Tale from my current workplace, a bakery inside a Warehouse-type store. This story takes place the day before Easter, which my store is closed for.
One of the things that the cake people I work with require is that if you are going to order a cake certain requirements must be met: at least 24-hour notice, a working phone number, and it has to be something out of the book. The design out of the book aren't always the things that they ask for all the time, especially if someone just wants the generic "Happy Birthday" but the form they use clearly states what colors go with which icing.
As for the 24-hour notice, if they don't have a lot of orders the same day or even the next day, then they can fit it in granted the order is not a tiered cake, full sheet cake, or anything that needs a whole lot of work.
I am working a late morning shift the day before and am working with the head cake person, Natasha, and one of her minions, Boris that morning. [Other cake person] is closing that night (I'll eventually give a name for this person). Now Natasha is a nice lady, she'll do just about anything for anyone and can be very direct and blunt when need be; she is the type of person I'd give the shirt off my back for. Boris just started right around the beginning of December and while he looks like the generic biker dude who you wouldn't associate with decorating cakes, he does pretty damn good work.
Anyways, because it's Easter weekend and we're closed that Sunday the cake people have a crap-load of cake orders to be filled so they are trying rather successfully to not only get the orders done but also making sure that the front cases are filled as well.
I'm going out through our little hallway and to the front (the case of cupcakes/cakes has an opening with a bell on top of it so that can be rung to get our attention since the bakery is not really visible to the public) with a cart of bread when a customer (Old Man, or OM) stops me to ask a question about ordering a cake.
Me: Sure, what do you need to know?
OM: I need a cake for tomorrow and was wondering if I could order one to be picked up later today.
Me: Um, I really don't think that's possible but I'll check with the cake people to see if they can fit one in.
So I go back and ask Natasha and Boris if they could fit a cake order in for today, they tell me that the earliest anyone can pick them up is Monday morning as despite them making very good progress, there's still a bunch of orders left. They also told me that if the customer wants them to write "Happy Easter" on a premade cake from the case they can do it but it still would be about ten minutes before they can stop what they are doing to write on it. I go back out to the front to tell OM the news.
Me: Well, unfortunately because they have so many orders to finish up today they can't fit any more in today. But if you want one of the cakes in the case they can can write something on it but it will be about ten minutes before they can get to it.
OM: That's not acceptable, I need one today. Are you sure they can't fit me in?
Me: Yes sir, I'm positive.
OM: Well that won't do. Why can't you make it?
Me: I'm not trained to do the cakes yet. (it's the simple truth, I barely can write on a cake!)
OM: Fine. stomps off
I really don't think any of it because even if the cake people could fit another order in, it might look like, well, crap.
OM was also given another option and he should've taken it, as some of the cakes in the case did look spring-ish. All I could do was shrug it off, put my bread out onto the floor, and relate the end result back to the cake people. Nothing I could do about it.
I'm actually surprised that the customer didn't go to a manager about it as it seems like every other customer who stomps their feet about not getting a cake when it's busy, does. If OM did I certainly didn't hear about it.