As some of you may or may not know, I have gone back to work. A REAL job. I had been looking unofficially for a little while. My previous job with PPS had ended so suddenly because there was not enough work to go around, and I was told to just pack up and leave one day, with no warning, they just didn’t need me any more. Since that happened, I decided that the only way I would give my time and energy to someone other than my family,would be someone or something I truly believed in. In early January an opportunity popped up. A friend of mine had a tiny flower shop up the street and got an amazing chance to move to the Main Street of our town into a prime location. She literally bought the business and moved overnight. While she had never needed an employee before, now she did. She contacted me. I was thrilled. It was a perfect fit.
I started the 2nd week in January. I knew nothing about flowers. But Boss Lady was willing to teach me. I was so ready to learn. I was in an environment with someone who trusted me from the start. She didn’t treat me like an idiot. Boss Lady showed me how to wrap flowers and do pricing schematics. I learned so much my first week. Joking she warned about Valentines Day. Her family comes in and out to help with things. Her husband helps with computer hook ups and her mother helps set ups flowers, her uncle does delivery. They all joked about Valentines Day. I was flat out warned it was intense but nothing could describe it. I was told that it would be long hours. “No problem” I said. I called in the calvary. Aka- Nana. She came down to help with the kids after school for me.
Then Valentines WEEK hit. Oh did I mention the massive snow storm we got the weekend before that delayed all of our roses??? There was a 36+ hour driving ban in MA so the trucks could not get to us. When they finally could drive the snow piles were so high on the corner that they were impossible to see around making driving so dangerous. But Oh My Goodness did Goalie and I have fun!! Punk and Bear were with their Dad that weekend 😦
We were not even all the way to the ground in these photos!!!
So when Valentines hit I really learned what work was. Let me say before anyone has something mean or snarky to say. I did this 100% of my own choice. At any point I could have cried “uncle” and gone home with no punishment. I chose to stay, I chose to help. I LOVED every moment of it.
I have never been so busy in my life. Every time I went to sit down (which was always a bad idea), or have a bite of lunch/dinner graciously provided by my employer or a member of her family, the phone rang or a customer came in. It was wonderful. I truly expected to see a lot of guys begrudgingly buying roses for their wife because they had to. But I only saw 1 or 2 of those out of thousands. What I did see and hear were men with stories of how much they love their wife/girlfriend and how they wanted to make her happy. Many knew exactly what she liked whether it be roses or not. Some wanted to pick out mixed flowers to show extra effort of doing something themselves. It wasn’t always about them just spending the most amount of money to show her they loved her the most. Some of the sweetest stories came from the guys who didn’t have that much but were trying to be creative in other ways.
So in 4 days I worked 57 hours. I didn’t even come CLOSE to what Boss Lady worked. She was amazing. Their jokes, were true. I have never worked harder. Breaks didn’t exist for any of us. I could have taken one, any of us could, but it would put so much stress on the others. Even going to the bathroom was a risk! lol. But the days sped by. Before I knew it, it was 11pm and I hit the wall. I would be home and collapse into bed and get up at 7am the next day, drop the kids at school and head straight to work for 8:30. I stripped thorns from roses, wrapped flowers, cleaned buckets, swept floors, took orders, blew up balloons, organized the cooler, and with any luck made some people happy. I truly love my job. Every day I come in to beautiful flowers fresh from the market. Max, Boss Lady’s Pitt-bull hangs out with us in the shop, and our customers are generally the nicest people going. (you always get a few nut jobs no matter where you are… but they make the job interesting!) I can’t wait to do it again next year!!!
So take a moment and think, before you complain about the cost of flowers on Valentines Day. I never knew before this year, how much work went into it. Months of planing, and one seriously intense week of work. Roses don’t just get pulled out of a box and plopped into some water. Every flower was inspected, stripped of the bottom thorns, then cut on the bottom and had packing petals taken off. And that is just the start of the flower’s journey.
I am so lucky to love what I do. I still get to bake, I also get to learn a new craft and have a new creative outlet. I am just so grateful for this opportunity. And now for your viewing pleasure… some of the beautiful things I get to work with on a daily basis!
Some of our Valentine Colored Roses
We had 5,000 RED roses for Valentines Day
Max is ready for the doors to open!