Saturday, October 23, 2010

Problems? What problems?

I should be on a plane home from this last minute trip to the Orient for a big Trade Show.  I am hoping that I've solved all my problems for the upcoming 2011 product line up......but, around here, nothing ever goes quite as you expect.  So, here is an old post about what sorts of problems we run into around here on a regular basis. 

When you're in a business like our business, there's a new crisis to deal with on an hourly basis. I'm sure you think that I must be exaggerating when I say hourly. Perhaps that might be a slight exaggeration but any saleswoman worth her salt exaggerates a little once in a while. And yet, it really, really feels like there is a crisis to be resolved just that often. Let me give you a very small sampling of only one day in our industry and all the excitement it brings.....

Look at this cart of fantastic plant product, all packed up and ready to go to the customer.
Take a moment to admire the perfect rows of symmetrical planters all neatly organized with clean, brown cardboard protectors to keep them from damage during transport. It looks so professional, I'm sure that our competitors in the industry just scratch their head and wonder "How do they do it? And for such a good price?!"

But now, I will let you in on a few secret, behind the scene bits of information. Do you see that beautifully colored butterfly pick, so perfectly perched on the edge of that pot? Look at how nicely it goes with the whole arrangement. Something you can't see, though, is that this butterfly pick almost didn't get here. I don't know why these things happen but, I had this super, duper, color coordinated butterfly all arranged to come from China, everything was rolling along so great. Suddenly, only a little over 6 weeks before I was due to use this pick, I get a sample by courier from Guangzhou with a "NEW" butterfly pick that doesn't look slightly like the one I ordered. My heart sinks to my toes as I turn the ugly "NEW" pick over in my trembling hands. What happened to the pick I ordered? It was perfect? Who was the nitwit that changed the pick? I try to control my shaking hands as I phone China to talk to our rep. She tells me that she likes this butterfly better so she sent it instead. I try some breathing excercises to help avoid my going into cardiac arrest, all the while calmly explaining that I don't want the "NEW" pick. I must have the old butterfly pick because that is the one the buyer, my customer, approved for me to use. Six weeks later, there it sits, my beautiful, glittery butterfly, innocently bobbing up and down, ready to go off to the store.

But wait, do you see those Kalanchoes in the pot? I didn't order Kalanchoes! I ordered Kalandivas! Some body's head is going to roll over that one.....

And then, take a look at the big planter on the bottom. See those ones planted with Banana plants? Wasn't that a good idea, to put a Banana plant in there? Those are really popular right now. Too bad that the plants I ordered from Florida (NB Florida is 5 days drive by Semi truck from our greenhouses) came in all rotten. A local grower had to save the day with some Banana's he had left over from the Spring, never mind they were twice the price I had budgeted for the planter.

Oh, and check out those lush Dracenae standards that make that big planter looks so FULL! Those are just plants left over from a failed crop that didn't work out 2 years ago. We're glad to see the back of those babies.

But wait, there's more. Check out those cool looking mushrooms, lotus pods and dried palm fronds I used to really add some kick to the arrangement. I saw that idea in Europe at an industry flower show and figured I had to get those into the North American market. Who knew that you had to get them from India.....and that the CFIA, or as I like to call them, the MAFIA, doesn't like it when greenhouses bring dried flowers from over seas. I think they are worried that they might cause a country wide epidemic of some new and exotic disease that is not yet known in North America. That disease might cause severe blistering of the skin, extreme abdominal pain and general fever ending in death if they aren't very careful. But, after much paperwork and many sleepless nights, they gave us the "OK" to bring them in. Whew! Another National disaster averted by our ever vigilant federal government.

And yet, if you didn't know about all those disasters, and I will admit, there were a few more issues with the pots themselves being the wrong size, not being waterproof, being painted a little off color to the original sample and prone to rust when made damp, you'd actually think "Hey, those look GREAT! "

I wonder why I always feel like I need a holiday?


7 Responses to “Problems? What problems?”

Nancy-Mom said...

Happy birthday Tam, hope you have a wonderful day. May you be blessed with many more.

Got ya from Rosas' blog. I'll be watchin you now !!!

Enjoy your day.

Tamara Jansen said...

Thanks so much Aunty Nancy!

Rosa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rosa said...

Okay I deleted my own comment. :)
I can't believe you got the wrong pick! I would have thought someone knew you better than that by now.
You know, your job looks so darn glamourous and interesting when you are on the outside looking in. . .
By the way,
You are NEVER going to believe what I just bought online. . .!!!

Becky K. said...

Yikes! I am in the process of seeking enough perfect mugs for hot chocolate candles....this post makes that seem easy!

If I were at a large enough scale to travel abroad to shop I would find exactly what I was looking for....because the ones I want were made in China!

Hope your days calm down a bit. But keep those creative juices flowing. You do great work!

tupperwaregal said...

Who knew so much could go wrong, but at least in the end all works out! Adalia

Colleen said...

I like the butterflies!