M-3: Calm Before The Storm


Today was a day for introductions & preparation. Tomorrow and Saturday will be incredibly busy.

Introductions are in order, but not all the faces are new. Overall command and expertise lies with the Steel Rose, our fearless leader and lead florist. She has decades of experience to draw on. The number one rule around here is do what she says. Silence handles IT and communications with the various wire services like 1-800-FLOWERS, BloomNet, and FTD. Each uses a separate system and has random eccentricities, like repeatedly sending orders we cannot complete, sending orders with obscenely low prices where we can’t make a profit, and general errors / omissions. It requires an expert geek, and Silence is certainly qualified, having delivered flowers and managed the wire services for decades. Besides, it is appropriate that a military history major manages our logistics. Honeybee is our dedicated assistant florist; she has several years of experience and is very helpful.

The first new face is Sweetful, daughter of a preacher and looking young enough to still be in high school, she’s still fairly new. From what I gather on our delivery run together, she would not likely appreciate a site such as this. She’s rapidly learning the ropes, but still a bit wet behind the ears. Her mother also works in the store, handling the cash register and calling for orders. We’ll call her SweetMom. Sweetful and I drop off a funeral arrangement together; I navigate while she drives. It’s notable that the floral business relies on death, alongside weddings, proms, holidays like V-day or M-day, and men seeking forgiveness.

Pro Tip: When seeking floral forgiveness, let the florist know the price range and the lady’s likes and dislikes in terms of flowers/colors. A good florist has the expertise to take that make it awesome. Trust me, I’ve watched it come together, and it just works. A quick arrangement of fall colors, a nice vase, and a Green Bay Packer balloon kept me from likely getting disowned.

Next up is driver candidate Northwoods. He has a Blackhawks cap like mine and a background in Hazmat trucking. We talk a lot on the delivery run, although he handles most of the deliveries as preparation for working alone. We talk a lot about safety and various issues while we work together. Then there is NewGal. I do not think she will be here long – not willing to work a full day. Why this is, I do not know, but that is part of why I came down here.

Next is preparation. Tomorrow is going to be crazy – runs will begin first thing in the morning (way earlier than I am used to) so we need to be ready. While the flower team gets the arrangements put together, Northwoods and I turn to assembling route sheets. He knows the city and has done routing before, but his hands are not what they used to be thanks to a close encounter of the deer kind. (Out here, hunting is self-defense from kamikaze deer…) I handle a lot of the writing. The routes are sorted based on where the delivery is at (in-town, nearby, neighboring towns, etc) and if the delivery specifies a time, such as in the morning. Each route has the contact information for the recipient, along with the address, so that we can call ahead.

Pro Tip: Most florists need to have someone sign for their order. We absolutely cannot leave an order on your porch.  This means accurate contact information is key. We always try to call ahead to make sure someone is there. If you want to surprise someone, make sure there is someone else to answer the phone and receive the order.

We do a grocery run, and Silence sneaks in a Mother’s day card for Steel Rose. We will sneak out an arrangement for her on Saturday. As for my part, I call in an order to a Wisconsin flower shop for an elegant fern for my mother – she prefers plants to arrangements. It’s a lot of moving things around and waiting. A lot of this waiting felt like a sauna, since the weather was humid, and the inside of the shop was at least 15 F warmer than outside. Thanks to thermodynamics, all those coolers have to dump their heat somewhere. Fortunately, it looks like it will be lot cooler on the weather.gov forecast.

Good weather for Operation Bloom

There are 6 comments.

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  1. OmegaPaladin Moderator

    Mothers’ Day is Sunday, so this Thursday is M-3.  Beware the sinister side of florists.

    This conversation is part of our Group Writing Series under the May 2019 Group Writing Theme: Blooming Ideas. Do stop by and sign up!

    • #1
  2. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    The calm before the storm. Rehearsal is what professionals do.

    This conversation is part of our Group Writing Series under the May 2019 Group Writing Theme: Blooming Ideas. Do stop by and sign up!

    • #2
  3. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey

    This is getting to be this week’s favorite reality show!

    • #3
  4. She Reagan

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    This is getting to be this week’s favorite reality show!

    Mine too!

    • #4
  5. Arahant Member

    Keep ’em coming.

    • #5
  6. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret

    How could someone with “Above Top Secret” as their ID ever pass up a post that involves sinister goings on at the local florist’s!

    Kidding aside, I keep wondering how florists are able to make out these days. A local florist had a small iten in the newspaper regarding how all these “1 -800 Red Rose” numbers have to be filled at whatever floral shop signed  up to handle them. And then the prices the 800 people have gone and posted to entice business are too low to do anything with regards to the actual florist making a profit – or not taking a loss?

    How is this business end of things managed?

    • #6

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