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Paul’s Stories: A Customer from HELL

So I’m 22 years old and it’s my first year in business (Paul Bradford Designer Cakes). My sister Michelle is my trainee cake designer and a mummy of two.

It’s about 6 months in to running the cake shop and it’s getting very busy…! We’re making cakes for customers and not always photographing them all as smart phones don’t exist yet!

This day we had a lady come in to order a cake for her daughter’s birthday and its a few weeks before so plenty time! Soooo it’s the week of the birthday and we’re very busy in our tiny wee studio in Linlthgow. It’s Wednesday mid morning and I hear the door go and then THE VOICE! I look at Michelle, she looks at me! We both instantly know who it is and have that wee panic… “Shit” what dates on the order… I’m sure you’ll be familiar with this feeling…! Pheeewww it’s Saturday morning… I head through “Good Morning” can I help you? THE VOICE: YES (even as I type I can here that accent) I’m into see how the cake is coming along… in my head I’m like WTFeck. But what comes out is… “Oh your cake is still to be baked, we will start work on it later in the week”. I should have known then this was going to be a bad customer… THE VOICE:WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT’S NOT STARTED YET! Well em, well emmm it’s not a problem… We will start it tomorrow! What I want to say… Well lets not go there… this is a family site…!

The design is a 2 hour job MAX. The cake was only £45 (remember this was ages ago) you would never tell the customer its a 2 hour cake… come on MAN…!

So I calm her down and advise the cake order is all in control and will be ready first thing Saturday morning…! Phew, she leaves and Michelle has a mini break down, the cheek of her coming in on the Wednesday! Me, I’m like is cool it’s cool… back to work sister.

It’s now Thursday afternoon the radio’s on were banging out the cakes, the sun is shining and the hips are moving…! Life is good… Then BANG the door slams open… THE VOICE: I wan’t to see my cake, where is it?! At this moment I want to smash the window and RUN, Michelle wants to smash something else… LOL … by the way Michelle is the same size as “Kylie Minogue”! So I tie Michelle to the table… as she’s like a mad woman…! Me, I just wander in with my big smile on and welcome the customer…! We’re just about to start your cake… THE VOICE: WHAT DO YOU MEAN, START THE CAKE…? Me, yes start the cake as I said plenty of time and we want the cake to be nice and fresh “me lady”! THE VOICE: this is ridiculous, I’ll be back tomorrow morning to see MY CAKE…! BANG THE DOOR CLOSES…! I’m now shaking, not with anger, but shock…! Michelle has blood running of her head from head butting the stainless steel table…lol! So we go for lunch to take the edge off… I’m sure we had a wee sticky toffee pudding (Don’t tell David)…!

It’s now Friday, the sun is still shining and were of again banging out the cakes and working on THE CAKE…! My natural instinct at this stage is to over decorate the cake and make it look AMAZING just to show “THE VOICE” there was nothing to be stressed about! Feeling happy with the cake and Michelle putting a little, well a lot of glitter on it, we box the cake and sit it under a wee spot light so it SPARKLES.

It’s now 5pm on the Friday night and were just waiting on “THE VOICE”… We’re cleaning down the studio when the door goes… My heart is in my mouth and I’m shaking uncontrollably but trying to hide it… Michelle says Ill speak to her…! Me, NO WAY (looking back I wish she did). Feeling confident I show her the cake waiting for the BIG WOW! Guess what…? She still hates it…THE VOICE: is this it? where’s the glitter, where’s the… and so fecking on…! At this stage one should have kicked her out but no, one calmed the situation down and decided to offer that I fix the problems and deliver the cake to her house on the way home… “THE VOICE” leaves and my big little sister explodes at me to grow some and tell here where to go…!

After working in Safeway as a student you’re taught that the “Customer is always right”. Anyway we make the cake as bling bling as possible and deliver the cake… Oh I forgot this part… When I asked where do you live her answer was… blah blah blas and when you enter the street its the “biggest” house with the “biggest” car with the “biggest” front door… or something like that! (what a plonker)! So we pull up, I walk up to the front door and ring the “BIG BELL” lol… This parts funny… The door opens and its the husband, he spots the cake… shouts on “THE VOICE” and then I kid you not runs… RIGHT now I’m really sugaring myself… I’m welcomed in and walk into the dining room, now this is a big table, she not wrong there! She walks to the sink, puts down her glass and walks over to the table (she’s talking but I don’t take any of it in). SOOOO I open the box and walk to the other side of the table worried she might punch me!

***This is not made up***… She HATES the cake and pushes it full force… across the highly polished table… I catch it before it falls…I take a deep breath (Safeways motto) stand there shaking and still try to help the situation… (what was I thinking). I agree to improve the cake and she agrees to come collect the cake in the morning…! You can imaging the conversation on the way home…
After a sleepless night I collect Michelle and we head to the studio, THE VOICE arrives to collect the cake and Michelle is in charge this time…! Big smiles (now it’s all a bit fuzzy but) funnily she’s still not happy (there’s no pic of the cake she originally saw to compare). So Michelle as I thought CRACKS and grabs the cake, tell’s the customer to leave, THE VOICE then grabs the cake… They’re now fighting over the cake…I’m now thinking that’s it my career is over!

They’re now shouting at each other! THE VOICE throws the money for the cake at the wall grabs the cake from Michelle walks to the door… Then turns round in this “MASSIVE VOICE” and says to Michelle blah blah blah “YA FILTHY HOOR” slams the door so hard some of the dummies fall apart…! Michelle then runs opens the door and tells her “Never to cross this door ever again” well something like that. lol…Well you never guess what..the shop next door full of customers start to clap and cheer Michelle… It was that loud…!

We’re now shaking so much we close the shop and have a wee cuppa! WHAT A B**CH along with other words were used during this cuppa! Then Michelle has a great idea… She remembered where the cake was going and that she knew one of the girls that worked there… hehehe so she phones the venue its a sports club! and asks her…Can you ask the staff to over exaggerate how AMAZING the cake is every time they see it…!!! cue the wicked laugh!! hehehe

Think we got the last laugh…!

Years later when we had the “BIGGEST” shop… she had the audacity to come in and order a cake for her son, thinking I wouldn’t remember (you don’t forget that accent). she was looking for a dragon cake so I calmly went along with it then gave here the price £250 with a confident smile (was only worth £120) she walked out never to be heard again…!

Pxxxxx 😉

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