Thursday, 29 September 2011

I got

asked this morning whether there are any funny times/moments in this job.I don't think I have ever been asked that question before. All the time I get told "what a lovely job you have" and "How lovely it must be to play with flowers all day" (if only they knew the truth that it's 10% lovely and creative, 90% stress, dirt and hassle) and asked "what's the best thing about being a florist" but nobody has ever asked if there are funny times until this morning. The customer understands how hard the job can be, how stressful it is at times, how sad it is when we are dealing with people who have sadly lost their loved ones and what a nightmare a bridezilla can be, so that's why she asked. 
When she left the shop she was still chuckling away to herself at some of the stories I shared with her. There have been some really funny moments/times. Some of them created by myself and workmates that probably weren't that funny to anyone else but had us in stitches at the time (and even ex bosses have been known to laugh on the odd occasion at certain antics). The main one that springs to mind was the time we shut a workmate in a double wheely bin, wheeled her up the road, parked her outside the butchers and left her there. Childish? Yes most definitely but funny at the same time. She was so tiny there was no way she was ever going to be able to climb out of it. In the end she managed to lift the lid high enough to put her hands on the lip and pull herself up to see out. The butcher eventually helped her out about an hour after we had parked her there. He couldn't do a thing for laughing.  There was the time I was stood at my work bench while my workmate (the same one we trapped in the bin) was dealing with a customer in the shop. The place we worked in at the time had big windows in front of the workbenches so anyone in the work room could see what was going on in the shop and out the front. Suddenly the guy she was serving legged it out the back into the workroom where he proceeded to dive underneath my work bench. At the same time this was happening a lady came into the shop. My workmate didn't have a clue what to do but couldn't ignore the lady so began to serve her. In the meantime the guy under my bench was explaining to me that he had been working abroad for the past 3 years and had just moved back to the UK. None of his family thought he was arriving until the following day as he wanted to surprise his Mum. He came into the shop to buy flowers to take round for her, when he saw her outside the front of the shop and that's when he dived under my bench. The lady my workmate was serving and who didn't have a clue what was going on was his Mum.The time I was out the front watering tray after tray of plants. The worst job my old boss could have given me as I hated being the sun and this day was particularly hot. Not wanting to keep bending over to dead head them all I decided I'd grab a bucket and sit myself down. I'd just got to the last tray when suddenly the bucket I was sitting on decided to buckle. The next thing I was flat on my back, legs in the air with my skirt covering my head. Undies on display for all to see. As I straightened myself up and sorted myself out I couldn't miss the white van full of builders who couldn't do anything but laugh.
There are so many but nowhere near enough time or space to share them all, but as  you can see it's not all doom, gloom and stress. When working with the general public you never know what you are going to get/experience from one second to the next. From the card message that makes your eyes water, to the little old lady that very bluntly explains what happens when a dog is neutered, to the guy that is ordering flowers for his girlfriend when his wife walks in and stands behind him. We get to see and hear all sorts but have to be the souls of disgression 100%. 
So in answer to the ladies question. Yes there most definitely are funny times.

Friday, 2 September 2011

The lesson learned

This week is that no matter how many flowers we may think we need to get through a day we will be way off the mark. Never before have I planned so badly.  For 25 years I've always got the balance spot on but this week it's all gone totally to pot. Because I buy flowers every day I always know roughly how many I will need, so I have bought enough for that days orders, plus extras for spares and customers that pass by or pop into the shop. I rarely have anything left at the end of the day but do normally still have a full looking shop at lunchtime. This week however no matter how many flowers I have bought, I've never seemed to have enough. It has been manic. We pride ourselves on never having flowers in the shop for longer than 36 hours, however most of this week we've been lucky if they've been in the shop for 3 hours :o)  Not that we're complaining. It's been great seeing so many people come through the doors and speaking to even more on the telephone, but I feel a bit of a fraud when someone comes in expecting to see a massive display of flowers and I have very little to offer them. Thankfully we have wonderful customers and they have all fully understand and left the choices to me, and luckily walked away with huge smiles on their faces.
The sun is shining outside and inside this week. Happy weekend everyone. May it bring you plenty of joy and sunshine.