I've had a variety of summer jobs, but none of them have given me *quite* the experience of working 30 hours a week (at least) in a bakery. From waking up at 4 A.M. for work to spending tireless hours carrying cakes, taking orders, and stocking shelves, I get a clear look at what goes on behind the scenes to bake those chocolate cakes and fancy pastries.
However, much of the enjoyment I experience from the job (or, at times, the stress) comes from the customers. So if you decide to work in a bakery at all, here are 10 types of customers you are sure to meet:
1. The Particular
If the giant cookies are assembled in a 5x4 array, these customers try to direct you to the second cookie in the third row. Or better yet, they'll try to point out the one roll they want in a giant pile of rolls. Then they specify the box or bag they want you to put it in and the way they want all of their purchases assembled. No one ever told me this job could be so stressful, but when these fussy people come in, it certainly can be.
2. The Regular
Since I work the morning shift, I encounter many of this breed. You know, the people who show up Every. Single. Day. Eventually, many of these customers become pretty easy to deal with because they usually always have the same exact order, and you begin to memorize who orders what. It doesn't seem like the healthiest idea to eat 2 jelly doughnuts daily, but you do you I guess.
3. The Dieter
These people come in with questions like "Where can I find sugar free doughnuts?" or "Are any of these cakes fat-free?" or, best of all, "Is any of this stuff vegan?" I never understand these customers because if you have these restrictions, you really shouldn't be coming to a bakery. Or at least you should do your research first before asking these types of questions.
4. The Party Planner
This breed of customer really tests my counting skills because he or she asks for VERY LARGE quantities of certain items (that are ~hopefully~ for VERY LARGE groups of people). When someone hits me with a "Can I have 37 rolls?" or "I want 10 mini fruit tarts, 14 red velvet squares, 5 small lobster tails, and 9 cream puffs," I am always under a ton of pressure not to miscount. God forbid I only give you 36 rolls and someone at the party has to starve.
5. The "Little Bit of Everything"
There are many beautiful things about working in a large bakery with so many different types of items, but these kinds of customers are not one of them. These people are the kind who get a few breads, a few pastries, a cake, a coffee roll, a few doughnuts, and a beverage. If they knew how complicated it is to locate individual items on the register, including which categories and subcategories they're found, they'd maybe give me a break. Until then, they'll keep coming in.
6. The Interviewer
I guess everyone thinks that since I work in a bakery, I've tried the many hundreds of things on the shelves. I can conclude this because I have tons of customers that ask "Is this good?" about 20 different items. Personally, I hate cakes with the strawberry preserve in the middle but when asked about it, I'm not going to tell a customer, "No, it's gross." As a marketing strategy, I'll probably just always answer "Yes, it's DELICIOUS."
7. The Odd Requester
Since many people aren't able to just come to a bakery, know what they want, and accept it in its natural form, you get some pretty strange requests from customers. My two personal favorites are "Can I get only the crumbs from the crumb cake?" and "Can I get a roll but without the bread in it?" Since everyone's experience with this kind of customer is different, there are no common "odd requests" but be prepared for some weird questions.
8. The Lingerer
When retired people have nothing better to do than come to the bakery (or take their time on the way to work), the bakery becomes a hangout spot for many people. Even though there is (no joke) one very small table with two chairs, many people still feel in no hurry to leave. I never really equated a bakery with a bar or a sit-down restaurant but apparently, there are still people who treat it as such.
9. The Observer
As someone who does genuinely enjoy helping customers, this type is particularly irritating for me. They come in, look intensely interested at all the breads, ask questions about the doughnuts, compliment the cakes and how delicious they look, ask for pricing, and leave. Umm...I never thought of a bakery as a place where you go in and don't buy anything. Maybe it's a dieting strategy to eat with your eyes or something.
10. The Comedian
I mean, yes, there are jokester customers that come into every workplace, but the bakery comedians tend to pull the same jokes. I can't tell you how many times I've heard the "I'd be so fat if I'd worked here," or "As you can tell, I'm on a diet." These jokes are funny until you hear them multiple times a day. Everyday. I have a customer (who is a regular) come up with new dad jokes every time he comes in, and that is more refreshing than these jokes.