Thursday, February 15, 2007

Floral delivery, not a recommended career move

I spent the entire morning and part of the afternoon on Valentine's Wednesday making flower, candy, gift, and balloon bouquet deliveries.

No, I'm not moonlighting for the kid's college funds. No, I'm not studying to be a wingfooted messenger of the FTD variety, and no I'm not finally fulfilling my lifelong dream of a career in the floral arts.

I was volunteering my semi-valuable time, my semi-tired body, and semi-black car (gonna finish painting it someday...soon) to our school's Parent/Teacher Group's latest fundraiser -- we got a buck for every item we delivered from the local florist/gift/balloon bouquet dealer in town.

I didn't know what I would be getting into when I agreed with a grin on my face and twinkle in my eye to help with the deliveries. I mean, c'mon, in a town of roughlly 4380 people (add a few hundred more for the outlying communities), how many valentine's day deliveries could the main florist in town possibly have.


We sorted, scattered, carried, packed, drove, searched, ran, and sweated (not an easy task when it's 19 degress out) from 8:30 a.m. to just after 1:30 p.m.

By then, we had made a significant dent in the business and school bound deliveries, but hadn't touched the dozens upon dozens of v-day floral and helium filled tangible love thoughts headed for private residences and homes.

Without our "volunteering" efforts, I'm not sure how this business would have or could have done it all.

Perhaps the delivery mayhem is this way in every florist shop, in every town, in every state of the country on Valentine's Day. I'll have to ask my Brother, as I'm now recalling that he had some pretty good war stories about his days driving a huge, white van around town during a part time stint with a local florist back in his college days.

Big brother...recognize and props for your service.

Between the 8 or so other PTO volunteers making deliveries that day, I estimate we made just over a few hundred bucks for our kiddies school. Granted, there are easier ways to raise some volunteer dollars (trench digging, avalanche rescue, bull sperm collection...), but none of them offer the wonderful experience of seeing the energetic and near tearful faces of ladies (mostly) accepting from you that hand-delivered token of their loved one's massive affection for them.

Nor does it offer the disappointed sideways glances and expressions on the faces of those other women who aren't receiving the few bucks worth of foilage, glass, ribbon, and water from no one in particular. Truth be told, those are the faces that stay with you longer.

Of all the Hallmark Holidays, V-day wears the cruelest shoes.


tuesday said...

What qualifies as a small town in your neck of the woods? 4,380 doesn't seem all that small to me. My town had a little over 6,100 people as of the last census, and it's pretty darn crowded in these parts.

As for the flower delivery thing, God bless you :) Good thing you don't live around here, because we had a major ice storm that day, and I can only imagine how much worse that would've made your ordeal.

OKDad said...

I imagine that the definition of "small" is relative to each individual. Los Angeles is a small town compared to Tokyo.

My town is considered "the city" for many of the outlying communities with barely enough body count to support more than one town church.

The high school I graduated from in LA had close to 4,000 students, teachers, and staff on any given day, so my town seems small to me by comparison.

I went to grad school at UCLA and we were told on any given Tues-Thurs during Fall quarter, there would be anywhere from 15-25,000 people on campus (with parking for only 5,000..go figure).

We have 1 stop light on our main street, a single public elementary school, middle school and high school.

To me, moving to any community smaller than my town would have found me having an even harder time adjusting.

When I found out that McDonald's won't put a restaurant in town's smaller than populations of 5,000, I knew my town would fit the bill for me.

tuesday said...

Okay, thanks for clearing that up. And actually, the reason why my town seems so crowded is that all the neighboring towns have an equal number of residents and once they're all out of their houses, they all kinda merge together.

You reminded me of something my very wise turkish friend once told me...everything is relative, which is very true.

No MickyD's? That's exactly what I'm looking for in a small town fast food joints, and no convenience stores. A town where the corporate giants wouldn't even step foot.

OKDad said...

Well, WalMart is here...and growing. But all the large triple-F's (fast food franchises) are locally owned, so you don't feel so bad supporting them since their sales tax checks go towards supporting our small town's coffers.