Business Etiquette

So I’ve noticed something painfully obvious ever since I’ve started selling cakes online.

It seems like certain people take me less seriously nowadays just because… well, I am a cupcake seller. I know it doesn’t sound too impressive and all housewifey - sitting at home cracking eggs, melting butter and mixing batter, then decorating desserts with buttercream details and getting my hands all gready and stained with food colouring…

Definitely sounds a lot less flashy than going for photoshoots and being a so-called “model”, or being a “blogger” attending high profile social events and whatnot.

What I don’t get is… how people see that as a reason to treat me with less respect and seriousness just because my current “job” is lower down the social or business ladder?

Hello, it’s not as if I am a bloody low class hooker or social escort, can you show a little R.E.S.P.E.C.T for what I do?

Just because I choose to sell cupcakes online for a marginal profit, it doesn’t mean I’m HARD UP for money and that I desperately need your business or deserve your fucked up snobbish behaviour.

I don’t do this because I have “no choice”, I enjoy what I do and some things in life doesn’t have to be all about the money to me.

I’ll give you a prime example.

Recently, some chick I met (once) years ago messaged me on Facebook, saying:

“I have been noticing you been doing a lot of cakes and cupcakes. Possible to make a mother’s day cake? My wedding firm is hosting a mother’s day competition and we need to have a cake presented to the winner.

We can pay you, interested?”

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First of all, I find it insulting for someone to say “I have been noticing you have been doing a lot of cakes” instead of

“Hey, I’ve seen your photo albums of your cake, nice work! I’m interested in ordering some for my company because we this event coming up,…..”

It kind of gives me the impression that she’s implying,

“Well, I’m not really going to compliment your work since I’m not that big a fan, but I’ll settle for you anyway since Facebook is convenient and I have been noticing you’ve been baking cakes and I can’t be be bothered sending you a proper email with a business proposal or to look for another professional baker.”

Maybe that’s just me being anal, but it’s astonishing to find how many people lack basic courtesy when discussing “business”.

Business is not an excuse for you to act like a jackass.

I mean she is running a wedding firm, right?! Who knew they settled for just any baker? I was under the impression since wedding cakes are so expensive, they’re from top-notch bakeries.

The second annoying thing is how she asked, “Possible to make a mother’s day cake?”

…Darling, in this world, anything in this world is possible if you have the money.

So the question is, how much are you willing to pay me?

Then comes my answer.


..”We can pay you, interested?”

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?!?!?!?!

LOLOLOL. Am I the only one who let out a loud snort when I read that bit?!

I just pretty much started scoffing to myself at that point. I would’ve stopped reading her message right then if she had more to say, but the funny thing is she just ended the message with “We can pay you, interested?!”

Ssince most wedding planners offer such cut throat prices to their clients, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t be able to pay for a simple cake.

No shit? You CAN pay me? Oh wow.

Because cake makers don’t naturally deserve to get paid for what they do, right?

I was sorta under the impression I had to bake cakes for free for the rest of my life since my skills are so undesirable and useless and they’re just cakes, anyone can bake and decorate pretty cakes themselves. *shrugs*

……………

I mean please, if her wedding firm was reputable and she was willing to offer me something worthy in return for my time, sure, I am willing to do it without any monetary compensation.

But right fucking now all it sounds like is, “HAI, CAN I HAVE A FREE CAKE????????1111″

So anyways. I decided to be nice and reply her. With all my might, I managed to exclude snide remarks and the word “pig”.

“Hey *name omitted*!

Could you fill out the order form at http://shibertys.blogspot.com/ with more details?

Was my reply.

I know it sounds brief, but duh, I need to know the design, cake flavour / size and all that shit right????? Right now there’s nothing to say cuz she’s given me pretty much no info so far besides the fact

1) She needs a cake

2) She may or may not be willing to pay for it.

Her 2nd reply came after 3-4 days:

“Sorry but is it possible to discuss this off without the order form due to the circumstances. I own a company called *company named removed*, it is a wedding firm in singapore and we need a cake for mother’s day. Design is still uncertain. I was wondering if you would be interested in a mutual collaboration. Perhaps you making the cake at a discounted rate and let us do some free publication for you?”

………..

Huh? Due to what circumstances? I don’t get it.

And once again, she gave me NO EFFING DETAILS of what she wants / needs. Does she think I’m some genie who magically grants her all her deepest fantasies on the spot?

She makes it sound like my order form is a waste of time but it’s the only way I am going to get the necessary information quickly outta people like her. Instead of sending dumb messages back and forth going, “Oh, so what do you have in mind? What flavour? What size?”

God I hate working with people like this!!!!!!! So much freaking redundancy!

My favourite customers are the clear-headed sensible no-bullshit ones who specify everything they want, I reply them giving them necessary payment and collection details, then BAM! WHAM! THANK YOU MAM!

Job’s done.


What the fuck is a free “publication”???

I am not a book, so please don’t “publish” me!

Or did she mean free PUBLICITY? Maybe she wants to publish my name big big in one of her wedding catalogues?! I still don’t understand. I don’t see how a small scale wedding firm can generate more publicity for my business more than my own personal blog can.

Anyway I don’t believe her stupid publicity shit la. It’s not free if I have to do something in return for it leh. I used to make cakes for this guy’s club and he said he will give me “free publicity” also don’t have.

He said he’d upload pics of the cake to Facebook and credit me and give my details to his customers at the club also don’t have?! Give them discount for fuck? Coincidentally I also met this said guy from the same event I met the girl from. Birds of a feather flock together indeed.

Her 3rd reply came very shortly after:

“Would you be interested? Please do let me know soon.”

*facepalm*

This is another pet peeve of mine. I hate people (yes I throw the word hate around a lot, roar!) who end off their messages / email with “Please do let me know soon” or “Please reply ASAP.”

Because these people are usually last minute procrastinators who don’t bother to make important necessary arrangements for their events and as a last resort, they spring surprise last minute orders on poor people like me.

I don’t like being a last resort, and I don’t like last minute orders.

I can’t tell you how many times I have replied peoples questions / orders (almost) immediately, only to have them reply like 5 days later going,

“Great!!! It’s settled then. So, can I have the cake tomorrow?”

And to further convince me they would include some bullshit fact like, “I understand it’s last minute but it’s my best friend’s birthday tomorrow. Please!!”


WHAT?!

I don’t sit around waiting for people to reply my emails (Ok I lie, I do. *hides face) but that doesn’t mean you should expect me to do something for you whenever you want it to be done! How dare you expect such a request?? *glares*

It’s not like you are offering to pay me more. Also, if you had any sincerity at all, you would make all these arrangements or orders IN ADVANCE. Your lack of responsibility just shows you don’t give a shit about this, so why should I help you out?

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Meh.

So these are just a few of the many, many rude things I have noticed inconsiderate people displaying since I’ve started Shiberty’s Sweets.

People expecting me to work on less than a day’s notice, people who insult me by asking for discounts even when I’ve quoted them a competitive price…


Look, I am not a wholesale centre in Bangkok.

Every single one of my cupcakes are painstakingly homemade from scratch to the very last degree and you won’t find the same shit outside even if you tried. So don’t barter with me like I am some pasar malam knick knacks seller. I TAKE IMMENSE PRIDE IN WHAT I DO, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

If you genuinely have not enough money to spare on cupcakes but would still love to try my creations, polite discussion is always open to people who are courteous enough. However if I know you can totally afford it but simply choose to be a cheapskate, it’s a completely different story and I WILL ignore your pathetic behaviour.

Some people even go to the extent of pretending to miscalculate the price I’ve quoted them, and they transfer like $10 lesser than required, then say they will pay when in person but they claim to not have enough cash on hand when the time arrives. I can’t possibly hold onto their order refusing to hand over the cupcakes… So I have to proceed to chase after them for payment for the next week or so.

This actually happened to me twice recently, and yesterday after like a week of chasing payment (always same reply: Sorry I didn’t do it today, will do it soon!)

Then I reached my limits and sent this girl a text saying “Look, now you’re really starting to piss me off. Can you stop being so irresponsible and annoying and just transfer the money already?? Or do you expect me to just forget about it?

To which I think I FINALLY got the message across to her, coz she transferred on the very same night after delaying for a week. Some people… TSK!!!

FTS! I don’t need this sort of business, so take your cheapskate behaviour elsewhere. I swear I’ve never experienced this sort of gross behaviour half as much as when I was doing photoshoots and blogging. Photographers used to pay generous amounts in full cash before we even started shooting!!!

I guess people are really superficial in this sense. When I tell them I write articles online as a part time job, they go OoooOoOh! and assume I’m very well-learned and sensible that’s why people wanna hear what I have to say

(part time writer aka blogger la but sounds fancier and a lot of people still don’t understand the term blogger properly)

Or when I say I stand around and take nice photos for photographers

(they go OOOH AHH so pretty ah model ah! to this day I still shudder when people use that word on me. sorry tyra banks and miranda kerr T_T it’s a disgrace to your work)

But people just seem to nod their head and go “Oh!” when I say I bake cupcakes.

Thus I think it is safe to concur the different treatment I’ve been receiving lately is highly related to do with the fact that baking cupcakes is dowwnnn the job ladder or in a job hiearchy sense.

Which is why I approve of using a grossly pretentious name such as “DELECTABLES’ ARTIST” or even better, a “Dolce Artista!!!!” which apparently means pastry chef in French (a reader sent in an email suggesting it lol)

Maybe that way people would be inclined take me more seriously -_-

To me, as long as someone is making a decent living using their own skills, they have a respectable job. I don’t look down on anyone who earns lesser than me, and neither does my customer or business etiquette differ according to the person’s paycheck.

As long as they don’t do indecent jobs like prostitution or drug dealing, why should people be judged negatively according to their jobs?

Billionaires and geniuses like the creator of Facebook definitely deserve a ton more credit for what he does, but it’s not fair to treat a taxi driver rudely just because he drives a taxi for a living.. agree? It’s ridiculous how immediate and significant certain peoples attitudes have changed. I’m not saying all my customers are terrible, most are amazing and easy-to-deal-with-people who are really appreciative of what I do for them and all but there are those who are just plain nasty. Had to have my little rant to let some steam off. You people reading this feeling guilty cuz you know you’re one of those people.. Ya should be ashamed of yourselves!

And it doesn’t kill to be polite to someone, even if you’re paying them money in the end. I don’t live to serve you. So please, have some fuckin’ courtesy, people!!!

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Hey, I may be a Dolce Artista, but I still wear Dolce & Gabbana ok!!
#amiwittyoramiwitty