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How Many Different Ones are There?

My friend Patti always cracks me up... "I'm going to return in another life and sell widgets!" She's my friend but also the person who finds the flowers I need for the shop and they come from all over the world.  I love my job, I love flowers but sometimes I completely understand Patti's battle cry to sell a product that is not:
Made by Nature
  • Perishable
  • Subjective and....
  • Misunderstood
Don't get me wrong, the flower biz is just about the best career ever but it can be a bit of an uphill battle. Take for instance a call I had 2 weeks ago.. Ring, ring, ring...

Georgianne: Hi, How can I help you?
Customer: I just got yellow roses delivered and I think there is something wrong with them. I think they are old.
Georgianne: Oh my, what's wrong with them, are they wilted? Are they drooping?
Customer: No, but they are brown along the edge and they look bumpy and they don't look like the yellow roses I've gotten before. The petals look weird.
Georgianne: I've looked up your order and the roses you received today just came in from our wholesaler and they are called "Gelosia". That ruffled edge is natural to the rose. So is their beige/green tip. That is what they are supposed to look like.
Customer: No, these are old. They are going to die right away. They don't look like the yellow roses I've gotten before.
Georgianne: Well, there are many different varieties of roses. Would you like me to replace those with a more traditional variety of yellow rose, perhaps one that does not have as many color variations?
Customer: These are going to die soon. I want fresh ones. I want ones that are closed.
Georgianne: Many of our roses are what is called an "Open Cut" roses. This means the blooms are left on the plant longer to slightly bloom at the farm. This gives the rose more time to mature. Harvested this way, they tend to bloom more fully and last longer in the vase. This cut is considered a premium product because of the extra care that is taken during processing at the farm and shipping.
Customer: Well, I'll keep these but if they die, I'm going to tell the sender, I'm sure he spent a lot of money on these.
Georgianne: I'd be happy to replace them with a more traditional variety for you if you'd like. If you'd like to keep them, just call me if they don't perform as you expect them to. We'd be happy to deliver you a whole new dozen.
Customer: Ok, I'll call you when they die.

Yikes! Now, if you see the photo above, the roses used to make that little flower girl wedding bouquet on the left is the variety that was sent to this recipient above. Gelosia roses are my new favorite rose because the color is so vibrant, it has an amazing about of petals and they seem to last forever. The customer did not call back most likely because they lasted a full 5 - 9 days which is what you would expect.

Back to the title of this blog... How many different ones are there? If you are talking about flowers and plants, most of the time there are thousands of varieties of each type. For example, we had a customer call and say the plant she received is yellow but it's supposed to be orange. What was it? It was a Bromeliad, it was a yellow one, not a variety that is red or orange but a variety that is yellow. After much discussion and offering to order her in an orange one, she agreed to keep it but she still was not convinced that it was "right". After doing a google search I learned that there are over 3,000 varieties of Bromeliads which also include the Pineapple and Spanish Moss!! Wow, even after 23 years in the biz, I'm still learning new, cool things.

The point of the blog, if you have read this whole thing (poor you!!) is CHOOSE TO LEARN SOMETHING!!  Instead of assuming someone is trying to pull something over on you, listen and learn. Do you think the customer above learned anything? Do you think she even heard what I said? Actually, I know she didn't because when she threatened to tell the sender, I had to reminder her that at the beginning of her call I offered to replace those Gelosia roses with a more traditional variety. If she wanted that she should have said "Yes, that would be lovely and thank you so much". How discouraging it is for me to have someone not hear my excellent customer service of offering to fix it for her, but then to not believe what I was telling her. I'm thinking that she still doesn't know that there are 100's if not thousands of yellow rose varieties and each looks a bit different, with different characteristics. See the mini calla in the bouquet below? That is natural, not dyed and yes it's supposed to be purple!The ruffled edge, that's the way it grows.

Even a flower still attached to it's plant has some blemishes. You don't get any fresher than that! When did we expect a fresh, live plant or flower to be perfect. Is anything in nature, including people, perfect? Brown doesn't always mean old, it's just the color brown. How can you look at those roses and gerber daisies above and not be truly awed by their beauty? Maybe in our next life Patti and I will come might back to sell widgets but it wouldn't be nearly as much fun as selling flowers.  Widgets? Bah Humbug!!
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