Blueberry Fields, For Never

, | Right | July 10, 2017

(I used to work at a pick-your-own fruit farm. People arrive, pick and pay by the pound. Occasionally, we let groups reserve a section of field for private picking, but we have to reserve them weeks in advance so we can rope off a section of field and let it grow to good picking condition.)

Caller: “Hi, I’m bringing a pre-school class to pick blueberries.”

(Blueberries are very popular, and we’ll often be out for several days at a time after a busy weekend.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we are completely out of ripe blueberries. We just had a very busy weekend, so we’re pretty low on pickable produce.”

Caller: “Come on, now, don’t you guys do special tours of the fields? I want to reserve a section of field for the kids.”

Me: “Yes, we do group picking sessions, but this is contingent on us having fruit to pick.”

Caller: “How can you guys offer tours on your website and then run out of fruit? That’s not good business!”

Me: “We also place our picking conditions for the day on the site, and today it reads that blueberries are closed today. It also states on our website that we need to place these reservations at least three weeks in advance so we can rope off a section of field that has fruit in it. I’m sorry, ma’am.”

Caller: “Well, we’re coming down, so you better have that blueberry field ready for us.”

Me: “As I said before, we do not have any blueberries to—”

Caller: *click*

(At this point I inform my manager that a pre-school is arriving expecting to pick blueberries. About an hour later, a school bus filled with kids and parents arrives and stops in the middle of our parking lot. A lady gets out and strides up.)

Caller: “Okay, which field is the blueberries? We’ll just drive over to it.”

Manager: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we do not have any blueberries available to pick. The only thing we have available to pick to day is beets.”

Caller: “Beets?! BEETS?! YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE A BUS FULL OF TODDLERS PICK BEETS?!”

Manager: “I’m sorry, ma’am, that’s the only product we have available for pick-your-own today.”

(We also have a barn where we sell some of the produce. Most of the fruit is grown on the farm and picked by the employees, but blueberrries are hard to grow in Maryland, so to maximize the amount of fruit for our picking customers, we import our store fruit from a nearby specialty farm. The caller sees our store fruit.)

Caller: “What about all these blueberries?! You’re holding out on us! You’ve got some secret field you won’t show us, don’t you?!”

Manager: “Those berries are brought in from outside, ma’am. I assure you, every last field of blueberries has been picked clean by other customers.”

Caller: “You’re lying! I’m not leaving till you show us the secret blueberry field!”

(She then proceeded, in front of a bus full of toddlers, to throw a temper tantrum, sitting down in in the gravel lot, kicking and screaming about our secret fruit. The manager decided to let her have her little kicking fit for about two minutes. It then started pouring down rain on this woman. She just stood there for about a minute, fuming, then got back in her bus and drove away. We stopped taking groups into the fields after that.)

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