Even before the production crews arrive at 7:00AM, Chris Anthemum, the production manager at Green Acres Flower Growers, gets into work and is ready to start his day.
He checks for messages that might have been left after he went home the night before, just to see if he needs to make any changes to the routine he already has planned out for the day. There's nothing out of the ordinary—at least not yet—so he goes over his list of priorities one last time before digging in. Literally.
In this sort of work, there are always last-minute changes. It seems that even people who plan their weddings for six months wait until the final hour to tell their florist that they need a truckload of white roses. (Probably because the bride was waiting until the last possible second to break it to her betrothed that he wasn't going to be getting those cacti he wanted.)
Getting started without any such drama certainly doesn't mean none is expected during the rest of the day, though.
Most of the crew knows what to do without being told because the daily routine doesn't change much until the season changes or other crops start coming in. There's a big crew that processes the cut flowers coming in from the fields. Another crew packs the flowers according to orders placed by wholesalers and a few floral designers. Outside, there are crews stretching saran (shade cloth) over some callas. Another crew's cutting the stubble off a finished gladiola crop.
The harvesting crews are another story. They don't actually harvest the orders directly, but rather make sure the packing crews have enough of the flowers they'll need—when they need them—in order to fill the orders accordingly.
This process can get a little confusing. The only thing not confusing about it are the trucks that are just now pulling out; they were packed yesterday for delivery today, so they're off without any problems. Wait a minute...this is too easy.
Almost as if expected, the telephone rings. It's Daisy White of Flower Power Floral Design Studios, who pride themselves on buying directly from local growers.
Chris can hear Sven, the renowned floral designer there, screaming about something in the background—Chris can't recall ever hearing Sven speak in a normal, not-yelling voice. Daisy explains that one of their clients needs a large quantity of those weird voodoo lilies that only Chris can supply. She asks him to "do that voodoo that he do so well."
Chris will need to run out to the field to see what he has. He knows of no other grower who can supply it if he can't, so the client will need to make do with what's there. Because Green Acres is getting an early start on it, they can have it on the truck for tomorrow if necessary. If that's not soon enough for Sven, then he can just wait longer.
Before he can head out, though, the phone rings again. Okay...now one of the wholesalers wants more mixed Peruvian lilies added to their order for tomorrow. Not a problem—there are always plenty of those to go around. So far, the drama has been manageable. Now it's time to head outside and get an estimate on the volume of voodoo lilies. Hopefully it's enough to make Sven svatisfied.
After the voodoo lily check (they have the number Sven was looking for, thankfully), Chris has lunch in his office. Mercifully, the phone stays quiet just long enough for him to eat the sandwich and chips he brought from home. Just as he throws away the garbage, though, that familiar ringing is back again.
Daisy from Flower Power is on the other end once again. She could use more baby's breath for a wedding she's working on, but she needs it by tomorrow morning.
It'll easily fit onto the truck and Chris can make a quick drop on the way through town tomorrow morning along with the voodoo lilies...only for Daisy, and only because she happens to be on the way. (See the special treatment you get when you're nice, Sven? You could learn a thing or two from Daisy, pal.)
Flower growers try to be more relaxed, but the hectic world of the floral design industry eventually trickles down to them as well. By 3:00PM, the rush is through because clients know that the growers simply cannot help them with last-minute issues this late in the day. The worst they can do is call in their regular orders to be pulled tomorrow. No matter the urgency, any tantrum-throwing will be in vain.
Chris, who really wishes the sales rep could spend more time here to take calls inside, spends the end of the day touring the fields to see what'll need to be done tomorrow. He makes notes of which crops should be harvested first and which crops may produce a surplus. As always, he gets around the fields slowly. Hey—don't rush him. Sometimes he just likes to stop and smell the roses.
By the time he gets back, the crews are gone for the day, which is how Chris likes it. He's even got little time to stop and smell the flowers.