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Typical Day

Even before the production crews arrive at 7:00, Chris Anthemum, the production manager at Green Acres Flower Growers, gets in to 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 is 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 to the final hour to tell their florist that they need a truck load 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 does not mean that none is expected during the rest of the day.

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 is 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 is cutting the stubble off a finished gladiola crop. No one wants their crop to have a five o'clock shadow. None of these crews need any new direction to start their day. Chris is here for them when they need him though.

The harvesting crews are another story. They do not actually harvest the orders directly, but rather make sure that the packing crews have enough of the flowers they will 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 is the trucks that are just now pulling out; they were packed yesterday for delivery today, so they are off without any problems. Wait a minute…this is too easy.

Seguing, on the other hand? Not as easy as it looks.

Almost as if expected, the telephone rings. It is Daisy White of Flower Power Floral Design Studios. (They pride themselves on buying directly from local growers.) Chris can hear Sven, the renowned floral designer there, screaming about something in the background. 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. If you'll pardon our grammar.

Chris did not see that one coming! He thought that the voodoo lilies were a bust and that he would certainly get a lecture about growing such a strange and risky crop without a guaranteed buyer. Well, now there is a buyer! Now the only thing is to make sure he has enough to fill his client's sudden, unexpected demand. 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 do with what there is. It doesn’t mean he won't still rant and rave about only getting half as much as he requested, but eventually he will have to suck it up and accept that's all he’s getting. 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.

Is that the telephone 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 enough to make Sven svatisfied.

When Chris gets back, there is a frantic message from Flower Power on his voicemail. Daisy could use some more baby's breath for a wedding she is working on. The problem is that she needs it in the morning. Well, it will 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 craziness of the floral design industry eventually trickles down to them as well. By noon, the craziness is done 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 will need to be done tomorrow. He makes notes of which crops should be harvested first and which crops may produce 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. There is just enough craziness to keep things interesting, without being too…well, crazy.