Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Valentine's Day

I've just realised that I haven't shared what I did on Valentine's Day. I was a flower courier person! Do you have any idea a) how exhausting it is to load & unload your car with flowers all day & b) how much fun it is to deliver the most amazing bunches of flowers to people (not just women!) all over the place?

My friend M bought a flower courier company last year and, of course, Valentine's Day is their biggest day of the year. She was looking for people to help her so I volunteered as its something I would never normally get to do and it was a whole lot of fun, even if the day did start earlier than I expected!

I stayed in town overnight at M's place and I'm glad I did as I didn't get to bed until midnight and was up at 5.15am. I was scheduled to start at 7am but a florist rang in a panic saying that they had more arrangements than they thought and we would need 2 cars to fit it all in. So at 6.10am I was standing in the dark outside a florists, helping to sort, load and check.

Then it was back to Addington Raceway (hired for the day to sort all the deliveries), unload the arrangements onto the various suburbs (tables) and into the centre of town to help pickup more flowers. 2 vans and 1 station wagon (mine) couldn't pick up all the flowers. One of the vans did two more trips to finish getting all the flowers. Some of the arrangements were massive! 12 long stemmed red roses in such a large arrangement that you could only carry one bunch at a time as you needed both hands to support it! I wrote up 44 bunches and that was probably only about 1/3 of what was laid out for collection!

Back to the raceway for sorting and then start loading up for my 1st delivery run. I ended up doing a run in the central city (Peterborough, Salisbury & Kilmore Sts with Cambridge & Oxford Tces). Completely filled my car with flowers and couldn't fit them all in of course. It was only after I'd been driving around for an hour with a car load of sweetly smelling flowers that I remembered I hadn't taken by hay fever tablets! Luckily I. came to the rescue (he was also roped in to help & ended up out Papanui way) so it wasn't all bad.

When I delivered the flowers to offices and reception desks, peoples reactions were quite funny. Some appeared to be bitterly disappointed that it wasn't for them. If a male boss was there, I often had to wait while they went and found the sweet young thing it was for so that I could hand them over directly and they would be embarrassed. All sorts of reactions. Surprisingly, I only went back to the same buildings a couple of times during the day but I did get quite familiar with where businesses were.

I. has never given me flowers. He buys me books and CDs which I really appreciate. But at one point as he staggered past me loading his car with huge floral arrangements, he did say "this is as close as you'll get!"

What amazed me was the conspicuous consumption of it all. Obviously a lot of money had been spent on these Valentine's Day flowers and of course, they were fantastic and would be appreciated. But at the end of the day I felt a bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount of money spent. I know that for the florists and flower growers its the most important day of the year but in the end, for a lot of people there is the underlying expectation that they HAVE to do it to show their loved one that they love them. Apparently the next day was unexpectedly busy for the floral couriers as they frantically delivered flowers for those people that had forgotten about Valentine's Day or who got into trouble for not doing something on Valentine's Day!

Still, to be part of it all was a lot of fun. I don't want to be a courier driver but felt honoured to be part of the occasion. I was too busy to take photos which I now regret as it certainly was spectacular.



Post a Comment

<< Home