A Rose By Any Other Blame

, , , | Right | September 24, 2019

(I live in the northeast, so Valentine’s Day in February tends to be very cold, typically below freezing. I work in a family-owned flower shop which has been in business since the late 1800s. Two days after Valentine’s Day, I get a phone call.)

Caller: “My husband sent me flowers and they never got delivered!”

Me: “I’m sorry, let me look this up for you.” *does so* “Ah, yes, I see that they were fresh-cut pink roses wrapped in a bouquet. No one was home to accept them so we left a phone message and a note on the door. They would not have survived in the weather, and the water tubes only last so long.”

Customer: “I never got a phone call!” *then contradicts herself* “Well, I spoke with the delivery guy — who, by the way, sounded like he wasn’t even old enough to drive — and told him to leave them!”

Me: “Ma’am, we instruct our delivery people to only leave flowers if there is a safe, warmer place to leave them where they won’t freeze, so I apologize he did not do as you said, but he must not have felt comfortable leaving them. And I assure you, all of our delivery drivers are actually over 21. We hire many ages of drivers. He’s a temporary driver for the holiday, so he was only doing as I instructed him.”

Customer: “He should have left them if I told him to! My husband took a chance ordering from you people! He could have gone to a nicer, bigger flower shop, but no, he decided to try to support you people and look what happened!”

Me: “I would be happy to replace the flowers today. I’m sure you’d prefer fresh flowers, and would have been very sad to come home to frozen roses on your doorstep.”

Customer: “You have no idea what I’d be sad about! That’s a question for a psychologist, isn’t it? How dare you speculate as to what I’d be sad about?! You don’t know me! I don’t want pink roses, anyway! They don’t match my décor! He should have bought me cream-colored roses or something!”

Me: “Well, ma’am, I guess you should tell him in the future that you’d prefer a different type of gift. Please let me know if you’d like them replaced this week.”

(I called her husband and explained the problem, and gave him a partial refund in the meantime. I never heard back from her, but he apologized up and down.)

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This Order Is Deceased

, , , , , | Working | July 12, 2019

(I work in a funeral home so I deal with the flower shops pretty regularly. We are the only funeral home in town and there are only three flower shops, but we only have problems with this specific one, for some reason. That being said, it takes at most ten minutes to get from one side of town to the other, so, at most, it should take ten minutes to get from this flower shop to the funeral home if they manage to hit every single red light. According to my boss, this flower shop had called the day before asking when to bring the flowers over. It has ALWAYS been no later than an hour before. A coworker had answered and stressed that the flowers be at the funeral home no later than 9:30 for the service at 10:30, which my boss had heard her say. It is 9:45 and the flowers haven’t shown up. I give them a call.)

Employee: “[Flower Shop], this is [Employee].”

Me: “Hey, [Employee]! This is [My Name] with the funeral home. I was wondering when you would be here with the flowers for [Deceased]’s service?”

Employee: “Oh! They left about fifteen minutes ago, so they should be there in a few minutes.”

Me: “All righty, then. Thanks.”

(It seems weird that they were leaving at the time they had been told to bring the flowers, and that it is going to take them TWENTY MINUTES to get here. I let my boss know, since the family has started trickling in. She’s, of course, ticked. Thirty minutes later, however, the flowers still aren’t here. I go call them again since the service is starting in fifteen minutes and I need to let them know to take the flowers to the reception instead of the funeral home.)

Employee: “[Flower Shop].”

Me: “Hi, it’s me again with the funeral home. We still haven’t gotten the flowers yet for [Deceased]’s service.”

Employee: “What? We don’t have any flowers for any services this week. Haven’t gotten any requests.”

Me: “What? I just called you a half-hour ago and you said you were on your way.”

Employee: “Let me check.”

(I can hear the conversation in the background, saying there haven’t been any flower requests for that service.)

Employee: “Sorry, we don’t have any flowers for [Deceased].”

Me: “Okay, then. Thanks.”

(I went back and let my boss know. We are still all confused as to why the flower shop had called to ask about delivering flowers and told us they were on their way if they didn’t have anything for it.)

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Not Such A Pretty Reaction

, , , , , | Right | May 4, 2019

(I’m a florist working in a flower shop that’s part of a larger grocery store. A customer picks out some flowers and brings them up to the counter to be wrapped. I pull out a sheet of tissue paper. As I’m pulling it out, another one falls onto the floor. I leave it there, planning to pick it up when the customer leaves. But THEN—)

Customer: “Wait a minute! The pretty one fell on the floor! Why can’t I have that one?”

Me: “Oh, sure, here you go.” *picks it up and wraps her flowers with that one, instead* “Sorry, I thought you said you were just taking them right home.”

Customer: “What does that have to do with anything?”

Me: “Most people are going to pull them right off as soon as they get in the door, so they don’t care what I wrap them in. But since you want it—“

Customer: “Well, what on earth kind of an idea is that? What are you saving them for?”

Me: “We’re not… saving them. We use them for delivery orders all the time, and since you want this one, you can—“

Customer: “Don’t people who get deliveries take them off, too?”

(Keep in mind that I’m pretty much done wrapping her flowers, in the paper that she asked for, and she’s still arguing with me.)

Me: “Yes, they do, but it’s a matter of presentation.”

Customer: “Oh, presentaaation. What about a customer right here who appreciates nice things?”

Me: “As I said, ma’am, if you want it, you can have it. See? I gave it to you.”

Customer: *checks out my name tag* “Well, [My Name], I just can’t believe this. Delivery customers.”

Me: “You can have the paper, ma’am. It’s not a problem.”

Customer: “Unbelievable. That’s quite a theory you have, [My Name]. A very interesting theory you have. Saving the nice things for deliveries.”

Me: “Ma’am—“

Customer: “What about me? What about your customers? People you see all the time?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I didn’t realize it meant that much to you.”

Customer: “Strangers! Sure! Save them for strangers! A very interesting theory, [My Name]. Ugh. Unbelievable.”

Me: “I’m sorry I upset you, ma’am. Do you—“

Customer: *scoffs*

Me: “Do you want to pay here, or through the main register up front?”

Customer: “Up front! The less time I have to deal with you, [My Name], the better!”

Me: “Sounds good, ma’am.”

Customer: “You know, I deal with people like you every day. It’s just unbelievable.”

(And with that, she took her flowers and stormed off in a huff. I have never seen someone get so upset over a piece of tissue paper. I deal with people like her every day, too, and to be honest, I don’t get paid enough for it.)

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Flowering Disorder

, , , | Right | February 27, 2019

(I work in a small flower shop which takes the majority of its orders over the Internet or over the phone. If a customer calls to place an order, a record of their information is made in our system to help us find any orders or information about that customer in the future. This woman called to check on an order about an hour before, and we cannot find any record of her or an order such as she’s describing in our system. This means we have not ever taken an order from her OR for her, and there has been no payment for an order that day. She is upset and says she will be coming in to “explain it to me.” She comes stomping into the shop, obviously on a mission, with her young son in tow.)

Woman: “I’ve been on the phone with you guys and you apparently lost my order.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, that was my associate you spoke with. I am so sorry about the confusion. Are you sure that we are the shop you place an order with?”

Woman: *obviously outraged* “Um, yes! Do you think I am stupid?! Look me up again!”

Me: “Of course, ma’am. Would there be any other phone numbers or names that the order would be under?”

Woman: *giving me more names and phone numbers* “Try those, but there isn’t any way it’s under those, because I know it’s under the name I gave you the first time!”

Me: “As I said before, ma’am, I have absolutely no record of an order for today or for the next week under that information. At this point, my hands are tied.”

(I am trying to keep my cool, but she looks like fire is going to come out of her eyes at any moment.)

Woman: “So, what, you are telling me that you lost my order and you just aren’t going to give me any flowers?!”

Me: “Unfortunately, there was never any order made with the information you are giving me, so I cannot give you flowers that haven’t been paid for. I can have two arrangements made up for you right here and now, but I will have to collect payment before they can leave the shop.”

Young Son: “Mom, she already told you that they don’t have our flowers.”

Woman: “I heard her, but she isn’t listening to me! Why would I drive an hour to this shop just to try and get flowers I never ordered?!”

Me: “I am very sorry, ma’am, but at this point, we only have the option to pay for the flowers now, or I can refer you to other flower shops that might have your order.”

Woman: “Well, this is unbelievable. You must have some extremely stupid people working here, because I know I placed this order. I am not leaving without my flowers!”

Young Son: “Mom, let’s just go; they don’t have them—“

Woman: “Can you just be quiet?! I can’t believe this!”

Me: “I am again very sorry, but the options I have stated before are our only way forward.”

(I was not going to stand down and give her any free flowers. I had seen people try this scam before and I was not letting her get away with it. Before I could say another word, she let out a little scream, grabbed her son, and stomped out. I exchanged wide-eyed glances with my coworker, but went about my business. Funnily enough, about an hour later, the woman called and meekly explained that maybe she hadn’t placed an actual order and was wondering if she could pay for two arrangements now and pick them up. I agreed, and when she returned, she wouldn’t look me in the eye and took her flowers quietly. All that screaming and hollering — she could have saved herself a lot of time if she would have just paid in the first place.)

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Excessive Demands Are Flowering

, , | Right | January 16, 2019

(I work in a floral shop. It is prom season, and the store is filled with teenagers and their families picking up their corsages and boutonnieres for the dance. Due to the many stacks in the coolers, they are not allowed to reach in and grab one. We will get their items for them and take them to the register ourselves for them to pay.)

Me: “Okay, that will be [price].”

Customer: “Oh, I didn’t bring money; I just came to pick it up.”

Me: “I’m sorry, it has not been paid for yet, so I will need payment before you leave the store with it.”

Customer: “No, it’s for my niece. I’m just getting it for her.”

Me: “I understand. However, it is store policy that orders must be paid for before they are picked up.”

Customer: “This is ridiculous! You’re not going to give it to me?! I own a business right down the road! I can come back with the money later.”

Me: “I cannot let you take a product before it is paid for. It’s store policy, especially during such a busy time. If you are going to have to come back with the money later, it’s no trouble for us to hold it for you in our cooler.”

(She left the store ranting about how I would not let her take the flowers without paying for them and how she’d never do business with us again. Her niece came in a bit later and paid for them with no trouble. After that lady’s outburst, I avoided her business until she ended up having to close it down the following year.)

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