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I had heard that Saturday was going to be the worst day for deliveries, and the weather certainly lived up to that. Blowing snow and biting cold is a pain to drive in, and harsh on flowers. We need to warm up the van and make sure all the flowers were well wrapped, or we would not live up to our reputation for quality. Everyone knows you can get poor quality flowers at Walmart for cheap – we can only compete via quality. You could say the invisible hand is holding the bouquet…
The crew filed in slowly, Calluna was fish-tailing all the way here, Biker came in distraught, her neighbor was unresponsive, and had left in an ambulance in front of a panicking spouse right as she was leaving for work. I missed some of the story, but seeing this tough wrench wench in tears said it all. The roads were horrible – when Calluna went to get her medicine, she was rear-ended in the pharmacy lot. Fortunately, she was okay.
Meanwhile, the orders began to trickle out with Drama and Ginger. Ginger was rapidly proving herself highly dedicated – if only she was not temporary! I was assigned the job of removing the pollen from our stock of lilies. As I was soon to learn, lily pollen packets will stain your hands and clothes orange. Since we did not want our customers to resemble a former president, the pollen needed to be removed. Naturally, they selected the huge guy with size 10 hands to perform this delicate task. Fortunately, it was fairly easy despite being messy.
Drama reported that he had been in an accident, and the work came to a halt. He had slid out while backing up, and struck two mailboxes. He was okay, the van’s back door was dinged up, and the police were called. Both the county sheriff and town police got involved, and the insurance agents were informed. This pretty much guaranteed Drama was not going to return. A later investigation by Ginger revealed the van’s tires were balder than I am, so the accident may not have entirely been his fault.
Lunch rolled around, and Biker turned baker, with some delicious banana nut bread and cupcakes. Steel Rose ordered cheeseless pizza from Dominos, as milk protein is the Kryptonite of Steel Rose and Silence. For my part, I provided mini-oranges, since I had a surplus at my place. For a moment, the drama of the day vanished amidst the rapidly devoured surprise feast. I ate alongside the Engineer. While we agree on politics, it is much more interesting to hear about his electronics work or his grandkids or his strategic assault on the fish of a northern lake.
After lunch, I mostly sat around and watched. Eventually, I headed upstairs to finish writing the previous post in this series, and see if Ricochet had exploded today. According to what I found out later, it was actually the flower shop crew who exploded, with Drama openly defying the boss over a botched order, and getting into a profane shouting match with Calluna. Apparently, I had been an unknowing hall monitor. When I was called down for the last batch of orders, I headed out with Ginger to help. She definitely distinguished herself and had an open invitation to return. Strangely, this whole weekend felt less busy and more chaotic, with a lack of experienced crew. (When I am one of the most experienced flower handlers at the store, something is wrong)
Given the travails Steel Rose has with hiring, I wanted to ask the small business owners on Ricochet if they have had difficulty hiring quality service workers who are responsible. Is it a regional issue? A generation problem?Published in