of all those orders"? enquired the little voice from inside the shop. The voice belonged to a young girl having a browse at some soft toys, while I was taking photographs of all the orders I had made up ready for the drivers to grab and head off out to deliver.
To some this girl would have been dismissed as one of those "inquisitive children" (I hear Mums and Dads say to their own kids so often to "stop asking questions and let the lady (that's me) get on with her work". I find this sad because if kids don't ask the questions then they will always wonder (and never learn) so first off let me say that I am more than happy for them to ask, and if I am able to answer then I will do; and answer this little girl I could.
I photograph absolutely everything that is going out to be delivered. It started a long time ago when we sent some flowers to a funeral; there was a lot of trouble among the family and as it turned out the item we had sent was (bigger) better than most of the other tributes there (these others hadn't been made by us). This family member took exception to her having paid more for her tribute which ended up smaller than the one we made, and when nobody was looking she swapped the card from her tribute, with the one we made. Now aside from the tributes being different sizes, they were also different colours, so when our customer got to the funeral and found a small orange tribute with her card on, and large pinky shaded tribute with this other family members name on she was not happy (and nor would I have been if I had been her). I knew that I had made what the customer had asked me for, but I had no proof at the time. I did ask her to go back and I would talk her through the flowers I put in there as I remembered making it, but she was so upset and angry that she demanded her money back and vowed never to use us again.
This to me was so upsetting; I hate the thought that a customer believed I had let her down for a start, but also as a small business in these economic times we couldn't afford to go around making up tributes which we then ended up paying for ourselves. After that day I made sure I make a point of writing down every single flower that goes into any order (whether it be for a funeral, birthday or a *just because*) and then I photograph the flowers too. This way if anyone was to try it on (and sadly there are many, many, many people that will try it on, and tell me we delivered the wrong flowers/colours or that the flowers were dead when they arrived) I am able to show them the photograph (backed up by the list of flowers I have) as proof that I have made what they have asked for; and that the flowers were very much alive too when delivered. Yes I know it's a very sad world we live in when we have to do things like this, but sadly there are (as always) the few that ruin things for the many.
Sadly as many people as there are that will try it on at the time of delivery, there are an equal (if not greater) amount that will phone me up 4 or 5 weeks after they've had flowers delivered, to tell me that they only lasted a couple of days; these people expect me to either replace the flowers they had or refund their money. Now let me ask you; if you went into a shop and bought food that when you opened was off, what would you do? You would take it back to the shop if you wanted a replacement or refund wouldn't you? The nice jumper, skirt, pair of jeans you bought that fell apart when you wore them the first time; they'd go back to the shop with you when you complain wouldn't they? The shoes that the heel fell off the minute you put them on; they wouldn't stay in your shoe rack while you went back to the shop to demand a replacement or refund, so why do people think it's ok to ring a florist 4 or 5 weeks after they've had flowers to complain? Because sadly they are just trying it on. If anyone had flowers that were dead by the 3rd or 4th day they would phone at the time to complain; not wait weeks later.
The best one I had that tried this came in to the shop demanding her money back because theflowers were dead the next day. When I asked for the flowers so that I could get my money back from the wholesalers, I was told they were in the bin. Now no shop will refund any money without having the offending item back, so why this person thought I was just going to hand over my hard earned money without seeing the offending item I have no idea. For about half an hour she ranted and raved at me about how I "HAD" to give her the money back. I stood my ground with her (as I would anyone that hasn't bought back the offending items) and I will admit to letting a huge smile spread across my face when I was able to prove that she had in fact neverbought flowers from our shop ever.
I think I answered that little girls question quite well :)