Did you receive flowers in the last week? On Tuesday, we undertook a mammoth task, delivering love notes and gifts throughout Sydney, on one of the biggest days on the florist calendar. Many of us drag our tired and weary bones back into work again the next day, often to shops that have very little left to sell, or worse, we are forced to set the dreaded alarm yet again and restock the shop with fresh blooms. We are totally thankful for a sell out of roses for sure, everyone knows there is very few roses being sold in the days following Valentine’s Day but…… we are only half committed to filling the shop to the brims again when we really would prefer to hit snooze. As Valentine’s day fell on a Tuesday this year, that probably means for many of us we have started our day at 3am three days running (or worse).
Thousands of roses have been stripped, and when we have temporarily misplaced (read; permanently lost) our trusty rose de-thorners somewhere in the rose leaf debris 1 metre deep underfoot, we have been forced to strip them by hand bar the assistance of a little cellophane. Ouchy. Our tired, aching and often infected hands are calloused, red, dry and split. They sting, and are inflamed.
For florists like us though, who are set up in a retail precinct or mall, the next day is business as usual after all, their are birthdays, anniversaries, parties and funerals to attend to. The shop opens on time, and the Valentine’s Day marketing displays are immediately pulled down, and the shop is redressed for a new day. The day after such a big occasion will be filled with thorough shop cleanse, re-organising the displays and re-stocking the shelves and, we will all handle our share of complaints. It is a hard day when you are running on empty.
Many industries have a Picnic Day, a special day off for those industry members. The idea behind it is to give employees with a common interest and goal the opportunity to get together in a social setting to promote unity. I know the hospital system observes Picnic Day, as do hairdressers, butchers and other trades. I found a digital copy of an archived newspaper, showing the Hairdressers Picnic Day from the Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), Friday 14 February 1930, page 10;
I think that there is some flexibility in the day that the industry chooses to observe as their Picnic Day. I have noticed several hairdressers naming Melbourne Cup day as their chosen day. With this in mind, I think we should consider naming our own day. Given the hours of work florists have to put in to barely survive Valentines Day, I think it seems pretty fitting, that February 15th be named Florist Picnic Day. We certainly work through the night in the evening(s) before hand, and with one day of true rest, I’m sure we could all better handle the highs and lows that come in the retail world.
So, who’s with me? Let’s start a revolution!!