Monday, April 6, 2009

My job as a wedding cake baker part 1

I think I've found a way to blog about my job issues mentioned here and here, without giving away more of my identity than I would like.

So, I am a wedding cake baker, I have my MS in desserts and my PhD in Nuptial baking. The organization I work for does a wealth of cooking with teams of chefs and bakers. My position is the only wedding cake baker on a team of fellow dessert makers and my team of dessert makers work as independent contractors to a major Flour company. The person in charge of our flour contract (Flour Contractor if you will, or FC for short), is thrilled that my team now has a PhD in Nuptial baking and shortly after I begin my job FC requested that I make a Wedding cake for the wedding of the century, about 2 weeks before the bride and groom must make their final decision.

My team and I look over the requirements laid out by the bride and groom for their wedding cake and mention to the Flour Contractor (FC) that although we will give it our best shot, the requirements laid out by the bride and groom make it very likely that our cake will not be chosen as the primary wedding cake but our cake exceeds the expectations for the grooms cake.

FC says to go ahead and we'll see if we can't jut get it chosen as the primary wedding cake. My team and I pull together and make a cake that I am very proud of, we send pictures and samples to the FC. FC does not respond until decision day, 12 hours before the cake is to be decided on to be exact. FC thinks the cake is delicious but doesn't want anyone working on one their flour contract to promote this flavor because it is controversial to mix such flavors in one cake. FC demands that the cake is re-done with a much less controversial flavoring, my team and I rush to meet the 12 hour deadline and show up at the cake tasting with the less controversial cake (LCC), with 1 minute left on the clock.

Low and behold, our LCC is chosen as the grooms cake. The bride and the groom love it, their wedding planner thinks it's wonderful. I send notice to FC letting them know that the new cake has been chosen and the date of the wedding. FC says, oh, well we here at Flour Company can not provide flour for a cake for a grooms cake, especially one at an outdoor wedding. And my organization can't pay for the flour because the bride, groom and wedding planner already know that we used flour companies flour for the LCC and the wedding would still be outdoors and therefore it would be inappropriate for a Flour Company cake to appear at the wedding regardless of who paid for the flour.

I have to withdraw LCC and of course my reputation takes a ding. I'm sure the bride and groom, and WEDDING PLANNER are all wondering why on earth I would enter my cake into such a competition only to withdraw once it was chosen.

This is the first incident... I'll tell you about the second one (the one that pushed me over the edge) tomorrow.


Shell said...

Wow! One would think FC would actually inform you about the stipulations behind the cake. Seems to me they should've informed you and your team that if LCC is chosen they can't provide the flour.

Kudos on the blogging creativity though. =)

JLK said...

I don't get it. Maybe because I know what an MS in desserts is and what a PhD in nuptial baking is. But you have completely and totally lost me with the wedding cake analogy. LOL.

caroline said...

I disagree. I get the issue and think it's a really creative way to blog about work. I definitely still have no idea what the heck you do in real life, so clearly it's working.

That would frustrate me. I hate last minute deadlines (why didn't you tell me weeks ago people?) and having requirements that no one knows is unfair! It looks like a break down in communication and organization.

I'm confused about how this would hurt your reputation, though. Will people other than the bride, groom, and wedding planner know about it? Will the word spread? Do they understand that life/work is different when you work for a non-academic organization? I should also mention that I don't know anything about non-academia jobs, so that may be part of my confusion.

I can see how you would be unhappy with your work at the moment.

Psych Post Doc said...

Sorry JLK, I tried really hard.

Given that you know my degrees... does it help to say that I my MS is in a larger field than my PhD. And the FC was thrilled to have someone with that background on the team??

Thanks Shell & Caroline.

Caroline- this hurts my reputation because the "bride, groom and wedding coordinator" are actually a much larger entity in real life and people talk.

JLK said...

Okay, I just re-read it and I think I get it now. The flour thing was throwing me off before.

That really sucks, PPD. :(

AnotherSocialScientist said...

!! So why was FC suggesting you bust your ass in the first place. Craziness.