Monday, November 22, 2010

let them eat cake

On the eve of Hank and George's birthday, I decided I would not have time to make a cake, or two.  So I called my local grocery store where I knew they gave free cakes to one-year olds on their birthdays.  
"Free?  Only if you purchase a quarter sheet cake or half sheet cake, which right now is the same price as the quarter sheet.  And you have twins? No. Only one free cake."  
That's pretty much how the woman on the phone presented it to me.  I wanted to ask if I could order 2 quarter sheets, get charged for a half sheet, which, on special, is the same price as one quarter, and get 2 free baby cakes. Buy 2 cakes, get 2 free baby cakes, right? 
But make no mistake, I would not be getting 2 free anything, that was clear in the tone of her voice.
So I drove down later that day and found a lone older man at the bakery.  He was not a baker, or cake decorator, just putting in his time to restock the bagels and take the occasional order.
I decided I would just buy 2 baby cakes, since we are not big cake eaters anyway.  For $6.99 x 2, I was happy to not have to stress about making cakes the next day, when I still had to get ready for the grandparents to come over, clean my house, wrap presents, make dinner, make birthday banners and take care of the birthday boys.  Yes, this was still too good to be true, free or not.

I ordered 2 all white mini cakes.  And asked for "Happy Birthday Hank/George!" on the tops, in another color.  I watched him write up the order. Simple simple.
Maybe too simple.  Imagine my shock when I returned the next day to pick up these not-so-white cakes:  blue with purple, yellow and green balloons?  What?
The man who took my order was there again.  He opened the boxes and admitted sheepishly, "This isn't what you ordered, is it?"
Me:  "No."
Him:  "I don't know what happened.  The decorator was our girl in training and I guess she did not follow the order."
Me:  "No, she didn't."
Him:  "Well, do you still want them?"
Me:  "Not really, but my twins' birthday party is in one hour. I have no choice."  

At this point I paused, waiting for him to offer to have the not-in-training cake decorator quickly redo them, or at least offer to give me the cakes for free.  The man paused right along with me, waiting for me to make the next move.  I should have taken control, Emily-style.  She [my sister] would have visited the manager and taken those cakes home free of charge, without blinking an eye.  But I did not have the time, nor the composure to face that conflict.  So I paid the man, and went on my way.
It makes for a funny story, but my complaints still stand:
A) Why is it so hard to follow directions?  
B) Don't grocery stores know it's really good p.r. to give the mini cake away for free, especially to their loyal customers?  People are not going to dishonestly take advantage of the free cake offer.  They're just not.  And if they do, it's maybe a $0.75 cake.
C)  Why would the bakery man not intuitively know to just give me the cakes for FREE?  
D)  Blue and green frosting is really messy!!!!
Enough of that.  On to the rest of the photos:
This is pre-cake gift-opening.
 Did I mention George is walking?  Everywhere.
 Post-cake and post-bath pjs [yep, I told you we'd use those costumes again].


abby said...

flabbergasted and laughing. "oh, she doesn't really want a white cake, she wants CLOUDS and BALLOONS! BRIGHT BLUE!"

can't wait to see those two. calvin loves me now, so they're going to have to work hard to gain number one baby nephew position.

Aimee's Family Journal said...

Just think! This time last year you were waking up 3 -10 times a night! I am so happy that they are one! And ps. If you have kids like I do (once every 6 years) then safeway will always give you a free cake!) Just slow down little there Haslips.

Sarah said...

if h and g have to enjoy being held by you (a stranger) in order for them to prove their love, we have no chance of being number one nephew. or number two for that matter.

are you saying you actually got a free cake for heath?

Hilary said...

Not even the inside of the cake was white? I would have been fighting back tears as I meekly accepted my fate. Do you ever check out

amyraye said...

i cannot believe you paid for those cakes. has emily since called and gotten your money back for you?
atrociously decorated or not, it does make for a funny story (after the fact).

Becky said...

Did your mouth hit the floor when you saw those cakes? Ridiculously funny! I have MANY times wished I had Emily's guts in shopping situations.

But your party looks awesome and the boys are SOOOOOO cute! And I really mean this: I LOVE twins!

Gray Family said...

That cake story is just too funny. But what would a 1st year birthday bash be without messy 1 year olds! P.S. I'm not sure whether we need to offer congratulations or condolences for Mark's new calling!

Nancy said...

looks like they still enjoyed them regardless of the mix up, love the name banners, Happy Birthday George and Hank!

Muche said...

Funny, to be so color challenged. I think it's a conspiracy, because who wants two babie with just white frosting all over, come on. Smart training girl! And if you sign up your kids at Basha's, you get a free cake for their birthday. They sometimes mess up and send you two coupons for the one birthday child, and if you save them, then you have free cake for everyone all year! And now is the time to write your complain to the store's online address (not local) and they will appologize, with a coupon or two :) Trust me with freebies, I'm soooo cheap! Adorable boys, as always. 6 months to nursery!

Muche said...

Oh, me again, did you notice you seem to have a bit of a blue tongue yourself. Ah aha ahah

JenJ said...

Your boys are just SO cute!!! I love to look at them! Thanks for sharing!

Emily said...

I think I came here to comment 6 times, and somehow, never did.

What Abby said.

And, I do try to be assertive in some situations, but I'll have you know that I am not as successful as you might think in convincing others of my position and asserting my rights as a customer. Sometimes, I end up paying for the proverbial blue cakes with clouds and ballons. However, I did just flatly refuse to pay $10 extra at our hotel in Kanab in order to get my little party of 7 switched to a room with more than one queen bed. I was prepared to sleep 'em all on the floor, purely on principle. The hotel lady caved before it came to that. So there's that, I guess. Amy takes the (blue) cake (with clouds and balloons), though, when it comes to knowing her rights. Her incident at the Target food court with getting overcharged fitty cent makes me laugh every time I think of it!

And now I have commented.

Sarah said...

Oh yes, Amy does take the (blue) cake with the Target incident. I am laughing too.