In March, 2014, I was pulled into the manager’s office andasked if I would go to the bakery as a cake decorator. I was totally not expecting that. It had been over two years since I had worked in the bakery as a bread packager and I had never told anyone how much I wanted to be a cake decorator. The manager and I discussed how I had no experience decorating cakes. He assured me all I would be doing for the first several weeks, at least, is learning how base frost cakes and doing cupcakes. Eventually, I would work my way up to doing cakes for the display case then doing orders for customers.
We also discussed why I left the bakery in the first place. Let’s just say, when you put a lot of big personalities in a small space there is bound to be some conflict. I couldn’t deal with it any longer so I transferred out of the bakery. The two people who were causing me the most trouble when I was a packager where no longer there. But I wanted assurances I could go back to old position if it didn’t work out in the bakery. I got it. So after much soul searching, I decided to go to the bakery as a cake decorator.
Instead of immediately transferring me to my new position, they kept me in my old position for an additional 6 weeks. During this time, the full-time cake decorator, the person who was supposed to train me, broke her foot and quit. Nobody told me any of this. So imagine my surprise that on my first day in the bakery everybody wanted me to decorate cakes for customers.
The next 6 weeks were some of the most stressful times I ever had. May and June are graduation and wedding season, primetime for cake decorators. I could do about 3 cakes a day. Everything took forever to figure out. The simplest of cake took me an hour or more because I didn’t know how to base frost a cake, what tips to use or any thing.
There were many nights I went home and cried. I was so stressed out I gave myself nightmares about cake chasing me and drowning in buckets of buttercream. However, I was determined to last until my vacation in the middle of June. After my vacation I gave myself permission to go back to my previous position.
Once I got back from vacation, I decided to stay in the bakery and I am really glad I did. Slowly, my skills have improved. I have more confidence in my skills than I ever thought I would. Things that would have stressed me out a year ago are just something I can do now. This wedding cake tells me I was right to take the chance on moving to the bakery. It tells me I was right when I thought cake decorating was something I could be good at.