Going Dutch

Customer (asking about prices): “But I am from Holland! Do you know how many flowers we get in Holland for the same price?” (Indicates size of small horse). “For ONE EURO!”
Me: “Sure, but we have to import flowers from Holland -so…tax..etc”
Customer: “Is so expensive!
Me: “You know what else is cheap in Holland? Edam. And Clogs.”

hidden costs

Customer(on phone): “Hi. I want to order some flowers for delivery but I don’t want to pay the delivery charge.”
Me: “Where are they going?”
Customer: *names place a 20 minute drive away*
Me: I’m sorry, I have to charge you an £8 delivery fee for that as it’s not walkable.”
Customer: “Why??”
Me: “Well, to name a few things -covering my driver’s wages, petrol, tax and insurance on the van… and -tell me if this sounds crazy to you- also a little known practice called ‘making a profit’ “
Customer: *huffing* “Well I think it’s ridiculous!”
Me: “Okay, how about this -as it’s such a problem for you I’ll waive the delivery charge this time.”
Customer: “You will? Great! How much are your bouquets?”
Me: “They start from £38, sir.”
Customer: *thoughtful pause* ” Ah. Does that now include a hidden delivery charge?”
Me: ” I couldn’t possibly comment on that, sir…”

There is no spoon

Customer: “Hi! Do you do wedding flowers?”
Me: “What’s the date of your wedding?”
Customer: “About six weeks from now”
Me: “Oooh. What date is that?”
Customer: “the Fifteenth of August”
Me: “I’m ever so sorry, we have 2 weddings on that day, I can’t take on a third.”
Customer: “That’s not what I asked you.”
Me:*confused* “Sorry, -what was the question?”
Customer: “Do you do wedding flowers?”
Me: “Yes, we do.”
Customer: “Are you free on the 15th August?”
Me: “Have we slipped into the Matrix here?”

long walk

Random: “Do you know how to get to Suffolk?”
Me: “Where in Suffolk?”
Random: “Suffolk.”
Me: “Suffolk is a pretty large county.”
Random: “Is it?”
Me: “You might need to pare it down a bit. Do you know what town you need to get to?”
Random: “I need to get to the shop called ‘Joy’ “
Me: “Oh! Joy in Suffolk?” *sometimes I can’t help myself*
Random: “Yes! do you know it?”
Me: “No.”
Random: “Fuck! You’re no help. I’ll just use Google Maps.” *wanders outside, staring at phone*
Me: *after thinking for about 3 seconds, goes after her* “Do you mean Great Suffolk street?”
Random: “If I’d wanted Great Suffolk Street, I would have ASKED for it, wouldn’t I??”


Two women in the shop:

Woman number 1: “Oooo I love this plant…but how am I going to get it home?”

*in a bag*

Woman number 1: “Ooh my word, it’s delightful! But how am I going to carry it??”

*in a bag*

Woman number 1: “It really is smashing! But I’m just not sure how I’m going to carry it home…”

*in a bag*

Woman number 1: *really scratching her head now* “If only there was some way…”

Woman number 2, *tentatively, as if thought has just occurred to her in moment of Damascene enlightenment*: “You could ask the lady to put it in a bag for you?”
Woman number 3, who is responsible for putting things in bag (me) and who is about to stab herself (or them) in the eye with a fork: “I could put it in a bag for you?”
Woman number 1, *genuinely amazed, as if I have just produced a singing unicorn from my arse*: “OoooOoo, could you?”

It’s the thought that counts

Customer: *buying world’s tiniest plant, which I am wrapping as per standard* “It’s just….It’s just that…well…” *trails off, looks vaguely pissed off*

Me: “Uhmm?” *expectant face*

Customer: “It’s just that…it’s a present for someone. Could you just.. I mean…”

Me: *in my head* “Could I make it look like you haven’t just spent One pound Fifty?”

Customer: “Well….perhaps just a piece of tissue paper?”

Me: “Sure.” *unwraps perfectly nice paper it’s already in, locates tissue, cuts it to suitable size (postage stamp), re-wraps*

Customer: “And some ribbon?”

Me: “Sure.” *finds ribbon, makes world’s tiniest bow*

Customer: “And put it in a gift bag.”

Me: “I’m afraid the gift bags are two pounds.”

Customer: “I don’t have two pounds.”

Me: “Then you may have this perfectly serviceable plastic bag for free.”

Customer: “But that doesn’t look very nice.”

Me: “Well I’m afraid you’ve already used up your imaginary ‘free gift wrap token’ madam. Next!”

Free to a good home.

Random person with no intention of buying anything: “Hi!”

Me (and every florist, all over the world, ever, at some point): “Hi!”

RP: ” I was just wondering what you do with all the flowers you don’t sell?”

Me: *pretending confusion* “The flowers we don’t..?”

RP: “Yeah, because you can’t possibly sell all of these, right? So I thought I could just come along every few days and just pick up the ones that aren’t selling.”

Me: “So you want free flowers?”

RP: “Well, not FREE, exactly…but, you know…”

Me: “Actually, I don’t know. What do you want?”

RP: “Well, if you’re not going to sell it, then it’s just going to go in the bin, right?”

Me: *As if the light has dawned and, truly, I can see* “Oh, you want DEAD flowers! Sure!” *gestures to bin* “Help yourself!”

RP: “Well, no….I mean….they’re…dead.”

Me: “Uh huh?”


This is a question we get asked A LOT. I mean…really. Sure, we do throw some flowers away. It’s unavoidable in a business that deals with perishable goods. But we manage to keep on top of it by having a good buying system. We know our customers, we know how sales rise and fall over the month, we know how to discount flowers that are not entirely fresh, and so on. Flowers are not a necessity, they are a luxury item, and I HUGELY resent the implication that I am essentially throwing things away and then locking the bins so that people can’t Dumpster Dive for ‘perfectly good’ flowers that could otherwise be sold. Nobody starved because I threw away some manky alstroemeria, for God’s sake. What we DO do is give them to little kids to play with, or give them free to the people who work in a lot of the offices around the shop who already do business with us.

So there you go.  :-p

Easily mistaken.

I came across this anecdote on the excellent notalwaysright.com which is mostly about retail woes, but sometimes, like this one, just about mad people, to which we can all relate, right?

I’m taking my cat in a carrier to the vet. (I don’t have a car, so I’m taking the bus; it’s mostly empty except for an older woman.)

Older Woman: “You go to vet?”

Me: “Yeah, it’s time for my girl’s checkup.”

Older Woman: “May I see?”

Me: “Sure.”

Older Woman: *pets my cat* “Oh, such soft fur. What dog?”

Me: “Oh, she’s not a dog. She’s a cat.”

Older Woman: “Rare to see such soft dog. Good Brushing!”

Me: “Again, thank you, but she’s a cat.”

Older Woman: “And well behaved! Dogs bark!”

Cat: “Meow!”

Older Woman: “You and your cat have good day!”


I really wish people would use their right names when sending flowers. I have absolutely no desire to call a customer and say “Good afternoon, am I speaking with Miss Muffin ‘funbags’ Willoughby?”