Thursday, February 15, 2007

Floral Fripperies

I've been working, answering phones, at a local florist in the lead-up to Valentine's. I've been congratulated on my ability to answer the phones, take the orders, be pleasant and do a fair amount of sales to those, mostly men, that want to send something nice, are willing to pay, and are somewhat clueless about what they want. I have not asked to "design" or pushed my way into anything, but in less than 12 hours I've detected a weird vibe- not from the owners but from the other employees.

Yesterday I heard "Justine, are you DESIGNING over there?" from one of employees.

"Nope, putting up cards." was my response.

Today, I was told SPECIFICALLY where to place the orders. I asked and had it confirmed that I was putting them in the right place. Less than four hours later I hear, "you have to put them in THIS BASKET, not the box that says Wednesday." Uh huh.

I've owned a business, a business that is in its 11th year and I can tell you that I wouldn't hire half of the nitwits working in this shop. It's too bad, because the owners are great and obviously too good to people.

I asked another part-timer, Kelly, if the local college had a floral design tech degree. "Nope, all taught on site. Nearest school is Denver or Seattle." Uh huh. A little knowledge is obviously a dangerous, snipe-making thing. As an aside, Kelly has a long-time, successful business here, a busy, busy life and only comes in to help in these very-rushed times of the year at the florist. She was very good to work with the last few days. I couldn't count how many arrangement she put together that looked stunning and were finished and in the cooler in no time at all. She knows a thing or two about production.

But, I'll walk away from this with some useful information. I won't ever be owning a flower shop. The next business I have won't include baby-making, part-time girlies that can't answer a phone or be pleasant or helpful to someone that is in to save their ass; fortunately these individuals have the jobs they do because it's not terribly likely they could do much else.

It makes me happy that I've made a few people --who don't know me or have seen my face -- laugh a bit when they were placing their order. One of the highlights was when the manager of the local cemetary called to order a dozen roses for his wife.

"Would you like an assortment or all red roses or another particular color?"

"Like I know? All I know about flowers is that I have to clean them up out here."

"Well, think of the lovely compost it will make." He just laughed at that.

I do like knowing, by these little experiences, that I'm not wired like most women around this little town. Things that make me laugh don't seem funny to most, I can make complete strangers laugh on the phone, and my life is not dependent on trimming flowers in a back room a few days a year and thinking I'm "so stressed!". Tra la la.

Here is what is really important to me on a certain Wednesday in February and every other day of the year.

To add to annoyance, I woke this morning with a weird hot, throbbing spot on my back. I got up and sat in the massage chair-thingy I have. Then I went into the bathroom and I've been barfing ever since. 5 yaks in 4 hours, all over body aches, I AM SO HUNGRY, and little Chuckles coming into my room, saying "Muuum? Muum?" As I write this I'm up to 8 runs to the toilet between 7 am and 10 pm.

The person who'd questioned whether I was designing brought her fouryearold by the flower shop on Monday, after ,he'd started puking that morning. I called the owner at 7:15 Wednesday morning and told her what was going on. She said it long before I did. "That was rude bringing her boy in while he was sick." So, I spent Valentine's day in bed, mostly. I think this may be the longest I've been upright today. I just hope my kiddies don't get it.

I hope you had a nice Wednesday.

No comments: