What it boils down to is that it really just gets under my skin that she just brazenly assumed that she was going to walk off with the flipping thing with out giving me the least bit of heads up. In retrospect, I should have accidentally dropped it on the floor...


Gloria Kelley said...

Well you won't like this but as a former owner of several retail shops I have say that you should have offered her the cake without charge since the mistake was yours and this woman had no time (and shouldn't have had to) wait for another cake to be baked and decorated. Had you been able to remove the error and re-do it then that would have been a different story. She would have had the cake she ordered and would have been obligated to pay for it. However that wasn't the case and in the interest of customer service, which this woman deserved, the cake should have been given to her gratis.

Gloria Kelley said...

Now for the good news. I love your site and have bookmarked in my Blogs To Read Folder. Very interesting stuff here.

Sally said...

First of all, the mistake was not "mine." I didn't even know the thing existed until she brought the finished product up to my counter.

Second of all, I would have had no problem asking management if she could have her money back -and- keep the item if she had mentioned it before trying to walk off with the cake. She made absolutely no mention or illusion to wanting to keep the cake at any point during the transaction. That's the whole reason behind this rant; "Ask before taking."

Third of all, despite that mini rant, I do appreciate the positive feedback. Thank you for taking the time to read my writings.

christina said...

i work in a super target right in the starbucks..connected to deli/bakery. so i know how annoying that can get.
lady sounds like a manipulative bitch lol.

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