Thursday, March 22, 2012

Saying No

It would be fitting that the next post I have is about turning down a gig so I can go on vacation. I went on and on about being responsible and putting my priorities first; even the shitty jobs. But, we all have our weaknesses, right?

Every single weekend in April is booked. I have weddings, baby showers, and a couple of birthday parties. These are not MY social events. These are events I was hired for. April will be a very important month because I am counting on ALL that money I make to go towards that zero percent interest loan that is set to expire in a couple of months.

My friend who just moved to VA suggested I come down and stay with her for the weekend. We settled on the end of the month, and even made plans for zip lining, checking out the new Spy Museum, and dining at a bunch of fantastic DC restaurants together. We've been counting on this for nearly a month now, and I couldn't be more excited!

Well, earlier last month my old boss came around to tell me her daughter's Sweet 16 was coming up and she would love it if I did the cupcakes. She couldn't help but throw out a little dig about me giving her a good price because she pushed me so hard about getting my business off the ground. Admittedly, she was a loud advocate of my cakes here at work at the day job. However, since we've parted ways, she's been a real bitch.

Not for nothing, but I don't want to give her a discount. I don't want to do this party because it will fall on the same weekend as my VA trip. I can count on making at least $100 of it, but I don't think this woman is worth me giving up my vacation. I also don't think the $100 is worth the aggravation of dealing with her. On a side note, I happen to know her ex-husband is about to get canned. He is a former employee of mine, and he's a dick.

I have the moral dilemma of feeling like I owe her a little something. I also know her child support is about to get cut because her ex is about to lose his income. I don't have anything against her kid. And I didn't have the VA plans when she first mentioned this party to me.

However, I haven't heard from her in weeks so I assumed she went with another baker. Maybe she realized that pastry chefs are not so fucking cheap, even in Jersey City. But, I heard through the office grape vine that she is trying to get a hold of me so we can discuss this party.

I have a few options.
  • I can cancel my plans and do this party. 
  • I can turn down the party and go through with my plans.
  • I can agree to do the party, bake the cupcakes Thursday, and hand them off to someone else to deliver on Saturday.
  • I can agree to do the party, bake the cupcakes Thursday night, and deliver them early Friday morning before I leave for VA.

I'm shooting for the latter. I'd have to ask Joel to help me, which means I'm going to have to pay him for gas and tolls. That's fine, but that means my profit is going to get cut and I will need to rethink how much I charge her. Maybe if I give her some crazy price she will go with another baker.

I really sound unprofessional right now, but after all the shit jobs I've taken the last month I was really looking forward to hanging out with my friend and enjoying life again. Granted, the shit jobs have paid for lunch, bought metrocards, and bought a night's worth of groceries. But, I'm running on less than 2 hours of sleep each night (if any), and the stuff I'm cranking out doesn't really serve as blog eye-candy when it comes to posting it on my website. It's filler.

The only good thing is that taking this job would entail creating another gumpaste mask, and I'd be lying if I said that I wouldn't be excited about that.

Business or Pleasure?


  1. Business then Pleasure. Can't you set up the party and then go on vacation? You're undoubtedly going to spend a lot of money whether or not you're staying with someone. So, the money is going to come in handy. You're missing the potential to grab new customers at the party. Each cupcake is a calling card for your services. A hundred cupcakes is a hundred potential jobs. Consider that.

  2. Honestly, that is a professional move of giving her a larger price. I've heard many artists do that, especially when there's a huge downside or if the only thing they'll get out of it is the money. So I would recommend telling her you have other plans, but you COULD do the job if she's willing to pay a higher price; a rush fee, delivery fee, extra materials fee, dealing with a bitch fee, which are all true! If she goes for it, more money for you. If not, guilt free vacation!

  3. I think you're right. If she really wanted these cupcakes, she would have booked me solid months ago. I think she was using me as backup if she couldn't get a good price from another baker.

    And my friend already made reservations and bought tickets to a bunch of things. I really want to go on this vacation, and I'm going to end up having a business meeting Friday morning in VA for a food truck concept. I think I'm better off quoting a huge fee and just going on my vaca guilt-free.

    She really is a bitch. I don't feel bad not doing this party.