Death Swooped In And Stole Her Voice

, , , | Right | December 1, 2019

(I am taking an order over the phone for a client who is sending a sympathy bouquet to a funeral service. The conversation is casual; she doesn’t seem emotional over the death, so I assume it’s for a business relationship or distant relative. The order goes smoothly until I ask her about the card message.)

Me: “And what would you like the enclosure card to read?”

Client: *hesitates* “Um…” 

(As that is a common response for clients unsure of what they want to say, I try to help by giving suggestions.)

Me: “‘With Deepest Sympathy,’ ‘In Loving Memory,’ ‘Thoughts and Prayers are With You’?”

Client: *pause* “What should I say?”

Me: “Most people go with something along the lines of ‘With Deepest Sympathy,’ ‘In Loving Memory,’ or ‘Thoughts and Prayers are With You.'”

Client: “Yeah, that’ll work.”

Me: “Did you have a preference?”

Client: “For what?”

Me: “Most people generally choose just one.”

Client: *no response*

Me: “Which would you prefer? ‘With Deepest Sympathy’? ‘In Loving Memory’? Or ‘Thoughts and Prayers are With You’?”

Client: “Oh! ‘Deepest Sympathy’ will work.”

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The Flower Version Of “I Saw A Book; It Was Blue”  

, , , , | Right | November 25, 2019

(I work in a flower shop.)

Customer: “Do you guys do special orders?”

Me: “We do! What do you have in mind?”

Customer: “Well, I saw one on your website that I liked. It was a big vase full of flowers.”

Me: *screaming internally* “That does actually describe several products on our website. Do you remember what it was called?”

Customer: “No.” *looks at me expectantly*

Me: “Would you be able to pull the website up on your phone and show me the one you liked?”

Customer: “Oh. Yeah.”

(He pulled out his phone and started scrolling, then proceeded to take two non-urgent phone calls while I was standing there — without apologizing or acknowledging my presence at all — and finally showed me a picture of an arrangement on the website of a popular online delivery company that isn’t affiliated with our shop at all.)

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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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