Well, it's been four months at the flower shop and typically progress goes in the way of an incline.
But not for me!
Yesterday began a 6-day stint, all employees on, to cover Valentine's Day, the shop's biggest sales day of the year (second place goes to Mother's Day with Christmas a distant, distant third). With Valentine's falling on a Sunday this year, sales have spread out across the work week and will go into the weekend, creating a steady, busy stream (and luckily not a one-day slam).
The work day revolved around packaging 10,000 orders of long-stemmed red roses (boys, a little originality?) until the owner reminded us we needed to make bouquets for Friday. These won't be going on the 50% off rack - that deal excludes holiday weekends - but are there for customers who want to pick something quick up and go. Since reducing my schedule to Mondays and Tuesdays in the slow season, I haven't had the opportunity to make them. I was excited and nervous to see how my old bouquet-making skills played out, sure they'd be rusty, but hoping I'd surprise myself.
If that had been a gamble, I would have just lost the house.
I start assembling the collar of greens in my hand, and begin placing the flowers. It's a little wobbly, and I tighten my grip. I stare at the assembled bouquet and nope - it's not right. I walk over to my boss and show her - "looks like it's too tight," she says. I have to loosen my grip for a fuller bouquet. I go back and begin again. Meanwhile, "Superior," my fellow 23-year old colleague who surpasses me in everything but bucket cleaning at this point, is on her second bouquet, which she's made with a hand tied behind her back and one eye closed (okay not really, but still). I build the collar, place the flowers, careful to loosen my grip, and bring round two back to my boss. "This one's falling apart," she says. I look at her, frustrated. "You haven't done these in a while," she offers kindly.
"Nope, not since before Christmas."
"Why don't you let "Superior" do them? All the buckets need signs anyway, and the Burton & Burton package needs to be priced and stocked in the store."
That's right. I was asked NOT to do the bouquets and put on stock duty. At the ripe old age of 29.
And then the entire shop went silent, having heard our embarrassing exchange, with me feeling like I was just sent back to pass kindergarten again, a la Billy Madison styles.
And then again.
Completing an in-store sale with a customer, I proceed to hand him fifty extra dollars out of the drawer. [I thought he had given me a one-hundred dollar bill, which I had typed into our system and therefor followed its - incorrect - change tally.] He very kindly handed it back (I love you, Milwaukee!), but only after several confused exchanges between us where I finally realized I had typed the wrong amount of money tendered into the system. Which everyone in the shop also heard. I look over at my boss, who is presumably thinking, hmmm, why did I hire you?
So, THE CLAW IS BACK. And I might be fired. There must be a lesson in here.