Hi guys and gals, StephyDee here! Welcome everyone to the first of a series of sim stories centered around the new careers and features of the recent “Get To Work” expansion pack for The Sims 4. Like many of you, when I heard of what was coming with this first EP, my heart was jumping for joy in an almost embarrassing manner. From the Doctor career to the Detective career and beyond, it was (and is) a promising first installment for the fourth chapter in the Sims franchise, especially considering the fact that it brought back the fan-favorite “retail system” first introduced in The Sims 2: Open For Business EP. It was honestly what I looked forward to the most in “Get To Work”, even with my excitement for the other careers.
Speaking of which, that brings us to why we’re here. As I said before, the retail aspect of this expansion pack was what I was most excited for, and I made sure to tackle it first thing, right after installation. I decided to bring a sim I had created and played with a few weeks back, letting her get the full “GTW” treatment with a full makeover and career change. What resulted was the sim you’ll see in this story, Lexi Greystone. She’s an ambitious girl who loves food and always has a smile on her face, so I figured she would be the perfect candidate for my playing sim in this first venture……running her very own bakery.
Now, Lexi has been a dear sim to me for the past few weeks, and she’s already built up a decent amount of simoleons from her first career as a chef. This means I can splurge a bit on building this bakery she’ll be running. I don’t want her to look like an instant showoff, however, so I’ll keep it humble and simple for now.
Behold our beloved bakery, Sweets By Lexi G, ripe for the baking! Now, as most of you know, with retail businesses, you can stay there indefinitely without a pressing need to return to your home lot (besides to pay the occasional bill and whatnot). I decide to take full advantage of this feature and build a small ‘home away from home’ for Lexi to call her own in the basement. It’s enough for the bare necessities, nothing more.
So, after the dust has settled and I’ve finally decided it’s time to go into Live Mode, I waste no time in getting Lexi trained in the Baking Skill. Sure, I’ve already gone and purchased the Baking Skill books from the bookshelf, but watching someone reading a book is no fun, is it? I throw her right into the fire by having her make her first baked good, Marshmallow Rice Squares. Surely it shouldn’t be THAT hard for a formerly successful chef to get accustomed to the world of sugary goodness, right? Wrong. Baking is another whole beast to tame, my friends, and as someone who loves to bake in real life, I can assure you that this is definitely the case. Poor Lexi’s expertise in roasts and pastas and most other culinary delights mean nothing when faced with the power of powdered sugar and marshmallows. She’s right back to square one.
After making a mess of her brand new kitchen (Gee, thanks Lexi), she’s finally finished with her rice squares. Their quality is ‘good’, so not too bad for a first try. I place them in the cooling display cases so that they stay fresh for as long as possible, and decide to have Lexi actually read a Baking Skill book now, seeing as she vastly needs to improve, especially if people are going to actually buy and eat her creations. I let her read until she gains a skill point, and figure she’s had enough work for today. Tomorrow is when her bakery opens, so she’ll get plenty of experience when the time comes. For now? Time to hit the town and introduce herself to the locals.
I let Lexi have free roam at a local ’boutique’ style shop across the street from the bakery, and she quickly goes to where the party’s at, immediately talking to the usual townies, such as the Caliente’s and the ‘BFF’ household. In my mind, I feel she’s raving about her new establishment, telling everyone to come to the bakery and try out her goodies that are ‘out of this world’, which at this point we all know that is a bold faced lie, since we saw her literally struggling to combine marshmallow and crispy rice cereal only a few moments ago. I mean really girl, there’s embellishments and then there’s flat out false advertising. Don’t go promising potential customers Baked Alaska and then give them chocolate chip cookies. As much as I love cookies, even I will admit they aren’t quite the same thing.
After her rendezvous with the various townies, I realize that it’s getting pretty late, and if I want any chance of opening this bakery tomorrow, Lexi’s gonna need some sleep. I send her home and have her rest up, for the next day is sure to be pure chaos.
When Lexi wakes up early the next morning and takes care of her needs, I have her get right to work on making treats. She gained the ability to make more treats as she leveled up her Baking Skill, and so I turned her into a baking machine, cranking out treats left and right nonstop until I felt there was enough for her first day. Chocolate chip cookies, those rice squares from yesterday, blueberry bagels, and a loaf of bread were what resulted from her baking frenzy. Even with all of these confections though, I felt the selection of items was rather bare, but I didn’t quite have the time to have Lexi make anything else without getting too late in the day, so I decide to include some coffeemakers for sale. Coffee and sweets, it’s too perfect, am I right? I provide a couple of color options for them and sit them on the counter by the register. Awesome, now Lexi is officially ready for her bakery to open! I send her to the register to open the store, and her joy is so apparent it almost looks like it hurts her face, or rather that she already needs a nap……the poor dear.
A-ha, our first customers! It took a minute or so for them to show up, but here they are! So, how can Lexi help you today?
……huh. I guess perhaps they like chocolate chip cookies more than Baked Alaska after all? They both eye that plate of cookies for a good minute, occasionally looking at each other and then back to the plate, and it starts making me wonder if Lexi’s first customers will end up fighting to the death for her precious sweets. It’d definitely make for interesting entertainment, that’s for sure, but perhaps that could wait till at least her second day on the job.
Anyways, eventually the woman gives up her fight for the cookies, and she moves on to something else while the man (J Huntington III, in case you didn’t notice) decides to buy them right then and there, no persuasion needed. This is a good thing, because as you can see, Lexi’s got her hands full. Within the first few minutes, customers go nuts for her goods, buying the rice squares, blueberry bagels, the aforementioned cookies, and even a coffeemaker! All this business, however, bring about a big mess, and it doesn’t take much for her displays and counters to start getting messy soon after customers purchase her goods. It’s at this point that I realize that perhaps I should have hired someone to help Lexi out on her first day, as she’s juggling between cleaning, restocking, answering questions and ringing up customers, not to mention she’s starting to complain about her own needs as well. In my defense, I didn’t realize it would get this busy so quickly. I mean, does Magnolia Promenade not have ANY bakery establishment at all besides our little Town Square we have access to? Sims must really need their sugar fix, and Sweets By Lexi G is apparently the only place where they can take care of that.
As Lexi starts getting caught up in her tasks, I notice she’s starting to get Tense, emotion change and all. To be honest, I expected this. It’s a one-woman show here after all, so it only makes sense. What I didn’t expect, however, was the reason WHY she was so tense. Lexi has the Ambitious trait, which I gave to her long ago when I first created her. Apparently running your own retail store does not qualify as a job in the mind of an ambitious sim, and she was stressed out because she didn’t have an ‘actual’ job, the emotion always popping up every few minutes after it disappeared.
Now, I suggest to any of you aspiring retail aficionados out there, if you want to save yourself the trouble of constantly have a ticked off sim have the urge to yell at customers and ‘beg’ for their sales, then DON’T choose the Ambitious trait. I would like to think of this as a bug, unless my game is the only one that does this. If it is, then just ignore everything I’ve just said, as the game is simply torturing my poor soul specifically.
Well, we now have a stressed out Lexi, and her needs are starting to drop more and more. It’s getting later in the day, but she still has customers ready to check out, so her needs will have to wait. That means the garden salad she’s attempting to prepare is not to see the light of day. I cancel the action and have her get back to w-
Hey, missy! It’s not my fault you’re too simple minded to realize you already HAVE a job. You have customers to help, so chop chop!
…hmph, rolling your eyes won’t help one bit. Ring up Mr. Landgraab for his coffeemaker. The ‘cart symbol’ above his head is in the red, so you’ve got ten seconds to make him a happy camper before he storms out of the bakery and you REALLY have something to be stressed about!
Finally, as the sun is just about to set, Lexi is caught up on customers to ring up. I take the opportunity to close the store and send all the stragglers on their merry way, leaving Lexi with some peace and quiet as her first day in the bakery comes to a close. In terms of simoleons, she’s made close to §600, which is good considering she sold a lot of baked goods and a couple of coffeemakers, all while she was on her own. Before I started the day, I was afraid I would have to make Lexi bake all new batches of her treats, but restocking them works like any other item, so that saves me the trouble (although it feels strange having new cookies and rice squares appear out of nowhere. Like, where did they come from? Lexi sure didn’t bake them. Are we already to the point of outsourcing our sweets and goodies to random bakers across the city? Hmm, I’m gonna have to have a talk with Lexi about this before she does it again…).
Unfortunately the girl still doesn’t look too stress free if you ask me. Something tells me she’ll gonna need to watch some quality TV before heading to bed. Today has been a trying day for her, and before she turns in for the night, I make sure to hire someone to help her out the next day and onward. I hire the best the roster has to offer, someone with experience, great work ethic, and knows how to restock and clean efficiently. At §40 an hour, this person better be all that, a bag of chips AND a drink on the side. I’ll be watching them closely, that’s for sure.
We’ll see what happens when Lexi’s adventures in the bakery continue the next day. For now, we’ll leave her to rest, for the girl truly needs it. Perhaps by the time you and I visit her again, she’ll be ready to take on whatever the new EP has to offer, and then some. Stay tuned for the continuing adventures of Lexi, and her ongoing mission to Get Work Done.