Pumped for Work!

Why I continue to subject myself to daily humiliation is beyond me. Last week at work we had to switch out all holiday decorations for Valentine's gear, our biggest day of the year. My task? Break down and pack up all of the Christmas stuff (there wasn't an inch of Jewish or Kwanzaa in the joint). The sweet 23-year old who I work with's? Conceptualize and create a new window design. My daily to-do's? Clean buckets, prep flowers, take walk-ins (wrapping loose flowers in our signature purple tissue and issuing the point of sale). My college graduate superior's? Create arrangements for sale in the front cooler and fill the odd customer vase order.

Here's how we rack up:

Abbey vase arrangements? 4 or 5 (they've been so far apart it's like the memory of my last dentist appointment - didn't go well and I'd like to forget it).

"Superior" - 30. Minimum. And they look straight-up professional.

My last arrangement, which I attempted Friday between sweeping the floor of 1000 descarded stems and a pile of buckets 25 deep, had my boss saying, "Hmmm . . . it looks a little like it's dying."

I wish I was kidding. (Personally, I blame the flowers, as the only ones in the price range I was going for were quite mealy.)

Kind of leads me to the point of what am I doing here? Clearly this is not a natural talent of mine. And yet, with instruction and practice so few and far between (I've been working 12 weeks; that's 1 arrangement every 3 weeks or so - I'd be doing better after a 1 day course at the Milwaukee School of Flower Design), how could I possibly be good at this? And someone's got to do the buckets, the floors, the packaging, the cleaning, the in-store sales. "Superior" is just faster and better when the opportunity arises to make those arrangements. In the spirit of efficiency and business, I understand my learning loses. 

Kind of a catch-22. I'm not sure if I want to address this for the 3rd time with my boss, as I feel comfortable, at the ripe old age of almost-30, admitting my friend Laura's kind words as truth ("Maybe you weren't meant to be a florist"). We're certainly not all going to be good at everything we try! Asking for more work when I know there's no future in it feels like I am wasting time, spinning my wheels. And ultimately, wasting my boss's time training someone who truly does not see a future in this.

Thoughts? Quitting is not only not a financially sound decision, it just feels like admitting failure. Every job I've left in the past has been for another one (except when I wrote that book, ye olde Palm Bitch. I still love that title).

If you were in my shoes, what would you do?


  1. Abbey- It's okay! You never know how long you'll be in Milwaukee either. It's better to have a job now and leave it when you and Jon get to move to Florida. Or at least that's my advice of the day. You're still learning excellent skills: how to run a small business, names of flowers, what not to do if you ever have a subordinant in your own shoes, etc.

    Keep your chin up. You have an amazing eye...and incredible design aesthetic. The flowers just don't cooperate with minds as creative and interesting as yours.

  2. I agree with Susanna!! good to get some money in your pocket and hopefully there is a move coming soon. Keep your eye open for new jobs that interest you. big hug.


  3. I agree with the previous two comments!
    Hang in there...and now you'll know what not to do, if ever you have your own small business :)