A couple of you said you’d like to hear how it was to deliver flowers for Bice’s Florist on the 13th and 14th of this month. Well, before I regale you with that tale, know in advance that I signed up for this voluntarily, so don’t view what I’m about to say as griping or complaining, just stating the facts from a petite woman’s point of view.
Imagine if you will, that you are a small woman of stature, say about four foot nine inches tall, weighing in at about 107lbs and recovering from neck surgery back in December. (I only include that so you understand my strength is not back to 100% yet). Nothing in our little part-time-flower-deliverer-class prepared me for the challenges I would face on these two days, or what an adventure it would turn out to be.
The first day I arrived thirty minutes early because I incorrectly figured that the earlier we got there, the more time we would have to familiarize ourselves with our load, where we were going, and maybe even get the first spot for the best routes. Ha! I and one other gentleman stood around freezing outside the back delivery area waiting until they had all the self-drivers (those taking their own vehicles) loaded and off. When we were finally made aware that we could have been inside the warm warehouse, we were a little miffed, yet still excited about the prospect of a good route. I was given a rental van, showed nothing at all about it, and sent off on what the dispatcher said was an “all over” route. I decided I was game for anything and went to check my load.
When I located my van, (a Grand Caravan van) it was chock full of roses and other beautiful flower arrangements, three arrangements (usually) to a long box with a small hole cut in it so they would stand upright. They were mid-to-full of water and seemed stable enough. I checked the names on my trip sheet, noticed they were all in the Ft Worth area and took off full of optimism that I would knock em out and go back for another run.
That most certainly did not happen and this is why. As a “petite” person, I literally had to climb inside the van, hover over a particular arrangement and then carefully wrestle it out of the box, while not grabbing it by the lip of the vase since we were told in class that they might break. You had to do this in a way that would not break any flowers because that is a no-no. Most every time, the arrangement next in line on my route was in the middle of the long box, making it near impossible for me to accomplish-but I did it! Once the flower was out, I had to manage it, the keys, and a clipboard and make my way into the residence or business and make my delivery, get a signature, write down the time, and rush off to the next one. A piece of cake, right?
Many times the arrangement was almost half the size of my body, making it difficult for the recipient to even see me walking in. I was rather dismayed at many of the reactions of those receiving flowers like it was no big deal or special thing to them, but a few did act appreciative and that made me smile. Anyway, the third run of the first day took me on an unnecessary thirty-minute side trip to Grand Prairie because of a miscommunication about the address. Even after I found the correct address, the person the arrangement was going to did not work there. Turned out she worked at Alliance Airport which is a good way from where I was. I decided to do her last. I wound my way through Ft Worth, Keller, and Roanoke and realized when I got to that last run, I was low on gas, my phone was dead (my GPS-I had taken off with the wrong kind of car charger) and I would not be able to make it there and back to the shop. So I called the dispatch and he told me just to come on in, they would work something out. Since it took me from 8:30 to 1:30 to do that first run, the boss said if I was coming back tomorrow, I could go on home, they didn’t have that many left to deliver anyway. That was day one.
Day two started at exactly 8am with a much warmer forecast (thank God) and a downtown destination-I was not happy about this but figured I would be ok, I had the right kind of charger now, and knew I had plenty of gas to make this trip. What I didn’t count on was unwieldy arrangements, too full of water and not loaded properly in the van. Every time I hit a bump (and there were many) or took off from sitting at a light (no matter how carefully) the flowers would tip over, spilling water and God forbid, threatening breakage. I don’t remember how many times I stopped to rearrange the load, but it just kept happening. One arrangement was in a bag, along with a teddy bear and some chocolate, thankfully they were each in their own plastic wrap. After the cardboard the flower was standing in became soaked, it simply would not stand up for any movement of the van, so I decided I needed to get that one delivered as soon as possible.
Then there was the delivery that took me to a boarded-up house in a less-than-desirable neighborhood and I was very brave to get out of the van, go around the back and locate someone who told me I was on the wrong end of the street. I considered myself so lucky to have found nice people to help me, that when I found the correct address (on the other side of town) and made the delivery, I didn’t feel bad accepting my one and only tip. Somehow, I made all my deliveries and went back to the shop for another load. By this time I was tired but still felt able to do more, so I was super happy to get a run in my own neck-of-the-woods. What I wasn’t prepared for were several more HUGE arrangements which I miraculously managed to get unharmed, out of the van and delivered. My arms, neck, and shoulders were sore from the exertion of that, and my thighs were sore from then crouching down with the arrangement, before wiggling my way back out of the van because of my stupid knee. Gone are the days when I could simply have jumped in and out of the van.
One of my last two deliveries was a beautiful orchid arrangement when the lady opened the front door and saw them, she just about lost it she was so surprised and happy. That really made my day! One other lady previous to that delivery offered to give me a tip, I declined it and then was happy I did because her little dog ran out the front door and into the street! Luckily, a nice man working at a house nearby caught the little guy and held him until she walked over there to pick him up. My last delivery of the day was to a house which the recipient had not been at home the first time I tried. I called and left messages, but they were never answered. At last, I found a neighbor willing to take them for her, I left a tag on her door telling her where to pick them up and went back to the shop. By this time I was exhausted, it was close to 5pm, and I said that I was sorry, I just could not close the tailgate on that van one more time. Reaching up to my fullest height, pulling the heavy tailgate down and then wrestling to push it closed had taken a toll on my right arm, neck, and shoulder. When I got home, Dave asked me if there hadn’t been a button I could have pushed and it closes itself, I said if so, no one ever showed me and I would be so mad if I found out now!
I was still sore this morning but after a hot bath and some chia pudding for breakfast, I feel like a new woman! One thing that surprised me, I was never really hungry over those two days, I took a boiled egg, a cheese stick and some nuts the first day and ate the nuts and the cheese stick on the run. The second day, I took a “peeled” boiled egg with some salt and pepper and a few pork skins and was able to eat that on the run and both days I felt full and satisfied. That’s the thing with Keto, you are less hungry with less food, my problem is I’m always cold. I also have a problem eating enough fat. It is working though, I’m down to 107lbs from 115, and my clothes are starting to fit better. I loosely enter my food on a keto calculator and it helps me somewhat manage my macros.
Well, there you have it, a day in the life, what do you think? Should I volunteer again for Mother’s day deliveries? Maybe I will be over all of my soreness and have built up some more strength by then, we’ll just have to wait and see. Have a great weekend everyone and thanks for stopping by the patio!
Ok, a little confession, I did have two episodes of breakage, I decided to be completely honest about the whole thing and both recipients were more than understanding. 🙂