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Something not widely known is that most florists do not deliver on Mother’s Day itself. This includes the shop I am working at — even the Steel Rose needs a day of rest. This means today is the big day.
I stagger downstairs into the shop, feeling unwell. (Perhaps the medicine I am taking is reacting with something?) The Steel Rose has a new routing system where every route sheet shares a label code with the order slips and the cards for each item. I barely have time start when I am assigned to go along with Northwoods on a delivery far west of town. It’s a fairly smooth operation.
Next, I return to a stack of orders where I will be accompanying Sweetful. We have a rush order in a neighboring town to the south. I run the navigation — using a maps app but making my own directions. I’m starting to get where stuff is at, and I discuss safe topics such as family, Minecraft, and cute animal videos. As soon as we get back, we get all the deliveries for south of town. The first one is miles away at the far edge of our delivery area. We kept up the pace, and I continued plotting the route as we went along. Fortunately, Sweetful is fond of puns, so I keep up the humor as well. Finally, we have a quick break.
For Services Rendered? – While we were doing the above, Northwoods took a flower delivery to a massage parlor, tucked behind a drugstore, with windows covered in stickers The recipient, a young Asian lady, protested in broken English that she had no reason to receive such flowers. She has no kids, so Mother’s Day is out. I will leave this one for your imagination
The Longest Dinner – Silence finally gets a break from wrestling with wire services, and we go to a neighboring restaurant for lunch. It takes 40 minutes to get our order, while we were “treated” to the attempted 60s rock I experienced last night. It took standing at the bar with my hands on my hips to get food. We had to call the store to explain the situation, and we almost just walked out. At least it was good when we finally got it…
Catgirl Capitalism – I’ve gotten a bit more familiar with what we have in the shop, and I assist in a few sales alongside Sweetmom. The second group features an enthusiastic eight-year-old with a cat-ear headband. We help negotiate childish indecision and the father’s budget. While Sweetmom has the most experience with little girls (mother of four grown daughters, including Sweetful) I assist with timely provision of wet-naps and phonics lessons.
Finally, we begin closing down. Newgal and Northwoods return from their last mission. Buckets for holding flowers in water are dumped, and flowers are packed in the coolers. We bring in the outdoor displays and lock up. Newgal leaves first. As Northwoods prepares to leave, Silence gives him the good news: he’s being hired on for good. Honeybee frantically finishes up in order to depart for a party. Sweetful and her mom head out — ironically, none of the mothers working here are getting arrangements. The Steel Rose departs for a well-deserved rest — she only put in 10-11 hours the past few days.
Silence and I brush the glitter off ourselves (glitter gets everywhere in a flower shop), and collapse into chairs upstairs. Only one run left – it is going to a cemetery, and if the recipient is not there, we will have bigger problems.
For all intents and purposes, Operation Bloom is over.