So this was what just happened in my shop today:
My customer, E, called me at 1021am to ask if she could collect her unicorn kek early. Her order was due for collection at 11am, which was agreed upon during our discussion before she confirmed the order 🙂
I informed her that I was busy preparing other orders due before hers (1030am in this case) and will not be able to let her ‘jump queue’. Her unicorn kek was still short of its mane haha.
She was understanding & said ok, she’ll come by later. So we hung up and I went back to prepare my orders. Cleared my 1030am order, and completed hers before 11am too.
By 11am, she wasn’t here, so I kept on working on other keks while my Nya Nya was at the counter outside, helping another customer pack her drip kek 🙂
At 1126am, someone else, a man, whom I do not assume is E’s spouse or brother or friend, came to collect the unicorn kek on her behalf. I’ve met E, but not this man.
HAHAHA y’all must be thinking if this is a time/punctuality issue lolol but no, I just felt like including the time for fun and some background info lolol
So while I was placing the unicorn horn and ears on his kek, Nya Nya asked if he needs any candles (we provide plastic knife and candles for free), to which he said yes, and he also asked if we have the ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY’ kind, to which Nya Nya informed him that yes we have, but it’s a sale item, so he’ll have to buy them, to which he refused.
Then, man reached out for the plastic ‘Happy Birthday’ toppers on my counter and exclaimed, “Then this one leh? Also have to pay ah!”
Yes, also have to pay.
At this point, he also started speaking with a louder voice and sounded a bit rude, so I decided to speak to him personally, least I can do.
I informed him that the topper costs an additional 50 cents if he’d like to have it.
To which he boomed, “AIYAH, CANNOT GIVE IT TO ME MEH.. We already buy your expensive kek, this one fifty cents only, CANNOT GIVE IT TO ME MEH, JUST GIVE IT TO ME LA.”
I blood boil, but I smiled and informed him again that no, I cannot give it to him, he has to pay fifty cents.
He no agree, so he boomed back “AIYAH.. this one small item only leh!! Your kek so expensive already.. JUST GIVE IT TO ME!”
And before I could say anything again,
HE TOOK THE TOPPER AND PUT IT IN HIS POCKET.
To be honestly I was more shocked than angry, because.. did you just decide it shall be free and take that item from my shop dude???????
I froze, and I didn’t know what to say. He stopped talking and just stood there with his full of win face, arms crossed in front of his belly, sorry I mean body, while Nya Nya folded the kek box for him.
Now, having read my post up till this point, you might think:
Aiyah missgoob.. are you kidding me? Walau eh!! Over this? Gurlll??!! His kek already $185 sia.. what else you want… walau ehhh…. fifty cents leh??! You also cannot give meh walau eh you ah.. just give la!! Later he angry, for what?? He’s your customer man.. just give him la.. cannot just give meh???
There are items that we provide FOC, and there are items up for sale. Simple as that.
I can add a few pearls on your kek for free, but I will charge you $5 for a customised topper. Simple as that.
I can help you pipe some stars for free, but I will charge you $20 to rosette the whole kek. Simple as that.
I make the decisions, because this is my shop, my business.
As a customer, you have all the right to decide if it is worth your money, or not. You shall decide if you want to buy it, or not. Simple as that.
BUT YOU DAMN WELL DO NOT TAKE IT FROM ME.
Firstly, how rude is that?
Secondly, that’s stealing.
Thirdly, even if it’s just fifty cents,
I CAN DAMN WELL CALL MATA.
Now there are two ways this can end.
One, is me, being the coward, just close one eye and let him take it cos aiyah missgoob.. really leh fifty cents only, you want to make your customer angry meh.. he confirm won’t visit you again sia walau.. just give him la if he want then let him take la.. don’t be so stingy can?? Then you faster let him zao and continue to do your work la bitch, later one more kek due liao horrr you thought you very free ah..
The second, I do not let him take it.
UNFORTUNATELY, I CHOSE THE FIRST OPTION.
But the spark in me cannot rest sia guys.
If he asked nicely, I would still insist even more nicely. Cos as cliche as it sounds, this one is 原则问题, not about the money.
We put the price tag there for a reason. Not put there for fun so we can waive it in the end and make you feel shiok.
I offer honest and genuine service in the most straightforward way and that is to make you a good kek and provide a pleasant order experience through text, or face to face.
ANYTHING EXTRA, IS A BONUS, NOT AN OBLIGATION.
WHY SHOULD I ACCEPT HIS BEHAVIOUR?
I asked myself if there’s any reason I should let him be, to throw his weight around in my shop. Did I bake his kek, yes. Do I owe him anything, no what.
So I braced myself and walked back out.
I didn’t want to use the “Aiyah fifty cents only, then why can’t you just pay?” on him because why would I stoop to his level.
I’m not here to debate about his willingness to spend on the topper nor my product price point.
THE ISSUE IS NOT ABOUT THE PRICE.
BUT HIS SELF ENTITLEMENT.
HIS LACK OF RESPECT.
It’s about how he one-sidedly felt that he should be GIVEN something since he paid for an ‘expensive kek’, since this supposed freebie is so cheap.
Now that idea or principle, is wrong.
I AM NOT OBLIGED TO GIVE HIM ANYTHING.
So I walked out, stood beside Nya Nya as she packed the kek, collecting all my shit together for what’s to come because I’ve decided to make him put the damn topper back lol.
I was so scared you know?!!
So just before Nya Nya handed the kek to him, I asked him again, “So would you like to have the topper? It will be fifty cents.”
Then at this point of time, the man twirled the topper with his fingers and tried his luck again, “I paid for the kek already leh, still need to pay for this meh!! Can’t you just give it to me!!”
I tried reasoning with him although tbh I was scared shitless inside, “I’m sorry but I can’t. There are things we provide for free but this is an item on sale, so you have to buy it.”
Losing some ground, he pulled the ‘other shops’ trick lol fml not again…
“But you buy kek from other shops they also give candles and this plastic thing what!!”
“We can give you the candles and knife but you have to purchase this topper for fifty cents.”
“But other shops give for free la JUST GIVE IT TO ME LA!”
“We are not other shops.”
To be honest my last line is quite weak (lolol) but I really felt like I was gonna faint already. I really summoned all the strength in me to speak those few sentences but he kept firing back, insistent on getting away with the topper without paying.
But to me, I wasn’t going to put up a fight and in the end give in cos he’s louder or fiercer. At no point did I raise my voice because I only wanted to solve this problem in a calm and civil manner.
But damn I looked calm but really, I was dying and scared to death inside. My hands were frozen and shaking under the counter and I even stuttered fml.
BUT I’VE NEVER FELT SO BRAVE.
This took more courage than having to tell the guy not to smoke at the bus stop, more courage than having to tell the girl to move to the rear of the bus, more courage than having to tell the aunty at the taxi stand to return her NTUC trolley, more courage than having to tell the uncle to pick up his dog’s poop.
Which is sad lol. But at least I did it. And I did all of the above too.
Eventually the man tossed the topper back into the container, saying “AIYAH THEN FORGET IT LA I DON’T NEED IT” so cue unbearable awkward silence as I still had to pack his candles and kek knife lol fml x 3.
I thanked him before he walked out of the shop in a huff and then surprise surprise,
HE WALKED BACK IN.
I think I shat my pants sia. This time I really thought he was gonna lash out at me for being stubborn but surprise surprise, he picked up the topper and asked again,
YOU REALLY CANNOT GIVE IT TO ME MEH??? I BE DED, I BE DED.
I was so so scared but it was also really quite funny at the same time, his level of persistence???
“I cannot. It’s fifty cents if you’d like to have it.”
“AIYAH OK LA OK LA, I BUY LOR I BUY LOR”
When he finally walked out of the shop for real, he swung the kek over his shoulder like how Santa Claus carries his red bag full of presents, probably just to show me the amount of ‘heck’ he has for my work.
It did worry me that his kek might slide or get destroyed but what can I do? It’s his kek now and even if he wants to smash it in front of me, he has every right to do that.
I DO NOT LET THAT WORRY ME.
I’ve done my part by packing it properly and informing him on how to care for the kek but however he wants to handle it from here on, is beyond my control.
Ohhh and he can leave me a one star review or slam me in a viral post for all I care. Because I know I did the right thing and no negative review or article will change my initial (ok fine, second haha) decision to stand up for what’s right.
So I’m sharing my encounter with happy birthday man to remind everyone, both customers and service providers:
TO PLEASE STAND UP FOR WHAT’S RIGHT.
Oh, and if any one of you are wondering, he did throw the money at me. Not surprising.
But am I upset? Not at all.
Don’t let it affect you if people throw money at you.
THEY MAY HAVE GIVEN IT UNWILLINGLY, BUT YOU CAN ACCEPT IT GRACIOUSLY.
Money thrown at me is still money, and I do not disrespect it. And what I got back from him, is not only that fifty cents. But my principles.
Today I made a customer angry. I've never felt so scared but I'm glad I stood up for myself.—I hope to share this…